San Ignacio is the heart and soul of the Cayo District, a vibrant traveler center from where all roads and activities fan out. Together with twin-town Santa Elena, on the east bank of the Macal River, this is the main population center of Cayo, with lots of good budget accommodations, decent restaurants and frequent transport.
But as much as it is geared to travelers, San Ignacio is no inland San Pedro, existing only for tourism. It has a very positive and infectious local vibe, with a bustling market and a steady influx of immigrants, mainly from nearby Guatemala. Residents are mestizos, Maya and Garifuna, as well as a bunch of free-spirited expats from Europe and North America.
Most travelers come to San Ignacio as a base for the adventures of Cayo or as a stepping stone to or from Guatemala; many stay longer than they expected.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout San Ignacio.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in San Ignacio.