Cahal Pech is just a 20-minute walk from San Ignacio and overlooks the town. This is a mid-sized Maya complex that has undergone extensive restoration and is still being worked on today. Cahal Pech means “Place of Ticks” in modern-day Maya and refers to the fact that the surrounding area was once used as pasture land. However, this was the Royal Acropolis-Palace of an elite Maya ruling family who once lived here during the Classic period. Cahal Pech was settled around 1000 BC and abandoned by 800 AD -900 AD.
The site consists of seven plazas and over 30 structures including temples, residential buildings, ball courts, an altar, and a sweathouse, all situated on just 2 acres. A royal burial chamber was found in one of the structures. Inside the tomb, a ruler had been laid to rest with the accouterments necessary for the afterlife. Included in the find were shell & bone ornaments, pottery vessels, obsidian blades, and jade objects, of which the most impressive being, a jade & shell mosaic mask. One of the temples in this small complex commands the best view of the surrounding Belize River Valley. The visitor center and museum have a model of the site, as well as excellent paintings showing Cahal Pech in its heyday, and an interpretive film.
What to Expect
Depart for a scenic drive from Belize City heading due west (appx.72 miles) to San Ignacio town. As you proceed, your guide will interpret the area you’re passing by and inform you about the History of Belize. Upon arrival at the reserve, you will be given a restroom break (15 mins). Then you gather together for an interpretive walk in the museum for (app. 30 mines) then after which your guide leads you into the reserve and interprets the local flora and fauna of the area and also the structures in site. After a tour of the site, we go for a local lunch at a restaurant nearby. (App. 1 hr). After lunch, we go to the Iguana Tour where your on-site guide will be interpreting your tour about the Green Iguana Project. After the tour, we stop at local arts and crafts for shopping. (Appx. 15 mins.) Then we depart for your connection to the hotel (Tour appx. 6.5hrs)
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Things to bring:
Insect repellant, light clothing, water, good hiking boots, cash/Credit Card, medication if necessary
Please note that we do have our Summer and Winter Rates, and depending on the size of your group, we can offer lower rates. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or queries concerning any of our tours.