One of the most important places people visit while jumping off from San Ignacio is the Caracol Maya ruins. Caracol is Belize’s largest and most important Maya site as it used to be one of the most important Maya epicenters. Potentially home to upwards of 150,000 people at its height, this site is known for its artificial reservoirs, extensive agricultural terraces, grand temples, and the fact that it’s now completely enshrouded by jungle. The most amazing thing is that Caana (Sky Place) in Plaza B used to be and still is Belize’s tallest building! I just loved wandering around the various trails that leads to all the ballcourts, plazas, temples, and the central acropolis. We had to go with a guide since it’s quite difficult to get to Caracol by yourself so it was neat to get a chance to listen to the history of this beautiful place as well. I would definitely recommend it!

Read about our other Belizean adventures: belize city firstsbermudian landing baboonsbermudian landing eatscaye caulker splitcaye caulker waters • caye caulker snorkelcaye caulker lobstercaye caulker non-lobster eatscaye caulker sunset • san pedro sightssan pedro eatssan ignacio atm cavingsan ignacio poolssan ignacio cahal pechsan ignacio rio frio caving

A San Ignacio, Belize photo adventure:

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San Ignacio is a huge jumping off point for cool adventures in the area, like caving, but there are a view things right within walking distance of this city as well. In fact, this is one adventure that I particularly enjoyed because there was literally nobody around! Everyone goes to the fancy ruins hours away from San Ignacio, but very few people actually walk up to the Cahal Pech Maya ruins, just one mile south of San Ignacio. Cahal Pech is definitely smaller compared to other sites, but it’s actually the oldest known Maya site in the Belize River valley. Filled with pre-classic Maya architecture, this lesser known group of (and definitely cheaper) ruins shows off a number of attached plazas, ball courts, and tunnel-like walkways all now completely surrounded by the jungle. It was incredibly peaceful to walk around this entire place, know that I essentially walked all of it, and get to enjoy it in complete silence as there were no other groups of tourists at all!

Read about our other Belizean adventures: belize city firstsbermudian landing baboonsbermudian landing eatscaye caulker splitcaye caulker waters • caye caulker snorkelcaye caulker lobstercaye caulker non-lobster eatscaye caulker sunset • san pedro sightssan pedro eatssan ignacio atm cavingsan ignacio pools

A San Ignacio, Belize photo adventure:

During our first week of Latino Heritage Month study this year, we started learning about the Inca people. We read some books and then participated in some fun (more) artsy projects that were Inca-themed. First we made some llamas. The students wrote about the llamas and then used cotton balls to make just the cutest, fluffiest llamas ever! The next day, a fellow teacher let me borrow a traditional Inca blanket. We used that as inspiration to make some striped paper mats, which actually learned out quite beautiful. So much fun and creativity in these projects, I love them!


Llamas


More llamas


Inca mats


More Inca mats

Hello!

One of the stops on my roadtrip last month was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, home to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, which of course, we had to go check out!

There were exhibits on cowboys through time, starting with the pioneers and their interactions with Native Americans across the country, and all the way through to the 20th century and even into modern day. Who knew there were so many different kinds of saddles?

Or so many different types of branding sticks, used to brand and mark cows?

This was one of my favorite displays – they were talking about different kinds of cowboys across the states. The Hawaiian cowboy certain has a distinctively Hawaiian flair to his cowboy outfit, don’t you think?

A large statue of Buffalo Bill – probably one of the most famous cowboys in history. This was found in the garden behind the museum, quite beautiful and a peaceful little escape.

They even had an exhibit with a full fake Western town, a replica of what a small town in the West would have looked like in the late 1800s!

If you ever find yourself in Oklahoma City, this museum is definitely worth a look! You can find everything from paintings to statues to interactive exhibits on Western rodeos!

Until next time,

Attrace

After our time in the Cayes (Caye Caulker and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye), we headed inland toward the Western part of Belize (Cayo District) quite close to the Guatemalan border. Here, we did some pretty neat adventuring, of which I think the first was the absolute best! Our first San Ignacio-based adventure was visiting Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM). ATM is an incredible cave that the Maya people used long ago. Known to them as Xibalba, this 3-mile long cave is in the northern foothills of the Maya Mountains.

This trip is unique though because you’re not just walking into a cave, walking around it while avoiding stalagmite and stalactite before coming out again. In fact, the only way to get to the cave is go on a guided tour that involves hiking through the jungle and crossing Roaring Creek (I think) four times before you get to the mouth of the cave. The cave itself is not dry. In fact, there’s a river that rushes through it so first you have to swim to the entrance and then essentially wade and/or swim (depending on how high the water happens to be when you’re there) almost the entire length of the cave. It’s incredible. Eventually, you reach a massive opening where you see plenty of pottery and human remains. At the end, you see the remains of the woman Actun Tunichil Muknal. At this point you have to actually take off your shoes and you’re only allowed to wear socks or go barefoot. After all that, you wade/swim back out again. Our guide was pretty good and even led us into some incredibly narrow portions where the water was rushing very fast. It was quite the rush!

Camera are not allowed into ATM due to an incident years back when a tourist dropped the lens of his camera onto one of the skulls and broke it! All the photos here were shared with me from our guide at Pacz Tours based in San Ignacio.

Read about our other Belizean adventures: belize city firstsbermudian landing baboonsbermudian landing eatscaye caulker splitcaye caulker waters • caye caulker snorkelcaye caulker lobstercaye caulker non-lobster eatscaye caulker sunset • san pedro sightssan pedro eats

A San Ignacio, Belize photo adventure (photos courtesy of Pacz Tours):