San Ignacio is not what most folks probably think of when they dream of a vacation in Belize. That said, I would highly suggest utilizing this 3 day San Ignacio budget itinerary to give this town some love. It’s got quite a lot going for it and you’ll have a great time!
How to Spend 3 Days in San Ignacio, Belize
Official Language(s): English
Currency: Belize dollar
Emergency phone number: 911
When to Go to San Ignacio
Late November – early April
The best time to visit is during the dry season, although rain is still a possibility. Aim for the shoulder seasons (think, February and March) for lighter crowds and cheaper prices.
Plan to Stay
This San Ignacio budget itinerary is designed for 3 days
Where to Stay in San Ignacio
There are a few hostels in the area, but I’d recommend spending a smidge extra for the Venus Hotel. Couple of reasons why: air conditioning. It’s just always hot in this part of the country. A/C is your friend.
Additionally, the location is perfect. It’s right on Burns Avenue, in the hubbub of downtown. But, you’re on the section of the street that doesn’t allow cars. So you’re free to stroll around as you please. And, just a few steps away is a tourist company that I highly recommend for a few excursions. It makes waking up early way easier.
$51-$65 per night
29 Burns Avenue, San Ignacio
If however, you’re a hostel kind of traveler, give Kawoq Hostel a visit. It’s just a few minutes walk down the same street and has all of the fun amenities you’d expect at a hostel.
$12 per night
45 Burns Avenue, San Ignacio
How to Get Around in San Ignacio
Everything I’ll mention is well within walking distance, and I highly recommend traveling on foot. Should you need a taxi, remember the official taxis will have a license plate with a green background and white lettering. Always agree upon the rate before your ride begins, and have cash on hand (U.S. dollars are accepted and it’s a 2:1 ratio).
Where to Eat in San Ignacio
The Guava Limb Restaurant and Cafe
This will be a splurge, but very worth it. The setting, for one, is gorgeous. And the food is so fresh and flavorful, you can’t get enough. Shout out to the generous portion sizes too.
Burns Avenue, San Ignacio
This is a fun, casual stop for one of the best burgers you’ll ever have. It’s a local favorite, and not hard to see why.
Crave House of Flavour
This is a great happy hour stop as the sun is setting. They’ve got great drink specials and the location makes for some fun people watching at the outdoor bar.
West street San Ignacio town, San Ignacio
Ko-Ox Han Nah (Let’s Go Eat)
This is the place for traditional Belizean cuisine. The place fills up fast, so don’t be discouraged if you have to wait. The food is the bomb and I promise it’s worth the wait.
#5 Burns Ave, San Ignacio
Day 1 of 3 Days in San Ignacio
Is there anything better than visiting a Mayan ruin just steps away from a major city?! I can’t believe this is just a stone’s throw away from downtown San Ignacio. What good fortune.
Anyways, it’s the smallest ruin in this itinerary, but still worth a visit. I know waking up early is painful, but arrive as soon as it opens for two reasons…
1. You’ll likely have the whole place to yourself
2. Bird watching. Bring binoculars.
Ford Young Drive, C.A., San Ignacio
Open 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Green Iguana Conservation Project
This was a definite highlight. The San Ignacio Resort has dedicated part of their premises to fostering and raising the threatened green iguana. Visitors can come take a look at the sanctuary, and feed and hold the iguanas who have been adapted to humans. Doing good and feeding cute, smol animals. It’s a win-win!
18 Buena Vista Street, San Ignacio
8 a.m. – 4 p.m., tour leaves every hour on the hour
AJAW Chocolate Tour
This tour was wildly different from other chocolate tours I’ve done, but in the best way. This tour is led by a Mayan family and shows you the traditional method of making chocolate in the Mayan way.
It’s super educational. For example, I had no idea that chocolate bars were a relatively new production in Belize. The Mayans turned their cacao into a drink, and well, don’t fix what isn’t broken. Popular demand led to the production of chocolate bars about ten years ago. You’ll be able to try a sample, but here, the focus is on the drink and how it’s made.
Benque Viejo Rd, San Ignacio
Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, closed Sunday
San Ignacio Market
If you can, try to visit on a Saturday. That’s when there tends to be the most going on. You can buy fresh fruit, souvenirs, and even take a seat at a popup restaurant.
Off of Joseph Andrew Drive
Open every day except Sunday, hours vary
Day 2 of 3 Days in San Ignacio
Take a Tour of Tikal in Guatemala
There are so many Mayan ruins to visit in Belize, it’s hard to go wrong. My vote would have to go to Tikal, about two hours away in Guatemala. It’ll be your most expensive tour, but you’ll have the best time.
For starters, it’s massive. You’ll explore temple after temple and be stunned to learn this is only about 30% of what could be excavated.
It’s also not nearly as overcrowded as other Mayan ruins. Get there early enough and you may even have the place to yourself for a few minutes.
And finally, it’s gorgeous. I really can’t say enough about how stunning and impressive Tikal National Park is in person. It’s one of those things you’ll have to see for yourself.
19 Burns Avenue, San Ignacio
Day 3 of 3 Days in San Ignacio
I’m gonna give a huge disclaimer and say that hiking a cave in Belize is probably not what you think it’ll be. I visited caves in Arkansas (which I loved) and there’s always been a nice, carved path to walk along. Not so here. You climb with what nature made, take it or leave it. It’s gorgeous, but man, is it exhausting. Not for the faint of heart.
The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave is the most popular, but be warned. It’s a lot. You’ll need to hike through waist-deep water, and slide through tight walls.
St. Herman’s cave is the less popular, but still beautiful option, plus you’ll get the visit the Inland Blue Hole afterward for a refreshing, cool swim. But it isn’t much easier either. You won’t have to wade through ice cold water, but that’s about the only difference.
Look, both these places are stunning, and very much worth the effort. I hiked through St. Herman’s and was spellbound by how enchanting it was. But it’s a doozy. Maybe you’re the type who doesn’t mind. If so, then go hike and have a blast!
But if that sounds like too much, or you’re a bit claustrophobic, there’s still a way to experience the beauty of the cave. Consider cave tubing; less intense, and still inside a cave.
Spend your last night in San Ignacio bidding a fond farewell to the creatures of the jungle. We’ll be back at the San Ignacio Resort for this tour, because the property is on a freakin’ jungle (and it’s much cheaper than other tour options).
18 Buena Vista Street, San Ignacio
7:30 p.m. daily
One Last Thing
Please remember to tip your guides! It’s not an easy job and they take it quite seriously!
Pin this 3 day San Ignacio, Belize itinerary for budget travelers!