Cahal Pech is a Mayan archaeological site in San Ignacio, Belize. We spent two days in San Ignacio before crossing the border to Guatemala earlier this year in July and we visited Cahal Pech on our first day in San Ignacio. From the center of San Ignacio it’s a steep hike up a hill. You don’t need more than an hour to explore these glorious ruins.
Alon, our Chilean friend (with whom we’ve crossed two borders) joined us at Cahal Pech. I enjoy archaeological sites with some shade to relax in and green trees and grass to provide some contrast between the rocky, crumbly stone structures. It’s beautiful to see the way nature claims back territory over the man made structures.
At Cahal Pech there are many beautiful scenes of tree roots growing over built walls.
All the trees around the structures gives the site a peaceful atmosphere. It’s like spending a day in the park…with really old ruins around you.
It is believed that Cahal Pech was inhabited by Mayans since 1200 BC, making it one of the oldest sites in Western Belize.
None of the structures were restricted, so we climbed all over. The surrounding forest gave a musty air to the ruins.
I love the textures and lines created by the stones and platforms and steps:
We saw this interesting nest in a tree with a trail leading up to it:
In the end we decided that it might be an ants’ nest.
This staircase lead to an entrance arch on a lower level:
We saw some archaeological excavations going on at the site. A few archaeologists actually showed up at our hostel later that night and we played drinking games with them…but that’s a whole different story.
Alon took the customary Us-in-front-of -the-pyramid photo…
…and then we tried a few jump photos, without success:
We got the photo right eventually!