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“Excellent Experience at Mariposa”

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Mariposa Jungle Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent Experience at Mariposa”
Reviewed March 6, 2011

My wife and I stayed at Mariposa Jungle Lodge for one week in February 2011. We picked Mariposa after comparing it to several several similar establishments in the Belize interior and we were not disappointed.This was our first trip to Belize, which we found to be a very friendly and welcoming country. For about half of our time at the lodge, we were the only guests. Another young couple was there for 3 nights.

Our cabana at the Mariposa was perfect. It was large and beautifully decorated with works of local artisans. It had a very comfortable bed, two sitting areas (one inside, one looking out into the jungle) and adequate storage space. The bathroom was also large, well lit, and very clean. There was always good water pressure and lots of hot water. The cabana was equipped with umbrellas - which we needed. The grounds are nicely manicured and have a romantic ambiance at night when lit by the Tiki torches (thanks to Wilton, the Tiki-boy!).

The main lodge building has the restaurant and a well-equipped bar, a lounge/library for guests to use (decorated with the spoils of Sharyn's own world travels), a small sitting area, and a small gift shop. Sometimes locals stopped in at the bar/restaurant, which made for interesting evenings.

The Pool area is new and during our stay was still under development (the waterfall and palapa bar still to be completed). We were the first guests to use the pool, and we spent the better part of our last full day sitting pool-side and reading, which was nice.

The staff were excellent - all local Mayans except for Sharyn herself. We spent a good deal of time with the two very knowledgeable guides Agusto and Damian who took us out on excursions. In the dining room we were served by Nelmarie and Eilda. The food was expertly prepared by Esau and beautifully presented. We mostly ate local dishes (at our request) and were never disappointed.

Sharyn herself is an excellent host and a big part of what made our stay so memorable. We always felt that she put hospitality ahead of business, but was still business-like enough to ensure that everything ran smoothly at the lodge. She treated my wife an me like family during our stay, and when it came time for us to leave at the end of the week, we both felt like it would have been nice to stay just a little bit longer!

This is how we spent our week:
FRIDAY: arrival, picked up at the airport by Agusto, stopped at the zoo on the way. The zoo was very worthwhile. We arrived after dark and in a heavy rain, were fed and went to bed.
SATURDAY: (heavy rain) Went to San Ignacio for the morning with Agusto and spent a hour or so in the lively market. We walked around town (not that large) and had lunch. In the afternoon, we went to Xunantunich, an interesting Mayan site not far from San Ignacio. The rain was lighter and intermittent during the day, but heavy again when we got back to the lodge in the evening. The forecast was for more rain, so Sharyn offered to find us an alternate place to go where it might be drier. Last two night have been quite cool, with temperatures in the low teens (celsius) so the blankets were needed.
SUNDAY: Still raining heavily, but the forecast is looking up. Our booked trip to ATM is postponed. We spent the morning in the cabana reading. In the afternoon we went to Bol's Cave, a small Mayan cave owned and run by a local man. Bol himself is a very interesting person, and we enjoyed this low-key experience a lot. When we returned to the lodge, the rain had pretty much stopped. Went for a swim in the pool.
MONDAY: Day-long excursion with Agusto to Caracol, another Mayan site and the largest in Belize. Long but very interesting drive to get there, great site. Saw Rio Frio Cave on the way there, which was a worthwhile stop. Rio On pools on the way back was nothing special, but we went to another waterfall nearby for a swim, which was nicer. Sunny days now for the rest of our stay.
TUESDAY: Our ATM day. This is a very worthwhile cave exploration trip. It involves an hour+ long drive to get there, the last stretch of which is very beautiful. This is followed by a 30min easy hike that crosses the rive 3 times (waist deep). You have to swim into the cave itself, but after the initial short swim the water depth ranges from ankle to shoulder deep. The next 45 minutes are spent in the cave moving through the river and scrambling over rocks. Then there's a climb up to a higher and drier cavern where the Mayan remains are found. Altogether about 3 hours are spent underground.
WEDNESDAY: Excursion to Tikal in Guatemala. This is also a day-long trip. Do it with others if you can, to save money. Tikal is a larger and more spectacular site than Caracol, but Caracol has an intimacy and involves a feeling of adventure that Tikal doesn't have.
THURSDAY: The first cloudless day, we spent in mostly at the lodge on the pool deck, reading and swimming. I did spend an hour or so with Agusto at Pacbitun, a Mayan site in the jungle within walking distance of the lodge. It's nearly completely overgrown, so you have to use some imagination to see the buildings, but interesting all the same. Sharyn warned me they had ticks there, and sure enough I got two of them, despite wearing all long-sleeved clothes. Still, glad I went.
FRIDAY: Last day, checked out and driven to Belize CIty. Along the way, we stopped at the Cave Tubing location and spent two hours floating through caves on innertubes. We also got a quick tour of Belmopan and a drive-by tour of Belize City. Our guide for the day was Louis Juan, who doesn't work at Mariposa, but sometimes guides excursions for them. We found him to be very knowledgeable and really enjoyed our time with him.

One other thing to note if you go: March seems to be the busiest month in the Cayo district. If you prefer to stay when there are a lot of other guests in the resort, go in March. If you prefer a quieter and more intimate experience, go in February.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank TwoinTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2011

We arrived at Mariposa Jungle Lodge by a warm greeting from the proprietor Sharyn after a ride from Belize City, which was arranged through Mariposa. The personal service only got better from there. We quiclkly realised that our stay would end up being much too short. My boyfriend and I had ideas of what we wanted to do through looking at Mariposa's website and were excited about the cave expeditions, ruin tours, and zip lining. Our three-day stay ended up being too short in the end to get everything we wanted done, even though we went zip lining on the way to the airport.... Sharyn was willing to sit down with us from the moment we got there and talk about whatever the conversation had to bring up from the activities we were planning on participating in, and how and when to go about them, to the simple pleasure of getting to know one another.

Every excursion that she planned was perfect for us and I particularly enjoyed each night back at the lodge as there was a themed dinner which introduced me to local cuisine as well as well as some international foods. The conversation was also pretty lively and lasted well after dessert was served. Staying here was more like visiting a friend's rather than just a hotel. It was wonderful and I can't wait to get back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Klyphe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
turbosnow
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 28, 2011

We stayed at the lodge for four days. It was a fantastic stay and great to be surrounded by the jungle and yet be pampered with luxury. The service from everyone was very personal and friendly. The only downside that I can see is that it is a way from town and limits the exploring that one can do on your own if you don't rent a car. The tours that they arranged for us were great though and we were never bored.

  • Stayed February 2011
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Helpful?
Thank turbosnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2011

Mariposa is a beautiful destination, the only issue we had was it is very secluded. We had had wrongfully anticipated being able a little closer to downtown San Ignacio. Once you are there it is a little hard to get out and about unless you have a car (and it is still a hike to San Ignacio, maybe 40mins?). I think the seclusion probably makes it a little pricey as well (although the 40 Belikin beers I drank might have added to that). That said, the cabanas are about as nice and luxurious as you will find, big bathrooms, great beds and an awesome screened in porch with just about the perfect hammock. I could have spent 24 hours a day in the cabana just relaxing, enjoy the sounds of the jungle, and loving life. These were the nicest accommodations of our trip. The staff is awesome and we got a GREAT tour of Carcol from one of their staff members- he was so on top of his game and knew so much about Carcol and the local plants/animals that members of other tours were starting to lean in on his speeches to gain some knowledge. Also, Sharyn was great with communication before we got there, setting up tours and transportation-she was an invaluable resource for getting all the details of our trip hashed out (we stayed in San Pedro, here at Mariposa, and then in San Ignacio). All in- we'd definitely recommend for those looking for a little more seclusion.

In terms of tours in the area- ATM tour is an absolute must for anyone who can handle it. Carcol was also a special experience.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MattAndMary2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middlebury, Vermont
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2011

We could not have been happier in Belize when we spent five wonderful days at the Mariposa Jungle Lodge. The grounds were lovely, our thatched cabana was very comfortable and beautifully decorated, the food was superb, and the service was extraordinary. We truly loved everyone - Sharyn, NelMarie, Agusto, Damian, Esau, Wilton, Eilda (I'm afraid I cannot remember the other names)- at the Lodge, enjoyed their great sense of humor and learned so much about Belize and Mayan history on our guided tours. Thank you all for a perfect and memorable vacation! Paul & Muriel Almquist

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank murielalmquist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
Reviewed January 26, 2011

We called the staff at Mariposa 2 days before we wanted to stay there, they got a hold of us within the hour we sent an e-mail, asked what we were looking for, and then fired back with this extensive list of opportunities that we could get ourselves into. I was ecstatic that everything I wanted to do was all of a sudden completely planned for me, including transportation and guides. And this was the day after new years, and I was totally hung-over so to have my duties of figuring out our next leg of the trip all taken care of was priceless. Mariposa told us to get to the main land, and they sent out a guide to take us into the mayan mountains (we stopped to go cave tubing enroute). When we got there, it was the coolest place... remote, friendly, atmospheric... everything we wanted. I think they were actually a little pissed because we floated the caves for a long time, but when we arrived, dinner was ready for us, with a custom Belizian menu that was delicious. They ask you what you want to eat and make some delicious Belizian dishes out of the ingredients... every night... so good. To finish this without writing a novel, some of the best things about the place is the bird-watching tower. The staff had a BBQ up there one night and we just talked and goofed around with the staff and other guests (I think you can sleep up there if you want.. ask). We stayed up there till 3am the last night of our stay, drinking rum with all the lights off and the whole milky way is up there in the sky. Crazy. We were really there to do some adventuring and it didn't dissapoint. Mariposa had a driver ready for us and all of the tours booked and done in the package. All we had to do was get up and actually go. Don't MISS the ATM caves. If you are staying at Mariposa or anywhere near it, you're doing a disservice to yourself if you don't experience that. Overall, best experience in Belize by far. San Pedro was fun, but get out there into the jungle. Mariposa has you covered.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank David_Braun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 11, 2011

My boyfriend and I spent a few days at Mariposa, from December 27th to January 1. We had the best time, a deep nature and Maya experience! The owner, Sharyn, had always been extremely efficient, accommodating and caring with us. She organized all the activities we had there and she took care of our next stop accommodation, in San Pedro, on the Ambergris Caye.
We enjoyed very much all the excursions in Cayo, like zip lining and caving, and in Guatemala, Tikal. Sharyn’s stuff guides are very nice and prepared.
I loved food at Mariposa, exquisite local specials and a lot of fruits and vegetables, tasty and healthy!
Sharyn made sure we have every day what was suitable for us and she was very accommodating in making possible changes. I personally love plantains (a green banana) and she made a “special sandwich” as a snack for me, with that and peanut butter, delish!
The cabanas are comfortable, well-groomed and charming. No noises, just jungle mysterious sounds.
In the Mariposa property there is also a bird watching tower, where sometimes Sharyn makes great sunset dinner parties. We had been the first people sleeping the night over there with sleeping bags…the New Years Eve night! So special, listening at the jungle night sounds and waking up with birds singing and flying over our heads. I will never forget that experience!!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vale_D_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mariposa Jungle Lodge

Property: Mariposa Jungle Lodge
Address: San Antonio Road, San Antonio, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mariposa Jungle Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique eco-resort nestled under the jungle canopy of San Antonio, Belize, offers six luxury cabanas with air conditioning and wifi, mosquito-netted canopy beds, private screened porches with hammocks, and comfortable sitting areas for relaxation. Enjoy local and international cuisine, full bar, and the library with an eclectic book collection, games, and array of international art and memorabilia. Mariposa is well-located for tours to regional Maya archaeological sites, waterfalls, caves, and rivers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mariposa Jungle Hotel San Ignacio

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