Fodor's Expert Review Chan Chich Lodge

Gallon Jug Estates, Gallon Jug, Orange Walk, Belize Fodor's Choice

Arguably the most memorable 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 Mayan ruin, with 12 rustic yet comfortable cabañas—the price of a vacation here is similar to a five-star hotel in New York, yet the high cost is worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just outside your door you're likely to encounter legions of tropical birds and wild animals, even jaguars. The late Coca-Cola, Belikin, and shrimp-farming "Belizeanaire" Sir Barry Bowen built this lodge at his large private farm. The cottages have thatched 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. Howler monkeys welcome you with reverberating bass calls. 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. For families or larger groups, there is a two-bedroom villa with air-conditioning.


  • some of the best birding and wildlife spotting in Belize
  • so safe you don't lock your cabaña's door
  • magnificent setting within a Mayan site
  • understated but eminently comfortable accommodations
  • so safe you don't lock your cabaña's door


  • somewhat difficult and expensive to get to
  • pricey
  • but worth it
  • no air-conditioning except in two-bedroom villas
  • pricey, but worth it
  • no air-conditioning except in two-bedroom villas




Phones: 223-4419-in Belize City | 877-279–5726-toll-free in U.S. and Canada


13 rooms
Rate Includes: All-inclusive

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