Popular adventure tours in the Cayo District.

Cayo Adventure Tours

Popular Adventure Tours in Western Belize – the Cayo District.

In this blog I’ll write about popular adventure tours in Belize’s Cayo District. While most of the Belize’s Cayo tours add some sense of adventure to your vacation, such as discovering ancient Mayan temples and trekking the surrounding jungle forest, here are a few popular adventurous tours that are sure to thrill and fulfill your adventurous spirit.   

Cave tubing at the Cave Branch Area


Cave tubing in Belize

Cave tubing in Belize


Forget the lazy river at that popular water park, this is real adventure.  The Rocks are real, the caves are real, heck, even the inner tubes are real.  Here you get to float down the river, through dark caves, and emerge only to find your self being swallowed up again by another cave.  This is a fun adventure for both old and young. Do be safe, Do wear an adequate life jacket or PFD (personal flotation device) as the water becomes quite deep in some areas. Tip: ask your host or tour guides when is the best time to avoid the cruise ship crowds.  Currently to avoid the cruise ship crowds plan on arriving before 9 AM or Arriving after 1 PM. Cruise ship crowds arrive on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Attribute for cave tubing picture: Attributes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44603071@N00/with/2417471198/   

To go cave tubing you can hire a tour guide in San Ignacio that will take you there.  If you have a rental vehicle you can get there on your own.  Once at the site there are tour operators that will rent you a tube, head lamp and pfd.
For more deatils on cave tubing in the Cayo district please follow this link http://www.belize-cayo-tours.com/belize_cayo_adventure_tours.htm#cavetubing


Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave ATM Cave for short


actun tunichil muknal, belize

Actun Tunichil Muknal, ATM cave for short in Belize's Cayo District


Dare to enter Xibalba “the Mayan Underworld” at the ATM Cave.
This is the ultimate adventure tour. Not recommended for the old, weak or feint of heart. Walk, climb or crawl, sink or swim, as you make your way to discover the hidden underworld of the Maya.  And pray that the Maya God of the Underworld doesn’t choose you as the next sacrificial victim. 
Picture of ATM Cave Attributes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46241645@N00/97946639/  

To visit the ATM Cave you must hire a few an authorized tour operator in San Ignacio.  No unguided tours of the ATM cave are allowed.


Caving and Canoeing at Barton Creek Cave


The Cave entrance at Barton Creek

The Cave entrance at Barton Creek


Another excellent adventure spot, the creek at Barton Creek, provides an excellent place for canoeing and swimming and exploring.  Inside the cave you can see skeletal remains and a calcified skull of either sacrificial victims or a burial site.  A natural altar and natural bridge and stalactites are amongst the things to find. The canoe trip leads inside the cave for at least an hour or so.
Picture of Barton Creek Attributes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saucysalad/4515995518/in/photostream/ 
For more in on Barton Creek canoeing adventure please visit


Canoeing the Macal River

Canoeing the Macal River is a great adventure activity.  Imagine yourself canoeing a pristine tropical river, observing the steep cliffsides, and jungle forest all while navigating around mild rapids, dead trunks and deep water and sometimes only ankle deep water.  Perhaps you will see iguanas and howler monkeys, or the vultures circling high above.  Perhaps you found a great place to take a refreshing swim in the water.  Or your picnic lunch beneath blue skies and snow white puffy clouds, is like a gourmet feast.  Whatever you do you always come away with a memorable canoe trip.  Not everyone can boast of having canoed a tropical river.  Tip: here’s a link for more details about this canoeing adventure in Belize’s Cayo district.

There’s info there on duration, distance, tips, aprox. cost, fees, etc. So as not to duplicate the content here again, please follow the above link for more info. 

As mentioned before most of the tours in the Cayo District provide some sense of adventure, and vice versa the adventure type tours provide for great sight seeing opportunities as well.  These are a few of the tours that I believe will satisfy the adventurous spirit in you.

For Additional Information:

I recommend you also visit our website which has more details and information about these tours including duration, distance, cost, park fees, getting there

Here’s the link to the Belize Cayo Tours website.   

We have also put together a helpful suggested Itinerary to help you plan your visit. Here’s that link to the Belize Cayo Travel Itinerary page:   


Also, if you want to find out more about J&R Guest House in San Ignacioinfo such as rooms, rates, amenities, etc. heres a link for more info.   



Thanks for visiting and reading this blog.  Please feel free to comment and share helpful tips and information with other visitors.

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Sight Seeing in Belize’s Cayo District

Sight Seeing in western Belize the Cayo District 

So every tourist wants to come back from vacation with a great bunch of pictures to show off to friends and family about where they have been and what they did and saw.  Well if you visit the Cayo district we guarantee that you will have a great bunch of photos to show off to your friends and family.  The Cayo is rich with scenic photo ops and panoramic vistas.  Wonder in awe from  on top of “Canaa” at Carocol and the falls at Rio On in the Mountain Pine Ridge.  Feel small in the cave at Rio Frio or cramped in adventure at the ATM cave.  Capture the deep blue hue of the blue morpho butterfly at the butterfly farm, or colorful bill of the toucan in the wild.  Come face to face to face with a jaguar (if you dare) at the Belize Zoo or try to keep up with the Rufus tail butterfly right outside your window.  These are but a few of the many sights (and sounds) of what you may encounter in your sight seeing adventure in the Cayo district of Belize.  We have a structured website with all tours and activities that you can visit for more information if you wish at http://www.belize-cayo-tours.com   

Scenic photo of the Falls at Rio On

Scenic photo of the Falls at Rio On. Its a lot bigger th it loks here, everyone gets to choose his/her own private pool or waterfall.

A Scenic photo of the Falls at Rio On.   

So How do I go Sight Seeing in Belize?


Most sight seeing is done by doing one of the tours for example going on tour to the Maya site of Caracol offers scenic and panoramic vistas of the site itself, surrounding jungles, possible wildlife sightings such as the howler monkey, in addition stops may include the Rio Frio Cave, Rio On  or Big Rock Falls, or even 1000 foot falls if the weather is favorable.    

Canoeing the Macal River.  The macal river, with the Hawkesworth Bridge in the background.

Canoeing the Macal River. The macal river, with the Hawkesworth Bridge in the background.

Booking a canoe trip up the Macal river to the Cha Creek area provides many scenic vistas of the river itself, possible wildlife sightings of birds, and iguanas, you might hear the howler monkeys in the distance.  Cliff side and Jungle forest add to the beauty as well.  Theirs a place to stop and have lunch and things to do at Cha Creek including the butterfly farm and the Ixchel medicine trail.   

So I have mentioned only two tours and already you have many memorable sight seeing ops, so check out the available tours in our website Belize Cayo Tours to help you decide where you would like to visit.   

Where do I book or catch a tour in Cayo?

Most tours can be arranged the same day in San Ignacio.  Their are several tour operators down town eager for your business.  Most tours start early but if you arrive late you can arrange a tour for the next day.  John your host at J and R Guest house can recommend tour and tour operators as well and even help to arrange these for you.  Like wise if you are staying at a resort they might have their own tour guides and tours.  Other wise grab a tour guide in down town San Ignacio.  Again our website has more helpful details about tours so do visit to learn more.  Here’s that link again http://www.belize-cayo-tours.com   

San Ignacio in the Cayo District of Belize.

San Ignacio in the Cayo District of Belize. Home base for all your travel needs in the Cayo District.

A List of Recommended Tours and activities that provide for great sight seeing opportunities.

The Cayo District the western district of Belize has many natural and ancient historical attractions.  

From the sight Seeing Tours I would recommend:

 A day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve area.
Stops here would include Rio Frio Cave, Rio On Pools, and 1000
foot falls or Big rock.
Special Note: 1000 foot falls can visited if roads are accessible and weather
permitting and alternately Big rock Falls will be substituted if roads inaccessible
to 1000 foot falls. Very scenic and panoramic views make this a great sight seeing

Rio Frio Cave

Rio Frio Cave Mountain Pine Ridge area near Augustine. This is a view from inside the cave looking out of the mouth of the cave.

From the Maya Temple Tours I would recommend:

1. Xunantunich close to San Ignacio well worth the trip
2. Cahal Pech -in San Ignacio walking distance from J&R Guest House. This can be fitted in to the same day you do Xunantunich

A view of the main temple at Caracol

Caracol a view of the main temple at Caracol

3. Caracol you will have to hire a tour operator to get you there (recommended) other wise you have to have rent a vehicle to get there. This tour requires a full day and usually departs by 7:30 am. It’s 69 miles and up to 2 hours drive from San Ignacio but well worth the trip. Stops may include Rio On and the Rio Frio Cave.
4. Tikal Now you must know that Tikal is not in Belize, it is actually in the neighbouring country of Guatemala. But it is also so close to your home base in San Ignacio that the 2 hour trip is well worth the drive. Plus you can add another notch to your belt of the countries visited. The temples have been so beautifully restored that you will come away with a lot photos and memorable experience.

From the Cayo Adventure tours I would recommend:

1. Cave tubing in the cave branch area – this is a fun and adventurous trip which provides many ops for taking pictures.
2. Canoeing the Macal River – Rent a canoe in San Ignacio and paddle up river. We recommend you paddle up to the Cha Creek area where you can stop and enjoy your picnic lunch and then take in the butterfly farm and Ixchel Medicine Trail before heading back to San Ignacio. River bends, jungle forest and cliff sides provide many ops for photo shoots along the way.    

From the Natural History Tours I would recommend the Belize Zoo:

macaw parrot at Belize Zoo

macaw parrot belize zoo

While you may never encounter these animals in the wild or on tour, here at the Belize Zoo is great sight seeing and photo op to capture all of Belize’s wildlife on camera.

Now I’ve said a lot, and I could probably say a lot more, but our blog visitors would love to hear from previous visitors, so please leave a comment about your sight seeing experience while on tour, describe the sight and sounds and great places to go sight seeing and thing to see and do in the Cayo district.


For Additional Information:

I recommend you also visit our website which has more details and information about these tours including duration, distance, cost, park fees, getting there

Here’s the link to the Belize Cayo Tours website.

We have also put together a helpful suggested Itinerary to help you plan your visit.   Here’s that link to the Belize Cayo Travel Itinerary page:


Also, if you want to find out more about J&R Guest House in San Ignacio info such as rooms, rates, amenities, etc. heres a link for more info.     


Of course San Ignacio is your home base for all your Cayo adventure, eco travel, sight seeing, and Maya Ruins tours, and J&R guest house is in the heart of San Ignacio(blatant plug :-) .     

Thanks for reading this blog and I hope you have found it both enjoyable and informative.  I also hope you will visit our beautiful country and come stay with us at J&R Guest House.

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Xunantunich – a popular Ancient Mayan Ceremonial City

Cayo Travel Blog – Xunantunich a popular tourist destination.

Xunantunich translated means maiden of the rock or stone lady.


"El Castillo" Structure A6. The main temple at Xunantunich.

This is an ancient Ceremonial Mayan City and is one of Belize’s largest and best known temples.  It is also one of the most popular attractions in Belize.  Shown here is structure A6 “El Castillo” which summits 130 feet high, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding area including neighbouring Guatemala.   It also bears a remarkable stucco frieze on the East and West sides of the pyramid representing the celestial bodies.   Recent archaeological discovery of a west freize at Xunantunich provides evidence that the Maya knew they had to abondon this site but that they were hoping to return.

Xunantunich - north plaza

Xunantunich a view of the north plaza from the top of the main temple.

Access to the site is by a hand wenched ferry over the Mopan River.   Very cool.

So visiting the Maya ruins is one of the popular things to do in Belize and in fact in the Cayo district there are several of the most popular Mayan sites in the country to visit.  Xunantunich is a very popular ruin, it is close to Cayo (San Ignacio) and a short bus or taxi trip will get you there.  Its awesome to climb the ruins and check out the panoramic vistas from the top of “El Castillo” which is the main temple there.  Look to the west and you see Guatemala.   You can have a licensed guide give you a tour  or you can tour on your own.  Personally I think hiring a tour guide is a lot better because suddenly a rock becomes more than a rock it tells  a story and the images on it suddenly become clear and interesting.  If you come to Cayo by all means visit Xunantunich.  You won’t be disappointed.

So how does it cost and how do I get there from J and R Guest House in Cayo?

Xunantunich is close to the town of San Ignacio in the Cayo District, and J and R Guest house is just two small blocks away from the bus station.  Take a bus or taxi, from the Savannah street Bus station by the market in downtown San Ignacio.   This short bus or taxi trip (aprox. $2 BZE) will get you to the entrance of the park in the village of San Jose Succotz.  Get off at entrance to the Mayan site.  Once there take the ferry across the Mopan river. For fun volunteer to turn the hand powered winch that drives the ferry across the Mopan river.  I think the ferry crossing is free.  In greek mythology you always tip the ferry man, but I know of no such tipping in Mayan Mythology.   All the same, I suppose tipping the ferry man isn’t out of the question.   There are is a park fee (aprox $10 BZE).  You can tour the site on your own but I would recommend hiring a tour guide to learn the fascinating history of the site, structures and the Maya. Guided tours by trained and licensed tour guides could run you between $25 to $40 BZE. There is a souvenir stand and souvenir vendors near the ferry.  You might still see Mayan children bathing in the river or Mayan women stone washing their clothing in the river.  Stone washed jeans wasn’t invented recently you know.  If you visit Xunantunich plan on at least a half day.  Also recommeded is that you visit the Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech on your way back to the town of San Ignacio (also called Cayo by the locals).

We do hope you visit Xunnatunich if you come to the Cayo District.  And if you are in need of budget accommodations then J and R Guest House will be glad to host your stay.

For more info n Budget accommodations please visit our website:

For more tour info on the Maya ruins please visit
More photos for Xunantunich are available at

Thanks for reading our Cayo Travel Blog and please feel free to comment.

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About J and R Guest House

J and R Guest House 
Budget accommodations First Class Adventure!

J and R Guest House is located in the town of San Ignacio, in the western district of Cayo in the Country of Belize. J and R Guest House has hosted tourist from all over the world including Europe, Asia and North America. J and R Guest House provides budget accommodations ranging from rooms with shared baths to rooms with private baths. But what sets them apart is that hosts John and Rose go out of their way to make their guest feel welcome, and to ensure that guest have comfortable, clean rooms. Having an onsite tour guide is a definite plus too. John, a semi retired, licensed and experienced tour guide, is knowledgeable about tours, Belize’s Archaeology and Natural History, and happy to discuss and provide answers you may have on your particular area of interest, and arrange tours for you. He has been escorting tourist to Belize long before their has been a tourism industry in Belize. Now retired he may occasionally still do some tours, however, most of the tours are done by outside tour operators which John recommends or with which John has established a working relationship.

Clean comfortable rooms.

Shared amenities include use of the kitchen.

J and R Guest House Budget accommodations First Class Adventure!
please also visit our website for more info http://www.belize-cayo-tours.com

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Welcome to the J and R guest house blog!

Welcome to the J and R guest house blog. Through this blog we hope to provide great content describing tours and activities. We hope our blog visitors will share their insight about Cayo, share ideas about things to do and places to eat. Being a guest house we will be very bias about places to stay since we think, no we believe, no we know that there isn’t a better guest house in Cayo, nay in all of Belize. So why bother to look elsewhere for your budget accommodation needs, Right?  Can you tell we are biased :-) All this is information that we hope guests will find helpful in planning their visit to Belize’s Cayo District.  So feel free to comment and post a photo when that feature becomes available. What we are really hoping for is that first our visitors will recommend J and R guest house as great place to stay and that second visitors will describe the different tours and activities thus recommending and convincing potential tourist, nay guest, that the Cayo District is a great eco-tourism and adventure vacation destination. Thanks for visiting, thanks for reading our blog and thanks for posting a comment.

J and R Guest House Budget accommodations First Class Adventure!
please also visit our website for more info http://www.belize-cayo-tours.com

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