I cannot express enough in this review how much we thoroughly enjoyed the Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge! The ATM cave tour and this wonderful lodge were the highlights of our trip to Belize! From the rooms, to the food, to the beauty of the property, to the attentive service, this lodge is 5 stars all the way, without the 5 star cost.
Our group consisted of our family of 6 and our friends family of 3 for a total of 9 people. This was our first trip to Belize and we decided we wanted to stay in the Cayo district for 3 nights and then head to Placencia for 6 nights to lay on the beach. After our trip we wished we had stayed at Macaw Bank for 6 nights and stayed 3 nights in Placencia. That was how great this jungle lodge is! Anyone planning on visiting Belize and not planning to visit the Cayo district and the Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge is making a mistake.
We had never been to Belize, let alone stayed in a jungle lodge, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. Based upon the lodge's website, it looked like a beautiful, clean and welcoming place. It is all that and so so much more. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we were totally taken care of. The owners (Ron and Al) and their wonderful staff (Henry, Reuben and Eduardo) were so accomodating, gracious and welcoming! I've been to fancy hotels in the states that could learn a thing or two about hospitality from them. They made us feel like we were family or old friends who just happened to be visiting.
The rooms are clean, comfortable and attractive. They consist of handmade furniture from local wood as well as local art. The showers are made of beautiful stone. One room can accomodate 2 people, but the other 4 rooms can accomodate 3-4 people each. The rooms have electricity, lights and a fully operating bathroom/shower.
The lodge is in the Cayo district where there is so much to do! We took a tour of the ATM cave and all 9 of us agree that it was the greatest thing we have ever done in our lives. Better than skydiving, scuba diving, ziplining, etc. We also took a tour to see Tikal in Guatemala, which was great. Close to the lodge are the ruins of Caracol and the ruins of Xunantunich. There is river tubing, birding and other activities too.
Now, about the food! When I originally booked my reservation, Ron informed me that we needed to inform them in advance of what meals we would be eating there. This is because it is a 45 minute trek into town to purchase fresh ingredients. We decided we would eat our first dinner at the lodge and then eat subsequent dinners in San Ignacio. After our first dinner, we decided to eat all of our meals (breakfasts and dinners) at the lodge. The food was that good! We spent 6 nights in Placencia and nothing we tasted there or during our time in San Ignacio when we weren't at the lodge could compare with the meals that Ron, Al and his staff prepared for us. We had children in our group as well as a vegetarian and they always found a way to make a meal that accomodated everyone and was delicious! My kids ate foods there that i've never seen them eat before! Even I ate things there that I normally wouldn't because they were so fresh and so deliciously prepared. The steamed snapper that I had was the best fish I have ever tasted! The shrimp ceviche was incredible! The coconut curry shrimp was amazing! The kids who didn't want shrimp had coconut curry cauliflower and they talked about how good it was for days. So much fresh tropical fruit at breakfast. From soups to salads to entrees to dessert, all of the food was awesome! If the restaurant was on Yelp, it would have 5 stars. I cannot stress this enough, EAT ALL YOUR MEALS AT THE LODGE!
The property is so beautiful. We saw so many beautiful birds, including macaws and toucans, as well as a spider monkey, giant frogs, scorpions and cool insects, without even really trying very hard. It was so magical to sit in the giant thatched roof restaurant/bar at night, drinking ice cold Belikins and seeing fireflys dancing in the night air.
There are two things that visitors should be aware of. First off, this is an ecolodge in the jungle, so don't expect tv, blow dryers or showers with great water pressure. You won't need/want any of that stuff anyway. Secondly, the lodge is remotely located down 8 miles of a mostly dirt/rock road. Don't try to get there in an economy/compact car. Get an SUV, 4 wheel drive preferably, and you will have no problem.
Whether you are 1 or 2 people renting one cabana, or a group of 8 or more renting all 5 cabanas so you can have the entire resort to yourself (which is what we did), the Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge is one of those places that makes a vacation truly special. Waking up to the sounds of the jungle birds each morning, then leisurely walking to the open air thatched roof restaurant where you are greeted with a delicious cup of coffee or a glass of freshly squeezed juice is simply heaven. Truly the way a vacation should be. We want to go back to Belize just so we can return to the lodge.
Thank you so much to Ron, Al, Reuben, Henry and Eduardo for helping to create so many wonderful memories for my family. We truly miss you and thank you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Family friendly, romantic honeymoon destination, naturalist paradise, ornithologist will especially love our beautiful Macal River frontage with access to many activities and adventures. Cabanas are private, secluded, spacious, clean, with screened windows,private deck or veranda, private baths, fans, and lights. Many activities available. Volleyball, croquet, river tubing, hiking, bird watching, etc. Tours are arranged complimentary. Close to ATM Caves, Caracol, Belize Botanical Gardens,zip line, horseback riding, San Ignacio town and market, Xunantunich, Greenhills Butterfly Ranch, Barton Creek Cave, Eljio Panti National Park, and much more... Tubes provided complimentary for guests. Canoeing available. WI-FI provided free of charge. Restaurant on premises, gift shop, bar. Five miles of well groomed nature trails,ancient trees, park like jungle setting, hammocks,lending library, ping pong table,telescope for use by our star gazing guests, camping also available. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Macaw Bank Jungle Hotel San Ignacio
- Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge Belize/San Ignacio