I’d like Trip Advisor readers to know about a wonderful experience I had in Belize at Mariposa Jungle Lodge. This was my first trip to Central America and to a jungle location, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was assured in an email from Sharyn, one of the Lodge’s proprietors, that I could expect adventure, natural beauty, comfort and good food, along with myriad birds and jungle sounds. She was right.
Sharyn helped me select excursions to expose me to a variety of what the Cayo area of Belize offers. I had a great guide to the awesome Mayan ruins at Caracol and other key sites in the Mountain Pine Ridge. I visited the ruins at Xunantunich with another guide so I could possibly benefit from two different perspectives on Mayan ruins. I spent a day riding a horse under the jungle canopy, enjoying spectacular vistas of San Antonio Village and other nearby areas, and a relaxing picnic lunch visit to Big Rock Falls, with time to climb rocks, jump and swim. On a visit to Spanish Lookout, I learned the history of the Mennonites in that community and their contribution to Belize. I enjoyed a relaxing canoe ride into the awesome Barton Creek Cave. (I could have paddled in alone, but the Belize government mandates a guide into that cave to protect it from human damage.) Then, I had a stop at the Green Hills Butterfly Farm, where I enjoyed an unexpected education on the life cycle of butterflies, along with an incredible opportunity to photograph these beautiful creatures. In Bol’s Museum Cave, I saw hundreds of relics and artifacts left by Mayans who once inhabited the area. The most unique excursion brought me into the homes of local village residents where I got a hard, realistic look at daily life and budget constraints, as well as a great buffet lunch of various home-cooked local dietary and special occasion staples. There was more. Sharyn made sure all my time was well-spent. I enjoyed narrated tours of San Ignacio, Belmopan and Belize City, as well as a delightful visit to the Belize Zoo. I typically avoid zoos because I love the freedom of wildlife in nature, but I’m glad I agreed to the stop because I was able to see virtually all the indigenous animals of Belize (many of which are nocturnal and rarely seen by visitors in their natural environment), and also to see a very well-done zoo wherein the residents appeared comfortable rather than caged.
The excursions were great, but equally impressive were the accommodations and meals. After a day of adventure, the hot showers, private hammock, and ultimately the luxurious king size bed, were the perfect way to relax and enjoy the sounds of the jungle. I fell asleep to the sounds of geckos and cicadas and awoke to the flocks of parrots and other birds each morning. One morning I was witness to five toucans right near my cabana. As to meals, I never expected such great and diversified menus in a jungle setting. Each breakfast was different and delicious. Even the picnic lunches were a great surprise. Unlike the brown bag lunches of visitors with other resorts or tour operators, I was presented with a healthy and colorful meal on a cloth placemat with matching napkin. This is indicative of the level of detail one can associate with all aspects of a visit to Mariposa Jungle Lodge. The fixed international theme dinners are unique and an outstanding value for travelers who appreciate great food and interesting menu options. The Lodge also has an alternative menu for guests who don’t want a three or four-course dinner, but I recommend the fixed menus.
Overall, my week at Mariposa Jungle Lodge was unforgettable and I recommend it highly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This boutique eco-resort, nestled under the dense jungle canopy of San Antonio, Belize, offers six thatch-roof luxury cabanas, mosquito-netted canopy beds, private screened porches with hammocks, and comfortable sitting areas for relaxation. Enjoy international cuisine, full bar and dancing in the main building, or the library with an eclectic book collection, games, and array of international art and memorabilia. The Lodge is well-located for tours to all regional Mayan archaeological sites, waterfalls, caves, and rivers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mariposa Jungle Hotel San Ignacio