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“Lizzie's 50th Birthday Bash” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge

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Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge
3.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Mile 41.5 Hummingbird Highway | P.O. Box 356, Belmopan, Belize   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Summer Special to Belize!
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Abu Dhabi
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Lizzie's 50th Birthday Bash”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

I searched around a lot to find the most safe.. adventerous trips we could do, to celebrate my little sister's 50th birthday. We could not have found a more wonderful place to test our nerves, under completely safe circumstances with the most terrific of guides. We did the Waterfall Caves tour and the Black Hole Drop. Both were a test of our spirit... a test of our physical ability... and a huge uplifting experience once we had finished it. We were not "babied", "pushed" or "led up the path", we were allowed to do it in our own time, with guides we completely trusted. Many was the time we could have given up, but with gentle kind encouragement we continued. So glad we did. If you want somewhere to PROVE to yourself... you still GOT IT, then these two tours are a must. Thank you Caves Branch, for providing two of the most exciting experiences of my life.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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609 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (212)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

We stayed at Caves Branch for one night at the end of July 2012. Our accomodations were very comfortable (family of 5 with 3 teens) and we had a room that was beautiful--large king bed, and lower level with a bunk bed and separate twin--perfect for kids. We thought the baths were lovely and used both indoor and outdoor showers. We loved the pool and enjoyed walking around the gardens. The were in the midst of construction on a new cheesemaking area (I think) but that had no impact on our stay. Food was excellent but slightly pricier for dinner than we had expected--there aren't many other options in the area to choose from if you don't have a car. Staff was very helpful. We did have a slight mix up when we left for Ambergris Caye with what we thought was a flight change but it all worked out in the end.

We booked one adventure tour that we all really enjoyed--the waterfall caving expedition. This involved about a 30 minute walk (easy) through the jungle to the cave where we put on caving harness, helmets etc. Then about 30 minutes into the caves we started swimming (crystal clear water, warm, lots of spectacular formations, and NO crowds--just the 5 of us our 2 guides and a lovely Dutch couple). We climbed 7 waterfalls ranging from maybe 8 feet tall to about 30 feet over about 1 1/2 hours and then jumped down (or you could be hooked in and belayed down if you chose) the waterfalls on the return trip. We all loved this--quotes from our teens (boy 17, girl 16, boy 13) were "this is the best vacation ever". Really a super activity for adventurous people (we do lots of hiking, climbing etc). We would have liked to do several other activities but did not have time as the remainder of our trip was for scuba diving on the Caye and those accomodations were booked before we found Caves Branch. If I were doing it again, I would spend 4 days on Cayes scuba diving and 3-4 days inland doing riding, ruins tours, zoo, and more caving etc. I would return to Caves Branch and have recommended it to friends. We are not big resort people and really enjoy more adventurous travels. This was excellent for our family and what we like to do.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was an absolute amazing place to begin out Honeymoon adventure! Upon arrival, the staff and every experience was top notch. We stayed in a tree house suite overlooking the jungle. Although we didn't spend too much time in our room we still got to enjoy the roof top tub at night, the outdoor shower, the hot coffee and pastry every morning delivered to our door, and the orchestral jungle sounds to lull us to sleep each night!! This place provided the remote feel of a Jungle lodge, with a family style, adventurous atmosphere. We did two adventures; the waterfall cave tour, and the cave tubing. I highly recommend them both! While the cave tubing was a fun way to explore some of the caves and the jungle at a leisurely pace on the river, the waterfall cave tour provided the adrenaline, mayan artifacts, history, and many many many natural forms that you rarely get to see anywhere else! The staff was great and the family style meal times allows you to meet people from all over the world! I would recommend Caves Branch to anyone who wants a taste of adventure/adrenaline and is open to making new friends!

Room Tip: Tree house jungle suites are perfect for the honeymooners or those who want to stay in jungle luxury...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

When I was given the opportunity to stay at Caves Branch I was a little reluctant. “Stay in the Jungle. No phone, no internet…..what??” Well, was I misguided.
What an incredible experience. I have never slept so well, the staff is perfectly adapted to their job and the food was very good. No major presentation, just breakfast 8am and dinner at 6pm, don’t be late. Everybody sits at a series of long tables and dinner/breakfast is served. You are encouraged to interact with the other guests right away which brought me out of my shell. Very enjoyable. I felt welcome, pampered and appreciated and met many new friends. Everyone having a good time, laughing and enjoying board games, cards and the simple life. And then the guides come along to take you on various adventures that will challenge you but the beauty of the country and its many natural attractions will move you.

Room Tip: If you can and you have a mate with you, stay in a treehouse up high. Its a bit of a climb to get th...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We stayed at Caves Branch last week, for one night on our way from San Ignacio down south. It was the one place on this trip which I didn't book based on tripadvisor reviews, but rather on what it looked like on the website, which I regret.
The facilities (rooms, dining room, pool) are all fine (although they are currently doing some construction on site, which can be noisy during the day). The food was good. However, the staff were overly zealous in trying to sell us stuff (souvenirs, tours etc.) which made the whole experience very unpleasant. They also tried to overcharge us on three separate occasions (within 24h).

It didn't help that the nearby Blue Hole National Park was a bit of a disappointment. All in all, I would happily have left out the whole experience.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IanAnderson, Owner at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
Dear Readers,

We are very sorry that Julia from Paris did not enjoy her one night with us but in spending less than 18 hours with us (late check in and early departure) doesn't allow many to enjoy what Caves Branch "is really all about". This is why we do have a minimum of a three night stay required for all advanced reservations, to allow the guests to experience all that Caves Branch offers, not just a half day sleep over.

With respect to the unpleasantries mentioned, all or our pricing, on the internet, in our printed material as well at the Caves Branch jungle lodge are in US DOLLARS. All pricing is clearly noted with USD$ as part of the pricing display. However, when checking out, our accounting is shown in the currency of Belize, in Belize Dollars which are at a rate or 2:1. A USD$7.00 drink would show as BZ$14., a USD$3.00 beer would show as BZ$6.00 and a USD$16.00 dinner would show as BZ$32.00 on the billing. When paid by CC in USD$ or by USD$ cash, the Belize dollar total is divided in half back to the USD rate.. Every bill presented in the entire country is presented in Belize dollars. This is, after all Belize, and Caves Branch is no differenet. When the pricing was questioned by Julia of Paris, this is what was explained to her and at the time, she said she understood and there was no issue, however, upon reading her comments, its now questionable if she actually did.

With respect to Zealous selling, Yes, when a guest walks into the gift show, our gift shop gal does ask if they would like some help, and before dinner, our waiters offer wine to each table, and after dinner our waiters offer after dinner drinks to our guests. I have trained our servers to provide those "services". If a guest prefers to not have wine, they simply say,"no thanks" as many already do (smile).

With respect to booking adventures, every night just before dinner, our senior guides take the time to personally speak to every guest about their choice of trips for the following day. 95 % of our guests go on adventures every day; are on packages that "include" daily adventures. Chatting about our adventures and making guest bookings at dinner for the next day is our norm at Caves Branch. Its what we do, it part of the Caves Branch experience. If Julia from Paris didn't want to go on an adventure the following day, she needed to simply say "no thanx", as some already do (smile).

In closing I would like to say that by NOT providing the above mentioned services, we would then be providing poor service.

We look forward to meeting you all personally at Caves Branch and perhaps sharing a bottle of wine together.

Sincerely,

Ian and Ella.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

My brother and I went here to celebrate my 30th birthday, and it was, to say the very least, the BEST birthday I've ever had! Whether it was hiking through the Jungle, jumping off waterfalls inside of caves, exploring ancient Mayan ruins or just relaxing by the pool, this place was AMAZING! The food was very good and the staff incredibly helpful. I would recommend to anyone looking to get away from it all and have an adventure!

Room Tip: If you want a truly unforgettable experience, rent one of the treehouse rooms : )
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Upon arriving the lodge – my family and I were shown where the parking lot was. We parked our car and were immediately helped with our luggage. One of the staff members loaded our luggage on a pull cart and led the way up a path which led to the lodge. What struck me immediately was the wide array of vibrant colors of exotic flowers, beautiful plants and gorgeous trees (IN ABUNDANCE) which took my breath away! At the check in desk, we were greeted with drinks and an icy cold towel to wipe our faces by very warm and friendly staff members – WHAT A LOVELY AND WELCOMING TREAT! We were immediately briefed on what we could find on the grounds for our relaxing pleasure, what time breakfast, lunch and dinner are served and the different tours of the day, including details about the different tours offered.
We were then taken via a short hike to our two bedroom tree house which was utterly amazing to say the least. As you walk in to the tree house, you find yourself in an open terrace which includes an "outdoor" shower with a privacy door, but open at the ceiling so you can gaze at the sky while you shower. It has a quaint little bucket as the showerhead and abundant plants and orchids. As you walk through the terrace which has a lovely wooden bench to sit and enjoy the views of the mountains, you see a little spiral wooden staircase which leads to the top bedroom as well as a door leading to the lower bedroom/living room area. Naturally, with great curiosity, we immediately scooted up the little spiral staircase and found another open terrace with a deck tub and a screened in bedroom - king bed no less! The view up there was spectacular to say the very least - mountains, trees, wildlife, river and fresh sweet air! We then went to explore the downstairs accommodations and walked down the stairs and through the door to the second bedroom which consisted of two levels. The first level is the living room complete with a bunk bed set right against the screen, then an upper level with a king bed, and huge bathroom! We were immediately shown the safe which each accommodation has and were told to put anything of value in it.
I will briefly digress from my description, and mention this very important point, because I read one of the reviews where someone complained about theft and blamed the staff - I suppose they must have been very careless and not store their valuables - even though the staff specifically takes the time to point out the safe and shows you exactly how it works, as well as encourages the use of it! To my mind, the onus of any theft falls directly on the person who did not use his/her common sense and take the good advice offered.
The thing that struck me immediately about the rooms was that all that was between YOU and NATURE were screens! You lie on your bed and see the amazing views of the mountains, the wildlife, the sky and the stars - and oh how spectacular that experience is! It is a feeling of complete and utter freedom, and a sense of peace and joy. The room itself is spectacular with its different warm and inviting wooden fixtures and décor. You immediately feel at home.
The walk from the room to the restaurant is an interesting little hike on a series of stairs and walkways. When you arrive for dinner at 6 p.m., you are given a description of first your soups and salads, then of your main course and finally your desserts. It is served buffet style and the food is superb! Whatever cave tours you decide upon, you have to make your bookings from the day before to ensure your tour for the next day. I decided to skip the tour as we were there for only one day, and opted instead for exploring the magnificent grounds. I decided that I would swim in the pool, swim in the river, play table tennis, go for a tour of the different tree houses, tour of the cheese making facilities, check out the gift shop that had the lovely scented glycerin soaps made on the property and enjoy a leisurely massage!
After a good night's sleep in my comfortable king bed with the loveliest duvet, i woke to the sound of birds and wildlife and just lay in bed looking outside in awe! Breakfast is served at 8 a.m. and oh what a wonderful treat it is! There were an assortment of fruits, thick homemade yogurt, oats, cereals, pancakes, powder buns, and fried jacks made upon order, eggs, omelets, potatoes, sausages, fresh orange juice, and coffee! After a hearty breakfast, I proceeded to do every single thing I had planned on as we were leaving at 4p.m. that day! I completed my entire list and left Caves Branch happy, relaxed, completely satisfied, and vowed to return again! The staff was amazing - very warm, friendly, helpful and willing!
I know my review is long, but I wanted to go into as much detail as possible regarding the accommodations as I always tend to focus on that aspect whenever I go anywhere. One word on my opinion about the rooms and the entire lodge - BREATHTAKING! For people who love nature, adventure, quiet and relaxation - this is JUNGLE PARADISE!

Room Tip: All of the accomodations are spectacular! if you require lots of room, make sure you book the two b...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge

Address: Mile 41.5 Hummingbird Highway | P.O. Box 356, Belmopan, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Belmopan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Belmopan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Adventure Travel is what Caves Branch was built on and Adventure Travel is still what Caves Branch is all about. But over the years, the Caves Branch jungle lodge has evolved from extremely rustic Jungle River Camp with outhouses and bathing in the river to our most recent 5 Star Luxury Tree Houses with roof top decks and hot tubs to relax under the stars above. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ian Anderson`s Caves Branch Jungle Hotel Belmopan
Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge Belize/Belmopan

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