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“LOVED” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gaia Riverlodge

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Gaia Riverlodge
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 173, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize   |  
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Hotel amenities
New York, New York, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“LOVED”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I can't say enough great things about Gaia. My husband and I came on our honeymoon for three days before continuing on to Matachicha. From the time we were picked up at the airport to the time we left we were forever happy. We can't say enough about the staff - specifically Francisco and Calbert who were both our guides for excursions that we took. Each excursion was life changing and something we had never done before. Each guide was knowledgeable and answered every and all questions we had. They also brought nice humor to the outings. Gaia packed delicious lunches for each excursion, always fresh and accommodating to your dietary wishes.
We highly recommend going to big falls and the blackened snapper.
ENJOY

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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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97 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (33)
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Rio de Janeiro
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

My wife and I stayed at Gaia for three days during November. Although not cheap, the whole experience was outstanding. Rooms are VERY nice, food and staff were outstading, and the location is a perfect mix of wilderness and comfort.

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dresher, PA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Six of us drove in a 12 passenger van from Belize International Airport to the Gaia River Lodge arriving in late afternoon. The roads were certainly challenging the last 25 miles! However, we arrived to a much needed welcome cocktail and hot refreshing towels just in time to see a simply gorgeous sunset.

We all were given waterfall view rooms as we had requested. My husband and I stayed in Cascade which was the smallest of the three rooms, yet we felt we had the best view of the falls below. We also were in a stand alone room with no one below or directly next to us. I believe the cover photo for Gaia's website is Cascade. Anyway, we loved it!

The view was magnificent! The room was very comfortable and the shower was large with Mexican tile decor. The towels were artistically folded in various animal shapes each morning. the night air was very cool.

We dined every morning outside with a continental breakfast which was included with our reservation or another choice off the menu. What an exhilarating way to start the day! Lucy brightened our day with her wonderful smile and then greeted us later at dinner. Considering it is difficult to go anywhere else due to the travel time and road conditions for meals, the restaurant meals were very good with lovely presentations!

Nigel and Xavier were always available to answer questions and provide information if needed. One or the other was always around when we went to the main lodge to use the Wi-Fi, eat a meal, book a tour, or just hang out.

We requested Francisco as our guide through the ruins at Caracol and found the ride in the Gaia vehicles much better than the 12 passenger van we had rented. We rode with Calbert who was guiding another couple through the ruins. Francisco provided excellent explanations with a passion and pride of this area of Belize. We also did a walk around the property with him another morning, siting various species of birds and plants. Delightful man!

After 2 days of bumpy roads, we decided to camp out at the waterfall and kick back for an afternoon. My trepidations about walking down the steep stairs were solved by using the 2 person tram that runs along the cliff. What a beautiful setting the waterfalls provided. The water was refreshing and the palapas provided shelter from the sun. Paradise in a nutshell!

Later, 3 of us took the nature trail which had a gradual decent through the forest down to the waterfall area, there was a fairly steep ascent on a road to get back. We actually missed the path and found that the road was not part of the trail, however it served the purpose of reaching the top. Two others took advantage of a massage at the spa and were pleased with the services provided.

Some advice is to come with insect repellent with Deet in it to wear when on tours. My husband and I also purchased clothing with permitherin woven into the fabric. Both provided us with great protection!

We really wished we had stayed more than 3 nights to do more of the guided trips available, as well as enjoy the solitude and magnificence of this part of Belize.

The hospitality was incredible from all of the staff. Our gratitude to you all for making our visit so memorable!

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

My husband and I spent our wedding anniversary at Gaia. What a treat! Staff was fabulous; such attention to detail. A beautiful and unique setting; to have a natural waterfall for a backyard was just incredible. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The cabana facing the waterfall!
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Absolutely fantastic stay! We arrived with friends in mid November, as part of the Reef and Rainforest package ( recommend you do the Rainforest part first!). ALL the staff know your name from the moment you arrive and with the very limited number of guests, their attention to your needs makes the entire stay feel intimate. The food is outstanding. The service is stellar and the views from your room and the main lodge - spectacular.

I recommend the following:
- venture down to the waterfalls below the lodge, walk down ( order drinks and lunch BEFORE you leave), and take the tram back up
- order extra adult beverages to accompany you on any activities ( if you don't drink them all, they will be waiting for you on your next trip)
- buy the salt and pepper containers at the Lodge, you won't find them elsewhere and they are a great reminder of the trip!
- tip well. I only wish North American service providers were as attentive as Gaia's
- bring/wear as high a percentage of Deet as you can tolerate
- wear layers, you will add and subtract them as you move through the day
- visit the Rio On pools!
- ask for Francisco ( the "Head") as your guide. While all Gaia guides are outstanding - he is really remarkably knowledgeable of the local fauna, history and the little "extras" that make your tour ( and time in the SUV) really enjoyable.

Do not fear... The Gaia staff take care of everything ... the tours are incredibly interesting and well worth the adventerous drive !

Enjoy!!

Room Tip: Request a room close to the waterfall - the sound of the falls in the evening is very soothing and r...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

My wife and I spent our honeymoon at Gaia. We strayed from the normal approach of half jungle and half beach and stayed the whole week, which meant we missed the snorkeling but we also skipped the stress of moving and an extra travel day. In the end the overwhelming sentiment was that Gaia was the nicer of the two places and most people feel like they don't have enough time to explore when they're only there for a few days. We were very happy with our choice in the end.

Gaia's strongest asset is probably it's staff. We got quick responses to our questions before the trip, great service, great advice, interesting and informative tours, delicious food, a most relaxing massage, and thoroughly clean rooms all from such a welcoming and friendly staff. They made it a point to learn our names and we worked to do the same in return and got to know some of them a little bit. I was so impressed with every one of them! They really made our trip what it was and made us anxious to return.

For the adventurous, the ATM cave is incredible - probably the highlight of the trip for us. You swim into the cave, but also hike in the jungle and through the cave, so pack appropriate outdoor clothing to make that work. Lightweight hiking shoes/trail runners are perfect.

With the full week we had time to do the nature trail (which I did twice) and Big Rock Falls where we found places to jump, swim, and get under the waterfall. We also had time to do a few tours and sit by the river and read and relax. All of which we enjoyed thoroughly.

It does rain and things do get damp on occasion. There are bugs (but I didn't find them to be a problem and actually didn't even use bugspray) and quite a bit of wildlife. There are also long drives down bumpy dirt roads. There is a sense of adventure there and you have to go knowing you are going to a real jungle. If you go with that mindset, you won't have any trouble. The place is also really nice, the food is great, and there are plenty of opportunities for relaxing. I can't remember having slept as good as I did there with the sound of the river and waterfall.

We definitely hope to return and for an adventurous couple on a honeymoon it was a perfect mix of relaxation, exploration and excitement, and romance.

Room Tip: The Villa offers amazing privacy - definitely recommended.
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

My wife and I took the Reef and Rainforest package with Gaia and her sister resort, Matachica, in October 2014 to celebrate my 60th birthday. We wanted an adventure to thwart my approaching senior-citizenship. The vacation exceeded our expectations in every way imaginable. Gaia was fantastic. We had a private cabana overlooking the Five Sisters waterfalls. The room was very comfortable, and my wife and I loved falling to sleep each night to the sound of rushing water. Some other reviewers commented on the lack of air conditioning at Gaia, but in late October we found the air temperature quite comfortable. One whole side of the cabana was screened windows, ensuring plenty of breeze. Between the excellent meals, interesting cocktails, and amazing excursions we spent very little time in our room, though. I cannot say enough good things about the staff at Gaia. The service was professional, friendly and personal. From the moment we stepped off the plane, we felt like everyone genuinely cared about giving us the best experience possible. One person, in particular, really stood out. Our guide, Francisco, was exceptional. He had a wealth of knowledge about all things Belizian and a wonderful way of expressing himself. My point earlier about how the staff genuinely cared about our experience went double for Francisco. This is an important point for your trip to Gaia, because if you take any of the packages, you'll be spending many hours in the car with your guide (most excursions are one to three hours away along dirt roads). Francisco filled the time with interesting information, and when we arrived at our destinations, he gave us the impression that he really loved what he was doing. We especially enjoyed how Francisco challenged us a bit to wring the most out of each adventure. For example, he had us lying flat on our backs in canoes to pass through extremely low ceilings 2.5 kilometers into Barton Creek Cave. The cave was interesting and beautiful. With Francisco's guidance we never felt anything but fascination. If you are planning your first trip to Belize, here are a few pointers you may want to consider:
1. Bring lots of bug spray. The mosquitos aren't too bad, but there are biting gnat-like things.
2. In October, it will rain part of every day. Don't let the rain stop you. When you go on the excursions, bring a good rain poncho or slicker, and bring a change of clothes and dry sneakers.
3. Trust the staff at Gaia, and especially Francisco, to give you good advice. We went zip-lining, exploring the Mayan ruins at Caracol, canoing through caves, hiking, swimming, and more. Everything we did revolved around the package tours, and we couldn't have been more pleased.
4. I wouldn't recommend trying to drive anywhere on your own. The dirt roads are deeply rutted and very slippery. Many of the bridges have no guard rails. The drives to go most places are very long. A good guide will help pass the time and keep you safe.
5. We felt like we would have enjoyed one extra day at Gaia before flying to Matachica. There are nature trails on the hotel property and a great hike up the road to Big Rock Falls that we never had the chance to do. If you can swing the extra day, you may want to give those activities a try.
6. I'm the kind of person who likes to make travel plans and stay in control, but on this trip, we left everything to the staff at Gaia. All the travel plans were perfect. All our connections went off without a hitch. I'd like to mention what a big help Aisha was answering my questions and helping us anticipate the trip.

Our trip to Matachica was equally thrilling. I'll post that review on their page.

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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 Gaia Riverlodge

Address: P.O. Box 173, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gaia Riverlodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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

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