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“Been there six times in 13 years !” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maruba Resort Jungle Spa

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Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Maskall
Certificate of Excellence
Springboro, OH
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Been there six times in 13 years !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2012

A very special and different experience. Can't wait to go back again ! The roads are a little rough while en route from Belize City airport but well worth the trip. Each room is uniquely different from the other. The owners make you feel like family.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bcrotty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lake Wylie, South Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

This is the sort of trip you have to leave all the American ideas of "fancy" and modern luxury home and accept the true nature of staying in the jungle. The resort is about 35 Miles from the airport in to the Jungle. Each room has a uniquely decorated "Moraccan" or latin feel to them and after much debate, we came to the conclusion the walls are made of concrete and a silver or gold paint to avoid mold or mildew as the area is extremely humid much of the year. The staff goes above and beyond to be accmodating and given that this resort is minutes from the local Maskall village, the people in Maskall are welcoming as well, knowing that most of them work at the resort or see people coming in to town. After a day or realizing Cell service is extremely spotty and Internet is only available at the main building, accepting that and getting out to enjoy the country becomes the main goal of the trip. They have a TV, but isn't that something you can do at home, in the states, in a US City... I ventured to Lamanai, Altun Ha, did Horseback riding and a boat ride and enjoyed the feel of not being connected to technology... days go slowly and you get a TON done, look at your watch and its only 330p, that's when you hit the pool(s) and grab some drinks. Met some amazing fellow travelers along the way that were at the resort... Completely recommend, just leave the US Hotel expectations at home and get ready for a jungle safari!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jklugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012 via mobile

We just returned from Maruba and had a wonderful time! The location is somewhat remote, but this adds to the experience. The staff was friendly, knowledgable, and attentive. We felt welcomed and comfortable instantly. Since we were there during the week, there were very few other guests and we often had a pool to ourselves. We did do two of the excursions. Our guide was excellent. Cave tubing is a must and the Mayan ruins are also excellent. The mood mud massage was a unique experience as well. The food was delicious, both regular menu items and daily specials. Bug repellant is an absolute must, but this is to be expected. Overall, we had an amazing experience and would recommend Maruba to our friends.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Kelly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Pedro, Belize
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

I have lived in Belize for 12 years and finally made it to Maruba. My only regret is I wished I had gone sooner. The owners are just lovely, the facility and rooms are completely original and unique, the service is wonderful, the food is great.

Belize has much to offer for such a small country and Maruba is clearly on the top ten list of the best things to do in Belize.

Room Tip: Go for the large rooms. They cost a bit more, but are well worth the $$. Room 15 is glorious.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

We just stayed at the Maruba Resort Jungle Spa and found it to be a very strange place.

The hotel room was large, but decorated very strangely. The wall was covered in steel so that every time the bed touch it made a loud thundering noise. The television had one channel (the office did have DVDs to borrow which we only found out once we asked about the TV). We had no hot water our first night there, and showering was impossible. It was fixed once we asked about it.

The food was ok-- very pricey for what it was. The prices were literally double what we paid everywhere else in Belize.

The hotel is very remote, which is nice, but it means that getting anywhere was a $60 r/t cost per person. An added expense that we were not happy about!

Everyone that worked there seemed off-- we thought that maybe they were high or something? And, apparently the location is so remote that armed security is necessary (2 guards walk around with large guns). This should be addressed with guests upon check-in. When we asked what they were for, they first told us it was to protect guests from frogs, which was clearly BS. We then found out it was because there had once been a family of jaguars on the grounds. The fact that there are armed guards, in my opinion, should be addressed with the guests.

The pools and spa treatments were nice! But, the strangest part of the hotel was the decor. The bathrooms in the main area were bizarre-- one was decorated with old shoes left over from different guests. They were so dirty and grimy looking it was not a pleasant bathroom experience. And, the toilet paper rolls in both bathrooms were stored on obviously phallic shaped holders. Very uncomfortable!

I would not recommend staying there. We found the other hotels that we stayed at throughout Belize to be much more cost appropriate, convenient, delicious, friendly, and all around pleasant. We couldn't wait to get out of there. Try some place else!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MBari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ojai, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

Loved the Maruba, very relaxng and special, Had a wonderful mud bath on my 60th birthday that was incredible, they paint different colors of mud on you and then decorate you in flowers. Very special.

Room Tip: pay the extera for the signature rooms worth it
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Susan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
115 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

Before I begin, I just want to say that this review is going to be long and detailed. Why? Because I am that crazy person that reads every. single. review. on TripAdvisor of wherever I'm going (especially internationally) and checks for updates right until I board the plane to leave. Whether this is normal or not is certainly debatable, but I know there have to be other Tripadvisor. . .ers? istas? like me. So, here goes my insanely long and detailed review of Maruba- hopefully, this can be of a help to someone in the way that all of the other reviews were to me.

Alright, so let's get one thing straight, shall we? Maruba Jungle Resort is. . . well, A JUNGLE RESORT. I was a bit surprised at some of the less than stellar reviews on this site, but after meeting all kinds of different folks at the resort, I came to realize that the unhappy people had unrealistic expectations for what Maruba is. Is Maruba the Four Seasons? Absolutely not and if that type of vacation--- something at a fancy casino, perhaps-- is your bag, then maybe skip Maruba. And the jungle. Just go to Vegas, it's cheaper and will probably have more stuff to your liking. That said, if you're like me and like to have totally unique adventures, the Maruba is a fabulous place for your trip. Bring your deet, be ready to look like a greased up sweaty weasel in all of your vacation photos, and have an absolute blast.

For some background: I found Maruba on Groupon (as did literally everyone else at the resort. Ok, untrue: some people found them via LivingSocial). For $799, we got 5 nights, airport transfers, breakfast each day, 4 one hour spa treatments, and a medicinal walk through the jungle that points out plants that will cure all the mosquito bites you're probably going to get.

To simplify, I'll break stuff into categories:

***The location: while Maruba may not be off the Belizean beaten path (by much, at least), to the average American, Maruba may as well be in the middle of Siberia (but tropical. . . and a jungle. . .look, you know what I mean!). You land at the Philip Goldson International Airport (he was Belizean newspaper editor and politician, a fact none of us knew on our trip and were determined to find out. Thanks, Wiki!) where a driver from Maruba will be waiting for you. Our driver was Amalkan and after picking up the guests on the next flight, we took off to the resort. It was a pretty serious drive out to Maruba because the roads in Belize leave something to be desired, but the Maruba staff know the roads better than anyone, so you are in more than capable hands. Did I mention that Amalkan let us stop and get some Belikin for the road? Because he did. And no, he did not partake, being completely responsible and professional.

Anyway, it's a solid 45 minute ride to Maruba and a bumpy one at that. If you're anything like me and have any issues with motion sickness, pop a Dramamine right before your plane lands and you'll be golden.

What's nice about Maruba is that it's remote but not. You're right next to Maskall village, but the resort is all its own. The grounds are just fantastic to explore, whether on horse back, foot, or whatever other mode of transportation you may avail yourself on vacation.

***The resort: the resort is definitely very eclectic, very tribal chic. Walls are all different colors, but there seems to be a prevailing theme of silver walls in many locations. Everywhere you look, there's something new to see, whether natural or added by the resort. While many of the rooms are clustered together, there didn't seem to be more than a few to each cluster. . . and the clusters were spread all across the property.There is a mineral bath/ hot tub and two large pools with lots of chairs and cabanas and fun stuff. There's ample space to go horse back riding or just walk around. And there's several AWESOME spa buildings, but more on that later.

Oh, and that review that said to be wary of bringing children here because there are sex statutes everywhere? I literally have no idea what that person was talking about. If your kid can't handle walking by a wooden carved statue with the outline of a woman's body (quelle horror!!!), then perhaps you all should stay back in the comforts of . . .ok, honestly? Your kid sees far worse on tv every day of the week. Let's just put it that way. There is nothing suggestive or offensive about any of the art around Maruba.

***The rooms: we had a double (two beds) junior suite. The room had our two little twin beds, an armoir, a futon couch thing, then some tables. Everything was nice, dark wood with rich linens and accents. Oh, and those super cool silver walls. There is also a flat screen with a DVD player and a few scattered satellite channels. Not going to lie, it was pretty cool watching House Hunter International Belize while listening to the rain fall in the jungle. Anyway, our bathroom had a crazy large shower and bathtub combo, with really cool carvings in the tubs. Now, some may say that a wooden Mayan face watching you shower is creepy--- I say that's all part of the adventure. You're also provided with as many mosquito coils as you'd like for your room ( a fresh one is added each day when they clean), so while we did see a bug or two in the room (it's the jungle, for Pete's sake!), we were more or less fine.

A couple points of possible improvement (though once again, THIS IS THE JUNGLE, so I am forgiving of it all): our mattresses were the memory foam type, which I dig, but often I'd wake up feeling the slats under the mattress. Perhaps a thicker mattress or pad over the slats would help, but while I was there, I just took the cushion off the futon, threw it on my bed, and slept on that (and was fine). Also, the water in the rooms smells very . . . sulfuric, I think. I was under no delusion that I could drink a heaping glass of water out of the tap (oh, but Maruba does keep a fabulous pitcher of ice water in your room at all times), but even showering in the water was a bit of an adventure. I'm not sure if that could be fixed with a better filtration system or something, but it's hardly the end of the world. And hey, isn't sulfur supposed to be good for your skin? Maybe this was just an extended spa treatment after all.

***The food: I, being a total fat American, was legitimately concerned by some of the reviews on Trip Advisor about the food at Maruba. "You're always hungry," they said. "You'll want to bring snacks!" they cried. "The portions are tiny!" they heaved. Look, I am not kidding when I say I am a fatty (literally, I am) and I was MORE than happy with what Maruba had to offer. Sure, the menu wasn't especially expansive, but you're in the jungle and what they do offer is phenomenal. The special of the night is always killer, too--- if there's a palm tree that needs to be cut down? Bam! Heart of palm salad for dinner. It's that creativity and freshness that makes the food at Maruba great. We brought some snacks, but I didn't really end up eating them. Sure, Maruba has set breakfast, lunch, and dinner times, but they also will make you whatever you want whenever you want. Speaking of that-- if you don't want what's on the menu, just ask for something else. We ate chicken strips for dinner one night because it sounded good (oh, and Maruba makes awesome chicken strips, in case you were wondering).

There are a lot of comments about the food prices at Maruba. In talking to people that were complaining about this at the resort, I realized something: most people didn't realize that the prices on the menu are in Belizean. . . so the "real" price (for Americans, at least) is half of the posted price. The three course dinner that's $70? It's $35--- which isn't cheap, but it's also not exactly high end for a three course dinner. There are cheaper options, too-- many entrees are under $30 Belizean ($15 US).

But you know what's especially cheap? Booze. Booze at Maruba is wonderfully priced. Rum punches are $5 Belizean. ..so $2.50. And those things are potent. Belikins are a buck or two. I had a hibiscus daiquiri which was absolutely wonderful, too. The point is that for very little money, you can drink away your mosquito bites.

***The staff: the staff at Maruba is absolutely wonderful. Dellin, Amalkan, Janelle, Jose, and of course Melanie and Nicki (the owners)-- from top to bottom, they are all friendly, welcoming, and just make you feel like you're at a family member's super awesome jungle house that has a well stocked bar. No request is met with hesitation, instead no matter what you ask for you get a smile and an, "Absolutely we can do that!" Melanie and Nicki's kids are just absolutely adorable and incredibly polite-- they play all around the grounds but are respectful and quiet of the guests while adding a nice air of . . . well, fun to the place. It's nice! And that's coming from someone who generally isn't a big fan of kids, so that says something.

***The spa: oh man, this really is a freaking amazing spa. We had four spa treatments to split between the two of us from the Groupon, but then because we booked so many tours, Melanie gave us two extra one hour spa treatments. So, in five days, I had the horrible and downright awful task of having to get 3 amazing spa treatments at Maruba. I got the aromatherapy massage, the honey scrub, and - OF COURSE!- the mud massage. The spa facilities vary, but they are all awesome and unique. You know how in spas in the States they play those CDs that are supposed to be relaxing? Running water, chirping birds, blowing wind? At Maruba, they don't play those CDs because the noises are really happening right outside the door, which is pretty cool if you ask me.

Now, some other reviewers took issue with. . . well, I guess you'd label it spa etiquette. For most of your treatments, they'll give you a little disposable thong and tell you to put it on. For my aroma therapy massage, I just didn't wear it. I wore it for the scrub and found it. . . let's say, not exactly sized for the plus sized woman. So, for my mud treatment, I just asked Kimberly, "I can just wear my bikini bottoms, right?" And she said, "Of course! Just know they'll get dirty!" (which makes sense, it was a mud massage). My point is, if you're worried about your modesty, just bring a black bikini or bra and panties and wear as much of it as you're comfortable with. You don't have to wear the paper thong and you don't have to parade around outside with your crotch on display to the world.

I will say though that with my spa treatments, I had the very unique experience of having buckets poured over my head. Let me explain: the nice tub outside where you usually soak off your mud bath was occupied, so I got the bucket treatment, which is still relaxing but simultaneously kind of funny. You literally kneel over you're washed off via warm water comin' over your head from a bucket. While I can't say this has ever happened at a spa State-side, I thought it was great.

The treatments themselves were AMAZING. Seriously, some of the best massaged I've ever had. Do not pass up the spa at Maruba! Heck, come just for that even if you're not staying there.

***The tours: we did a lot of tours. We prebooked, so Melanie gave us a 20% discount, which was awesome. We did: cave tubing, Lamanai, Altun Ha, and the Baboon Sanctuary.One thing that didn't get told to us initially: each of these places has a $5 or so entry fee. Bring cash. Also, there are little souvenir booths at each place too, so if you're so inclined to pick something up, bring money for that, too. Some places take cards, but don't count on it.

-- Cave Tubing: Not going to lie, I was terrified, but on reflection, that was a bit misplaced. Make sure you bring some water shoes (I got mine for something like $5 at Walmart) because there is a 45 minute hike up the river to get to the starting point. The hike is a bit rocky, so if you have ankle or foot problems, just be aware. Along the way, the guides point out all kinds of cool plants and animals, so that's a nice plus. Once you get to the top, you open up to a stunning natural watering hole with caves on either side. At this point, everybody jumps in and has a swim right along with the fish. Once everyone has cooled off and taken in the scenery, you link up together (in a line, each person puts their feet under the armpits of the person in front of them in the tubes) and head down the river into the cave. The cave is pitch black. Sure, you've got a light on your head, but it's not exactly helping much. At this point, I was shaking-- I mean, it was perfectly quiet and calm, I had no reason to be scared, but I was. To my glee (and perhaps the sadness of others) the actual cave portion of the float is pretty short. After the cave, you head down the river in what is crazy relaxing and beautiful. Once you get back to the starting point, you eat lunch (packed by Maruba), and then anyone who wants to zip line can go do so. I had no desire, so I spent the hour sprawling by the gorgeous river, drinking rum punch, and talking to some other guests. It was a great day. This was probably our most packed tour from Maruba and I think there were 9 or 10 people in our group that day.

--Lamanai: Like cave tubing, Lamanai is a full day excursion. There's a long car ride, then a longer boat ride to get there, so again- if you're like me- take your Dramamine. Once you get on the boat, they take you right to an island that has spider monkeys on it. . . and the monkeys often get on the boat. Seeing a spider monkey up close and personal was probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Did you know they walk on two legs? I didn't, but now I do and so do you. Anyway, after the monkey, you sit back and enjoy the long ride to Lamanai. Along the way, the guides will stop and show you all kinds of neat animals and plants, so the trip does get broken up a bit. Once at Lamanai, you eat lunch (again, packed by Maruba) and then start hiking up to the ruins. It's a light and easy hike, but wear sneakers -- I saw some folks struggling along in flip flops. The sites are beautiful, the information is plentiful, and you have the opportunity to get right up on the ruins if you're so inclined. This day, our group was 5 guests and 2 guides. Perfect day.

--Altun Ha: Altun Ha is right up the road from Maruba and because we were the only folks that wanted to go that day, my friend and I got a private tour of the ruins from Nicki. He is super friendly and has tons of information at the site, but it was really cool to be able to go at our own pace, see what we wanted to see, and ask what we wanted to know. SUPER COOL and definitely a trip highlight for sure. I actually enjoyed Altun Ha more than Lamanai, but I think it was because we were alone there and that's just such a special experience to have had.

--The Baboon Sanctuary: oh man, the baboon sanctuary is so cool. It's an hour drive or so, then you pull up to this little. . . well, it seems like nothing. The guides come out, tell you about the place and how it works, then you take off walking. I thought we'd walk out back into the jungle, but instead, we walked across the street, down a little bit beyond some houses, and then the guide spotted some howler monkeys. He called out to the monkeys, then got their favorite leaves, and down they came in droves. We got some AMAZING pictures and I even had a howler monkey on my shoulder. Oh, and we saw a baby! So awesome. I think there were 6 of us on this tour.


***The comradery: the absolute best thing about Maruba (which says something, because there are so many awesome things) is the cromradery you have with the staff and the other guests. In my five days there, I made many new friends (actual and Facebook), some of whom we are already planning future trips with. At dinner, everyone pushes tables together and has a great time. If you're one of those people that wants an absolutely silent and stoic dining experience, Maruba might not be for you. If you're like most people and just looking to hang out with fun people in a great place, then definitely you need to try Maruba.

In the end, I'm already trying to figure out when I can get back to Maruba. And from all my high praise, a friend booked a trip there for Thanksgiving before I even got home! I know she's going to love it and so will you!

Room Tip: They're all awesome!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
52 Thank ThisPlceHsEverything
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maruba Resort Jungle Spa

Property: Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
Address: 40 1/2 Mile Old Northern Highway | 30 Miles North of Belize International Airport (BZE), Maskall, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize District > Maskall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Maskall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Maruba Resort Jungle Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Prepare yourself for the ultimate experience in adventure & relaxation at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, Belize. A short two-hour flight from Houston or Miami transports you to a place where you can fully immerse yourself in nature and truly relax. Maruba offers a great vacation escape in casual elegance.Voted the Best Boutique Spa by Spa Finder Readers’ Choice Award, and One of the Top 10 Spas in the Caribbean & Central Americas by Maco Destination Caribbean & Central America Magazine, the resort’s neo-primitive style with a touch of jungle urban flair makes it an eclectic and hip place to stay while indulging in everything a modern spa has to offer. Its restaurant boasts a nouveau jungle cuisine, best described as a fusion of “east of Paris meets the Caribbean”. Your room will be one-of-a-kind and features rich hues and textures, vaulted hardwood ceilings, mosaic tile floors, exotic fabric and beautiful carving made by local artisians. Signature bungalows offer 900 square feet of private space with an indoor lounge room, indulgent hot tubs, and incredible jungle views.Maruba is one of the first spas in Central America and offers a variety of exotic treatments which revitalize, detoxify, and reestablish the skin’s natural pH balance while leaving your skin feeling silky smooth. A must-try treatment is Maruba’s Mood Mud Massage – take your camera along for pictures! For those seeking adventure, several day tours available, such as exploring Maya Ruins, the rainforest and caves ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maruba Resort Jungle Hotel Maskall
Maruba Hotel Jungle
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa Belize/Maskall

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