Like any other point of interest in Belize, the Elijio Panti National Park does not require a great distance of travel. A mere two hours away from the Phillip S.W. Goldson International Airport is the town of San Ignacio in the Cayo district. From there, it is only a short drive –either through bus or taxi cab – to the town of San Antonio, where the protected national park is located. In addition to the unperturbed nature trails, the area is brimming with fauna, such as the coatimundi, agouti, and black howler monkey.
The park was named after a nationally-acclaimed Maya healer who was known to heal even the hopelessly ill. His niece, Maria Garcia from the Maya village of San Antonio, was the one who spearheaded the mission of turning the area into an official park. On December 5, 1998, Maria gathered four other villagers to help her start a committee that would later create the national park. They were concerned about the ecosystem around Cristo Rey, San Antonio and El Progress 7 Miles villages in the Cayo district, which led to the inspiration of protecting the area.
On the 23rd of February 2001, the area was officially turned into a national park. Today, the national park consists of medicinal trails where visitors can walk in the steps of the late Elijio Panti, where he picked his healing herbs for his cures. Apart from the cave exploring and waterfall-dipping, visitors can also engage in tubing, horseback riding, bird-watching and camping.
Entrance Fee: $5.00 US
Other websites with information about Elijio Panti National Park.