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“This Place is a Howl(er)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lamanai Outpost Lodge

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Lamanai Outpost Lodge
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3.0 of 5 Inn   |   Lamanai Outpost | P.O. Box 63, Orange Walk, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 Orange Walk B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Kentucky
Level Contributor
62 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“This Place is a Howl(er)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

This was our third trip to Belize--did some earlier birding trips to Chan Chich and DuPlooy's--both great for birding. This time, we took our 10 yr-old grandson to Lamanai and he loved it. Here are three recommendations:
1) Do the crocodile encounter. Eduardo, our guide, caught an 80 cm. endangered Murrelet croc with his bare hands (from the airboat). My grandson and I got to hold him, properly bound, and my grandson got to collect the data (weight, measurement, sex, etc.) What an experience for a 10 yr-old!
2) The howler monkeys came morning and evening in the trees right over our cabana. They are spectacular animals. And they do howl!
3) The jungle medicine and village lunch excursion (make your own tortillas and tamales) is also fun, espec for kids.

This is a fun place for kids. The lodge is built overlooking a large lagoon on the New River. The breeze cools things off daily. Food is excellent and staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. And the Mayan temples are very interesting and impressive as well.Grey-neck wood rails can be seen on the river, and there are trogons and toucans.

You get there by boat after a van ride from the airport. Be prepared--sunscreen if it is hot; raincoats if it is raining. They supply emergency ponchos but if it is raining you'll get wet. (no canopy on the boats) But heck, it's only water.

It gets a bit sticky at night when the breeze cools down, at least in late May as rainy season approaches. We added an extra fan in our cabana for extra comfort.

All in all a very nice trip, and our ten yr old will never forget it.

Room Tip: we had cabana 9 which was fairly breezy as it was close to the river. Add an extra fan if it gets ho...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Belfry, KY
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

From the moment the staff picked us up at the airport (Peter) to the very end when they drove us to the landing strip (Ruben and Eduardo), we felt appreciated, in good and capable hands, and excited to be apart of this inspiring paradise. George navigated us down the New River with expertise, pointing out wildlife galore. George also could park a boat at the dock better in one try than I can park a car with 10 tries. We were greeted at the dock by Sonia (Ruben's wife) who made us feel welcomed and right at home immediately. She ushered us to the dining room immediately were cold icy drinks of hibiscus juice and potato soup were awaiting us. As we looked around in awe at the views, Ruben greeted us to quickly review an itinerary before showing us to our huts. Space in the huts was never an issue because there are 2 queen (maybe doubles) beds as well as a couch bed (which was very comfortable and surprising because couch beds are usually awful). This hut could comfortably sleep 6 people but with the humidity and the strong day breeze disappearing at night I was glad we each had separate beds (we were in hut 15 which was lagoon front). The shower though rarely had hot water (which was fine by me because it was too humid to have hot showers) while our group staying in other cabins had plenty of hot water. The lighting is dim to not attract bugs (because you are deep in the jungle) so a good head lamp or flashlight is a must. The most frequented spot for us though was the hammock cabana with 6 of the most wonderful hammocks facing the lagoon, swaying in the wind, where we spent many of siestas and even contemplated sleeping in at night if not for the fear of tarantulas and howler monkeys paying us a visit. The activities were wonderful (night time nature walk, sunrise canoe ride, howler monkey trek, bird watching, crocodile hunt, Lamanai ruin tour, village life, fishing and my absolute favorite the medicinal walk). You will need comfortable shoes for the walks, an insulated water bottle, bug spray, and lightweight but covering clothes. Even though I joked about this being a fat camp in disguise, sweated more than I ever had before and ate fresh delicious food, I have nothing bad to say about it except I couldn't stay forever. You never have to get a wallet out (unless you buy something from the gift shop or visit the artisan center in the neighboring village) and you never have to make a decision about what to eat (they do that for you unless you simply don't want what they're having and they can fix you something else). They have this Belizean attitude of just going with the flow and making sure you are having a good time. There is wifi but it is spotty due to their remote location and if it weren't for talking to my child back in the states on FaceTime, I would never have thought twice about it. Also one more thing about the neighboring village (Indian Creek), there is a small school there that if I had know prior I would have liked to brought them some school supplies, toys and/or clothes that I know would've been greatly appreciated. Things that Lamanai Outpost Lodge is not is a luxury resort with swimming pools, air conditioned rooms, hot tubs, etc. This lodge is for people to dive into a biodiverse ecosystem where Howler Monkeys and their demonic dinosaur voices may (or may not) wake you up at 2 am or vividly colored Toucans fly overhead or you are walking to your hut but have to sidestep to avoid a scorpion but it's part of the experience which you will learn to appreciate and miss when you're sitting on your front porch back in the states (or wherever). We did all of the activities but you don't have to if all you want is to lay in a lounge chair on the dock and read a book. This would be a great place if someone needed to get away from the world for a little while whether due to a divorce, death or just a stressful job. I literally could write more and more but I think it's shown that I truly loved it and upon completion of medical school, I would seriously consider visiting regularly to provide any services I could for this village as they don't have any regular physician. Our whole group was literally in mourning when we were saying our goodbyes to the staff; it was like leaving our family behind never knowing if we'd be back to see them.

Room Tip: I would highly suggest getting a lagoon front hut to enjoy the views.
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  • Stayed May 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
157 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 297 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

One man’s rustic is another man’s luxury seems to be the collective theme in reviews here. Those who were disappointed apparently expected more palatial infrastructure with sophisticated food and service. If you are reading wondering how you will feel about LOL, I suggest examining your motivation for visiting Belize. If you are mainly seeking “resort life,” I think you are barking up the wrong tree. If you want a terrific position from which to enjoy fantastic flora and fauna and walk-in proximity to a fascinating Mayan site while enjoying comfortable accommodations and hearty home-cooked meals, you have found the right tree---full of howler monkeys, if you’re lucky. As a return guest, I found again a lovely balance between being “where the wild things are” and having creature comforts for humans. Prepped by last year’s visit, my husband and I were eager to repeat and expand on our experiences. We were richly rewarded with sightings of well over 100 bird species; special thanks largely to awesome naturalist guide, Nathan Forbes, truly passionate and professional. Our first night we came eye-to-eye with Belize’s famous red-eyed tree frog and the ebullient amphibian set the stage for our welcome back. I think there was hardly a time we were not hearing howler monkeys; one troop passed near the Lodge waterfront as we returned from a swim in the lagoon, another practically rendered us deaf when we were walking back from the Lamanai Mayan site. Waterbirds abounded, from all five species of kingfishers to sungrebes and agami herons (which eluded us last year). We saw dozens of yellow-throated euphonias, trogons galore, the iconic keel-billed toucan, and had fantastic sightings of falcons—bat and laughing; I could go on, but you get the idea. If we had any complaints, it was that for our taste, the guided activities were too geared towards returning to base for meals. During the dawn canoe excursion across the lagoon and up Dawson’s Creek, for example, we would have loved to have hung out much longer Creek side, watching birds, etc. Next time we’ll ask to be left behind with a sandwich and canoe back to the lodge at our own pace. That being said, the outdoor dining room at Lamanai Outpost Lodge is a lovely setting and we enjoyed the warm and wonderful care by our “old” and new friends on the staff. Be warned however, they are bent on feeding you three copious meals a day unless you plead to reduce portions or skip courses. Better plan on climbing the high temple a few extra times; you’ll avoid weight gain and enjoy a great view of the surroundings and its inhabitants.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Stroud, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

We stayed at Lamanai Outpost Lodge for 3 nights in April 2013. We loved it!

Where to start.......

We opted to arrive from Belize to Lamanai by river boat. We highly recommend this. A super fast boat speeding along and sweeping around the sharp bends in the river was great fun!! Very "James Bond"!

The cabins were very basic, thatched in local style, non-airconditioned but had everything you needed including shower, loo etc. Quite dark though....had to use a torch to see around! The main lodge was basically a bar and dining area. Open air. Lovely views. The staff in the restaurant and bar were really friendly. The food was excellent!! The lodge gardens were jammed packed with lovely shrubs...most were familiar to us from the UK as house plants! We also had a resident troup of 'Howler' monkeys in the tree outside our cabin. They sound like mini dinosaurs....very weird noise at 4am!

The guides were excellent. Very friendly and knowledgable. We did a 2 hour 'medicine' walk around the lodge garden and the local village. Really enjoyed it....honed our survival skills for the rest of our trip in Belize! The birdlife was unbelievable. The guides can take you out on a walk with a telescope/tripod and you really see everything! They are very knowledgable and obviously very proud of their country and all it has to offer. I confess to not particularly being a 'twitcher' but the trees were fully of amazing colour....couldn't help but be impressed.

Most of the other activities were boat based. We did a night safari which was excellent for seeing sleepy crocs etc, a sunset cocktail trip (you can have a dip in the river too if its hot). We also did a half day trip to the Maya ruins which was interesting...and very hot!

Our holiday package to Lamanai included all meals and our choice of 2 trips a day. There were also additional trips which could be organised at extra cost. The Outpost Lodge is isolated, so everything centres around what they offer.

Shame they didn't do more trips further upriver and along the lagoon.

We loved our stay at the Outpost Lodge and think 3-4 days is about enough to "do it all'.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
San Geronimo, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

My wife and I spent 3 nights at Lamanai Outpost Lodge in early April. Go to their website to see all the things you can do there. We loved the restaurant, the grounds, cottages and the staff. Sandy, Raul, George, Blanca....modest, insightful, helpful...fantastic. Don't miss the ruins! And staying at the outpost you can get there way before all the cruise liner or other tourists.. You'll see crocodiles but don't be afraid to swim off the pier. Sunset cocktail cruise is a classic and so relaxing. One of the highlights for us was the Mayan medicine and village tour. This was a very rich experience on so many levels. The meals were excellent in their beautiful restaurant. In short, the jungle experience was great and well worth it alone. But the people there are so real, caring and fun. This was our third trip to Belize. We've seen a fair amount of the country and are very fond of Belize. The Outpost will be high on our list when people ask us where they might want to go to in Belize.

  • Stayed April 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillisburg, Nj
Level Contributor
71 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

This is our repeat birding trip to Belize but it is the first time staying at Lamanai Outpost. When we went birding in Belize last year, we spent too much time driving on the “full-of-potholes” dirt road to Lamanai Archeology Site; by time we arrived at the archeological site, it was late morning and we missed the prime time for birding. Therefore, I modified our itinerary this year that we stayed at the Lamanai Outpost for the first night so we can have an early morning birding opportunity at the resort ground and the archeological site.
This lodge is a world famous birding destination; due to the “all inclusive” set-up, the rate is a lot more expensive than other jungle lodges. We only stayed here for 1 night and booked Spotlight Safari boat ride, and three meals.

Unlike most of the visitors, we actually rented a 15-passenger van and drove to the lodge. It is about 68 miles from Belize International Airport but took us about 2 hours. I already have last year driving experience so I know what to expect of the road condition; surprisingly, the “million-pothole” dirt road through the Mennonite Community (Shipyard) has improved since last year.
The check-in process is prompt. There are “Bell Boys” carried our luggage to respective cabanas as the paths are gravel covered with slope and stairs - not rolling-luggage friendly. Most of the cabanas are not air-conditioned. There is only one cabana with AC which has one queen bed and a sofa bed. All cabanas have thatched roofs and were constructed with solid mahogany. The room is in general in “low” lighting. It is very romantic but sort of not working for us (with too young children) so we used flashlights a lot.
All meals are freshly prepared with local produce and ingredients. Daily menu and available activities are posted on a flat-screen monitor in the dining area. Hot coffee and tea are served at 5:30am for early risers (and birders). There is a netbook available for guest to surf the net. Welcome drinks were served upon arrival during orientation. It is a pleasant surprise.
Birding is fantastic around the lodge ground. We saw many birds and howler monkeys right from our cabanas. When we were birding at night, we bumped into security guard making his round - it was a positive feeling.
Our Spotlight Safari with Ruben is fantastic. Riding a fast boat pitch black on New River is a very unique experience – you get to see the Milky Way in the sky glowing at you. What a wonderful feeling!! We spotted a lot of crocodiles, least bittern, limpkins, and many buzzard “fishing bats”. We also heard a pheasant cuckoo – apparently an always “heard-only” bird. Ruben is a great guide and knows his way around. We are twisting and turning in some tangled lagoon areas in dark and he was able to bring us back to dock!!!

Overall, Lamanai Outpost has provided fantastic service with full satisfaction from our group. Next time, I will make sure to stay for few more days!!

Room Tip: The hot water didn't work in our AC room (I forgot the room number). The lodge people took note...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

My two teenage sons and I went to Lamanai Outpost Lodge for our first stop in Belize. We were picked up at the airport, driven in a very nice van to the boat dock and then traveled about 1.5 hours up the New River to the lodge. Saw crocodiles, a jabaru and hundreds of other birds on our trip up the river! Arrived at the lodge mid-day, but they were able to get us signed up for our activities, including a night walk that evening. The included tours are fabulous - we absolutely loved our tours with Levy and the other guides - and the knowledge they have is amazing! The Lamanai ruins are not to be missed. We woke to howler monkeys, saw a momma agouti and two babies, found crocs in the lagoon, went on every type of boat ride/tour available, had plenty of "down time" to relax, and the food was the best of all of our stops (and this was supposed to have been the most "rustic"). Our room had two beds, so it was its own cabana structure, and had a thatched roof, a small fridge, was pretty dark (come on - it's supposed to be an outpost), and no tv which I loved but the boys weren't too sure of. It's very small so you get to meet the other guests, but large enough to decide if you want to interact with them or just hang out on your own. Note - TAKE BUG SPRAY AND USE IT! Also, don't expect to sleep in - the howler monkeys will wake you up around sunrise - but you should take advantage to go on the sunrise canoe trip! We'd go back in a minute!!! Thank you to Blanca and the entire staff for being so friendly, such great tour guides, for absolutely accommodating us on our food if we didn't want the selection of the day (but the boys learned that the selection was usually the BEST), and for making a special birthday cake for my 16 year old's birthday!

Room Tip: Pick a cabana that has a hammock and a lagoon view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Lamanai Outpost Lodge

Address: Lamanai Outpost | P.O. Box 63, Orange Walk, Belize
Location: Belize > Orange Walk District > Orange Walk
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Orange Walk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Lamanai Outpost Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Lamanai Outpost Hotel Orange Walk
Lamanai Outpost Lodge Belize/Orange Walk

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