Another Reason Why We Love Chaa Creek
(Hint – location, location, location…)
We’ve been to The Lodge at Chaa Creek several times over the years, and people ask why we keep coming back. There are many reasons; the friendly staff providing impeccable yet unobtrusive service, the excellent food with fresh ingredients grown right on site at the Maya organic farm and the many activities (for me, the horseback riding with beautiful, well looked after mounts, and for her the Hilltop Spa are at the top of a long list).
Then there’s Chaa Creek’s green philosophy and environmentally friendly practices. They make you feel good about staying there.
However, having been asked the question yet again as we made our bookings for the Christmas holidays, I thought of one hardly mentioned but important point. Chaa Creek is the perfect base for exploring Belize.
Now, this may not be high on people’s lists when choosing a resort, but when you think about it, location is a pretty important consideration. True, you could spend weeks without leaving Chaa Creek’s 365 acre private nature reserve and never run out of things to do, but it is good to know that many of Belize’s unique attractions are easily reached from your lovely thatched roofed rooms.
They say that Chaa Creek, sprawled along the Macal River, was a hub back in ancient Maya days, and that hasn’t changed much. You can get pretty much anywhere in Belize within a few hours. An airstrip at nearby Maya Flats has been added since we first began staying at Chaa Creek, and with regularly scheduled flights to Ambergris Caye and the coast, getting anywhere in Belize is fast and easy.
Only in Belize, huh? You can wake up in a pristine jungle and then be snorkelling off a white Caribbean beach for lunch or dinner. And everything else is pretty much within the proverbial stone’s throw. We’ve been considering retiring to Belize in the future, and the during last couple of visits we’ve rented a car and used Chaa Creek as our home base as we explored around the country.
Check it out – from Chaa Creek you’re a:
2-hour drive from Belize International Airport
15-minute drive to Belize Botanic Gardens
25-minute drive to San Ignacio town
30-minute drive to Xunantunich Maya ruins
30-minute drive to Cahal Pech Maya ruins
30-minute drive to Guatemala border
60-minute drive to Barton Creek Cave
60-minute drive to Belize Zoo
90-minute drive to Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave
90-minute drive to Phillip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE)
2-hour drive to Rio On Pools
2-hour drive to Rio Frio Cave
2-hour drive to Hidden Valley Falls
2-hour drive to Tikal Maya ruins (Guatemala)
3-hour drive to Caracol Maya ruins
Yes, the Guatemala border is a half hour away, and with the aforementioned Maya Flats airstrip you can get up to the northern border with Mexico or down south to Punta Gorda in easy day trips, or be out at the Cayes and Belize Great Barrier Reef in a few hours.
Hiring a car is easy, as is driving around the country, once you get used to the roads. We’re not talking the Autobahn here folks, but once you settle into the pace it’s fine. And with Chaa Creek as our home base, we never had to play hotel roulette. It’s great going to sleep and waking up in the same bed, especially when it’s in paradise, and the excellent meals are important before and after a day of exploring.
Chaa Creek’s owners have been in Belize for decades and, given the large, friendly Belizean staff, you have a store of local knowledge at your fingertips. We found everyone was more than happy to answer our questions, point things out on the map and make excellent suggestions about things to do and see.
So there’s one more addition to the many reasons why Chaa Creek has become our favourite holiday destination and a sort of home away from home. If we do wind up retiring down there, we’ll still stay close to Chaa Creek – I’m on a first name basis with some of the horses, and the missus says that their spa is one of the best she’s been to.