Where to stay in San Ignacio in Belize? You’ll have the choice between booking a stay in the heart of town or spending your days in the lush green jungle! San Ignacio offers beautiful jungle lodges, boutique resorts and luxury hotels. But it takes some searching between that overwhelmingly large selection to find those exceptional places. As one of the most beautiful jungle destinations in Belize, there are many hotels and lodges to choose from. In this blog we help you to make a choice. What are the best places to stay in San Ignacio? And which unique jungle lodges in San Ignacio will give you an unforgettable travel experience?
How to get to San Ignacio in Belize
Unlike many other tourist destinations in Belize, San Ignacio is not a coastal town, but is located inland. In the Cayo District on the Macal River to be exact. The jungle town is located about halfway through the country and close to the border with Guatemala. You can therefore easily visit San Ignacio in Belize from both Guatemala and from destinations in Belize.
Intersting fact: the border between Belize and Guatemala is under discussion? Guatemala disputes this border and considers Belize to be part of its territory. Belize itself does not entirely agree with this, but this discussion is still not settled. On many maps, the border is therefore indicated with a dotted line. Just make sure to expect proper border control though, so there’s an exit fee, passport control, stamps, etc. at the border.
San Ignacio is easy to get to from other destinations in Belize, such as Hopkins or Punta Gorda in the south or the island destinations Caye Caulker and San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Belize City has the nearest international airport. You can easily get to San Ignacio from there by local bus, which is the cheapest mode of transportation in Belize. If you’re traveling from any other destination in Belize you’ll probably have to make a transfer in the capital Belize City or Belmopan.
Although the distances are not that big in a small country like Belize, traveling by local bus will still take you a long time. The rattling, old American school buses cross the country at an extremely slow pace. A fantastic local and authentic experience, but one that almost makes you forget how small Belize actually is. A rental car or taxi is therefore a much easier to explore Belize, but it is very expensive as well.
Please note: if you book one of San Ignacio’s famous jungle lodges, you’ll probably be staying far out of town or even at a remote jungle location. It will be difficult to get there by normal bus, so check this carefully in advance. Your lodge might have a pick-up service or it may be more convenient to rent a rental car for a few days. Taxis are quite pricey.
Why San Ignacio is worth a visit
San Ignacio is one of Belize’s most beautiful destinations for its lush jungle environment with unique jungle lodges, spectacular Mayan temples and unforgettable excursions. A Belize trip is not complete without spending at least a few days in the jungle paradise of San Ignacio.
Read more: best things to do in San Ignacio.
Although the town of San Ignacio is very cozy with a lovely square, many restaurants and shops, travelers mainly come here for the beautiful surroundings. From San Ignacio you visit the most beautiful Mayan temples in Belize. Along the road from San Ignacio to the border with Guatemala you will visit Xunantunich, whose great temple is still the tallest structure in Belize. Closer to the city are the ruins Cahal Pech, which are a lot smaller but also definitely worth a visit. Or how about the very remote ruins of Caracol deep in the Belizean jungle?
Another highlight of San Ignacio is the famous guided Actun Tunichil Muknal tour. This day trip is usually referred to as the ATM tour and takes you on an adventurous excursion to an ancient Mayan cave, where human sacrifices were once made.
We also recommend that book a day tour to Tikal in Guatemala to visit one of the most famous Mayan ruins in Central America. If you have enough time and energy, you can also stop along the road at the lesser-known, but amazing Yaxha Ruins for the most magical sunset from the top of an ancient pyramid.
Where to stay in San Ignacio
As one of the most popular destinations in Belize, San Ignacio has many great places to stay, both in the city itself and in the lush jungle outside the town. We chose to book a few nights in the town itself as well as spend a few days in a beautiful jungle lodge to fully experience both sides of San Ignacio. If you don’t have enough travel time to do both, choose one of the unique places to stay outside the city and book one of the unforgettable jungle lodges of San Ignacio.
Please note that it can be a bit difficult to get to the remote jungle lodges by public transport. Many accommodations offer a convenient shuttle service and we recommend using it, as taxis are quite expensive here. Our jungle resort included a taxi service and we made good use of it.
3x lodges and hotels in San Ignacio
#1 The Lodge at Chaa Creek for a beautiful lodge near the center of San Ignacio, located on the Macal River. Guests stay in palm-thatched cottages with a private veranda overlooking the jungle. There is a swimming pool, private jungle grounds, a restaurant with local dishes and a wellness.
#2 Falling Leaves Lodge for a lovely boutique hotel with a location on the edge of the center near the Cahal Pech ruins. The spacious and nicely decorated hotel rooms have a beautiful view of the jungle garden. There is free parking, an on-site restaurant and a garden terrace.
#3 Yellow Belly Backpackers for one of the few hostels in San Ignacio and the only one with almost exclusively enthusiastic reviews. There are both dormitories and private rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The positive reviews praise the staff and the central location.
7x unique jungle lodges outside San Ignacio
#4 Ka’ana Resort for a small-scale resort with tropical gardens and attractive casitas. This was our best stay during our time in Belize because of the hospitality of the staff, the beautiful gardens, the lovely casitas with natural materials and a private patio, the great swimming pool and the organic vegetable garden. A stay at Ka’ana Resort makes an unforgettable travel experience.
#5 Table Rock Jungle Lodge for a small-scale resort with ecolodges on the Macal River, located on the site of an old plantation. There are ten jungle lodges in the middle of nature, spread over a large area. You don’t even have to leave the jungle resort to experience the San Ignacio jungle. There are several on-site hiking trails, you can kayak the Macal River from your lodge and visit the petting zoo. The lodge has a restaurant and a swimming pool as well.
#6 The Log Cab Inn for a jungle lodge just south of San Ignacio and therefore still relatively close to the town. The bungalows have an idyllic location in the green jungle gardens of The Log Cab-Inn. The outdoor pool, on-site restaurant and staff are praised in the enthusiastic reviews.
#7 Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge for one of the most popular jungle hotels in San Ignacio. Sweet Songs is located quite a few miles south of San Ignacio, where it has a beautiful location in the middle of the jungle and with the beautiful Belize Botanical Gardens nearby. The luxury bungalows all have their own patio where you can spot wildlife such as toucans, coatis and howler monkeys. There is an on-site restaurant, outdoor pool, bar and river tubing.
#8 Pine Ridge Lodge for a bucket list resort in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve near the dazzling Big Rock Falls. Of all the lodges at San Ignacio, this one always gets the highest review ratings. The rooms at Pine Ridge Lodge offer mountain views and come with a patio overlooking the jungle garden. You’ll be far from civilization, but with an on-site restaurant, excursions from the lodge and beautiful jungle surroundings, you don’t have to go anywhere else.
#9 Maya Mountain Lodge for a jungle lodge surrounded by lush jungle and tropical gardens with an outdoor swimming pool. This lodge is only 2.5 kilometers from San Ignacio itself. The spacious rooms and especially the beautiful setting in the jungle with sunbeds, walking paths and patios make this a beautiful oasis.
#10 Vanilla Hills Lodge for spacious, beautifully designed bungalows in the tropical jungle just outside San Ignacio. The bungalows feature cozy wooden décor and come equipped with a seating area, a kitchenette and a private bathroom with a shower and toilet. They also have a private terrace overlooking the gardens. There is an outdoor pool, an organic restaurant and free parking, making this jungle lodge always get very high review ratings.