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“Macal River Camp” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Lodge at Chaa Creek

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The Lodge at Chaa Creek
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
15% off room rate
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in San Ignacio
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Macal River Camp”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

We stayed at the Macal River Camp at the Chaa Creek Resort.

The resort is a very fancy five star resort. The Macal River Camp is a camp option located at the resort. This option is not right for everyone - but my family loved it!

The camp has cabana type huts on stilts above the jungle floor. There is no electricity or bathrooms in the huts. There is mainly 4 beds (or 2 in the smaller huts) with a wonderful front porch with chairs and a hammock. You are truly staying on the jungle floor and walk outside to animals and birds everywhere.

Bathrooms are set off to the side and have electricity and warm showers. The toilets are located a short walk from the sinks and showers and are flush toilets.

Food is included in the price. Food is served communal style under a large covered area with picnic tables. This was a highlight of our say here. The food was good, but the real experience came form meeting the other people. We meet people from all over the world. It was so much fun asking people what they had done since they had been in Belize and what they still planned to do. Was also great learning about the other counties people had visited and what they liked about them. We found ourselves getting up early even on our quiet days to have coffee with people before they headed out to their adventures.

Staying at the camp, you can use the facilities of the resort. You get to the resort along a hike down the medicinal plant trail. (Notice I said a hike, this is an up and down trail and you need to watch your step.) We used the pool, went canoeing (there is a wonderful botanical garden you can canoe too) and took advantage of some of the talks.

We booked the Tikal tour through the resort. We had stayed in Belmopan before coming here and booked the the ATM and tubing ourselves, but if I had to do it over I would probably stay here longer and book both through them.

In the evenings you can play cards or read a book at the picnic table where dinner is served. They also light a bonfire each night. But you will probably head to bed earlier then you would expect. Think more like camping evening activities then resort activities. bring flashlights!

I cannot suggest this place strongly enough if you are the type of person who loves roughing it. We had our college age children with us and this was their favorite place we stayed in Belize.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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607 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (141)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013 via mobile

I have stayed all over Belize in many resorts - lodges in the jungle and by far chaa creek is the best I have seen , the food the service the staff everything just makes this place perfect . My husband and Unfortunaty got to spend only 2 days but it was pure bliss the entire time . The food wow everything is what they say and even better I wouldn't stay anywhere else . And am definitely Coming back :)

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

this was my 2nd time staying here and the 2nd was just as awesome as the 1st. I love Cha'a. The service, the villas, the property, the food, all of it is phenomenal! It was my mom's birthday while we were there and I pre-arranged a cake, they set us up a private dinner service under the palapa by the pool with flowers and candles, they really went above and beyond! I would stay there a million more times and recommend it to anyone!

Room Tip: note, the spa villa is up the side of a large hill that you have to walk up (unless it is night time...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Stayed a couple of days there and really enjoyed every second. The bar was just perfect, the pool, the service, horse-riding, everything was lovable. Not one thing to criticize. We'll be back one day. If you got the possibility to do so, you should experience the Macal River Camp for at least one night.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Winsted, Connecticut
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

We booked our trip months in advance having read all of the wonderful reviews, and had high expectations. The trip not only met, but exceeded everything we had hoped for. The staff was absolutely amazing, talk about having the right people in the right places! Ricky was our tour guide taking us to the Belize Zoo, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. He obviously loves what he does and it shows. We learned so much about the historical sites and the birds and animals of Belize. The restaurant staff was friendly and attentive, and the bartenders were amazing. We had one of the treetop suites and the room was wonderful. The spa was closed while we were there, so we had the tough time of having massages in the room (talk about being spoiled!). The food was also amazing, even the pack lunch we got on our full day excursions! Thank you to the staff, and to the Flemings for being such amazing hosts. We will be back!

-Scott and Nicole

  • Stayed September 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
    • 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.
San Clemente, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Incredible! What a phenomenal way to experience beautiful Belize. Chaa Creek has it all, at this luxurious ecolodge in the middle of the rain forest. It was a long drive from the airport but the gracious a funny driver made stops along the way. We were so impressed with the knowledge and humor of all the guides. We arrived to the lodge after dark but were instantly enchanted by the romantic lighting and the gorgeous premises. We stayed in the Spa Villa. A gorgeous house at the top of the hill with three bedrooms and enough space for several couples or a large family. The view over the rainforest from the villa seemed to go on forever. Breathtaking. The walk to the main restaurant requires a series of steep stair but it is very easy to go up and down regardless of level of fitness. The food was fair during the evenings but the breakfasts were wonderful. The best part of Chaa Creek is the extensive educational activities on site that are deigned to inspire and educate! The Blue Morpho butterfly breeding center is exceptional and it sits next to a natural history museum. The blue Morpho butterflies are a fluorescent blue and are stunning in the backdrop of the green lush rainforest. Wake up early one morning for the am bird walk! The amount of birds on the grounds are immense. Mishca was the guide and he is so knowledgeable and passionate about the birds he spots high in the treetops. Also stay up late for the Night Crawler Hike. Those shiny sparkles in the grass at night look like glitter, but they are really spider eyes! We learned so much and Allen is exceptional. Much praise is extended to Allen. He was also our guide for the Xuantanich Tour which is a definite must. Beware of the howler monkeys in the trees greeting you as you enter the park. Be sure to climb to the top of the main Temple. The views from this vantage point leave you speechless. Allen was also our guide for the Medicinal Trail Walk. It teaches you that "for Every Ailment or Difficulty on Earth, the Spirits have provided a Cure, you just have to find it" in the rainforest. The cure frequently grows right next to the cause. Fascinating Tour. One of the most relaxing adventures of our stay was the self guided canoe trip down the Macal River. It was so peaceful and lovely. There was only one spot that there was a heavy current but overall a very easy canoe trip. The grounds at Chaa were beautiful. The accommodations were great, but the staff made our stay memorable. The other thatched roof jungle huts on the grounds were very authentic, but we were happy to have the Air conditioning of the spa villa that the other rooms did not have. Belize was very hot during late June when we traveled. Go to Chaa Creek and you will leave with treasured memories that will last a lifetime!

Room Tip: Spa Villa is an exceptional choice for families of several couples. The benefit is that air conditio...
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

Wow! My husband and I wanted an adventurous yet luxurious experience for our honeymoon and wow, did this place deliver! Every time I think back to our time there I cannot believe how lucky we were to have experienced something so unique.
Our cottage looked out onto the mountains and sitting in our hammocks of an evening after a day of activities was so relaxing. To top it off with some of the delicious cocktails made for a perfect location. We had the most basic of cottages but it still had the largest bed I have ever stayed in, an amazing double bathroom and outdoor shower in our own private garden.
Lying by the pool reading after a long day was just idyllic. However even more special was the night we decided to make the most of the 24 hour opening and swam under the stars - peaceful, romantic, and breath-taking!
Staff were fantastic, especially the tour guides (we did Xunantunich and the ATM – separate reviews completed!) - we had booked private tours and it was well worth it. I highly recommend Ricky, who was so knowledgeable and passionate about Belize and its culture and history that it really ignited our interest even more!
The Coma Massage (a lovely gift from my husband) – at the Hilltop Spa, was exceptional.
The food was expensive but good quality and a nice variety. I have to say we enjoyed the pool side/day time meals as much, if not more, than some of the evening ones.
One of the most unbelievable things is how at home we felt here even during a three night stay. We were so sad to leave, though very lucky that we went on to enjoy yet another Belizean adventure at Matachica.
Do not visit Belize without experiencing this Lodge and the trips which you can go on from it!

Room Tip: We had the most basic room package and it was still a very good size!
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  • Stayed April 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
    • 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 The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Address: Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in San Ignacio
#3 Romantic Hotel in San Ignacio
#3 Business Hotel in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Lodge at Chaa Creek 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For over 30 years Chaa Creek has been providing a comfortable base for exciting inland adventures for thousands of visitors, from explorers, scientists, filmmakers, research groups, students and people of all ages looking for intellectual and physical stimulation in Belize's vibrant rainforest - the heartland of the Maya. We also realise that any rewarding adventure is enhanced by comfortable accommodations and excellent food. Our 23 palm thatched cottage rooms ensure a good night's sleep and delightful mornings accompanied by the sing song of a rainforest waking up, and guests can choose a Complete Garden Suite, an Orchard and Spa Villa, Macal Cottage or Tree Top Suite, all equipped with a Jacuzzi for even extra comfort. As one example, under our Chaa Creek Cares program, 10% of all accommodation revenue goes straight into environmental and social programs, and in supporting Green and community groups. We sleep better, and you will too, knowing that your stay at Chaa Creek has a positive effect on Belize and our very special pristine natural environment. Families share some of life's most cherished moments - and memories - during a Belize family vacation. And to guarantee a family vacation that everyone will enjoy, multi award winning Chaa Creek is the only Belize destination you'll need. Our affordable, all inclusive family friendly adventure holidays are absolutely stress free and bring everyone closer together through sharing a variety of amazing adventures along with quiet moments to reconnect - all in a stunning rainforest setting. Nature and romance bloom year round in the stunning beauty of Belize. Our all-inclusive romantic vacation packages allow lovers of all ages to immerse themselves in nature and each other. An exquisite rainforest filled with colourful tropical birds, canoe trips down the meandering Macal river with the misty Maya mountains in the background, unwinding together in your private Jacuzzi surrounded by a tropical garden, couples massages, candlelit dinners and sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences create the perfect conditions for love to flower. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Hotel San Ignacio
Hotel At Chaa Creek
At Chaa Creek Hotel
Chaa Creek
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Belize/San Ignacio

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