The 9 Best Belize Eco-Resorts of 2020

Bacab Jungle Park, Belize
Pixabay

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Black Rock Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Each of the 20 cabins boasts stunning views of the river and Black Rock Canyon off the hammock-adorned deck."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Table Rock Jungle Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The thatched, open-air restaurant serves tasty farm-to-table cuisine and is known for its vegetarian and vegan options."

Most Romantic: Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"There are many waterfall pools on the property and one, the Secret Falls, can be rented for an exclusive champagne picnic."

Best for Families: Xanadu Island Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Ideally situated for discovering one of the world’s largest coral reefs, which you can see on scuba diving and snorkeling tours."

Best Luxury: The Lodge at Chaa Creek – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Accommodation ranges from garden cottages to luxury Ix Chel Villas, the latter of which comes with a private pool and butler."

Best Budget: Cahal Pech Village Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Explore the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech, Caracol, El Pilar, Tikal, and Xunantunich, or opt for an adventurous caving tour."

Best All-Inclusive: Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Perks include a freshwater infinity pool, beach chairs, and hammocks, not to mention Garifuna dancing and drumming displays."

Best for Birders: Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Located on 50 acres of private nature reserve and surrounded by tropical gardens that attract the region’s abundant birdlife."

Best for Fishermen: Turneffe Flats – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Catch-and-release fishing trips are led by expert guides, and give you the chance to catch bonefish, tarpon, and permit all year round."

01 of 09

Best Overall: Black Rock Lodge

Black Rock Lodge

Black Rock Lodge

Flanked by the Macal River and the dense jungle of the Maya Mountains, Black Rock Lodge offers quality yet reasonably priced accommodation with an eco-friendly ethos. The property practices reforesting and waste water management, using solar and hydro power to stay completely off-grid. It’s family friendly and well known for its fully licensed tour department, which introduces guests to the best of Belize (cave tours, Central American Maya ruin visits, and more). Things to do on site range from canoeing and kayaking trips to guided hikes and birding walks. There are also special activities for kids. 

After an active morning, spend the afternoon at the yoga palapa or in the spring-fed swimming pool. Massages are available, too, with advance notification. Produce from the resort’s organic farm is showcased at the open-sided restaurant. Each of the 20 cabins boasts stunning views of the river and Black Rock Canyon off the hammock-adorned deck. Some can accommodate families with an additional sleeper couch. 

02 of 09

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Table Rock Jungle Lodge

Table Rock Jungle Lodge

Table Rock Jungle Lodge

Table Rock Jungle Lodge presides over a 100-acre reserve on the Macal River and offers a boutique experience with just 10 cozy cabanas and one three-bedroom home. All options are beautifully outfitted with ceiling fans, handcrafted furnishings, and river stone showers. The lodge puts an emphasis on sustainability by using solar electricity and harvesting rainwater, recycling extensively, and growing much of its own produce at the organic on-site farm. It also supports many different community initiatives.

Explore the property independently using the complimentary trails, canoes, and river tubes, or sign up for a long list of guided excursions. These include visits to local Maya ruins and historic Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, abseiling adventures, waterfall hikes, zip-lining, and Maya cooking classes. In between adventures, take a moment to unwind by the saltwater infinity pool. Alternatively, indulge in a luxurious in-room massage. The thatched, open-air restaurant serves tasty farm-to-table cuisine and is known for its vegetarian and vegan options. Other dietary requirements can also be accommodated with advanced notice. 

03 of 09

Most Romantic: Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve

Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve

Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve

Located on a vast private nature reserve in Cayo District’s Mountain Pine Ridge area, Hidden Valley Inn is a romantic retreat for adventurous couples. With just 12 rooms and suites divided between six plantation-style cottages, the resort is both intimate and infinitely peaceful. All accommodation options spoil with a fireplace for cooler mountain evenings, while suites add an extra element of luxury with a screened-in patio, claw-foot tub, and outdoor waterfall rock shower. During the day, venture out on the reserve’s hiking and mountain biking trails or practice yoga on a jungle platform surrounded by nature. 

There are many waterfall pools on the property and one, the Secret Falls, can be rented for an exclusive champagne picnic. Other romantic experiences include couples spa treatments and stargazing sessions in the hot tub. The main lodge features two lounges with stone hearths, a mahogany bar room, and a candlelit restaurant. Here, the chef uses locally harvested ingredients to deliver a gourmet take on authentic Maya and Mestizo flavors. 

04 of 09

Best for Families: Xanadu Island Resort

Xanadu Island Resort

Xanadu Island Resort

Nestled amidst tropical indigenous gardens on the white-sand shores of Ambergris Caye, Xanadu Island Resort is a Caribbean playground for beach-loving families. It’s also Green Globe certified, with solar water heaters, energy-saving light bulbs, and a comprehensive recycling program. With the global Pack For A Purpose initiative, kids can learn to provide for those less fortunate than themselves. There are countless ways to explore the island: borrow complimentary bikes and discover the nature trail, go paddleboarding, or take out one of the resort's kayaks. 

Ambergris Caye is ideally situated for discovering one of the world’s largest coral reef systems, which you can do on scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and fishing tours. Alternatively, rent your own jet ski or catamaran. Back at base, the heated freshwater pool and a beach barbecue grill await. There are 20 suites, all with a spacious living area, a private furnished deck, and a full kitchen for self-catering. The largest has three bedrooms and sleeps six. 

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best Luxury: The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Mayan ruins near Chaa Creek.
Chaa Creek

The Lodge at Chaa Creek markets itself as “wildly civilized” and offers the perfect combination of luxury and sustainability. Located on a 400-acre nature reserve on the banks of the Macal River, it has earned Green Globe’s gold certification. The resort also donates 10 percent of all accommodation revenue to local environmental and community projects, and encourages guests to donate supplies to Belizean schools through its Pack-a-Pound program. Responsible tourism aside, it’s a fabulous base for exploring the wonders of the Belizean jungle

Go birding, hiking, or horse riding along a network of nature reserve trails, meet the resort’s beautiful blue morpho butterflies, or pay a visit to the natural history center. If you’d rather relax, there’s an infinity swimming pool and a restful open-air spa. Gourmet “jungle cuisine” (including a complimentary full breakfast) is served in the al fresco dining room daily. Many of the ingredients come from the resort’s own organic garden. Accommodation ranges from garden cottages to luxury Ix Chel Villas, the latter with a private pool and butler. 

06 of 09

Best Budget: Cahal Pech Village Resort

Cahal Pech Village Resort

Cahal Pech Village Resort

For an affordable accommodation option with a low-impact approach and an eco-friendly aesthetic, choose Cahal Pech Village Resort. Located in the verdant jungle outside San Ignacio, its position is ideal for exploring the Maya heartland and offers rates starting from $95 per night. Check out off-season dates for generous additional discounts. This resort supports responsible tourism by teaming with Pack For A Purpose to deliver learning supplies to nearby Sacred Heart Primary School. It also boasts its own licensed tour company. 

Explore the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech, Caracol, El Pilar, Tikal, and Xunantunich. Otherwise, unleash your adventurous side with a zip-lining or caving tour. For a more laidback approach to jungle life, visit the on-site spa for a massage or facial. Ix’Tabai Restaurant uses local produce to create Belizean and international specialties, and also offers a menu of classic cocktails. Standard Rooms come with creature comforts like air conditioning and cable TV. For most guests, though, the highlight is the private balcony, which offers impressive views across the Belize River Valley. 

07 of 09

Best All-Inclusive: Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort is a boutique beach lodge located south of Hopkins on the Caribbean coast. It’s dedicated to eco-friendly practices, with a bronze certification from Sustainable Tourism International and a gold certification from Green Globe. It’s also the only all-inclusive option on this list, offering fully customizable packages that take into account how many adventures you want to go on. Options range from water-based activities like diving, snorkeling, and fishing to waterfall hikes and Mayan history tours. 

The heart of the resort is the plantation-style Great House. Here you’ll find the lobby, a library and bar, and Singanga restaurant (where Belizean cuisine is served with a distinctly Caribbean twist). Climb to the lookout at the top of the Great House for astonishing sunrise and sunset views overlooking the mountains and sea. Other perks include a freshwater infinity pool, complimentary beach chairs, towels, and hammocks, not to mention authentic Garifuna dancing and drumming displays. Choose a beachfront room or private treehouse decorated with Central American folk art and handcrafted hardwood furnishings.  

08 of 09

Best for Birders: Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge

Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge building

Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge

Located on 50 acres of private nature reserve and surrounded by tropical gardens that have been specifically planted to attract the region’s abundant birdlife, Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge is a paradise for wildlife lovers. Here you can spot nearly 300 different bird species on guided early-morning bird walks, or on canoeing trips down the Macal River. Other on-site activities range from river tubing and catch-and-release fishing to medicinal trails and jungle night walks. Want to see the rest of the Cayo District? Enquire about the lodge’s off-site excursions. 

Sustainability is guaranteed by systems that produce the resort’s own electricity and water. Choose from six eco-friendly cabins, each with a ceiling fan, screened-in windows, and a private screened-in deck complete with a kerosene reading lamp and comfy seating. The color scheme in the open-sided restaurant is inspired by the bright plumage of the macaw. Enjoy organic, locally sourced meals from a fixed-price menu that can be adapted to suit special dietary needs. 

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best for Fishermen: Turneffe Flats

Turneffe Flats

Turneffe Flats

A luxurious eco-resort located on Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Flats is renowned as the country’s premier destination for saltwater fly fishing with access to 250 square miles of pristine flats and teeming coral reefs. Catch-and-release flats fishing trips are led by expert guides, and give you the chance to catch bonefish, tarpon, and permit all year round. You can save on luggage fees by renting top-quality fly and spin fishing equipment from the lodge. 

Other ways to spend your days include PADI scuba courses and fun dives, snorkeling and atoll tours, and lively Belizean cooking classes. The seaview infinity pool is the setting for lazy afternoons in the sun, while massages can be arranged in the privacy of your own room. Choose from a range of beachfront cabanas and multiple-room private villas. In the evening, swap angling tales in the mahogany bar or over gourmet, full-board meals in the dining room. The resort is off-grid and Green Globe certified, and has contributed hundreds of thousands to Turneffe-related conservation efforts. 

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