Stayed at Mariposa when other last minute choices were sold out. Boy, I'm so glad we did. I can't imagine a better place to spend a few days while exploring the Mayan ruins and other attractions in the Cayo district. Mariposa's host and proprietor, Sharyn, is an American ex-pat with a fascinating previous life. She was a hoot, and her personal involvement added immeasurably to the experience (just make sure you are on her side in any games of trivial pursuit). As others have commented, the rest of her local team was charming, knowledgeable and extremely friendly. They genuinely seem to like both their jobs and working there. Damian was such a great guide and driver, and something of a renaissance man. Take the hike through the grounds with him and you'll come away immeasurably more appreciative of life in the jungle. Nelmarie, Sharyn's assistant manager, could not have been more friendly and competent.
My friends and I found the scale of the place just right for this kind of experience. There are 6 huts set in a nicely landscaped area with thatched roofs, four poster beds that were very comfortable, a great bathroom (loved the shower), and a small separate room with screens and a hammock to feel even closer to the jungle. No TV, though they have that in the main lodge, at least for watching movies if you'd like. We ate breakfast and dinner at the lodge, and the meals were a real treat. You get to choose from a variety of themes, and Sharyn makes sure to find out what you like and don't like. In the lodge, they have a nice bar, lot's of games and books to read, and of course talking to the staff and other guests is really what it's all about. It is a very intimate setting, and you quickly feel like a welcomed, appreciated lost friend.
We took tours of Tikal and ATM, which were all arranged by Sharyn. When one of our party decided that spending 3 hours in the ATM was too claustrophobic (though we all had a fascinating time in there), Sharyn found a great alternative activity, and arranged for seperate transportation. She has great attention to detail, and is "right on it."
(By the way, you are not deep in the jungle far from civilization. Like other "jungle lodges" in the area, you are just a little into the forest so that you have the experience, but are still close near enough to the roads to make going places accessible.
All in all, a great place if what I've described is what you are looking for. While we were leaving, they were getting started with set up for a wedding that was taking place on the grounds in a few days. So if you have an event like that, it's worth exploring too.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Mariposa Jungle Hotel San Ignacio