Arguably the best lodge in Belize and one of the top lodges in all of Central America, Chan Chich is set in a remote, beautiful area literally on top of a Maya ruin, with 12 rustic yet comfortable cabañas. Just outside your door you're likely to encounter legions of tropical birds and wild animals, even jaguars. Coca-Cola, Belikin, and shrimp-farming "Belizeanaire" Sir Barry Bowen built this lodge at his large private farm. The cottages have thatch roofs, rich hardwood
floors and furnishings, and wraparound verandas. The lodge sits smack dab in the middle of a Mayan archaeological site, and regardless of how you feel about that, Chan Chich has a stunning setting. Expert guides lead wildlife excursions into the thousands of acres of surrounding bush and carefully maintained trails. Tour options include bird-watching treks and horseback rides to Mayan ruins that remain undisturbed. Howler monkeys welcome you with reverberating bass calls. You're more likely to see an elusive jaguar here than anywhere else outside the Belize Zoo. A gorgeous pool is screened to keep out insects. Delicious meals are served in the dining room in the main lodge building, adjoining the bar. The deluxe cabañas have king beds and huge bathrooms with marble, granite, glass, and even bidets. Standard cabañas are similar, except with less ambitious baths. The gorgeous two-bedroom villa has two king beds, two baths, and air-conditioning. Packages are also available with Victoria Houe, Turneffe Flats Lodge, and other properties.
Chan Chich Lodge, Gallon Jug, Belize
223-4419; 800-343–8009-in U.S.