Belize is celebrated for its natural wonders and abundant outdoor activities; you can choose to spend a day exploring ancient Mayan temples or go diving along the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site among a plethora of other excursions. If you are looking to unleash your adventurous side during the day, but still retire to more upscale digs at night, here are six of Belize’s coolest luxury eco-lodges and private island resorts.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Consistently rated as one of the top resorts in Belize, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is the ideal blend of luxury and outdoor adventure. You don’t even have to leave the 365-acre nature reserve to experience horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, hiking, birding and more. Chaa Creek also maintains an onsite Butterfly Farm and Natural History Museum that are worth Room5g out.
Rooms at Chaa Creek range from garden suites to treetop suites with Jacuzzi tubs. The beautifully designed rooms blend in seamlessly with their natural surroundings without sacrificing on luxury. The property has welcomed a number of distinguished guests over the years, including Prince Harry during his recent tour of Belize. The Lodge at Chaa Creek is committed to furthering eco-tourism efforts in Belize with 10% of all room revenues donated to environmental, educational and community programs.
Ka’ana Luxury Resort
Ka’ana is a boutique luxury resort that leaves no stone unturned when it comes to luxury in the jungle. Choose from a range of accommodations, including the stunning private one- and two-bedroom villas. If you are interested in culinary travel, you won’t want to miss Ka’ana’s organic garden, the impressive 2,000-bottle wine cellar or its onsite restaurant that serves up traditional Belizean cuisine with a gourmet twist. A personal favorite – the sweet corn colada.
The staff at Ka’ana will not only arrange tours for any of the popular attractions and sights in Belize, but they can coordinate some of the most exclusive options like helicopter tours, private waterfall picnics and more.
MOUNTAIN PINE RESERVE
One of two resorts owned by Francis Ford Coppola, Blancaneaux Lodge is a 20-room luxury hotel situated in the pristine Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. Its remote location is worth the journey, and once you visit you will understand right away why Coppola fell in love with this spot. Coppola has worked hard to keep Blancaneaux very eco-friendly, incorporating special equipment and processes, including partnering with local organizations and colleges to support projects that help preserve biodiversity in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve.
Francis Ford Coppola fell so much in love with Belize that he opened a second resort located on its coastal region. Turtle Inn is located between the Garifuna settlement of Seine Bight and the Creole fishing village of Placencia. Turtle Inn’s 25 individual thatched cottages are outfitted with high-end Balinese furnishings and feature lots of open space that welcome the cooling sea breezes. The 26-mile long peninsula leading to Placencia is blessed with some of the best swimming beaches in Belize. Enjoy Turtle Inn’s pristine sandy beach and the calm, clear waters or spend the day in one of Turtle Inn’s two signature infinity pools. Arrangements can be made for a number of activities and excursions in the region, including popular options like the Monkey River tour.
Hatchet Caye Resort
Hatchet Caye Resort is a private island resort located on the edge of the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Travelers can choose an oceanfront cabana or splurge and rent the entire island for a completely private getaway. Go diving with Hatchet Caye’s onsite PADI dive center or make arrangements for fishing or snorkeling tours. Guests also have use of Hatchet Caye’s recreational equipment including kayaks, pedal boats and Hobie Cats.
Be sure to try some of Hatchet Caye’s lionfish dishes at the island’s Lionfish Grill. While beautiful, the invasive lionfish are a menace to Belize’s ecosystem along the reef. A number of resorts and restaurants are helping reduce the lionfish population by turning these pesky creatures into tasty dishes.
Located just three miles away from Ambergris Caye is Cayo Espanto, another popular private island resort in Belize. There are several lodging options to choose from, including a 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom over-the-water bungalow. Romance is key at Cayo Espanto and its signature five-star service extends to every aspect of your stay. Whether it’s breakfast in bed or a private candlelit dinner on your veranda, the staff at Cayo Espanto will do their best to accommodate your requests.
While most people book Cayo Espanto to relax in total privacy, you can also make arrangements for popular mainland tours. Cayo Espanto offers a number of specialized services, including private snorkeling, diving charters, fly-fishing trips and even private beach picnics.
Which one of these luxurious resorts tops your travel list?