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9 Things to Do in Cayo, Belize

From food to fun and everything in between

The Cayo district in Belize has something for everyone. From jungle adventures to great food, and markets to ruins, there is a lot to choose from. The food in the regions reflects the Mayan heritage, and the natural area are fun to explore by foot, innertube, zipline or hammock! Here are 9 things to do in Cayo, Belize to get you started!

  1. ViSIT RUINS: The Mayan ruins of Xunantunich are accessible and stunning. Xunantunich means “maiden of the rock”, and one of the most beautiful things about this site is that you can climb to the summit. It is not terribly crowded, and I find it worth going with a guide to learn the most about it.

2. EXPLORE SAN IGNACIO MARKET and grab lunch. The market at San Ignacio is well worth a visit and Tuesday and Saturdays are the best days to go. Walk around and grab some fruit and souvenirs and then stay for lunch. Try the pupusas and tacos, and if you can find chicken caldo be sure to get some! Wash it down with tamarind juice.

3. LEARN TO COOK tortillas from scratch. Learning to make regional foods is always a highlight for me, and especially learning about the indigenous foods of the region. A tortilla making class and lunch with the San Antonio’s Mayan women’s cooperative is a great way to learn about Mayan food and culture.

4. HIKE above the clouds. A jungle hike is well worth it. The views are everything! We did the summit hike from Black Rock Lodge and it was absolutely an amazing 2 hour round trip trek. There are lots of guided hikes in the area as well, and birders will LOVE the birding hikes.

5. EAT LOCAL specialties! Benny’s is one of my favorite restaurants in the region. Delicious local cuisine such as caldo negro, pibil, homemade tortillas and soursop juice. Conveniently close to the ferry for the ruins! They have hammocks hanging around just in case you need a post lunch nap.

6. MAKE (and eat) CHOCOLATE! Bean to bar takes on a whole new concept when you process your own chocolate, and even taste the fruit where it comes from. There are two locations I have had this experience – Ajaw and Lamanai – and both offer great experiences.

7. CAVE TUBING. Alright I’ll be honest, cave tubing was not my favorite, but it is super unique to the area and a great sensory deprivation experience. Take an inner tube up into a cave and then float back out to the mouth of the cave – in the pitch dark. We went to St. Herman’s Cave tubing and Blue hole and took a swim after!

8. SHARE A MEAL with locals! This can happen anywhere, any time. Take a moment to talk to people, stop and say hi, ask questions, listen, learn and share the richness and diversity of Belize.

9. ZIPLINE in the jungle (then swim in a river!). Want to feel like tarzan but more secure? Ziplining is a fun way to experience the beauty of the jungle, and the thrill of flying. There are lots of places to explore this activity in the area. We headed to Belize Ziplining Adventure, cruised on 8 ziplines of varying lengths and ended the adventure with a dip in the river.

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