Unbelievable Belize Vacation!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Chaa Creek. I would tell everyone I know to stay there, and would LOVE to go back! We stayed for 5 nights with our three kids, ages 13, 12 and 6. The grounds were beautiful, the location ideal, it was well-run and everyone was friendly.
Because we booked our trip last minute, there were no rooms available in the main lodge area our first night. They asked if we’d like to stay at the Macal Camp area and we agreed. What a great time! The Macal Camp consists of a number of small casitas, or cabins, set on platforms. There is no electricity, no bathroom in the casita. (the bathroom is a short walk away in a separate building) No windows, just screens all the way around. It was very clean and well-made, with a hammock out on the deck. There was a communal dining room which served fantastic food and everyone was friendly. Kerosene lanters lit the way to the outdoor restroom at night. It was great fun and I was disappointed to move the next day.
For the next 4 nights we stayed in a Treetop Suite at the main lodge area. This was very luxurious in comparison to the Macal Camp, but I still think both places were fantastic. The suite was an individual structure. It was very clean and extremely spacious, with a vaulted thatched ceiling. We had a deck that hung out over the riverbed. In the trees just outside the room were iguanas, toucans and howler monkeys. (FYI – howler monkeys are the loudest creature ever. they sound like the t-rex from Jurassic Park, and their favorite time of day is 4am. But it was all part of our fantastic adventure) There was a jacuzzi on the deck, where you could sit and watch the wildlife, or in the evening watch the stars and listen to the night creatures.
The food was EXCELLENT. Breakfast was included, and it was a build-your-own breakfast with many items to choose from, all yummy. The fruit was incredible, french toast awesome, and every day they would also offer a breakfast special. Lunch was good, with a casual menu because many people are at off-site excursions during the day. Dinner was to die for. They offered a full kids menu for the little ones. For the grown ups, ecah evening was a 4 course meal. The choices were different every day. There would be a soup (which was always fabulous), a salad, and a dessert, and 3 main courses to choose from – a fish, a meat, and a vegetarian. Every choice was so yummy it was impossible to decide. If you couldn’t decide, they’d let you do a combo! In the 4 nights we were there we never saw the same item at dinner offered twice. We couldn’t wait to see what the selections were going to be each night. Even the kids were ordering the adult food!
We took advantage of the many excursions and loved every one. There are lots of things to do on-site as well. We spent a day visiting the Natural History center and the butterfly conservatory, taking a guided nature hike, and relaxing by the infinity pool. We also took the night creature hike with the guide. Although not many creatures were out that night, it was still wonderful to take the walk and learn from the guide. There is also canoeing and horseback riding among the many other on-site activities.
We visiting the Mayan ruins at Xunantuncih, which was nearby. Its was fascinating and the kids loved it.
Jaguar Paw cave tubing and zipline – so much fun! Long drive (1 1/2 hrs?), but during the drive you get to see a lot of how the locals live, and the guides will tell you a lot of interesting facts. We had Hugh, and he was very informative as well as nice.
ATM cave – the adventure of my life! Not for the delicate or faint of heart. Our guides from PACZ tours were danny and Oscar, and we could not have asked for better. LONG day.
Belize Zoo – an easy detour on your way to or from the airport. Again we had Hugh who is very knowledgable. It takes about 1 1/2 hrs to visit the zoo.
Things to be sure to bring:
-bug spray (although it was not very buggy when we were there. we didn’t really get bit)
-small LED (very bright) flashlights – you’ll need these! get waterproof ones from a camping store if you can
-lightweight rain jackets. it does rain frequently, but it is also warm and humid, so don’t bring anything heavy. They have plenty of umbrellas there to borrow.
-waterproof closed toe hiking shoes, or water shoes made for hiking. We bought Keen shoes, made for hiking in and out of water, with mesh on the side to let the water drain out. It seemed that we hiked over rocks and stepped in water or mud somewhere on our adventures every day
– we also bought Columbia brand pants – the lightweight nylon kind that dry quickly. We got the ones that you can unzip the legs and they become shorts. I was initially opposed to these because they just aren’t very attractive, but in the end I was really glad to have them. Jeans are just to heavy to wear in the warmth and humidity, but there are times when your legs need to be protected. Plus, jean stay damp the entire time (nothing ever dries in the rainforest!).
-waterproof camera, if you can. Its very humid, and it rains off and on frequently. Also, some of the excursions involve a lot of water (tubing, canoeing, ATM cave) and you won’t be able to get pictures without a waterproof camera of some sort.
I could go on forever, so feel free to contact me if you have questions. We have travelled all over the world (20-something countries) and this is definitely at the top of the list of best places ever!
Source: Trip Advisor