San Jose Succotz is one of Belize’s small villages in the Cayo District, near the Guatemalan border. This peaceful village lies along the banks of the Mopan River and is best known as the home of the Xunantunich Maya site. El Castillo is the signature temple of Xunantunich, the second tallest structure in Belize. Most travelers visit San Jose Succotz to explore the ancient Maya site, but there is more to this rural Maya village than many people realize.
Belizeans are quick to point out that Succotz is also the home of its championship San Jose Succotz Marching Band. The village also hosts the popular annual Succotz Fair that showcases traditional Maya and Mestizo culture. San Jose Succotz is also home to a number of important medicinal plants utilized in the Maya culture. At least 64 species utilized in over 100 remedies have been identified in the area.
Travelers looking to say in the San Jose Succotz area will find several rustic lodging options, including a hostel with dorms and private rooms. Located within a short distance from San Jose Succotz is Chaa Creek, which has a Natural History Center and Butterfly Farm worth exploring.
Other popular sights further out from Succotz include Cahal Pech, San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture, and San Ignacio Hotel’s Green Iguana Exhibit. The Cayo District is considered Belize’s cultural center, and there are countless natural and historical recreational activities easily accessible.
San Ignacio is the main town in the Cayo District, with San Jose Succotz being a more remote village area. You are away from downtown and a majority of the frequented restaurants and shops, so it is important to factor transportation into your travel budget if you choose to stay in San Jose Succotz itself. When visiting sites like Xunantunich, it is advisable to bring bug spray, sunblock, water, and lightweight clothes that will cover both your arms and legs. You can hike El Castillo at Xunantunich so wear appropriate shoes.