Blancaneaux Lodge is outside of San Ignacio, Belize in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, a 300-square-mile national wildlife reserve in the Maya Mountains. The Sofia, the resort’s private Islander aircraft, can transport you from Belize City in less than an hour. The adventurous may choose to travel by road; the Lodge can be reached from Belize City and Belmopan via the Western Highway.
Here amid the pines and tropical foliage Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor first found this modest forest hunting lodge while hiking in 1981 and for years it was a private hide-away for his family and friends. In 1993 it opened its doors to a discerning public who were looking for comfort and style in a remote and adventurous location. Blancaneaux Lodge is designed to provide rustic comfort in harmony with its surroundings, and it definitely succeeds.
The Lodge’s accommodations mirror the rainforest’s vibrant hues. Each bungalow features a soaring hand-woven thatched roof, artisan-crafted and antique colonial furnishings and a luxurious Japanese bath with views of the jungle sky.
Food is prepared from fruits and vegetables grown in the resort’s own Organic Garden. The Lodge is a guest in this fertile natural forest. To complement this, our chef has established a three-acre, self-sustaining organic garden that produces all of the fruits and vegetables used to make traditional Coppola family recipes. Dine on fresh seafood, smoked meats and authentic Neapolitan pizzas cooked in a wood-burning Italian oven. Local rum punches await at the Jaguar Bar. The Privassion River courses through the Lodge’s grounds.
Above the river, a kaleidoscope of forest birdlife plays against the palmettos. All of the electricity used at the Lodge is generated by a hydroelectric plant that harnesses the power of the river. Blancaneaux Lodge is surrounded by many cave complexes that vary from the tiny to the vast.On the vast side is the Rio Frio Cave, an enormous two-ended cave carved out of a mountain by the Rio Frio River.Many other caves surround the Lodge. Some, such as the popular Barton Creek Cave and the newly opened complex at Actun Tunichil Muknal, contain pottery and bones left by the Mayans.
The hidden Big Rock Falls are a short trip away by car, horse or mountainbike. Hike down to the misty base of the falls, and swim in the warm pools. Or take a trip to the Rio On Pools, where small waterfalls spill between pools carved by the river out of the mountain granite. Some of the pools are connected by natural waterslides. The Lodge houses a number of handsome horses in its private stable. The lodge’s friendly guides will lead you on horseback to local falls and caves or will take you deep into the jungle where you can spot unusual birds and other wildlife. Mountainbikes are also available at no charge.
Virtuoso Amenities For 2017-2018:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests served in restaurant
- A horseback riding trip through the Jaguar Jungle to Big Rock Falls
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
images courtesy of and © Blancaneaux Lodge
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