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Mariposa Jungle Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Anchorage, AK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“You Must Stay Here!”
Reviewed 27 March 2012

I spent a week at Mariposa Jungle Lodge in February with a friend, and it was such an amazing experience I have had trouble putting it into words. As a first-time visitor to Belize and Central America, it was invaluable to have Mariposa’s friendly expertise, and the personalized experience and attention made me feel like a VIP!

To give a sense of my trip, I had to break it down into manageable chunks:

1. Arrival - After pick up at the airport and a delightful tour of the Belize Zoo with Augusto, we were welcomed with a complementary Belizean cocktail on arrival at the lodge. It was a really personal touch and a great transition from the daily grind to the world of the Belizean jungle.

2. Cabanas - The cabanas are top notch and beautifully constructed; atmosphere is airy and spacious yet private and comfortable. My traveling companion and I loved returning from a day of adventures to read on the porch and listen to the jungle come alive at sunset. The locally-sourced building materials and art create a perfect environment. I appreciated the environmentally-friendly on demand water heaters.

3. Food – We could not wait to arrive at breakfast or dinner and experience the daily menu, which was varied and focused on traditional Belizean cuisine of the area. A beautiful touch was a personalized menu each night – I have kept copies of each for a memory book. One night the staff overheard we thought ice cream would be great with the sauteed fruit for dessert, and the next night it magically appeared on our dessert plates!

4. Staff – The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, but in a laid back and unobtrusive way. Sharyn is a wonderful hostess, Nelmarie was always checking in to see if there was anything we needed, and Esau’s cooking stands out. Mariposa’s tour guides, especially Augusto, were very knowledgeable and really added to our experiences in Caracol, etc.

5. The Grounds - Mariposa has taken full advantage of the lush jungle surrounding the lodge but also provides a finishing touch. Everything looks so natural and creates such a relaxing atmosphere. The bird watching tower and nature trail were so nice to have nearby for instant wildlife viewing.

6. Tours – Last but not least. Our tours were fantastic. Whether it was touring Caracol or caving in ATM, we learned a lot about Mayan culture and had a lot of good laughs with the guides. At a wonderful outing named “Happy Hour with Butterflies,” we enjoyed a cocktail while learning about many of the butterfly species in the area from a couple running a butterfly farm. The resident tarantula was an added thrill (from a distance, of course!)

I could go on and on, as I don’t feel I did my entire experience justice. I am looking forward to returning with my family, hitting all the tours that I missed and experiencing that magical Mariposa atmosphere. Thanks to Sharyn and the entire staff at Mariposa for an unforgettable vacation.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank klindsey22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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271 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 March 2012

I stayed 6 nights at Mariposa in February and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my stay – from relaxing in my cozy cabana to my adventures at Carocol and ATM cave.

Mariposa offered the perfect intimate setting providing complete comfort while not encroaching on the beauty of the jungle. Our cabana, one of six, was wonderful. It was very clean, the bed was comfortable, and I particularly enjoyed the private screened in deck complete with a hammock. It was perfect for relaxing at the end of the day, sipping a drink, and listening to the jungle sounds.

The food served in the dining lodge was excellent as the chef takes full advantage of the local fresh fruit and vegetables creating fabulous Belizean and Mayan dishes. Each evening at dinner, a menu with a personalized message welcomed us to dinner.

The dining lodge also has two sitting areas where we were able to use Wi-Fi to try to connect with family back home. If you are planning to get online be prepared that the service is via satellite and is intermittent depending on the cloud cover.

Sharyn, the owner, arranged all of our day excursions for us. This was fabulous as 1) we knew nothing about getting around Belize and arranging quality tours and 2) The excursions Sharyn suggested and the Mariposa guides were incredible!

Augusto from Mariposa Lodge escorted us around the Belize zoo the day we arrived and was also our guide for our excursion to Carocol. Augusto, In addition to telling us about every animal at the zoo and everything we were seeing at Carocol, expertly answered every question we asked – and we asked more than a few. I cannot say enough about his knowledge of Belizean culture, economics, geography, and the Ancient Mayan civilization.

In addition to these two excursions, we also enjoyed happy hour at the butterfly place and a half-day of horseback riding. For me, the highlight of the trip was ATM cave. Sharyn arranged this tour for us and her care in arranging for high quality guides was evident. Our guide and trip were amazing. ATM cave is an absolute must do if you are staying at Mariposa.

Overall, my stay was incredible and I can’t say enough about the hospitality displayed by the owner and staff. It was the little touches that made this a special experience – the menus at dinner, the staff offering assistance, the extra effort by the guides to share their knowledge, and even a lesson on how to make a tortilla by the chef.

I highly recommend Mariposa Jungle Lodge!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

This is a beautiful oasis in the jungle of Cayo with few but very nice rooms and incredibly clean. Luxury in the jungle.
But even more amazing is the staff at the Mariposa lodge - all of them make your stay a wonderful experience - never had such a warm and excellent service.
We also booked a trip with them to Caracol and we couldn't have imagined a better and more knowledgable guide than Augusto.
Furthermore, the food is an experience itself - among the best restaurants we had in Belize and in other places, and all of that in the jungle!

Overall, highly recommendable!

Just take care to use the road from San Ignacio, this one is mostly paved, so it's well worth the detour if your comming from Belmopan.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Diana T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

I just returned from a great vacation in Belize at Mariposa Jungle Lodge. It was may first trip to the jungle and a third-world country, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What I experienced was one surprise after another.
First, Mariposa itself. This resort was much better than I imagined. The site is truly jungle, with as little intrusion on nature as possible. The owners managed to build with great sensitivity both to the lush forest and the limestone rock designs left by the Mayans. The building exteriors blends into the environment, while the interiors provide lush comfort, modern, amenities and cleanliness. The staff was incredibly warm and attentive and before long, I felt like family. I felt like a special friendship developed between Sika (the friendly but polite Lodge dog) and me. Esau, the chef, provided wonderful meals and introduced me to delicious Mayan and Belizean treats. The kitchen staff did it's best to teach me to make fresh tortillas, but it was hard for me. I'll just have to return for a visit when I want more.
Second, the management team, Sharyn, Nel, Aguston and Damian were always proactive in making sure I had time to see the major sites as well as the little things, like the giant tarantula, rare tropical birds, a harmless vine snake, unusual trees with special medical usage. Agusto and Damian were great guides to Caracol, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech and the surrounding villages. They were always ready to answer any questions or stop when they thought I might want to take a picture.
Third, the tours. i relied on Sharyn to organize my excursions and I'm so glad I did because I would of missed some highlights.
1. Caracol and the Mt. Pine Ridge for a visit to the greatest Mayan site in Belize, and the beautiful Rio On Pools and the amazing Rio Frio Cave.
2. ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) I would of been afraid to try this cave because of my claustrophopia, but did so with Sharyn's encouragement and the help of a great guide. There were only a couple of tight spots but the experience was well worth it.
3. Jungle horseback ride was easy the horse knew the terrain and I got to enjoy great views.
4. Happy Hour at green Hills Butterfly Ranch was a private event for guest of only one resort at a time, so a small group of us went from Mariposa and enjoyed cocktails and Belikin beer provided by Mariposa. We learned about butterfly habits from Jan and Tineke Meerman. Highly recommended.
5. Lunch and tubing at Macaw bank Jungle Lodge, arranged by Mariposa.
6. Two night trip to Flores in Guatemala. Flores is a charming island on Lake Peten, with colorful building, restaurants, and lots of stores selling Guatemala handicrafts. The vendors were pleasant and willing to bargain.
7. Overnight at Black Orchid resort and two visits to the Baboon Sanctuary, where we were able to interact with the troops of howler monkeys and take some great pictures. I think this is a highly underrated place to visit. and i thank Sharyn for steering me there.
Despite all the things I did, I didn't get to do everything. My husband and I are already planning a return visit in early 2013. We now understand that the world won't actually end with the Mayan calendar in December 2012.
Thanks to Mariposa crew for an unforgettable vacation.
Karen Guglielmo

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Karen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NC
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

I am SO late in getting this review in, as I really wanted to take my time with it. We stayed at Mariposa over New Years for 4 nights. I arrived feeling like family, after all the great help I had gotten from Sharyn and Clara through email before our arrival, but the rest of our family's stay was so welcoming.

From the moment Augusto picked us up at the airport til his brother drove us down to Hopkins, everything was easy and wonderful. Clearly there are two types of lodging option in Cayo....you can stay in town, book everything separately, wait for or cab ride to pick up points, and save some money. Or you can do as we did and stay at one of the lodges, avail yourself of their services and drivers, and enjoy your stay. We opted for the more relaxing experience of a lodge stay, choose Mariposa based on the reviews and location, and are glad we did.

I can tell you that there is SO MUCH TO DO in Cayo and you will be getting up early in the morning and going hard all day (we did ATM, Caracol, horseback, zipline.....) So fun, but long days. It was so great at the end of the day to come back to Mariposa. Plus Mariposa's location, from what we could tell, was one of the best. RIght at the crossroads of the road between San Ignacio, the road to MPR/Carocol and the road back to the hiway. Most of the major activities are along this road, so being in the middle of it cuts down on the bumpy car rides!

The villa/rooms are large and lovely. THere was a flash water heater in every room, so there was plenty of hot water at the end of the day, when you were likely as not covered in mud (and it was chilly when we were there!). (A complaint we heard about other lodges in the area was hot water running out...so I was thrilled by this). Then you could relax in your comfortable room, on the bed or hammock, or wander down to the lodge and have a drink, and compare notes with other guests about what everyone did that day. Our kids showed up at the lodge every night for a watermelon smoothie and to start the nightly Uno game. On our table was always our personalized menu ("Welcome back from ATM!") which was such a sweet touch. And the food was imaginative and great. At the end of a long, fun day, it was so nice to come "home" to.

We too were there for the NYE party (Hi John!). And our 13 year old (and 9 year olds) were also part of that kid crowd. I must admit, when Sharyn said she got a DJ I thought "for such a small crowd, it will be weird", but I should not have worried. All the guests we so friendly and open, we had great dinner conversations with all of them. And the food was wonderful. Sharyn and Clara had thought of everything. It is not often we get to do a conga line around the pool in the jungle with our kids! I recall thinking, I can't imagine having more fun if we were home with our friends.

I must admit I read the recent negative review with great surprise. I can't believe the poster stayed at the same place we did and she must have been there around the same time. Or she was looking for a totally different experience? Mariposa is not a huge resort, or a stuffy resort. It is not a trendy resort You will meet Sharyn and Clara and Augusto and the other staff and feel cared for. Even pampered. In the middle of the jungle.

The kids are already asking to go back.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank VaNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at Mirposa this past weekend (2 nights) and had a great time. Everyone there (Sharyn, Nelmarie and the rest of the staff) was very helpful and so sweet! They were very caring to make sure everything was perfect! The food was amazing!!! Booking was also very easy thanks to Clara and they were willing to work with us on timing and what tours we wanted to do. The pool area was perfect. Keep in mind that you ARE in the jungle!!! It was perfect, very relaxing, very simple and just perfect for the setting. My bf and I laid in the hammocks when it rained and it was heaven!
Warning - the road to Mariposa lodge (like a lot of roads in this area) are NOT paved. They are very very bumpy and all rocks. It was a tough ride but it was worth it!
We did do the ATM tour which was set up through Mariposa and it was wonderful. I will be writing a sepwrate review on the tour.
Thank you all for making this such a great vacation!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lauren A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2012

My husband and I spent an incredible week in Belize at the end of December 2011. We started our trip in Placencia at Robert's Grove and 3 days later transferred to Mariposa Jungle Lodge for the jungle portion of our trip.

I agree with the other positive reviews about the beautifully appointed cabanas (with the most comfortable beds!), the cleanliness of the Lodge and the kind and attentive staff. Our meals were delicious and varied--every night had a different theme and cuisine. But the most special night was New Year's Eve. It was an unexpected surprise to have a New Year's Eve celebration complete with a DJ, music, wonderful food, great company and dancing, dancing, dancing! Everyone had a blast!

It is troubling to read reviews by someone that so clearly advances an agenda of sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt about this very kind and hospitable group of hard working professionals. We are the kind of travelers who generally plan our own trips and entertainment. We enjoy the serendipity of the road, but we opted to have others do the work and it was both economical and a big time saver. We booked all our excursions (ATM, Caracol, Butterfly happy hour, Zoo) through Sharyn, who was most helpful and who did not try to push any particular agenda. Tour guides were knowledgeable, professional and friendly. In the middle of the jungle, we had a most comfortable, relaxing, secure and enriching experience.

All we can do is suggest to others reading this that you research thoroughly and dismiss those reviews that seem to have an purpose other than to simply inform. This was a great place, and it was a wonderful way to experience a part of the world that is still removed from the touch of corporate hotels. We are certain that you will enjoy your experience at the Mariposa Jungle Lodge.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Rose P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mariposa Jungle Lodge

Property: Mariposa Jungle Lodge
Address: San Antonio Road, San Antonio, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Cayo > San Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mariposa Jungle Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique eco-resort nestled under the jungle canopy of San Antonio, Belize, offers six luxury cabanas with air conditioning and wifi, mosquito-netted canopy beds, private screened porches with hammocks, and comfortable sitting areas for relaxation. Enjoy local and international cuisine, full bar, and the library with an eclectic book collection, games, and array of international art and memorabilia. Mariposa is well-located for tours to regional Maya archaeological sites, waterfalls, caves, and rivers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mariposa Jungle Hotel San Ignacio

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