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San Ignacio, Belize

Our trip to Belize at the end of the last year was split between two locations, one inland and one on the coast. The inland one was near the town of San Ignacio in the western Belize district of Cayo. This was a great base for visiting Mayan ruins, swimming and tubing in mountain rivers and waterfalls, ziplining, and other “active” pursuits.

Although we were staying outside the town’s boundaries, we took a bit of time to explore San Ignacio proper as well. One of the larger towns in the area, it exhibits many of the features common to the country as a whole: various colorful pockets, one or two highlights, indifferent state of upkeep in many places, and fairly rustic in general. Here is a selection of perspectives.
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
We were in town over Christmas, neglecting to anticipate that in a relative backwater life more or less shuts down for major holidays. As much as I like perspectives with few people in them, they look less vibrant when doors and windows of commercial establishments are shuttered, which is the case in a number of these shots.

River Macal separates San Ignacio from the sister town of Santa Elena. Bridges connecting the two sides of the river are decidedly the feature highlights. Here is the iron Hawkesworth Bridge.
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
The “PUP” in the banner does not pertain to any campaign involving little dogs. It is the name of the Belize ruling party whose policies are rather unpopular after just a few years in power.

Here is the perspective of the bridge from the river’s edge…
San Ignacio, Belize
… and a close-up of a local feathered resident.
San Ignacio, Belize
Herons are actually less easily found throughout the area as compared to vultures.
San Ignacio, Belize
Yet another perspective along the Macal, this one with the Twin Towns Low-lying Wooden Bridge in the foreground.
San Ignacio, Belize
The wooden bridge was originally a temporary crossing built to redirect traffic for a period of repairs of the Hawkesworth Bridge that was never removed. It was partially destroyed by Hurricane Earl in 2016 and quickly rebuilt in a reinforced fashion, solidifying its permanent status.
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
The riverside entrance to San Ignacio Market is probably the most colorful feature in town. Closed for Christmas as well at the time I came over to photograph it, unfortunately.
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
The eye-catching street art pops up here and there all over town.
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
The next several shots are of houses and small businesses on the Santa Elena side of the river, which is on average less commercialized as compared to San Ignacio.
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio, Belize
Big Rock Waterfall is good 45 minutes southeast of San Ignacio, but I’ll include one shot of it in this set. You may have seen a video of me swimming in that pool of water if you follow my better half’s chronicles on Facebook.
San Ignacio, Belize
These directives found on the path to the waterfall are likely applicable to any hiking scenario.
San Ignacio, Belize
Next up, we’ll visit a fantastic Mayan archaeological site near the Guatemalan border.