After a day of high adventure in Belize’s rain forest — caving, hiking, canoeing, zip-lining, birding, wildlife-spotting, horseback riding, climbing Maya ruins or mountain biking — at one of the country’s jungle lodges, you can look forward to a delicious meal, good company, Wi-Fi and a comfy bed. Here are our picks for Belize’s best lodges in all price ranges.
10. The Lodge at Chaa Creek
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Owners Mick and Lucy Fleming were jungle-lodge pioneers in Belize, opening Chaa Creek in 1981. Today, their property, near San Ignacio in western Belize, has the country’s top spa, an infinity pool, lovely manicured grounds on a 365-acre nature reserve, an extraordinary staff, more than 40 rooms and suites, a gourmet restaurant and every tour imaginable. Many consider this to be the best lodge in Belize. Expensive.
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Built by Barry Bowen, Belize’s Belikin beer baron, on top of a Maya site, Chan Chich is the country’s most remote and arguably most exotic lodge. Most guests arrive by chartered plane at Gallon Jug airstrip in the Orange Walk District. Many spend their days birding (you’ll find almost 450 species around the lodge) or observing wildlife (it’s the lodge that gives you the best chance of seeing a jaguar). Rooms are in rustically elegant, thatched cabanas, and meals are special events. Expensive.
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Director Francis Ford Coppola owns this lodge in the Mountain Pine Ridge, but there’s no hint of Beverly Hills here. Guests luxuriate in 20 lodgings, which include cabanas, villas and the ultimate Enchanted Cottage, and spend days touring Belize’s largest forest reserve. Choose between Italian and Guatemalan restaurants, with drinks in the exotic Jaguar Bar. Be aware that the hillside setting above the Privassion Creek means a lot of steps to climb. Expensive.
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Owned by a prominent Belize City family, Hidden Valley Inn sits atop a hill on a 7,200-acre preserve within the Mountain Pine Ridge. Hike 90 miles of guest-only trails to a bevy of private waterfalls. Stay in one of 12 rooms in rustic cottages with fireplaces (welcome on cool winter evenings) and dine by candlelight in the main lodge, next to a gorgeous pool. Birding is top-notch, and you’re not far from Caracol, Belize’s largest Maya site. Expensive.
6. Table Rock Jungle Lodge
Run by a young American couple, Table Rock eco-lodge is on 105 acres on the Macal River near San Ignacio. The 5 romantic cottages have 4-poster beds and river-stone-lined showers. You can swim, canoe or float on the river or hike the lodge trails. Moderate.
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On 12,000 acres in Belize’s lush Deep South, Belcampo has a fabulous hilltop setting. The recently redone main lodge is stunning, with views across the jungle to the Gulf of Honduras. A tram takes you down to the Rio Grande. There’s a pool and spa, and the 16 hill-hugging suites have air conditioning. The lodge’s farm produces 70% of the food served there. Expensive.
4. The Lodge at Big Falls
This intimate lodge puts you near the heart of Maya country in southern Belize. It’s set on the banks of the Rio Grande, where you can swim while iguanas sun on tree limbs. Three of the lodge’s 9 cabanas have air conditioning. Moderate.
Owned by a helpful English couple, Ian and Kate Morton, Hickatee Cottages (named after a river turtle) is our favorite budget lodge. Kate cooks delicious meals from their organic gardens, and Ian arranges tours of cays, caves and Maya sites. He’ll even give you a private tour of a butterfly farm. Inexpensive.
2. Sleeping Giant Rainforest
Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
One of Belize’s newest lodges, Sleeping Giant — named after the shape of a nearby mountaintop — is just off the scenic Hummingbird Highway near the 100,000-acre Sibun National Forest Reserve. There are 13 air-conditioned rooms and casitas, a pool and a gracious main lodge and restaurant with log beams and a thatched roof. Expensive.
If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night in a treehouse, here’s your chance. This lodge on the Mopan River in Bullet Tree Falls is basic, but 2 of the 9 cabanas are in the treetops. Inexpensive.