Mayan Civilzation City, Lamanai, Orange Walk District, Belize

Cayo District

Located in western Belize and home to the country’s capital, Belmopan, the Cayo District borders Guatemala’s department of El Peten, and is a vast highland stretch of rainforests, cattle ranches and pinelands.

The cooler climate here offers some respite from the lowlands and it’s a region to explore the great outdoors on foot, by horse, kayak or raft.

At Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve there are caves to explore, cool rivers for swimming, and a vast expanse of forest that is home to a myriad of tropical birds. If it is culture you are looking for, take time to visit the Maya village of San Antonio or an ancient Maya ruin like Caracol, Belize’s most expansive archaeological site.

Lamanai, Cayo District, Mayan Architecture, Belize
Cayo District, Belize

Our Specialists' "Must Do"

For family holidays to Belize, spend a day tubing on the river, or visit the Belize Zoo, which is a great day trip. We love the site of Caracol for its beautiful location set high up on a plateau, 500 metres above sea level, on the edge of the Chiquibul Forest. Discovered in 1998 the site is believed to have been first occupied in the Middle and Late Classic Periods (600-300 BC) and was the home to some 200,000 people at its peak around 700BC.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Rainbow Billed Toucan, Belize

Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve Adventure

Visit Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve the oldest and largest park in Belize exploring caves, swim in the crystal blue waters and observe the myriad of tropical birds.

Suggested Holiday Idea

River, Cayo District, Belize

Cayo Adventure

Be adventurous by tubing through caves, kayak rivers or explore on horseback.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest, Belize

A True Belize Adventure

Hike through the pristine rainforest and beautiful waterfalls.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Caracol, Cayo District, Belize

Discover Maya Sites

Explore fascinating, ancient Maya sites in the Cayo District.

Suggested Holiday Idea


Wildlife in Cayo

Track big cats and discover some of the best bird watching opportunities.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Chaa Creek Lodge £££££

  • Belize
  • Wilderness

Chaa Creek is an established eco-lodge that blends home comforts with wilderness living. Accommodation is in 24 thatched cottages, four suites and two villas, scattered along the riverbank and around the gardens. Each has a private sundeck with hammocks and deck chairs. Perched on a grassy ridge overlooking the river, the Macal Cottage accommodates up to three guests in an enormous open plan design. The Orchard Villa is designed for families or small groups of up to six guests. In addition, the Spa Villa sleeps seven.

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Blancaneaux Lodge £££££

  • Belize
  • Wilderness

Tucked into a remote region of the Maya Mountains and overlooking the gentle rapids of the Privassion River, Blancaneaux Lodge has 20 sophisticated cabanas and villas. Each palm-thatched cabana has an expansive wraparound sun deck, a Mexican-tiled bathroom with a Japanese style bathtub.

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Black Rock River Lodge £££££

  • Belize
  • Wilderness

Perched on a steep forested hillside overlooking Macal River, Black Rock River Lodge offers a magical setting from which to explore this cooler region of Belize. There are 20 beautiful eco-cabins dotted around the resort with views across the canyon, waterfall or Macal River.

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Ka’ana £££££

  • Belize
  • Boutique

Just 15 minutes from the Guatemalan border and San Ignacio, Ka’ana has 15 accommodations comprising of 10 casitas and 5 rooms some with private pools. All are individually decorated and offer an intimate experience. The hotel has a lovely pool and excellent spa facility as well as a top restaurant offering authentic Belizean dishes, using fresh ingredients from the resorts organic garden. Typical activities available to guests of Ka’ana are helicopter tours, jaguar tracking, riding, birding, Maya ruins and cave tubing.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

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  • 1 800 571 2985

John Faithfull

This quirky English-speaking country holds huge appeal for John, who is at his happiest when swimming and clambering through caves strewn with archaeological relics in Xibalba – the Mayan underworld!

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  • 1 800 571 2985

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