The Manatee Lodge has a beautiful location at the end of a peninsula. We were a little hesitant about staying in a lodge with no air conditioning but were pleasantly surprised with the nice breeze that blew through our windows. They also provided 3 fans in our room. We stayed in a unit on the 2nd floor which had windows on three sides, all with views of the water. I believe it was unit #5. Our room was large with 2 twin beds and a double bed. We used their complimentary canoe to get to the manatee feeding area and did see the manatees. We caught some small fish from their pier with a fishing pole we brought . The lodge had a large porch with hammocks and a screened room filled with books and board games. We really had the feeling that we were staying at private guesthouse.
We were invited to hear drumming by their local celeb - Emmett Young and really enjoyed it. Don't miss it if he is around. Emmett gives drum lessons for $10/hr and sells handmade drums. The Maroon Creole Drum School.
There was a lovely building next to the lodge for meals. I would describe the meals as just average , with no selection. We had beef and rice one night and chicken with rice & beans the next. The fry jacks were good and I would request them for breakfast.
A short walk down the road (past numerous dogs and chickens) was a place called Gentle's Cool Spot. They offered cheap beer (Belikin of course) and your basic Belize chicken with rice & beans. We enjoyed talking to some local folks there.
The hardest part is getting to the lodge. We went cave tubing at Caves Branch (tip - you can just rent the inner tube and headlight for $10.00 Belize without a guide and save BIG bucks, if you do hire a local guide - bargin - you should be able to get it for less than $25.00 usd) Make sure you do not go to Cave's Branch on cruise ship days!!!!! After leaving Jaguar Paw we traveled down 25 miles of UNPAVED road to reach Gales Point. We could have taken the alternate highway toward Dangagria but it would still have been about 15 miles of unpaved road and it was much longer. Make sure you have a good spare tire and gas as we saw nothing available along this hwy. After you reach the village there is a few miles of rather rustic and rundown looking house s but keep an open mind and you will be rewarded when you finally arrive at the lodge.
I think the lodge would be a great place to go for a group. We did not take any of the tours offered but there seems to be much available and some places could be reached with the lodge canoes on your own. Nancy, who owns the lodge, was great. Our family really enjoyed the beautiful settings, birds, manatees,fishing, meeting and listening to Emmett Young .
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- Also Known As:
- Manatee Lodge Belize/Gales Point