Many of our guests extend their stay on our private island in Belize by adding on a few days in Cayo, the district in Western Belize which is the second most popular tourist area in the country. (The first is Ambergris Caye, a large island close to Belize City.)
There are many jungle lodges in this region, from super inexpensive, to high luxury. There’s something for everyone in this part of Belize.
Almost all of the lodges have an in-house tour company. If they do not, they will refer you to the tour company that their brother works for, which likely will be a good choice.
Belize tour guides are almost without exception across-the-board excellent. The country requires guides to have a tour guide license, and rigorous classes and testing are required to procure a license. This is one thing that Belize really excels in, wonderful, friendly, knowledgeable guides. So choose the budget lodge or the luxury lodge; you likely will still have excellent guides no matter what place you choose to stay.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Cayo is Barton Creek Cave. It is about a 45 minute drive from downtown San Ignacio; you travel by canoe into this Mayan ceremonial chamber. You don’t “run” this cave – in one end and out the other – as we do on the Caves Branch River, but you will nonetheless see impressive cave formations as well as evidence of use by the Maya. Your guide will point out by spotlight numerous skulls and artifacts as you paddle from stalactite to stalagmite. The high ceiling in this underground cathedral provides a stunning backdrop.
My favorite video blogger, Stacy Holbert, has an excellent video of Barton Creek Cave.
So if you plan to stay in Cayo, be sure to sign up for a tour of this geologic and prehistorical wonder.