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BELIZE Jungle Lodges: Recommendations Needed for Someone with Mobility Problems

BELIZE Jungle Lodges: Recommendations Needed for Someone with Mobility Problems

Old Apr 14th, 2002, 05:02 PM
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BELIZE Jungle Lodges: Recommendations Needed for Someone with Mobility Problems

Can someone (Lan Scuder? - I read your response to the woman with 2 kids looking for advice on which of the lodges to choose) suggest which of the 'jungle lodges' would be most suited for someone who has restricted mobility (I use forearm crutches) and low energy levels.
I've looked at the Ek Tun Lodge website but had to eliminate it because it states the tours are for those in good health and are of 'moderate' levels.
Chan Chich looks promising but would like to hear from someone who has been there and can provide a bit more details on how far a walk it is from cottages to dining room, etc.
I did not look at Cha Creek because Lan Scuder said it did NOT have A/C and I would assume that is almost a necessity in the jungle.
Guess I'm seeking the place which can best accommodate the handicapped.
We are two senior citizens who would love to see some wildlife (monkeys, birds, kinkajous) in its environment but with very good to excellent accommodations and food.
Thank you in advance for any advice, suggestions, and recommendations.
Old Apr 15th, 2002, 07:54 AM
Lan Sluder
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If you must have A/C, there are only two jungle lodges in Belize with A/C -- Jaguar Paw near Belmopan and Maruba near Altun Ha. Maruba is more of a spa than a jungle lodge.

Jaguar Paw is a pretty good place. The area around the lodge and rooms, which are in four-plex cottages, is fairly level and accessible, though activities around the lodge, such as cave tubing, do require a moderate amount of effort and you are often on slick, muddy or wet paths.

Chan Chich is great, (no A/C, though) and again around the lodge cabanas is well landscaped and accessible (there are steps up to the cabanas, dining room and bar). The trails around the lodge are well chopped but they are definitely not sidewalks.

--Lan Sluder

Old Apr 15th, 2002, 06:48 PM
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Thank you very much, Lan Scuder, for your quick response.
I, too, really like the looks of Chan Chich..at least from its website, it appears to be the best for us.
I'll pass on Maruba since you said it is more of a spa rather than a 'jungle lodge' geared to viewing wildlife.
Jaguar Paw is somewhat tempting but I'll have to look again at its website to see if they have at least one vehicle tour.
Perhaps at the right time of year the humidity is not too overwhelming (Chan Chich)..we live in an area with low humidity levels.
What month/s might have the lowest humidity levels?
I realize no one can predict the weather but just in general.
Again, many thanks for your detailed reply.
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 07:14 AM
Lan Sluder
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It's pretty humid year-round in Belize, as indeed it is elsewhere in the tropics and semi-tropics. Mostly in the high 80% range at nightfall. Think South Florida.

Slightly less humid months are in late winter to early spring -- February to May.

On the cayes and coast the prevailing offshore breezes -- which die down only for some brief periods in the late summer -- keep things more comfortable.

--Lan Sluder
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 11:34 AM
Katie Valk
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Let me step in here a momemt. I just had my older mom visiting recently and she's has problems going up and down and can't walk far. Not sure any of the jungle lodges will work for you because they all require walking some distances and trips and tours will require walking distannces no matter where you are. Maybe best option will be to stay at Inn at roberts Grove in Placencia with great accommodations, meals and rooms on beach level. They offer on full day boat trip up Monkey river to see howlers, crocs and manatees that will be easy for you, one full day trip by road to the ruins in the maya villags in the south and those are on relatively flat ground and snorkleing trips, which require that you can get in and out of a boat on land or from a dock. From here, you'll get both jungle, ruins and beach and tghink you'll be most comfortable here. Belize is not an easy or fun place to visit if you have mobility problems and would not want you to visit and not be able to do what you want. Rooms also have cable tv, two pools, jacuzzi on rooftop.

Katie Valk
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 01:47 PM
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BJ, I have no specific advice regarding Belize for you but want to offer a few words of support for what you are trying to do.
We were in Costa Rica this past summer and stayed a few days at Lapa Rios, a well known and luxurious jungle lodge on Osa Penninsula. The lodge is typically considered very inaccessible and I would never think that someone with mobility problems could stay there. Yet, when we were there, there was a woman there on a wheelchair who was not even able to operate the chair herself (had to be pushed by her husband). At first I couldn't understand how it was done but I looked around and found out that while most of the individual cabanas were located on a steep ridge away from the main lodge (with multiple steps) there were a couple of cabanas located in close proximity of the main lodge. I also noticed that those cabanas, the lodge and the area where the pool was located were all in rather close proximity and basically on the same level. So while most of the property would not be accessible for someone with mobility problems, a person with limited mobility could still comfortably stay at the lodge and enjoy viewing the wildlife. And while the various tours would give the most opportunities for viewing wildlife, you could see a lot from just your cabana (all have huge decks with wonderful views) or the main lodge. We saw lots of monkeys, coati mundi, a variety of birds including toucans and scarlet macaws, bats, lizards, insects etc.
If you are interested in checking out Lapa Rios, here is their website: www.laparios.com. Note that they do not have A/C and it tends to be very humid there (we were there in the rainy season in August and it was extremely humid).

So if you have your heart set on a jungle lodge don't let people convince you otherwise. It can be done. You should contact each lodge that sounds promising and find out exactly whether they have any rooms or cottages that would accommodate your specific problems.
I think Robert's Grove looks splendid but is primarily a beach resort which will not allow you to view tropical wildlife in its natural surroundings.
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 09:30 AM
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Thank you, Lan Scuder, for providing humidity percentages (80%) on Belize in general; it does give me a much better idea of Belizean weather.

I appreciate your response, Katie Vaulk, and your personal observations of your Mother's experiences as well. The details you provided also give me a better idea of what other accommodations to consider.

Iza, I surely appreciate all the time you took to provide such a detailed response and the suggestion of Costa Rica as an alternative destination country.
I've learned (and am still learning) to be more resourceful since 'the late effects of polio' has changed my lifestyle; and the past seven years have showed me as nothing else could the logistics faced by a non-able bodied person who still wants to have a more adventurous vacation.
As you wrote, Iza, asking lots of questions (very specific) about lodging and transportation can make *the* difference.
For instance, I was able to take a photo safari to Kenya with a lot of homework. Asking for, and obtaining, a room closest to the dining room and other lodge facilities made a big difference. Going on 'game runs' early morning and late afternoon in vans with lots of windows allowed me to fulfill a long held dream vacation.
Again, my sincere thanks to each of you for your helpful responses.
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