To San Ignacio

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Mon 17 Sep 2012 22:01
En Route to San Ignacio, Belize




BB Flores Last Day 064  BB Flores Last Day 063


The alarm went off at 4:15, we didn’t exactly ‘spring’ out of bed, but we were downstairs ready for our five o’clock pick-up. Louis, our travel agent arrived groggily at half past five, he had been woken from a deep sleep by the bus driver who had broken down. After a conflab, it was decided we would wait up to an hour for the original bus and if it was a no-show we would catch the Belize City shuttle and leave it at the border. At eight thirty we settled on the shuttle. All was well at cruising speed but any slower and the back wheels shook quite rhythmically..............


BB To San Ignacio 004    belize_flag

We arrived safe and sound at the border just after ten, paid our one pound eighty per person to leave Guatemala and walked the short distance to our next country. We had a lovely welcome from tourist officials, Customs and Immigration and were soon in a taxi en route to our lodge.


BB To San Ignacio 005  BB To San Ignacio 006

BB To San Ignacio 007


Similar scenery to what we are used to, but we did love the little push-me-pull-you ferry



BB To San Ignacio 014  BB To San Ignacio 013  BB To San Ignacio 015

Some things were all too familiar – cracked windscreen and all the signs of a pre ‘one careful owner’


BB To San Ignacio 019

BB To San Ignacio 020  BB To San Ignacio 021

We passed lush green fields complete with cows laying down, quite English. Very strange not to hear Spanish but our driver said most people near the border are fluent in both Spanish, English, Kriol and a local pigeon slang. As we neared town we saw some very smart buildings.......   


BB To San Ignacio 018

............and a potential for the ‘one careful owner’


BB To San Ignacio 022

San Ignacio Square


San Ignacio is a town in western Belize that serves as the capital of Cayo District. It got its start from Mahogany production during British rule. It began to attract different people from the surrounding areas, which led to the diverse make up of the town at present day. San Ignacio is situated on the banks of the Macal and Mopan Rivers, about 68.5 miles west of Belize City and 22 miles west of the country's capital, Belmopan (Bel from Belize and Mopan from the indigenous Maya people and their language of the same name).


Demographics: The population is largely Mestizo and Kriol, with some Lebanese and Mopan. San Ignacio also boasts a fairly large Chinese population, most of whom emigrated from Guangzhou in waves in the mid-20th century. A sizable Mennonite community resides near San Ignacio. In the 2010 census the town had 9,925 inhabitants (4,856 are males and 5,069 females). The average household size is 3.8.


BB To San Ignacio 048  hawksworth-bridge-san-ignacio-belize  BB To San Ignacio 049

In recent years San Ignacio has absorbed the formerly separate village of Santa Elena. San Ignacio and its sister-town Santa Elena make up Belize's second largest urban area. The two towns are connected by Belize's only suspension bridge, the one-lane Hawksworth Bridge across the River Macal, built in 1949. The two are collectively referred to as the "Twin Towns". The one way bridge is just beyond the Police Station and the one petrol station.




San Ignacio in the late 1800's



San_Ignacio_Fishermen  San_Ignacio_Maya_Women


San Ignacio fisherman and local women washing clothes in the late 1800's


A brief monetary history:
  • Spanish currency, till 1823
  • Central American Republic currency, 1823-1840
  • Guatemalan, British and USA currency, 1840-1894
  • British Honduras Dollar = 100 Cents, 1894-1974
  • Belize Dollar = (1/2 USA Dollar) = 100 Cents, from 1974

BB To San Ignacio 003 

16 pounds 29 pence is the value of this $50


BB To San Ignacio 023  BB To San Ignacio 024

We passed a hotel tucked next to the motor bike shop, swept passed the town centre and a couple of minutes later we were dropped off





                     ANOTHER CURRENCY