Before I went on this trip, I did tons of research primarily through TripAdvisor so I pretty much knew what to expect. Well, this exceeded my expectations. What an amazing combination of rustic luxury with amazing adventures!! We stayed 5 nights, and I really want to go back to do some of the expeditions we weren't able to fit in.
We were a family of 5 and stayed in a 2 story river view treehouse. Our three kids (14,12, and 9) all slept on the main level while my husband and I had the 2nd story. Both levels had screened views of the jungle. We slept to the sounds of the jungle.
The food at this place was truly amazing. They always had something for everyone with the wide variety they provided. Plus, there were several vegetarians/vegan guests during our visit and the kitchen staff seemed to really try to make sure their needs were met at each meal. Dinner consisted of FOUR COURSES! The first course was generally a chip and dip appetizer followed by the pasta/salad bar course. The third course was the main meal with several meat options and a wide variety of veggies/bread. The final dessert course was generally my favorite but I have a sweet tooth. At the end of the trip, Chef Peter was so kind to give me the 4 recipes I requested. I am so hoping to be able to recreate them.
The 4 adventures we did were the Black Hole drop, Waterfall Cave, Tikal ruins, and the Belize zoo/zipline combination. The Black Hole was a very strenuous hike through the jungle highlighted by a 300ft rappel into a sinkhole. I never thought I would rappel in my lifetime - truly this was never on my bucket list. But, I can't tell you how much fun this was and what a sense of accomplishment I had when it was over. The total hike was over 6 miles with most of it uphill or downhill (very little was even terrain). However, the guides did an amazing job of stopping along the way for us to drink water or sit down for a minute. My 9 year old (as well as my older 2 kids) was able to hike it just fine! Our guide, Julio, did a wonderful job explaining the entire process of rappelling and I felt so much safer because I understood that it was a virtual impossibility to fall. The Waterfall Cave was probably my favorite. There are 7 waterfalls deep inside a cave that you climb over. Then, on the return trip, you either jump off of them or some you can just 'shimmy' down. Bottom line, you get wet - submerged at times. Although the water was a little cold, the cave itself was quite warm and humid so I never felt cold. The cave itself was absolutely beautiful and I loved the entire experience. The trip to Tikal to see the Mayan ruins was long but completely worth it. We left at 5:30am and returned back by about 5pm in plenty of time to shower before dinner. Our 'calm' day was the zoo/zipline combination. Highly recommend both. The zoo was truly amazing and not your typical US zoo. I was able to 'high five' a jaguar named Lucky Boy who really was lucky to have been saved by this zoo. The zipline consisted of 5 lines of zip lining. We had done this in Jamaica several years ago and the Chukka zipline in Belize was much tamer in comparison. That's ok because we had already had our fill of extreme adventures for the week.
With the exception of the Tikal trip, we were able to unwind each afternoon by the pool with a fun drink in hand. Local beers and rum drinks were included in our package, and I think they lost money on us. Our kids were able to drink sodas, juice, and fruit punch. As a splurge, our 2 girls got a virgin strawberry daiquiri which was not included in our package.
I could go on and on. All I can say is GO! It is so worth it if you like an adventure type trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the lush rainforest of central Belize, Caves Branch Jungle Lodge offers visitors the opportunity to immerse in a culture of mid-range to extreme adventures. From the guest rooms that are open to the sights and sounds of the jungle, some of which are thatched in the ancient style of the Maya to our luxurious Treehouse suites, your experience should be something that must be experienced to be believed and once experienced, truly-never forgotten! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, 5viajes2012 S.L., Priceline and Cancelon so you can book your Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ian Anderson`s Caves Branch Jungle Hotel Belmopan
- Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge Belize/Belmopan