Book your horseback riding trip at Easy Rider (tel. 501/824-3310), an independent operator who charges reasonable rates and gives good service, based out of an office in San Ignacio next door to Flayva’s on Burns Avenue; novices are welcome. Expect to pay about US$20–30 for two hours, US$30–40 for a trip to Xunantunich.
Outside of San Ignacio, Mountain Rider (tel. 501/820-4036) is a small operation run by the Tzul family, just past the village of San Antonio as you drive toward the Mountain Pine Ridge; US$35 per horse for a three-hour trip to local caves and medicine trails.
Off the Chiquibul Road, Mountain Equestrian Trails (tel. 501/669-1124) is the area’s premier riding center, with one of the biggest trail systems in the Pine Ridge.
Canoe five miles up the Macal River to Chaa Creek and the Belize Botanic Gardens at duPlooy’s; rent a boat and guide from Tony’s Guided Tours (tel. 501/824-3292, US$20 pp). If you’re here in March, you won’t miss the excitement of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, a long-distance paddle race to the ocean celebrated all week long along the route.
Massage, Bodywork, and Yoga
Eva’s Massage Therapy (16 Collins Blvd., tel. 501/824-3423, ebuhler [at] btl [dot] net) offers an hour-long full body massage for US$35, or a 30–40 minute “back and neck therapy session” for only US$20. Right in San Ignacio, you can find reasonably priced massages (US$40/hr), pedicures, manicures, facials, and body waxing at Gretel’s Salon and Spa (7 Far West St., tel. 501/604-1126 or 501/666-4576), a locally owned and oriented beauty salon.
Hatha-certified yoga instructor Kate Devine owns and runs Enlighten-up Yoga Studio (tel. 510/665-1972, devineyoga [at] gmail [dot] com), on the third floor of the JNC mall on Burns Avenue. You’ll find a range of yoga, meditation, and dance classes for US$7.50, including for children.
Of course, there are full spa services at some of the upscale resorts in the area, notably Hilltop Spa at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, which may have the best vistas from a massage table I’ve ever seen; combine a visit here with a trip to the nearby botanic gardens or a paddle on the river.
Ka’ana Resort and Spa (Mile 691/4, tel. 501/824-0430, US$80/hour) offers massages, facials, and body scrubs with homegrown brown sugar, cacao and coffee; they also offer energy work with a Maya healer.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition