My wife and I just returned from a week's stay at the lodge and we simply loved it. It was a fantastic experience from the moment we checked in to our good-bye hugs.
The lodge is situated on a mountain at the edge of a sub-tropical rainforest, far enough away from the city so that it feels remote, yet within a 10 minute taxi ride to Santa Elena or San Ignacio. The lodge is situated on approximately 100 acres and there are attractive bungalows sprinkled about. Our little bungalow had a sleeping room with a double bed as well as 2 bunk beds, and a bathroom with a shower. The rooms were clean and well maintained and every day there were fresh sprigs of plants on our bed and in the bathroom.
There is a dining room where we had our breakfast, lunch and dinners. The food was home cooked, almost in front of us and it was fresh and delicious, wholesome and nutritious, and often reflected the local culture with seasonal fruits and vegetables. I am a vegetarian and my wife is lactose intolerant and we had absolutely no problem. Our dietary concerns were addressed with care and thoughtfulness. The serving staff was not only extremely polite and cheerful, but would go out of their way to be accommodating.
Our wonderful hosts, Bart and Suzi were very gracious and met our every concern. When we specified that we needed time to decompress from hectic lives and just “veg out”, that was fine. When we wanted to go on an adventure, the choices were explained to us and arrangements made. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, capable and just a pleasure to have as guides. Language is not a problem for English speakers because Belize before it’s independence from England was called British Honduras. English is the official language, although you will hear Spanish, Mayan dialects and others. On one adventure went to Che Chem Ha Cave that was discovered some years back. In fact, the person who discovered it guided us to through the cave and his family prepared a delicious lunch for us of chicken and rice and beans (mine was vegetarian) cooked over a wood fire. The walk to the cave was as interesting as the cave itself because to get to the cave you walk a mile or more through the jungle and our guide pointed out to us various plant and birds and how one plant worked with another and many other interesting things, one of which was a hummingbird nest with 3 chicks in it (we have pictures of them). The cave itself has Mayan pottery and is well worth the trip.
On another adventure we went to Xunantunich, a Mayan archeological site, which is quite amazing. Again, the guide was terrific, explaining the why’s and how’s and the history of the place. I am not overly fond of heights, so I must warn those of you who are like me: it is scary at the top of the pyramid. I pretty much hugged the walls at the top whereas other visitors were sitting with their legs dangling over the side (show offs). But the climb and the descent were not bad at all (for me). The view at the top is really spectacular; you can literally see for miles. You also see the site as the Mayan king and his retinue would have seen it when they addressed their people from the top of the pyramid. On the way to the pyramids, you cross a river on a raft which is pulled across the river by rope. On the other side of the river we saw a very large iguana, and it turns out that the area is designated as a protected area for iguanas. They are vegetarians and no danger to people.
We went to Barton Creek Cave which has spectacular formations and colors. To explore the cave you travel in a canoe with powerful lights that allow you to see stalagmites and stalactites and beautiful colors. Well worth the trip. We also spent an afternoon at Big Rock falls which is a beautiful place, so beautiful it looks like something ideal out of a postcard. The water was a little chilly but once you’re in and moving it was fine.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip and we heartily recommend the Maya Mountain Lodge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Maya Mountain Lodge is a small family run eco-jungle lodge located 3/4 Mls. On the Cristo Rey Road, only five minutes from downtown San Ignacio, Belize. Offering 15 air conditioned units varying from family cottages equipped with kitchenettes to our standard rooms. We also have economy rooms for the budget conscious. Weekly and monthly rates are available for up to 70% discount. We are famous for our dining service which features cultural meals of the different ethnic groups in Belize. Dining reservations are recommended. We also offer cooking courses when booked in advance. We have a tour desk which provides safe, reliable tours of high quality and which are fun as well as educational. There is a pool, nature trails, tropical gardens,conference room, spa, and free WiFi. Our Wellness Center provides spa, educational courses, wellness cooking classes, yoga, and alternative healing referrals. Hiking, birding, and both guided and self tours of organic and tropical gardens available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maya Mountain Hotel San Ignacio
- Maya Mountain Lodge Belize/San Ignacio