When experiencing a new place the sights, sounds, and activities in that place are only a portion of the experience. In my opinion the people make the trip and the people at Gaia are tremendous. Nigel and Javier at the check in desk ensure that every detail of the stay is seamless and they do it with class. In the restaurant and bar the girls are friendly and, again, things are taken care of seamlessly.
The lodge itself is stunning and the pictures on the site don't do it justice. Swimming at the base of the falls on day one was the perfect way to unwind after a long journey. The rooms themselves are well appointed though somehow maintain the feel you are one with the nature enveloping you.
A tour to Tikal in Guatemala was arranged through Gaia and was excellent. Our guide in Guatemala was named Hugo and had incredible local knowledge - both of the Mayan site and of Guatemala in general. Having lunch with him at a local eatery was truly a treat. From reading other reviews it appears the tours at Gaia are all excellent. We arranged our own Cave Tubing trip.
The negatives? There's not much to mention. The rough road in that others have complained about in reviews was actually an enjoyable part of the experience for us (aside from a $300 US rock to the windshield). If the road up the mountain to Gaia was paved and easy to drive it would not feel as remote and, for us, that was the point!
The bugs, wildlife, and humidity others have mentioned as negatives in past reviews are part of the deal. If you find such things a nuisance you should probably find someplace else.
The meals at the restaurant were delicious though a bit overpriced for Belize countryside standards. Once you are at the lodge there is really no alternative so be prepared.
Would happily endorse Gaia to any of my friends and family looking for this type of a vacation and would love to make a return trip myself. Without question a 5 star experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our Eco-Lodge is located in the Scenic Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. We offer earthy yet stylish thatch roofed cabanas with excellent views of our waterfalls or Mountain Range, amazingly comfortable beds, Frette and Matouk linens and towels and bathrooms with hand painted Mexican tiles. Among our amenities are our natural fresh water pools, waterfalls, authentic Belizean cuisine, nature trails, day tours to the many Maya archaeological sites and adventure trips. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 5 Sisters Lodge
- Five Sisters Hotel San Ignacio