Ligatne is fairly well known for its nature trails, with a great natural park with wildlife animals and "fairy tale" forests with characters from famous Latvian fairy tales. Nearby, also an old Soviet bunker complex can be visited, which was built in case of a nuclear war.
Also, see the official website: http://www.visitligatne.lv
There are also at least two direct buses between Ligatne (including Skalupes) and Cēsis, one around noon and one in the late afternoon.
From Riga, take the Cēsis road (Brivibas iela) out. Augsligatne is 17 km after Sigulda, and Ligatne is 6 km down a road to the left after Augsligatne.
Everything in Ligatne is basically within walking distance. Nevertheless, you may wish to take a taxi, bus or hitch to the ex-Soviet bunker at Skalupes (4 km). But also hiking there through the forest is possible.
- 1 Līgatne paper mill. In operation since 1816.
- Līgatne village with peculiar 19th century wooden architecture.
- Līgatne nature reservation, where you may encounter bears, lynx, moose/elk, European bison, roe deer and red deer as well as many species of birds, safely behind a fence. Inquire at the Tourist Information Centre.
- 2 Teathered Ferry across the Gauja River. closed in winter.
- 3 Secret Soviet bunker, Skalupes (either walk along the road (4 km) or across the forest), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 (latter not in winter) in Latvian, 15:00 in foreign languages, 10 people min, calling ahead is advised. The huge bunker complex covers an area of 2000 m² underground. It was designed by the Soviets to be a control headquarters in the event of a nuclear war. The bunker was so secret that even Ligatne residents did not know of its existence until 2005. Per person: €6 in Latvian, €10 in Russian/English/German.
- 4 Vienkoču Park and the Woodcraft Museum (close to the highway between Sigulda and Cesis), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 10:00-18:00. €3/2 adult/child.
- Zvartes rock, forest trail and Witches' Meadow on the banks of the Amata River.
- 1 Caves. Walk around the village and explore all the little cave that have been dug into the soft sandstone. More 5 caves near the centre as well as near the Tourist Information Centre can be found. Also follow the track up bordering the southern end of the village. It lead over a bridge named after a former resident – such named bridges were pretty common in this region.
- 2 Ligatne–Skalupes. To get to the ex-Soviet bunker or the Rehabilitation Centre, you can walk straight through the forest, north-east-wards.
- Hiking the nature park. For tracks see a map like OpenStreetMap, which many mobile Apps like OsmAnd, MAPS.ME, etc. use. It has many foot paths recorded. Or just ask at the tourist information centre.
- 1 Pie Jančuka kafejnīca, Spriņģu iela 4, ☏ . closes 20:00. Here you can eat something at a reasonable price, including friendly service. The restaurant closes at 20:00 and afterwards, especially on weekdays, there is not much else to find to eat in the remote place. FB.
- Lāču Miga Restaurant (location of the guest house, see below). closed weekdays. On weekends you can eat a snack here.
- 1 Rehabilitation Centre "Ligatne" (Kūrortviesnīca Līgatne), Skalupes, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The socialist buildings may surprise, but the hostel is good value for money. The buildings are on top of the ex-Soviet bunker. From €14 / person, kids <2 years free.
- 2 Bear Den Guest House (Lāču miga), 22, Gauja iela, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Hotel and restaurant in a modern log cabin construction overlooking the forested river in Līgatne valley. But probably overpriced. €100.
- Underground Lakes about 15 km north, see Vidzeme.
- Sigulda – A town with many interesting castles and historic points of interest. Probably, the most popular destination outside of Riga for foreign tourists, also due to its closeness.
- Cēsis – One of the country's oldest towns. It has an impressive castle complex of Livonian Order origin, a charming city centre with some cobblestoned streets, and historic wooden buildings.