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“A incredible adventure!”

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Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Caves Branch was one an unforgettable experience!

My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Belize for 10 days - 4 of which were spent at Caves Branch. The rest was spent in Ambergris Caye, which I highly recommend as well! Having a jungle and beach experience really made us feel like we got to see a ton of Belize. Caves Branch is wonderful, and their tours are so professional and well done. We highly recommend the waterfall cave tour, and a day trip to Tikal! We both felt that they were once in a lifetime experiences. The food was simple, freshly made and delicious (also much healthier than the Cayes). We asked for juice and coffee to be brought to our room every morning, which was lovely because we often woke up pretty early before breakfast was served. The room was open air, but completely netted in. We stayed in room 16, which turned out to be the shortest walk, with a beautiful view. The jungle is incredible, and we were totally mesmerized by its beauty. Our experience was certainly an adventure, but also incredibly romantic. During the days you are roughing it, but your nights are serene and private.

We were in the jungle for 4 days, and I highly recommend you bring at least two large cans of bug spray - 40 Deet and up. It was a lifesaver, and you're definitely going to need it more than once throughout the day. Also, if you want to do the cave tours, I recommend some sturdy hiking boots. You'll be happy you splurged. We said more than once that we were glad we had them. Also, you're going to need a flash light to get back to your room after dinner.

We had messages in our room a couple times, and loved the wonderful staff. Everyone at Caves Branch are friendly, and very punctual. Remember to bring tip money for your tour guides. They are trained professionals, and deserve the tip! Its better to have Belize dollars instead of American, so exchange some cash at the airport.

We loved everyone and everything at Caves Branch. Thank you for making our honeymoon an unforgettable and incredible experience!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank RaquelBiancaNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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581 - 587 of 877 reviews

Reviewed October 8, 2012

We stayed at caves for the 2nd leg of our honeymoon. We had booked a jungle cabin and stayed in it for one night before being upgraded to a tree house. The tree house was fantastic and would recommend paying the extra to stay in one, they are very very cool and by far the most luxurious jungle accommodation we have ever stayed in. We stayed for 4 nights and did 3 trips, the cave tubing, the black hole drop and the waterfalls trip. They were all amazing especially the black hole drop and the waterfalls trip, don't be put off by their higher rating of exertion as you can go at a pace that suits you although they will get the heart rate pumping!
The food was great and breakfast and dinner you have with all the other residents and is a chance to catch up on the days events and compare notes.
All the people we met were really cool and fun which added to the experience.
The staff were really helpful and friendly. We can't think of anything we would have changed about our experience at caves and hopefully will one day go back.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank Halc82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

I searched around a lot to find the most safe.. adventerous trips we could do, to celebrate my little sister's 50th birthday. We could not have found a more wonderful place to test our nerves, under completely safe circumstances with the most terrific of guides. We did the Waterfall Caves tour and the Black Hole Drop. Both were a test of our spirit... a test of our physical ability... and a huge uplifting experience once we had finished it. We were not "babied", "pushed" or "led up the path", we were allowed to do it in our own time, with guides we completely trusted. Many was the time we could have given up, but with gentle kind encouragement we continued. So glad we did. If you want somewhere to PROVE to yourself... you still GOT IT, then these two tours are a must. Thank you Caves Branch, for providing two of the most exciting experiences of my life.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank gkinuae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2012

We stayed at Caves Branch for one night at the end of July 2012. Our accomodations were very comfortable (family of 5 with 3 teens) and we had a room that was beautiful--large king bed, and lower level with a bunk bed and separate twin--perfect for kids. We thought the baths were lovely and used both indoor and outdoor showers. We loved the pool and enjoyed walking around the gardens. The were in the midst of construction on a new cheesemaking area (I think) but that had no impact on our stay. Food was excellent but slightly pricier for dinner than we had expected--there aren't many other options in the area to choose from if you don't have a car. Staff was very helpful. We did have a slight mix up when we left for Ambergris Caye with what we thought was a flight change but it all worked out in the end.

We booked one adventure tour that we all really enjoyed--the waterfall caving expedition. This involved about a 30 minute walk (easy) through the jungle to the cave where we put on caving harness, helmets etc. Then about 30 minutes into the caves we started swimming (crystal clear water, warm, lots of spectacular formations, and NO crowds--just the 5 of us our 2 guides and a lovely Dutch couple). We climbed 7 waterfalls ranging from maybe 8 feet tall to about 30 feet over about 1 1/2 hours and then jumped down (or you could be hooked in and belayed down if you chose) the waterfalls on the return trip. We all loved this--quotes from our teens (boy 17, girl 16, boy 13) were "this is the best vacation ever". Really a super activity for adventurous people (we do lots of hiking, climbing etc). We would have liked to do several other activities but did not have time as the remainder of our trip was for scuba diving on the Caye and those accomodations were booked before we found Caves Branch. If I were doing it again, I would spend 4 days on Cayes scuba diving and 3-4 days inland doing riding, ruins tours, zoo, and more caving etc. I would return to Caves Branch and have recommended it to friends. We are not big resort people and really enjoy more adventurous travels. This was excellent for our family and what we like to do.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kim p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was an absolute amazing place to begin out Honeymoon adventure! Upon arrival, the staff and every experience was top notch. We stayed in a tree house suite overlooking the jungle. Although we didn't spend too much time in our room we still got to enjoy the roof top tub at night, the outdoor shower, the hot coffee and pastry every morning delivered to our door, and the orchestral jungle sounds to lull us to sleep each night!! This place provided the remote feel of a Jungle lodge, with a family style, adventurous atmosphere. We did two adventures; the waterfall cave tour, and the cave tubing. I highly recommend them both! While the cave tubing was a fun way to explore some of the caves and the jungle at a leisurely pace on the river, the waterfall cave tour provided the adrenaline, mayan artifacts, history, and many many many natural forms that you rarely get to see anywhere else! The staff was great and the family style meal times allows you to meet people from all over the world! I would recommend Caves Branch to anyone who wants a taste of adventure/adrenaline and is open to making new friends!

Room Tip: Tree house jungle suites are perfect for the honeymooners or those who want to stay in jungle luxury...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Autumn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

When I was given the opportunity to stay at Caves Branch I was a little reluctant. “Stay in the Jungle. No phone, no internet…..what??” Well, was I misguided.
What an incredible experience. I have never slept so well, the staff is perfectly adapted to their job and the food was very good. No major presentation, just breakfast 8am and dinner at 6pm, don’t be late. Everybody sits at a series of long tables and dinner/breakfast is served. You are encouraged to interact with the other guests right away which brought me out of my shell. Very enjoyable. I felt welcome, pampered and appreciated and met many new friends. Everyone having a good time, laughing and enjoying board games, cards and the simple life. And then the guides come along to take you on various adventures that will challenge you but the beauty of the country and its many natural attractions will move you.

Room Tip: If you can and you have a mate with you, stay in a treehouse up high. Its a bit of a climb to get th...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank WALMBAT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

We stayed at Caves Branch last week, for one night on our way from San Ignacio down south. It was the one place on this trip which I didn't book based on tripadvisor reviews, but rather on what it looked like on the website, which I regret.
The facilities (rooms, dining room, pool) are all fine (although they are currently doing some construction on site, which can be noisy during the day). The food was good. However, the staff were overly zealous in trying to sell us stuff (souvenirs, tours etc.) which made the whole experience very unpleasant. They also tried to overcharge us on three separate occasions (within 24h).

It didn't help that the nearby Blue Hole National Park was a bit of a disappointment. All in all, I would happily have left out the whole experience.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank julia137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IanAnderson, Owner at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Dear Readers,

We are very sorry that Julia from Paris did not enjoy her one night with us but in spending less than 18 hours with us (late check in and early departure) doesn't allow many to enjoy what Caves Branch "is really all about". This is why we do have a minimum of a three night stay required for all advanced reservations, to allow the guests to experience all that Caves Branch offers, not just a half day sleep over.

With respect to the unpleasantries mentioned, all or our pricing, on the internet, in our printed material as well at the Caves Branch jungle lodge are in US DOLLARS. All pricing is clearly noted with USD$ as part of the pricing display. However, when checking out, our accounting is shown in the currency of Belize, in Belize Dollars which are at a rate or 2:1. A USD$7.00 drink would show as BZ$14., a USD$3.00 beer would show as BZ$6.00 and a USD$16.00 dinner would show as BZ$32.00 on the billing. When paid by CC in USD$ or by USD$ cash, the Belize dollar total is divided in half back to the USD rate.. Every bill presented in the entire country is presented in Belize dollars. This is, after all Belize, and Caves Branch is no differenet. When the pricing was questioned by Julia of Paris, this is what was explained to her and at the time, she said she understood and there was no issue, however, upon reading her comments, its now questionable if she actually did.

With respect to Zealous selling, Yes, when a guest walks into the gift show, our gift shop gal does ask if they would like some help, and before dinner, our waiters offer wine to each table, and after dinner our waiters offer after dinner drinks to our guests. I have trained our servers to provide those "services". If a guest prefers to not have wine, they simply say,"no thanks" as many already do (smile).

With respect to booking adventures, every night just before dinner, our senior guides take the time to personally speak to every guest about their choice of trips for the following day. 95 % of our guests go on adventures every day; are on packages that "include" daily adventures. Chatting about our adventures and making guest bookings at dinner for the next day is our norm at Caves Branch. Its what we do, it part of the Caves Branch experience. If Julia from Paris didn't want to go on an adventure the following day, she needed to simply say "no thanx", as some already do (smile).

In closing I would like to say that by NOT providing the above mentioned services, we would then be providing poor service.

We look forward to meeting you all personally at Caves Branch and perhaps sharing a bottle of wine together.

Sincerely,

Ian and Ella.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge

Address: Mile 41.5 Hummingbird Highway | P.O. Box 356, Belmopan, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Belmopan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Belmopan
Price Range: $152 - $329 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the lush rainforest of central Belize, Caves Branch Jungle Lodge offers visitors the opportunity to immerse in a culture of mid-range to extreme adventures. From the guest rooms that are open to the sights and sounds of the jungle, some of which are thatched in the ancient style of the Maya to our luxurious Treehouse suites, your experience should be something that must be experienced to be believed and once experienced, truly-never forgotten! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ian Anderson`s Caves Branch Jungle Hotel Belmopan
Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge Belize/Belmopan

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