We visited for three nights before heading to their sister resort on ambergris caye. The resort is lovely and lush, with geckos and birds lulling you to sleep at night. We stayed in two different rooms: a mountain view room called "mangrove" and then the final night in a waterfall room "summit". I'm surprised that so many reviews raved about the falls rooms. We much preferred mangrove. It's secluded, yet close, and cooler for being under the trees. It's lush landscape and sound of the birds lulling us to sleep was exactly what we pictured for a jungle escape. It was also bigger than summit. Highly recommend.
Our package included meals and a trip to caracol. Food was excellent- we loved the belizean breakfast, the fajitas, steak dinner and the hot sauce at the table. We at every meal overlooking the falls. The menu was extensive enough for us, and we never had a bad meal.
The trip by car from the airport was very long so we broke it up with a stop at the Belize zoo. If you choose to drive its worth the stop to see this place. We also had a great lunch along the way.
The staff at gaia go out of their way to make you happy. I suggest going with a full itinerary of day trips because there is nothing to do at the resort itself besides walk down to the falls and take the little funicular back up. As others have mentioned there is nowhere else to hang out other than the bar/lobby area with limited seating or the restaurant. There is no pool- I'm told people swim at the falls but I wasn't game for that. The hammocks at the falls are great too, but there needs to be more places to relax up near the rooms.
The rooms themselves feature huge screened windows with a table and two chairs to enjoy the view. Everything is made out of beautiful wood but I found the chairs rather uncomfortable. The beds are lovely, as are the bathrooms. No air, tv or phones- none of which were missed. It cools off in the evening and can even be a little chilly in the am.
Do note that gaia is on the edge of the mountain pine reserve area- meaning its not the kind of jungle you picture. It's a lot of Caribbean pine trees. The resort itself is landscaped with tropical trees and plants but the surrounding area looks much different. You will not see howler monkeys here.
I would recommend gaia with the caveat that one should plan ahead to do activities every day. We did caracol and an added trip to xunantunich on the way to the maya flats airstrip. Both were wonderful in their own way. Wish we had booked something for our first day but we were exhausted and needed to sleep in.
- 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