The Founders of Yampu Tours enjoy the 2nd section of their trip at the capital of the Cayo District
As they continue to gain infinite knowledge on their company’s destinations, Jose and Monica Irauzqui, the Founders of Yampu Tours, traveled to Belize this past month. After visiting the majestic Chan Chich at the Gallon Jug Estate, they ventured to the capital of the Cayo District, San Ignacio.
From Chan Chich, the family traveled to San Ignacio through beautiful private roads, crossing diverse and mesmerizing terrain. Even though they thoroughly enjoyed the ride, they were told most travelers will fly from the Gallon Jug Estate to San Ignacio. Upon arrival in the Cayo capital, they checked into the Ka’ana Boutique Resort. Located among Mayan Ruins, and within the plush jungle, they found the resort both modern and trendy.
With amazing accommodations, the Ka’ana has 2 Deluxe Villa options, with endless amenities. Monica said they could quite possibly be the best rooms in Cayo. They had both 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom Villas, both with private plunge pools, personal housemen, and the 2-bedroom with its own pre-stocked wet bar. The Master Suites, Casita Suites, and Balsam Suites were also beautiful, with air-conditioning and fantastic décor. The Irauzqui crew was able to immediately melt into their accommodation for some quick recuperation from the day. After a night of rest and relaxation, they woke up, ready for their first big excursion.
Monica and Jose brought the family to the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, located in the foothills of the Mayan Mountains. It was here, that they would star their trek to Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM). ATM is one of the most intriguing archaeological sites in Belize. Thought to have been an ancient Mayan ceremonial cave, this destination site is home to remains of skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware.
This home of the Mayan Gods is not only an invaluable piece of ancient culture, but has become a famous and sought out excursion just outside of San Ignacio. Starting with a 45 minute trek through the jungle, they were able to cross 3 different rivers, and spot a plethora of different wildlife; lizards, birds, monkeys, and river otters. As soon as they reached the “cave of wonders”, they traveled through crystal clear waters, and up into a labyrinth of dry chambers. The most known artifact in this site is the “crystal maiden”. Thought to have been a sacrificial victim, the skeleton of a teenage girl has been preserved, glistening in the lamplights of her observers. Monica and Jose’s daughter, giddy from the adventure, said that “this is the real Disney World”. After such an amazing endeavor, they found comfort heading back to the resort to only find amazing cuisine in the Ka’ana Boutique Restaurants, with endless wine options from the cellar housing 2,000 different bottles from around the world.
After a 2nd restful night, Monica and Jose headed to their 2nd lodge, which rested along the Macal River. The Lodge at Chaa Creek was Belize’s first jungle lodge, incepted in 1981. Pioneering in sustainability, this amazing lodge is the ideal location for family travel, or a wedding/honeymoon destination.
From Treetop and Garden Jacuzzi Suites, to the Spa and Orchard Villas, Chaa Creek provides accommodations that soak up the fantastic views from the foothills of the Mayan Mountains, and the excitement of such jungle biodiversity. The resort includes 4 activities that include the Natural Museum, early morning bird watching, the rainforest medicine trail, and (the Irauzqui favorite) a butterfly farm.
The butterfly farm is about a 10 minute hike from the lodge, and visitors are guided through the full cycle of the Belizean Blue, one of the largest butterflies in the world. You can observe all stages of its miraculous transformation from pupae to an adult. Hundreds of the blue-winged beauties fly free in the flight enclosure houses, for visitors to get a thrilling exposure to them. After the educational excitement, Monica and Jose took advantage of the additional excursions the lodge has to offer. With endless trails of the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve, they jumped into an afternoon on a horseback ride. As you ride along, a guide will explain the ecology and natural history of the area.
Your ride will take you by several unexcavated ancient Maya sites, while you see various tropical plants and wildlife species. Monica said her daughter couldn’t get enough of the trails. The option for riding at the Cahal Pech Maya Temple Site in San Ignacio was also available.
After a night of gourmet cuisine, Monica and Jose checked out of the jungle lodge, and ended their San Ignacio tour. With brilliant excursions through the mystery of Mayan cultural history, and exposure to the magnificent diversity of the jungle floor, the Yampu Founders found a plethora of new adventures they are eager to share.