Chaa Creek and National Geographic – A Mutual Admiration Society

Chaa Creek and National Geographic – A Mutual Admiration Society Xunantunich

If you like nature, travel and adventure, you – like us – are probably a fan of National Geographic.

Since 1888 National Geo has done an excellent job of fulfilling its mission to “inspire, illuminate and teach” the world about the world.

And who hasn’t been inspired to travel when reading the National Geographic magazine? Many of us got our first taste of wanderlust at an early age from the amazing photographs and stories behind that familiar yellow-framed cover.

So when the respected peripatetic journalist Costas Christ recently lauded Chaa Creek in the National Geographic Traveller we were very, very happy.

The March 27, 2015 article’s title, Seven Perfect Days in Belize immediately caught our eye, especially as Mr Christ is something of an expert; a Belizeophile, if you will.


As he wrote, “I have been traveling to Belize every year for more than a decade and am already planning my next trip.” He then goes on to explain why, listing English speaking, small, easy to navigate, and other factors such as:

“Local residents are fun-loving, friendly, and appreciate nature; nearly half of the country is protected rain forest… Just offshore lies the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere…  Belize’s subterranean rivers make it possible to explore the country’s elaborate underground cave system—which might be the most extensive on Earth (National Geographic explorers have been mapping it since the 1960s… There are also dozens of Maya archaeological sites throughout…”

He also points out that “Though most Belize-bound travellers go to escape the winter blues, spring (especially May and June) happens to be my favourite time to visit.”

And now, onto those seven perfect days and Chaa Creek:


After arriving in Belize City and hiring a rental car, Mr Costas heads to Chaa Creek:

“Belize’s pioneer ecolodge, located on 300 acres of private rain forest outside of San Ignacio.”

Walk the medicinal trail to learn about traditional healing, canoe on the Macal River while spotting toucans and iguanas in the treetops, and visit the nearby Maya archaeological site of Xunantunich, boasting a spectacular temple.

At sunset, pull up a chair at Chaa Creek’s open-air bar, where owner Mick Fleming periodically turns up to regale guests with tales of his family’s early days homesteading here.

Mr Costas also sings the praises of the Macal River Camp, under the heading “Insider Tip.”

You can imagine our delight that his perfect week began by spending day one and two at Chaa Creek.


Mr Costas then takes his readers on a literary tour down the Hummingbird Highway to Caves Branch, Placencia (where, like us, he’s impressed by the annual whale shark migration), and the Belize Zoo.

As we’ve come to expect from Mr Christ, it was a well-written piece that entertained as much as it informed. What we didn’t expect but certainly appreciated was the attention on Chaa Creek, which left the entire staff humbled and happy.


Having a preeminent travel writer like Mr Costas feature you in a magazine as prestigious as National Geographic is sort of like hearing your favourite musician play a tune you wrote…

It’s uplifting, gratifying and, as we said, humbling.

It also makes you determined to keep continuously striving to create the best experience possible for your guests and supporters.

Because, after all, the respect is mutual…

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