San Ignacio: The Start of the Belize River Challenge


Team Occoquan-Prince William’s 4-day, 170-mile canoe race through Belize begins on March 8 at the town of San Ignacio, the cultural and economic center of the Cayo District of western Belize. The Cayo District is one of six administrative districts in Belize; the others are Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize, Stan Creek, and Toledo. San Ignacio and its sister town, Santa Elena, straddle the Macal River, which a few miles downstream joins with the Mopan to create the Old Belize River, the Belikin La Ruta Maya 2019 Belize River Challenge’s corridor to the Atlantic Coast. Connecting San Ignacio and Santa Elena is Belize’s only suspension bridge, the one-lane Hawkesworth Bridge. It is beneath this structure that the Belize River Challenge begins.


Mahogany and chicle (an ingredient of chewing gum) were the primary products of San Ignacio during the period of British rule. Today, however, the town is known for the best street food in the country, its medicinal jungle trail, and the Maya ruins of Cahal Pech on the town’s southern outskirts. A diverse community, San Ignacio boasts Mestizos, Creoles, Maya (Mopan), Garifuna, Lebanese, Chinese, and a nearby Mennonite community.


San Ignacio

Please consider clicking here to pledge 10 cents, 20 cents, or more per mile as Team Occoquan-Prince William competes in the La Ruta Maya 2019 Belize River Challenge to raise funds for ACTS and CASA We will collect after the race and your entire pledge will go to ACTS and CASA. Thank you for your support!







And please don’t forget our wonderful sponsors!




The Occoquan Tourism Company