7 Day Belize Trip
🌲 3 nights in Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Belize (Rain Forest)
🌴 4 Nights at Ambergris Ceyes, Belize (Island)
-We flew into Belize City, Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) and took a 2.5 hour private drive to our first stop… Blancaneaux Lodge! The drive is rough and long, so plan ahead to have a “chill” day after you arrive.
Famed director Francis Ford Coppola first visited Belize in the early 1980s, soon after the country’s independence. He purchased Blancaneaux Lodge for use as a family hideaway. As more and more friends visited, he realized the retreat’s universal appeal. Today, 20 guest rooms are set among the flowers and palms of Blancaneaux’s creekside gardens alongside a Mt. Ridge Creek.
The guest rooms feature thatched roofs, private showers, and fully-screened windows without glass. Each is furnished with a security box, hammock, mini-bar, hairdryer, bathrobes, and sandals. Guest rooms at Blancaneaux do not have air conditioning, television, or telephone to enhance the private and secret getaway experience.
The staff was incredible, remembering your name, which is such a fun personal touch! Activities on site include, birding, hiking, horseback riding, garden tours and river tubing. Additionally, three restaurants are on site, Italian, Guatemalan, and Organic Vegetarian. We did dinner in the Guatemalan restaurant the first night. We were the only ones there and it felt like a private dining experience..
We started our morning off with a daily coffee delivery of our choice (cappuccinos, mochas, lattes, etc!) from the restaurant and enjoyed the sunrise from our hammock. We followed that by having breakfast at the main restaurant. We spent most of the morning exploring the lodge.. Something worth seeing! Our daytime activity was: Tubing down the creek! Tubing is an activity included free of charge with a tour guide by Blancaneaux.. Do it!
The creek is part of the public park so tubing is a “local” summer activity. We spent our afternoon at the Waterfall Spa. The Spa is positioned in a thatched roof room thats doors open up to creek and mountain. While we were in the spa it was raining and the sounds of water dropping, jungle noises and creek swishing while receiving a massage was a PINCH ME MOMENT. We did the “Stress Recovery Wrap, Scrub, and Massage” treatment.. Worth it!
We enjoyed dinner in the Main Italian restaurant that night, paired with an incredible bottle of wine!
Similar to the previous day, we slept with blinds open to wake up naturally to the sunrise and sounds of the rainforest. We had our cappuccino delivery at 7am and followed that with breakfast near the pool. Our adventure of the day was horseback riding through the rainforest reserve to a hidden waterfall. *another pinch me moment*
The horse back ride was around 45 minutes and then we had a 30 minute hike down to the waterfall. Adam and I spent a few hours at the waterfall swimming and enjoying the view. I would suggest bringing lunch, snacks and a book to make the most of the day. The water was freezing, but worth going in and swimming around to ~say you’ve done it!~
Following an impeccable day of horse riding we did the garden tour and happy hour, prior to dinner in the organic garden.
Time to Leave Blancaneaux Lodge, and explore location 2! We headed back to the coast (another 2 hour drive) and hopped on the Water Taxi to San Pedro, Belize. You have two options to get to the Cayes (pronounced “keys”) you can go via water taxi or flight. We got to the Cayes via water but returned via flight. It’s up to you. I suggest NOT buying a water taxi ticket early and purchasing when you arrive (make sure you know times of departures that day prior to going to port!!) As for flights, it is required to purchase in advance and most hotels will do it for you.. Whatever is preference. I am glad we did boat and flight
We were shocked when we arrived at Ambergris Caye and saw no cars in sight.. Only golf carts! Our hotel for the next 4 days is.. The Victoria House! This boutique is a luxury hotel that won Best Waterside Hotel in 2021 for Central and South America.
We spent the afternoon touring our Suite and the Hotel. Victoria house has 2 public pools and our suite had a private pool in addition. The hotel is located on a private beach with its own dock. Victoria house has The Palmilla Restaurant (we later learned its a restaurant destination spot for tourists not staying at the hotel), Poolside Patio Dining, Admiral Nelson’s Beach Bar, Infinity-edge pool and games all throughout the private beach.
Reservations are required for Palmilla Restaurant, and we now know why! It was amazing!
Woke up and enjoyed brunch at the Poolside Patio Dining. We followed that up with a morning of adventure. Victoria house offers a book of adventures to do and we chose ½ day snorkeling at the Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. Scary, but pretty insane memory! We swam with sharks, stingrays, barracudas and Blue tangs.. I saw stingrays the size of the boat and was so freaked out!
We spent the afternoon on the beach with drinks and games. Perfect end to the new year! (it was the 31st. of December). We had an incredible dinner and drinks to spend New Years Eve at the Palmilla Restaurant. They had a New Years Eve menu and we popped some champagne bottles over at the Admirals Bar after dinner.
We started the New Year with 9am Yoga at the Spa Garden. Perfect start to 2021.. Following we did brunch at the Pool Side Restaurant. We “laid low” this day and spent time at the pools, drinking, reading and enjoying the sun! New years day evening was more unique though… We did a sunset sail that included unlimited drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The sail was alongside the barrier reef and started at 4pm, a perfect time to see the sunset.
We followed the sail with dinner at Palmilla (can you tell we loved that restaurant?!) and drinks at Admirals bar.
Our last and final day.. We wanted to “live like locals!” So we used a hotel golf cart and opened our maps and toured the Island. Our first stop was the Truck Stop, a shipping container food / bar park! Such a fun and unique idea. They do nightly live music, game shows, trivia and other events.
After spending a few hours at Truck Stop we made the trek to Secret Beach. Not so secret anymore, in fact it is one of the most popular destination spots now. Secret Beach is on the west side of the Island, which means no reef on that side. You have to walk a good way out to get above your waist in some areas. Amazing. The Beach restaurant and bar serves you anywhere on the beach (or in the water!) I ordered a Pina Colada and it came in a real pineapple!
The drive is nearly an hour each way, so it was a full day activity. We finished the night with dinner at the Admirals Bar at our hotel… This is the first time I mentioned this, but while we were in Belize, Belize had an 8pm Curfew. That made dinner “out” relatively difficult so we typically stayed near the resort after 6pm. We spent the evening at the bar, enjoying our last sunset and view of the Cayes.
A perfect trip.