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“Fantastic Place” 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 Price
50% off room rate
Certificate of Excellence
Sheridan, Wyoming
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

My wife and I spent months researching places to stay in Belize. We had never spent time at a full service resort and were being very picky. Interestingly, Caves Branch just kept coming up on every nights research. We settled on a stay for our twentieth wedding anniversary. The choice could not have better. Ian and his staff are the best. We ate good had fantastic tours and left feeling like we had friends. We can't wait to return.

Room Tip: Paying extra for the Canopy Tree House rooms is well worth the cost.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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641 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (222)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Arriving to Caves Branch we were really excited to stay there and participate on the adventures; this ended fairly quickly. It began with a somewhat pointless and painful tour while being devoured by mosquitos. The rest of the tour was telling us all the things that weren't included and all the extra charges that we would incur. We stayed for 5 nights in the Jungle Suite that was actually really neat but the mattress and pillows were old and needed to be replaced, the promised hot water didn't work, all of the water shut off at random periods, there were holes in the mesh so rats came in and ate through bags and clothing even though we had no food in the suite, and there were no plugs. The room was neat to stay in because it was a regular hut but the large windows are only screens with no glass, no shutters and very small white fabric curtains. Something else we didn't enjoy was the rigid eating schedule and extra charges for lunch. You get assigned seating for dinner and the entire buffet experience takes two hours every night during dusk. Eating in the dining area at the specific times are the only times you can get food - unless you want to buy a small can of Pringles for triple the average price. With all the bad I still give it a "poor" rating because the staff were all very friendly and helpful. Cleaning staff, dining staff, transportation staff and grounds keepers were all happy, very friendly and great at their jobs. When we relaid all the problems we were having they were in the room to fix it that day and because so many things went wrong they offered a 20% discount. Though even with the discount the price was still much too high for the value of the experience. All of the excursions were amazing but they were through other tour guide companies and therefore were an extra charge per person. I think "all inclusive" is a bit of a stretch for a description, it should be more of "room, breakfast and dinner".

Room Tip: Perhaps our experience would have been better if we were in a treehouse suite. Anyone who stayed in...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, North Carolina, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

It was a beautiful place and the meals were THE BEST! The staff is super cool, nice, funny, and helpful and always make for some exciting meals! The only downside to the place (which isn't their fault) are the mosquitoes only because you are in the rain forest over there, however if you were to see any snakes or tranchulas, the staff cages it up until it can be set free somewhere safe. The pool is also really cool, along with the adventures they offer. I would definitely recommend this place if to anyone who is planning on staying in Belize! And if you are a big out doorsy type person who is big on being kind to and conserving the environment you would love Monkey Bay which is a home style bunk-bed type accommodation and my second favorite place in Belize was Jaguar Creek which is right next to Caves Branch. If you want a place that is still very nice but very cozy I suggest Jaguar Creek. Their food is also amazing along with their staff and their coffee and tea is great too. They have mosquito nets over their beds, warm showers, and their staff will deal with any insect or amphibian problem you encounter but that doesn't happen very often since they have a nice little board walk that separates you from them. They also have a little swimming hole and class room (depending on what you are in Belize for). The only difference between Jaguar Creek and Caves Branch is that Caves Branch is more for a family and friend get away or a couples retreat, where as Jaguar Creek is more for the student/group get away that is into nature or photography or something educational and wants a nice place that supplies them with good resources, rooming, and meeting rooms/class rooms.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good rooms, however, beware of the Howler Monkeys!! They can be very loud so bring...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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South Berwick, Maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

This was the first time my husband and I have ever taken a 'full-service' vacation. After one week of fabulous bone fishing at El Pescador on Ambergris Caye, we completed our first visit to Belize with four nights at Caves Branch. We had three 'adventures' and each was superb in its own right. We visited Xunantunich and Cahal Pech with a guide who not only explained all we could absorb about the Mayan ruins, but also gave us a great understanding of the current population of the region. Our second day was spent Cave Tubing. Unlike other caves we have visited (none via tube floating up the river), we were able to climb and explore. Again, a very knowledgeable guide, with the addition of a picnic lunch in the cave, and total blackout on our way out. The staff was very nice, accommodating, good food, really nice bungalo with a visit from howler monkeys one night and scuffing of something around just out of eyesight each night that kept me glued to the window hoping to see our visitors. The absolute top highlight of the trip was the third adventure: the Black Hole Drop was a life-changing event for me. I am afraid of heights, to the point of suffering vertigo on tall ladders. I was concerned that I would not be able to make the climb to the top. Not sure I would be able to accomplish the rappel over the edge of the cliff. Afraid I would not be able to control my descent even with the belayer. Had I been truly aware of the 30 foot vertical ladder to climb back out, that would probably have been the deal changer. Marvin, our guide, was superb. He seemed to be able to sense how far away I was and alter his speed to keep me within a comfortable distance, without making me feel the necessity to hurry. When there were difficult areas, he stayed immediately in front of me so I could follow his footsteps. While watching and listening intently to his instructions to my husband, I had the thought that perhaps I could ask Marvin to take me down. I am so happy I did not! When I leaned back in the harness and eased the rope up on my first step, I began to feel confident. None of the possible glitches occurred, and when I took that last step and was hanging free, it was euphoric! Even the climb up the ladder was not intimidating. I got much, much more out of this experience than I could have imagined!

Room Tip: When we go again I will get a tree house.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

I rarely want to go back to vacation spots, instead opting to experience something new. Caves Branch may be an exception. I visited over a year ago and lately find myself wanting to back. The excursions are physically challenging and remarkably rewarding, the guides are excellent and the food is amazing. We were more than happy with our jungle cabana until we were unexpectedly upgraded to a treehouse. It made our trip.

  • Stayed September 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

After being all over the map my husband and I decided on Belize for our Honeymoon! We did 3 nights at Caves Branch before we moved onto the beach. What can I say WOW! What an experience. We did not only enjoy our time at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge we LOVED it! Our overall experience was great from arrival to departure they were on top of everything we didn't have to stress about transfers they made it so easy. The lodge is amazing we stayed in one of the River Treehouses. It was dry season so the river was all dried up but it was still cool. My husband worried about the noise at night but he was able to sleep just fine and I loved being able to hear the jungle all night! All the staff we met were super friendly and fun to be around. We really enjoyed meal time from the hand santizer to the yummy buffet and eating with all the guests it was truly a treat! The adventure was nothing I could have every imagined! My husband talked me into doing the Waterfall (cave) hike that was truly a once in a lifetime experience for us and the guides & other guests made it so much more enjoyable! We also went to the ruins which was such a great experience! I wish we had more time at Caves Branch not only for the excursions but to just hang out on the property! We highly recommend staying here! We did not want to leave and we can't wait to go back! Thank you for such a great experience!

Room Tip: The river treehouse was fun and not a super long walk!
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
65 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

My husband and I recently spent 5 nights in Belize at Cave's Branch Jungle Lodge. We stayed in the treehouses, river view as that was all that was available, but once I realized how many stairs your really have to climb to get to the canopy view, I was very happy with our accommodations! We opted out of the bungalow choice given the amount of critter potential in the jungle, we had no little creatures in our room but did come upon a snake on our porch one night on returning from dinner.

The website very clearly states that this is not a 5 star resort although outside of the potential for critters in your room, I'm not sure how this place isn't resort status. The kitchen staff prepared fabulous multi-course meals every evening for dinner, including organic and locally grown fruits and veggies (in plentiful supply!), beef tenderloin, leg of lamb, roasted fish, and homemade desserts. The staff goes above and beyond to please all tastes. There is also a bountiful buffet breakfast with an omelet station but we only got to indulge once as our excursions typically left before breakfast was served. Our room was well-cleaned daily and the housekeeper always left fresh flowers and towel creations. The room faced the river and there were screens on all the windows, no way to close windows but I can sleep through anything so the noise of the rain and the monkeys did not bother me at all. There were 2 ceiling fans in the room which kept it plenty cool, there was no point when we were uncomfortable with the temperature in our room in June. The staff also always made sure that we were booked on the excursion of our choice each day. We had decided ahead of time the things that interest us but for those who were torn, the staff always offered options based on interests. The only thing that was slightly annoying is that the staff tries to steer you toward the adventures on Cave's Branch property, and all those adventures were great, but we really wanted to see the ATM cave and I would say that the staff was less than encouraging, tried to make comparable recommendations for sites on the property. In the end we held our ground and were exceptionally pleased that we did.

That said, there are an abundance of excursions offered and I was wishing we had 2 more days so we could do a couple more things. We chose our adventures based on Fodor's recommendations for the area. Our excursions included cave tubing and ziplining, a trip to Tikal in Guatemala, a trip to the ATM, a nighttime jungle tour (not the best idea in retrospect given that all the dangerous animals are nocturnal and the venture was on foot!), and a trip to the barrier reef to snorkel. We were not disappointed in any of our choices! But the waterfall cave trip got rave reviews from many travelers that we met at the lodge (very popular choice, even for kids despite the 5 sweat drop rating on the website) and I would have liked to see the ceremonial cave as well.

Belize is a beautiful country and is definitely a great site for the adventure traveler who is looking for a unique experience. A word to the wise though...there is a rainy season in Belize, it is hot, it is a jungle, there are bugs, and you will feel gross most of your trip due to sunscreen, bug spray, rain, and humidity. If that is not appealing to you, please don't go there and make all the other travelers miserable while you complain about all of the above. Those of us who knew what to expect when we arrived don't want to hear it while we're stuck on an excursion with you.

Room Tip: Fewer creepy crawlies in the treehouses than in the jungle bungalows.
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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 3
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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