After Placencia, we headed straight to Dangriga, the largest Garifuna town in Southern Belize. A surprisingly quiet place and somewhere you could definitely describe as an authentic Belizean experience!
The next day we squeezed ourselves in with 70 other people on a rusty old school bus and headed up to San Ignacio. Like everywhere we go in mainland Belize, we have been struck by just how quiet it is! I suppose it’s inevitable given that the population is just 330,000. It’s fascinating that, despite the small population, the country is incredible diverse with eight different languages and cultures including Creole, Garifuna, Maya and Mestizo.
San Ignacio is close to the border of Guatemala and you can clearly see the more prominent Spanish influence in contrast with the rest of Belize. Most of the food we ate was from Mennonite farms nearby which, unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit.
The Cahal Pech ruins were within walking distance from the town. Far bigger than the ruins in Tulum, you are also allowed to climb right to the top, making for a more interesting experience than Chichen Itza.
During our last few days in Belize, Annie got her way and we finally saddled up and rode horses western style (complete with cowboy boots and hat!) along the Mopan River to the ruins at Xuanantanich. The ruins are named after a mythical Steel Lady and the inscriptions and carvings were by far the most detailed we’ve seen so far.
Next stop, Flores in Guatemala!