CAYO DISTRICT, BELIZE
By Symphony travel
During our October trip to Belize we saw the ancient ruins of Xunantunich, enjoyed the Belize Zoo, went on a River Cave Tubing Expedition, ventured out on a Night Jungle Safari, and even rappelled down a 300ft cave, called The Black Hole Drop. We had an incredible trip but also realize that we barely scratched the surface of the available activities in The Cayo District of Belize.
The Cayo District is the largest district in the country and is located in the heart of mainland Belize. It is the fastest growing and the most popular inland destination for travelers because it offers so many options for activities and adventure. With rainforests, pine forests, waterfalls, rivers, extensive cave systems, and Maya temples, there is no shortage of activities for you to explore.
The Western Highway is the main highway through The Cayo District. It is approximately 75-80 miles from Belize City heading west on the Western Highway through The Cayo to the Guatemala border. The two main towns in the district are Belmopan City, which is the capital, and San Ignacio.
Within The Cayo District are over 880,000 acres of national parks and nature reserves. In terms of eco-tourism, one would say that The Cayo has arrived. Nature lovers will find the rainforest canopy a wonderful place for spotting both flora and fauna. A birding paradise! The many trail systems provide nature walks, medicine trails, hiking, jungle mountain biking, and even zip lining. The Macal and Mopan rivers are perfect for canoeing and tubing. For caving, there is Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM), Barton Creek, Che Chem Ha, and Caves Branch just to name a few. The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve is home to Thousand Foot Falls. At over 1600 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in Central America. Waterfalls and swimming holes can be found throughout the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. This is only a sampling of the appeal of The Cayo District.
Caracol, Belize’s largest and most extensive Maya archeological site, is located in The Cayo District. It’s not only known for its size but also its powerful defeat over Tikal in Guatemala in 562 AD. It’s main temple, Caana, is Belize’s tallest structure at 143 feet. Other popular Maya Archeological Sites in The Cayo District include Cahal Pech and Xunantunich. While Cahal Pech and Xunantunich are close to tourist areas, Caracol is deep in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and is usually a day trip excursion.
Whether you fancy orchids, toucans, howler monkeys, archeology, nature walks, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, spelunking, or an ancient Maya spa treatment, I assure you that The Cayo District of Belize will deliver!
SEE ALSO: SAN IGNACIO TOWN