We stayed in 3 different lodges during the week: Ballum Na (house of the jaguars), Jungle Camp, and Moho Cay. All three totally different in experience. Ballum Na has the most luxurious rooms of all, and is set on top of a big cage for 2 jaguars living there. Jungle Camp is set deeper into the jungle (3 hour boat trip from Ballum Na), and is the biggest of all lodges. Moho Cay is situated on a small island in beautiful maritime surroundings. All lodges have toilets, showers and electricity powered by generators. No airconditioning in any lodge, but big fans in all rooms. Bottled water is available in all lodges, as are soft drinks, coffee and tea. Great mix dinks too (try the Jungle Juice or the Christal Scull). Moho Cay has WIFI, at the other lodges phones / internet don't work reliably. Lodges and excursions are run by local people only - which to us made it all that more special. Staff is friendly, extremely knowledgable about their country, nature and wildlife. Their service is "real" and outstanding everywhere. It has been a pleasure to meet them and spend time with them, especially Pablo (Jungle Camp excursions) has been exceptional in his knowledge of animals and plants. Thanks to him we've seen a wide variety of animals, e.g. Howler Monkeys, Otter, Aguti, Ant Eater, Tucan, small Jaguar, Parrots, Leguans, Woodpeckers, etc.
Nathanial at Ballum Na took us to his parents home nearby, where his mum showed how she makes chocolate from the cacao beans. Nate also knows a great deal about Maya history and his explanations in the temples were perfect.
Chef cook Andrew from NY (at Jungle Lodge) was the only white guy we saw the whole week amongst the staff, and his meals made for a welcome change to the otherwise very tasty but somewhat rudimentary menu choices (chicken, eggs, tortillas, salsa, fried potatoes, rice, beans, fruit). No criticism intended here, always prefer to eat what the locals eat too - it just made me crave for some bread & pasta after a couple of days, and Andrew at Jungle Lodge came in with perfect timing in this respect.
Moho Cay was just an amazing location, a very small island with 8 or so woden cabins and a big Leguan family. While snorkling around the island, we saw a Stingray and a Nurseshawk (and lots of colourful fish ofcourse). The real Bounty Island feeling, going fishing with a simple nylon line in your hands, a metal srew on it for weight, plus a hook, that's all. Caught some good Red Snappers for dinner one night too!
All in all a breathtaking and hearwarming experience we won't ever forget. Feels like we've been away for a month, not a week. The Mayan staff made all the difference to us, and communication is easy since all of them speak English very well. Take good bug spray with you, sun screen factor 60, and be prepared to encounter (huge!) cockcroaches in your rooms in Jungle Camp. I'm not a fan either (who is), but hey - it's the jungle and it's amazing how otherwise clean and neat the lodges are kept.
- Also Known As:
- Belize Lodge & Excursions Jungle Camp Toledo District