My husband and I celebrated our 40th birthdays together with a trip to Belize and we stayed at the Mariposa Jungle Lodge. As most our vacations in the past have been to ski resorts, Caribbean Islands or Kids theme parks, we wanted to try something different. We were looking for a bit of adventure while still having a relaxed vacation experience. Mariposa looked promising and ultimately proved to be a great fit. We had questions prior to booking our trip and Sharon was extremely responsive and eager to help to tailor our vacation experience to our wishes. There were so many interesting choices for the excursions, but we were able to build an itinerary that worked great for us.
After a long day of traveling, transferring flights and waiting in customs, we were greeted by our guide and driver Damian. Over the following week, we found that Damian and his brother and fellow guide Agusto were fantastic ambassadors of the country, showing us the history, culture and of course the adventure we were looking for.
Our first day trip was to the Caracol Ruins. An early morning departure time started us on our two hour journey to the Caracol ruins site. We traveled through the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Preserve, a rugged and remote portion of the country which has an entirely unique ecosystem compared what we were used to seeing in our first day and a half in Belize. We had a brief stop at an overlook at Rio-on-Pools as well as small walking tour at Rio-on Caves. Although Rio on caves was a quick waypoint stop, it really set the tone for what we were expecting to see: incredible natural wonders that can only be seen in this part of the world.
Over the next few hours, we were able to explore the site without any boundaries. Climbing on the temples as the Mayans once did let us really experience the site. Fantastic views were provided from the top of the highest temple. There were only a few other groups at the park so except for when we were at the picnic area, we felt as though we had the park to ourselves. A close up look at a group of Howler Monkeys and great picnic lunch from Mariposa topped off our visit.
Another adventure included ATM cave. First you wade through 2 rivers during the 45 minute hike to the entrance. There is a short swim to get into the cave which was large, however I was nervous about the tight areas. I found the once in a lifetime experience outweighed the fear I had. The 2.5 hour trek in the cave had me swimming and climbing but ended with a look back at the untouched past deep within the cave. Our tour guide gave us so much information into the history of this area and the Mayan life. This excursion made the trip the adventure we were hoping for! Other trips included the butterfly farm for cocktails(interesting, but could have done without), zipplining in the trees, and cavetubing.
The Mariposa Jungle Resort delivered in every way during our trip. The food for breakfast, lunch and dinner were all fabulous dishes of the culture. The meals are customized to your likes and any food preferences can be accommodated by the wonderful staff. The bungalows are quaint and the perfect size to relax and unwind after a long day. There is a hammock on the screened in porch to see the jungle and hear nature nearby. The pool is a lovely touch as well as all the plants and flowers.
We took several strolls on the trails that lead to the bird tower and Mayan ruins on the property. It is evident that Sharon and Jim love this area and want to make sure that every visitor takes away the love of the Belizian culture and jungle.
We highly recommend this resort for the relaxation away from it all, but mostly because it is located centrally to all the attractions, the food is delicious and the hosts and their resort are welcoming. If you are hoping for adventure, you will experience it here in such a beautiful country.
- 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