Day 38: Caye Caulker - San Ignacio
San Ignacio Travel Blog› entry 50 of 120 › view all entries
Today we would travel to the city of San Ignacio, all the way at the other end of the country. That is two and a half hours by bus... I just love it when a country is so small!
The (at the time British) government had enough and Belmopan was founded as the new capital. The city lies at the geographical centre of the country, so the perfect location, right? Well, think again.
But it is good to know that in case another hurricane ever threatens Belize City the entire government and president can move to Belmopan.
San Ignacio (which the British call Cayo) is a nice little town on the Guatemalan border. On Monday, in Belize City, we had met two American girls in our hotel, who had given us several tips on Belize. They had recommended us to stay at the Trek Stop in San Ignacio. Even though this place lies more than 10 kilometres outside of town, it was definitely worth the trip. It's a type of Eco-lodge, of which you find many in this part of Belize, but set up especially for budget travellers.
The place was run by a crazy American couple, who did this for fun after retirement. This was evident from the prices, which were dirt cheap for Belizean standards, and their excellent service. Everything was possible, and the couple would gladly arrange it for you.
We slept in little wooden shacks, surrounded by palm trees. Water in the showers was rain water (so cold water) and the shower itself was just four thin walls with no roof, so you had a wonderful shower in the fresh open air. The toilets were compost toilets, not much more than a seat above a slurry pit.
Robbel and I absolutely loved it. Our dad seemed to have some trouble getting used to the idea, it seemed.
The Trek Stop also had a tiny nature museum, a restaurant (where Judy the landlady would prepare delicious meals) and the owner's pride: a butterfly garden.
We took the bus back to San Ignacio to orient ourselves for tours in the surrounding area. The place where everything seems to happen is Eva's Restaurant, where the walls are full of ads for tours in the area. Unfortunately Belize is an expensive country and that is mainly evident in its prices for tours - some of these were close to being ridiculous. We ended up choosing the middle option. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive either, but still a full-day trip.
We had dinner in the Trek Stop restaurant, a delicious American-Italian pasta with an even more delicious fudge cake as dessert.
The surroundings of the Trek Stop are teeming with wildlife. During the day we had seen several squirrels and lizards around our cabin. So we wanted to go for a little walk in the dark forest hoping to come across some nocturnal animals, you know, like bats, or owls or jaguars.
The night porter would happily guide us around for more than an hour, over all kinds of slippery pathways which you can only find if you know the way. And he didn't accept a single penny from us for his service either!
Unfortunately it had been raining all day, which doesn't really increase your chances of spotting wildlife, and it was also full moon, which made that none of the animals came out of their burrows at all.