We rely mostly on the people of San Miguel to show the many treasures of our surroundings to our guests. That way, we share the income that tourism generates with the villagers. We can also hook you up with one of the tour operators of Toledo, offering tours to many inland and offshore attractions.
Our location makes it possible to explore the surroundings independently, at no or very low cost. The tours offered by the villagers are reasonably priced. The tours offered by the tour operators are very luxurious and therefore expensive. Please let us know what your interests and budgets are and we can help you out.
San Miguel tours
The people of San Miguel offer village tours and farm tours, explaining about their way of life and showing you their crafts and traditions. They can organize an evening of harp music and traditional dance. They offer meals of corn tortilla and beans or caldo at their house, and will include all ladies present in the ancient art of shaping the tortillas.
The two mayor Maya temples in Toledo are close to San Miguel.
Lubaantun (the place of the fallen stones) is 3 miles away. The site is of great archeological importance because of the unique rounded building stones, each one carved to fit the others. This is where the mysterious Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull was found.
Nim Li Punit (Big Hat) is 11 miles from the guesthouse. It is famous for its carved stelae, that are well preserved and on display in the museum at the site. Both temples are surrounded by beautiful rainforest and offer spectacular views. On a clear day you can see the sea from Nim Li Punit! There are tours to both temples. Or walk, bike, charter a vehicle or take the bus to provide your own transportation. Guides are available on the sites.
Tiger cave and nature trail
3 miles from Back-a-Bush you will find the Tiger cave, so named because it was discovered by a hunter following a jaguar.
The cave is very spacious, with beautiful rock formations and pottery. You can go in for hours and not reach the end. To get there you will hike along the river trail for an hour and a half, through farms and abundant rainforest with wildlife. Your guide will tell you about the plants and animals along the way. You can swim at the source of the Rio Grande by the entrance of the cave. The surroundings are magnificent. There are still jaguars roaming the area, the tracks are often seen and every now and then someone catches a glimpse of this majestic and elusive creature.
Don’t do this alone! You will find guides in the village offering Tiger cave tours.
Dory and kayak on the Rio grande
A dory is a canoe made from a hollowed out tree trunk, used by the Mayans to navigate the river. Your guide will dory you from the river source back to the village which takes about an hour and offers breathtaking river scenery. You will see iguanas and birds and other wildlife. You can also rent a dory but navigating a dory can be quite challenging so swimming skills are required and bring some dry clothes. We can also arrange kayak trips from San Miguel to Big Falls village, which takes 4 to 5 hours, with a guide.
The River and the Back-a-Bush farm
Our farm borders on the Rio Grande, and we have two swimming holes on site. The river will flood in rainy season, but from approximately November until June the river is well within its banks and very enjoyable with shallow and deep areas. The water is clear and cool, and cooling down in the river you will see dories pass by with fishermen, children playing in the water and hear the ladies do their laundry on the stones. You can bring bottled drinks; they will stay cool in the river wedged between stones. Please do not leave any waste.
If you are interested in our farm, we will be glad to show you the coffee and cacao fields and the many other fruits, spices, hardwood trees and vegetables we are growing.
Eladio's Chocolate Adventure
Take a tour of a traditional Maya farm, have lunch with the extended family and make your own chocolate, the traditional way on the grinding stone. Costs:60$ Bz a person and well worth it!
Bird watching and wildlife.
As you stay here you will no doubt notice the many birds and butterflies around you. They are attracted to the fruits and flowers of our farm, and the proximity of the river. If you are interested in bird watching, we can set you up with binoculars and bird books. We spotted the toucan, motmot, aracari, painted bunting, colourful tanagers and orioles and many more. We have left a border of jungle untouched, maintaining a habitat for wildlife. In October 2010 the first howler monkey in the area was seen (and heard) since the hurricane, he was right behind the guesthouse!