The Maya Ruins of Cahal Pech: Practically IN Downtown San Ignacio, Belize

The Maya get a point for bluntness. Or perhaps the people that lived in and named the hilltop residence Cahal Pech – translated “Place of Ticks” and pronounced “pesh” not “peck” – were not looking for visitors.


But this beautiful site is so easy to get to and quite impressive, you will want to see it.  The Maya built these structures looking out over the Macal and Mopan Rivers and a beautiful lush valley.  Any visitor to San Ignacio, the largest town in the Cayo district, must go up the hill and enjoy Cahal Pech.

Don’t worry, the ticks have moved out.

I’m not sure why I’ve skipped Cahal Pech in the past.  Perhaps I figured that it was too close to town to be good?  I don’t remember…but this time was THE time.

The site is a quick 8 minute $8bzd ride from the town center up a steep seriously hill.


Definitely take a taxi there and do the walk home.  We got out of the car and saw that rain was coming.


We paid at the ticket window – $5bzd for locals and residents, $10bzd for visitors and FREE for locals on Sundays…can you believe I forgot my ID?  We took a quick look around the small museum.


We read about some interesting practises that took place at the site.  Men?  I’m pretty sure you never wanted to see the words “penis” and “stingray spine” in the same sentence.IMG_1767

We walked down the path to a small pavillion just before the rain came down.  And then on to site.

Lots of rooms and cool walkways, this site isn’t just tall temples, it’s more like a condominium complex.


Here is one of the main temples.  You can just see Jamie posing atop it.  There is some work going on and a few tarps…
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IMG_1781We took the walk back to our hotel.  Down the very steep hill that left our calves burning the next day.  We passed this kid teaching his dog to dance to the radio…




  • TarheelBornGal

    Heheh, would you believe we walked up the hill to get there?! Yes, I figured you would! It was indeed a great site. And we almost had it to ourselves the day we went.

  • Belize Blog

    Us too! That hill? Ugh. It was like 95 degrees…we didn’t think so a second about walking! We did at Xunantunich but SMARTLY got a taxi there too.