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“Top notch staff, nice accommodations, and great location”
Review of Gaia Riverlodge

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Gaia Riverlodge
Certificate of Excellence
Saint Charles, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Top notch staff, nice accommodations, and great location”
Reviewed July 11, 2014

Just returned from my second stay at Gaia in the past 13 months, this time with my wife (first time was alone). Simply put, the staff is great, and the accommodations are nice and clean, and the remote location cannot be beat if you are looking to just get away for a few days.

The waterfall is the main attraction on the grounds, but the opportunities birding, nature observation, and hiking on the grounds or nearby areas are somewhat under-advertised. The nature trail on the grounds seems relatively unused by guests, which is a shame. It is only about a mile long, but gives a good tropical broadleaf forest experience, and there is a smaller secret waterfall (ask staff how to find it). Give the trail it a try! Also, it may appear kind of plain or rough to most, but the surrounding Highland Pine-Oak Savanna is also worth exploring. Most of this is off-grounds, but there are several small trails to hike on. You should easily see 20 or so species of birds just in the main garden area or around the lodge, and more if you explore or are patient. During our most recent visit, we found a nighttime roost of about 200 red-lored parrots, and we watched them leave the roost on two consecutive days at about 6AM. Truly an impressive sight.

Dining is a pleasure, but I recommend the inclusive packages where they are included. The tour to Caracol is a must.

A lot is written about the long drive and the condition of the road in, but honestly, I have seen similar rough roads in some remote parts of the US, and the really rough parts are only on a few stretches from San Ignacio into the lodge (=a few bumpy places in the final 40 minutes of the drive).

Finally, the rooms are excellent, clean, and even on warm days they cool down nicely at night. You should sleep comfortably, and expect to wake to the sounds of singing birds.

Room Tip: I stayed in the Ridge Cabana (one of the "Mountain View" cabanas) on the most recent trip...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mike R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2014

We've stayed at some beautiful properties all over the world, definitely Top 2! What a beautiful, beautiful place.
1. Met at the airport by Calbert, what a great tour guide, super kind and very knowledgable about Belize. Made us feel welcome and safe. Super friendly guy.
2. Learned a lot about the country on the drive to Gaia, so don't worry about the 2.5 hour drive, it's worth it!
3. Upon our arrival we were greated by Javier and we were amazed from that moment on. The place is beautiful, my kids (22, 21, 18 & 14) were freaking out at how cool this place was from the moment they arrived. They thought we spent a fortune for a place this beautiful.
4. The staff!! Was just fantastic! EVERY ONE of them knew our names, took super great care of us and became part of our family in a very brief time. It was like being at our own private lodge and we were the only ones there when we weren't. Kinda like the beginning of the old tv show "Fantasy Island" Sonja, Derby, Lucy and Javier were all so great. Seriously, the staff was the key in making this such a great trip. They were awesome!!! did I already say that?
5. our lodge was perfect, great views of the waterfall, really cool accomadations. Kids room was great too. Thanks for the three Queens in the kids room!!
6. The stars!! incredible.
7. The bugs!! Super cool, very few bites, we got more bites while in San Pedro. Amazing night life watching the moths and other bugs on the deck. Not an issue!! You'll enjoy them :)
8. The River!! The sound of the river while we slept was really cool, the private beach with hammocks and diving rocks is so cool. Travel up river, you won't be disappointed, it's beautiful and fun going from waterfall to waterfall. All easily traversed.
9. The tours!! the staff does a perfect job of coordinating your tours, don't worry about doing until you're there, they handle it all for you. We did ATM Cave (highly recommend), two of our kids did Tikal, they loved it. We also did Xunatunich (sp) it was really cool. We didn't do more because we wanted to hang on the grounds and play in the warm waterfalls.
10. The food was excellent, wished for a few more options at dinner time, but it was still very good!

We had a great time! You gotta check this place out.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HughKollar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 4, 2014

I have been to this lodge many times when it was known as Five Sisters Lodge. Growing up in Belize, I was fortunate to be able to explore all around the Mountain Pine Ridge area but it was always from this location where the family had the best experience. A day spent swimming and hiking the falls below the property is still one of the best days I think I could have. Now that I live outside Belize, I make it a point to return to the lodge every time I come back.
On this trip I was surprised to see the name had changed due to a change in ownership. I was thrilled to find that not only did the new owner enhance the already gorgeous facility but they had taken great pains in keeping the proud eco friendly status as the previous owners.
It is an adventure getting to the lodge but that is part of the fun. Having the right vehicle and directions is imperative. I suggest you arrange to have them pick you up if you are uncertain if you have either of these. Once you are there you are in for something special.

Room Tip: I was in "Summit", a cabana with a wonderful view of the falls. It was elevated so it had...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank SanchoMami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tyler, Texas
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2014

I travelled to Gaia with 3 friends after spending a month in the jungles of Belize for an archaeological dig. Upon arrival (which was rather late due to delayed flights) we were greeted with beaming smiles and beautiful, tasty drinks along with moist towlettes to refresh with. We were then given a tour of the main building and shown to our individual cabanas, where our luggage had already been taken! (Thank goodness, because it was heavy!)

In the morning, we were able to see much more of the incredibly beautiful grounds! Gaia is absolutely stunning. It is small (17 cabanas, I think) so you get a really personal feel during your visit. The resort is stunning. It is authentic and natural in nature, yet still luxurious. They have everything from mountains to waterfalls! There are also outdoor bed areas where you can spend some time to see the amazing stars!

The grounds are amazing, but the staff here is what really made it so incredible. It seems like they know what you want before you do, and they are willing to do anything they can to make your stay the best it can be. We told them we wanted to try a coconut and they went and got us one! I also left my keys down at their private beach/waterfall area one night and they went and got it for me the next morning after giving us an extra set (it is about 300 stairs down to that area).

I couldn't have had a higher opinion of this place. It IS in nature, so there are some bugs in the room, but it seems that they did everything they could to minimize it. The rooms are beautiful, comfortable, and clean with a stunning view. Their complimentary breakfasts that came with our room were also amazing. I've never had such a filling complimentary breakfast.

If you are looking for a commercial resort with no bugs, don't come here. But if you are looking for an authentic, natural, luxurious stay, look no further!

Room Tip: I believe the room I had was called Ridge, and it had a stunning mountain view. All of them, I'm...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Valerie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2014 via mobile

This place was simply amazing. We did a honeymoon here. The ride from the air port is long however, the drive seemed shorter because there is so much to see and take in. The staff was absolutely amazing. We were able to get to know Francisco well and enjoyed his humor. It was nice knowing we were safe on adventures because he was so knowledgeable. If you're worried about the lack of air conditioning don't be. Yes, it can get warm and muggy during the day but cools down nicely at night with the sound of the waterfall to put you to sleep. Our biggest recommendation is to PURCHASE THE MEAL PLAN with your stay!!!!!! It can seem pricey if you choose not to do so. It was nice to sit down and enjoy wonderful 3 course meals with out worry of the bill at the end. Plus the joy of choosing anything off the menu was fun and packed lunches on adventures were delightful. The food and drinks were cold in an ice chest and always given more than enough. Must stay.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank 12valve98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Feltham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2014

A beautiful spot by the river and waterfalls with a perfect set up of deck chairs and hammocks to relax in. The hotels food is good but be prepared to pay US prices. If you have your own vehicle you can do Big Rock, Rio Pools & Butterfly house by yourself. The hotel does have internet but if you have to work don't rely on it as I could not connect several times apart from that the rooms and location of the hotel are perfect.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lovetotravelcj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Gaia is a piece of heaven that everyone should experience at least once. Yes, the rough dirt road feels like it will never end, but the journey is well worth the reward at the end. The best way to describe the experience is a cross of Jurassic Park and the Jungle Book. The waterfall is absolutely beautiful, and the amount of work that they’ve done to make this otherwise challenging terrain accessible is really impressive. Dining service is first class (I am a New Yorker, and it is obvious that the service staff have been very well trained). I can’t wait to go back for my next adventure!

One word of caution: Although Gaia has made tremendous effort to make the resort safe, there is still an inherent danger to walking on rocks on an uneven grade. If you have older family members who may have difficulty walking on inclines/declines on rocks without hand rails, this may not be the resort for them. Also, I would probably avoid bringing young children here since there are so many potential ways for a youngster to injure themselves.

Room Tip: Cascade is overlooking the waterfall. Magic.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank EscapeTheCity11106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaia Riverlodge

Property: Gaia Riverlodge
Address: P.O. Box 173, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gaia Riverlodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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:
Five Sisters Hotel San Ignacio
5 Sisters Lodge

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