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“A colourful haven of peace in the jungle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chan Chich Lodge

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Chan Chich Lodge
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Gallon Jug | Wamil, Orange Walk, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 7 Orange Walk B&B and Inns
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A colourful haven of peace in the jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

We loved our recent four day stay at Chan Chich. It was as easy as staying with friends. The service was faultless and level of comfort was first class. The Lodge staff and guides were friendly, knowledgable and helpful and went out of their way to make sure we were welcome and had opportunities to pursue our main interest of bird watching. The bird guides were experts at knowing where to locate and identify not only the common birds but the rare and hard to find species too. Stunningly colourful wild ocellated turkeys live within the beautifully landscaped tropical gardens. The unique setting in and amongst an only partially excavated Mayan temple site makes the place it even more interesting. The cabanas were very spacious and comfortable, the deluxe having comfy bed, double showers and two washbasins, fans, fridge, tea and coffee making things, (their own coffee grown in Gallon Jug) and only place where we have had our own water cooler in the room, not just two small bottles provided. Be prepared to wake at dawn when the monkeys walk up and the birds start calling! It is a very long and rough road journey there from anywhere, but our transfers went exactly as we had arranged with Chan Chich staff beforehand by email. Altogether a safe and reliable and thoroughly enjoyable place to relax in a truly natural environment.

Room Tip: We chose "deluxe" cabana having been to Eco lodges before which have been very basic, and...
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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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 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 (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

The only thing difficult about Chan Chich Lodge is getting there. It absolutely remote and absolutely exciting, charming and a nature lover's delight. Our package included nature walks with GREAT guides at least twice a day. The morning bird walk (6 AM) allowed us to spot over 40 different birds every day. There are 4 guides and the 2 who were with us (only 1 couple per guide were skilled and had the equipment and understanding to allow us to learn a great deal about this 130,000 acre nature reserve. The staff was accommodating and attentive. The meals were excellent and varied and of course the "free" Belikan beer (owned by the family who bottles Belikan and Coca Cola in Belize) was a great way to relax on our veranda after the afternoon walks. We did not use the pool but it looked inviting and well kept.

We took the night ride (additional cost) and were thrilled to follow a Puma out hunting deer on Gallon Jug farm. We spotted an Ocelot but we need to go back to find a Jaguar. Lots of monkeys (Spider and Howler). Very comfortable rooms (no air conditioning but the nights are cool). We only stayed 2 nights and wished we could find an extra night or even 2. My only reluctance in writing this review is that it will become too popular. Belize is a great destination and this is one experience which makes this varied country even more unique.

Room Tip: There are 12 rooms (casitas) -- each is detached and similar. I don't believe there is a bad ch...
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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
    • 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.
Des Plaines, Illinois
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

As the leader of a field biology class in Costa Rica, the purpose of my visit to Chan Chich was some quality time in the rainforest to improve my jungle skills and reflect upon field activities. Chan Chich was perfect. With nearly 10 miles of trails and many more miles of rustic roads through the rainforest, I was in the jungle for nearly 100% of my stay.

It was very nice, when taking care of life's other neccessities, that I had no worries or hassels. The room was more luxurious than to that to which I am acustomed, and far larger than I needed, but it was most comfortable, not mention clean and orderly. The food was exceptional. During my four night's stay, I selected a different dish for each of my 12 meals, and...well...let us say I "put on" some weight. It was really good.

The staff was outstanding and unique. The women who served the food were delfightful, helpful, and efficient. The women at the front desk made my stay hassel-free. The bartender was friendly and curtious. The women of the house-cleaning team were efficient and had great attitudes. Although I was never in the field with the guides, they were always available for discussion, and they shared valuable insight and experience with me.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
North Vancouver
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

A wonderful place to visit. Our family loved Chan Chich. Everything about it was first class - the accommodations, the service... and the setting was spectacular - magical actually . Their guides are incredibly knowledgeable - definitely worth it to go with a guide on the jungle walks - we saw so much more than we would have otherwise and we learned a ton. The food was lovely (much of it grown/raised right on their farm) and I liked that they charge a daily price rather than menu pricing. Our girls enjoyed cooling off in the pool each afternoon too. Worth the extravagance. This was the highlight of our trip to Belize - we enjoyed it more than the Cayo or Ambergris.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

As other reviewers have noted, Chan Chich is a magical place, cited in a Mayan plaza, surrounded by buried temples, and abounding in birds and other wildlife. Staff is, on the whole, friendly, helpful, and eager to fulfill special requests. The guides are great, highly adept at spotting hidden critters that would have been otherwise invisible to our untrained eyes.

We stayed for 4 nights in March, 2013. The weather was perfect and there were very few mosquitoes. We went on a variety of day and night hikes and excursions with mixed results in terms of wildlife sitings. One night walk produced nothing while our two night drives both were productive including a puma siting.

The casitas are comfortable although the decorating is cheap and amateurish. We've stayed at the Coppola lodges in Belize and they are magnificent compared to Chan Chich. Nevertheless, you're not there for the interior design, as the real action is outside. From the deck of our casita we were able to spot many varieties of birds, lizards, and the ever-present ocellated turkeys. One drawback is that the casitas are close together and you can hear your neighbors' conversations and, unless the shutters are closed, you are visible in even your most intimate moments. I found it somewhat charming but, if you value privacy, you might be bothered by the lack thereof.

The food is mediocre and vastly overpriced. None of the menu items have prices as you are charged by the meal, and the meal prices are highly inflated. For example, lunch is $25/US. That's a lot for a burger and diet coke. Dinner is $37/US regardless of how much you eat. One night I had soup and salad and it was still $37. The best menu items are the local Belizian specialties. The stewed chicken with rice and beans was excellent as was the jerk chicken. Anything that strays from local cuisine is less successful. With the prices they charge you'd hope they could hire a more talented chef.

One tip: Don't spring for the package price that includes all meals and day tours. You'll be paying for more food than you can eat. The day tours are inexpensive and you'll save money doing them ala carte. It is very easy for two people to pay for a single meal that includes appetizer, entree, and dessert and have plenty of food. Just tell your server that you plan to split a meal so you don't get charged for two.

None of these criticisms should dissuade you. The flaws are minor and the benefits are huge. I would return in a minute. Chan Chich has given me many wonderful memories.

Room Tip: Don't pay extra for deluxe. The standard casitas are fine.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

My son and I spent 4 nights at Chan Chich in February, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the experience. The accommodations, service, food, and grounds were terrific. Our main focus was birding, and the sightings on site met or exceeded our expectations. The guides were wonderful. I will try to make it back one day.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Kent, England
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

It's very easy to see why this lodge has so many regulars that return year after year. It's been in business for quite a while and is run very well.
We really liked the design of the cabanas in a semi circle around the main lodge building, all within beautiful grounds amongst the jungle. The cabanas themselves are really very comfortable with all mod cons including hairdryers and bathrobes and a fridge. Because of the lack of glass windows - just mosquito netting and wooden slats for privacy - you do still feel like you are in the jungle as obviously you can hear everything, which I love. In my opinion, there's no need to pay extra for a deluxe cabana as the standard ones are perfectly adequate.
The restaurant offered good quality meals although the portions are huge so the half-portion options at lunch and dinner were welcome. As this is the middle of nowhere, the restaurant does run out of things occasionally, which is to be expected.
We thought the guiding was of a pretty high standard and we especially loved the trip to Laguna Seca and the trip to the farm which was also very productive in terms of bird sightings.
We also did quite a lot of trail walking on our own and we saw lots of monkeys - spider and howler.
The lodge has a repuation for a high proportion of cats and we were very lucky to get the briefest of glimpses of a jaguar which was very exciting.
The only thing that was a bit disappointing was the night drive - mainly because of the setup where we were just stuck on fold up chairs in the back of a pick up truck - which really was not a comfortable way to spend 2 hours bouncing around against the chair.
That aside, everything was great and I'd definitely recommend this to anybody interested in nature and wildlife.

Room Tip: No need to pay extra for the deluxe cabanas, the standard ones are perfectly nice
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Chan Chich Lodge

Address: Gallon Jug | Wamil, Orange Walk, Belize
Location: Belize > Orange Walk District > Orange Walk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Orange Walk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Retrace the footsteps of the Maya, wander our extensive trail system and discover the unforgettable flora, fauna and Maya history unique to this tropical paradise. With an unparalleled abundance of wildlife(and the best chance to see the elusive jaguar in its natural habitat) Chan Chich is an extraordinary destination for naturalists, birders and for those seeking an authentic retreat to the jungle. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chan Chich Hotel Orange Walk
Chan Chich Lodge Belize/Orange Walk

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