These Two Attractions in Cayo, Belize Are a Must See!

by Giulissa Hernandez

Famous for too many reasons to name, the Cayo district in Belize carries a multitude of hidden treasures. However, there’s just something about Cayo’s most popular spots that keep pulling us in. Their well-known names carry prestige– and for good reason! Cayo is a land of contrasts, where towering pyramids rise from the jungle canopy while neighboring quaint and bustling towns. Not far away, hidden caves hold secrets centuries old. This enchanting push and pull is what makes Cayo so enticing. In just one day, you can explore the charming farmer’s market in downtown San Ignacio, and then embark to conquer ancient Maya ruins. In fact, there are two main attractions in Cayo that just keep reeling travelers in. The mysterious Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave and Belize’s tallest Maya site, Caracol make up the dreams of every history and adventure enthusiast. Here’s how you can join in on the admiration.

The ATM Cave

The entrance of ATM Cave. Photo by Leonardo Melendez Photography

This particular adventure will have you feeling like a character in Journey to the Center of the Earth. The ancient limestone cavern, located within the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Venture deeper into the cave and encounter a mesmerizing array of stalactites and stalagmites, illuminated by your headlamp. But the true magic of the ATM Cave lies beyond its geological wonders. This sacred site once served as a ceremonial center for the ancient Maya, who believed it to be a portal to Xibalba, the underworld. Along the way, you’ll discover ancient artifacts, including pottery shards and even sacrificial remains. Veiled by a lush jungle on the outside, this cave holds history and relics deserving of a visit. 


Photo Courtesy of A. and D. Chase

This next quest will have you leaving the darkness but still walking in the footsteps that the Mayas took long ago. This sprawling archaeological site is one of Belize’s largest and most impressive Maya ruins, boasting towering pyramids, intricate stone carvings, and expansive plazas.

Similar: THE WINDING ROAD TO CARACOL: Belize’s Largest Ancient Maya City

Explore the ruins and unravel the mysteries of Caracol’s ancient past, from its rise to prominence during the Classic Period to its eventual decline. Climb to the top of the towering Caana (Sky Palace) pyramid for panoramic views of the surrounding jungle, and imagine the bustling city that once thrived below.

Stay in the Heart of All the Action

Photo courtesy of property

Without a doubt, Cayo is a place of multiple shades, including hues of verdant green, cobalt, and fuchsia. There’s no better place to be surrounded by all these kaleidoscopic colors than the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. If there’s one thing this resort prioritizes, it’s the exploration of the nearby natural wonders. While staying in the most charming town of Cayo, you’ll be just a stone’s throw from both the ATM cave and Caracol. 

Photo courtesy of property

San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s Best of Cayo Package includes three full-day tours, allowing you to explore the ATM Cave, traverse Caracol, and zip-line and cavetube at Jaguar Paw. With expert guides leading the way, you’ll delve deep into the heart of Cayo’s natural and cultural wonders, uncovering hidden gems and unforgettable experiences along the way. Back at the resort, enjoy being pampered for 4 nights in a Deluxe or Regal suite. Plus, don’t forget the Belizean cuisine! Enjoy the daily breakfast and included dinners for two. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, history buff, or nature lover, the Best of Cayo Package offers something for everyone.

From the depths of the ATM Cave to the heights of Caracol’s pyramids, Cayo beckons travelers to embark on a journey of discovery and adventure. With the Best of Cayo Package from the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, you can experience the very best that this enchanting region has to offer. So pack your bags and lace up your hiking boots, Cayo’s best spots await your arrival!

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