This was our first trip to Belize, but will not be our last. We traveled in mid May 2013, my wife and I along with two adult children, 19 and 22 ,and booked the entire trip at Blancaneaux and it's sister property Turtle Inn through Mary at Destinations Belize. She took care of everything and was very helpful. We booked around 6 months early. As soon as we got
out of the PGI airport we were met just outside by our driver Eddie. He was wearing his Blancaneaux shirt and holding a sign with our name on it. Eddie took us out of town and along the Western Highway all the way to the lodge. As we moved along through the countryside Eddie explained all about Belize and everything we passed. We mentioned we were disappointed that we would not have time to visit the Belize Zoo as our flight landed after 3PM. Eddie pulled into the zoo shortly after that and said we
have a little time. We stayed around 45 minutes and the Zoo is simply amazing and highly recommended. We will visit it on one of our next trips when we can arrive a little earlier. As we approached the turn off of the highway toward the lodge the road changes from a paved 2 lane to a mix of gravel, rock and small paved sections too steep for gravel. This part of the trip took around an hour and was some of the bumpiest road I have ever been on. You travel through a scenic section of the country past a small community or two. As you approach the lodge you will see the Blancaneaux's airstrip which is a strip of dirt runway and an air sock. After that bumpy trip you contemplate using the puddle jumper next time. Turning off the dirt road toward the lodge though and everything changes, the
road becomes paved and there are beautiful trees and plants all around. When we got into the lodge Ryan at the desk greeted each of us by our names, a nice touch. Everyone seemed to know us the rest of the stay. We stayed for 4 nights there – the first night in the two bedroom villa. It was just beautiful. The remaining nights there we stayed in the amazing Francis Ford Coppola's Villa. The layout of both of these villas is very similar. An open air area in the middle and one bedroom on each side of that. The bedrooms are screened – the main area is not. The Coppola villa however has it's own secluded plunge pool just off the bedroom shielded by (and by now you realize you have been over using the word beautiful) beautiful flowering plants, a banana tree and a small grassy area. The Coppola suite comes with it's own private butler. Our butler was named Milky and was very nice and helpful. He also knew all about the property and Belize. His only job at the resort is to take care of the guests at the Coppola Suite. After we moved to the Coppola suite, Milky took care of everything. He brought us breakfast, carried our bags, filled our water bottles for us before excursions, warmed up leftovers and personally served us at the restaurants. He arranged all our activities and we were give a two way hand held radio and asked to call whenever you need ANYTHING. The nights were cool and it very comfortable to sleep. The next day we visited Caracol with our guide Jorge. This trek is on much smoother dirt roads than the trip in and takes maybe an hour to get to. Caracol is amazing and a 'do not miss' type of activity. Blancaneaux took care of everything and after our walk around the ruins, Jorge sat us down at a picnic table, pulled out ice cold towels for us to wet our faces. He setup a table cloth, pulled out real silverware and cloth napkins and we had a delicious lunch of smoked chicken wraps, homemade salsa. It was delicious. Jorge was very knowledgeable and a great guide. The following day we visited Barton Cave with our guide Jeranimo- also excellent. We were in the cave for about an hour
and it's peaceful, very quiet and dark. The cave trip took half a day so we visited Calico Jacks on the way back and had a great time ziplining. Do the whole run, it's great. The last full day we had Oscar take us on a horse back ride through some of the nature preserve to Big Rock Falls where we ended up swimming in the waterfall and were the only people there. We had that amazing place to ourselves.
All in all, the entire property is just amazing. The pictures do not do it justice. Your legs get a workout at Blancaneaux between the activities and walking around the lodge. Lots of steps and inclines. The restaurants at Blancaneaux are very good. We enjoyed the food, don't miss the Guatemaltecqua Restaurant. The weather was very nice the entire time, no rain, cool nights and warm days. There were almost no bugs at all at the resort and it is a different climate than Placencia. When it came time to leave Blancaneaux, they arranged the trip and again packed us one of their excellent lunches for the trip which our guide again setup at our stop
at the Blue Hole park. The trip to the Turtle Inn crosses Belize on the Hummingburd Highway and is very scenic. I highly recommend if you do excursions – use the guides – they are so knowledgeable and you will learn so much from them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize, immediately fell in love with the location, and purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. For more than a decade the resort was used as a family retreat before Francis opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993. Tucked away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge is a 20-room luxury resort where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools above the jungle canopy. Its remote mountain setting makes it a perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blancaneaux Hotel San Ignacio
- Blancaneaux San Ignacio