For anyone interested in exploring the deep jungle of Belize, this article, A Spotted History of Belize, in The Independent, London’s edgy morning daily, is a great read. Travel writer Ben Reed travels to the Blancaneaux Lodge out of San Ignacio, Belize and looks for, among other things, big jungle cats.
During his stay he tags along with local naturalists from the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve who are conducting one of their periodic studies of the resident felines and he’s disappointed he doesn’t come face-to-face with a jaguar, but the naturalists’ night-time “photo traps” do “catch” pumas, margays and “several close-ups of tapirs’ bottoms.”
Reed’s review of the trip includes raves about the pizza at the resort’s wood-lined Montagna Restaurant, horse stables, local swimming holes, and staff. Clearly though, for him, the highlight of the trip seems to have been adding to his Life List the keel-billed toucan while birding.
There are lots of great places to stay in Cayo, Belize (near the city of San Ignacio), but our favorite is Chaa Creek. This 345 acre private nature reserve contains not only the loveliest jungle lodge in Belize, but also the coolest safari style camp in the country, a rainforest medicine trail where medicines are made from jungle plants, a natural history museum, a butterfly farm, and a top rated spa.
The two lodging options here, The Inn at Chaa Creek and the Macal River Jungle Camp cover the spectrum from an incredible good deal to five-star luxury.
The Jungle Camp is the nicest safari-style camp we have come across in Belize, and is much less expensive than the Inn ($55/day/person, including two meals). This riverside camp is located in a lush forested environment and has a dining hall, hot showers, and flush toilets.
Cottages at The Inn are very upscale and surrounded by extensive tropical gardens (starting at $165/person for two, lodging only, meals and activities extra.)
All rooms include entry to the Rainforest Reserve, the Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, and Ruta Maya Trail System. Chaa Creek also provides canoe and bike rentals. Phone: 011-501-824-2037, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.chaacreek.com. To locate Chaa Creek and all other Belize jungle lodges, see the map section on our website.
Each and every part of this huge operation reveals the careful attention to detail that I recall from the early 90s when we based out of the jungle camp during the inland part of our Belize Adventure Week trip. If you are looking for a place to spend several days to explore ruins and caves, look no further.