Maya Mountain Lodge
Travel Blogs from San Ignacio
We are safe and sound in the jungle! There was a slight mess up with our luggage and we found out in Belize our checked bag never left Miami. They sent it on the next plane and then sent it on a taxi out to San Ignacio. We took the bus out to San Ignacio from Belize City. When we got to the bus station we were surprised to see no other tourists/ …
Got a relatively early start to the day (two hour time change doesn't seem like much but it makes a difference). Started the day by exploring San Ignacio town. The city appears a bit ramshackle but nonetheless lively and bustling. One main street seems to serve tourist and drinking needs. People seem friendly and totally not pushing the hard sell …
The three of us had an early start-- a very early start, which means I didn't sleep all night before leaving the house. Charla and Jono came by at 4am and we were off to SFO. From there we had a bumpy but otherwise non-eventful flight to Houston, quick layover, then arrived at Belize City.
We then took a 2-hour shuttle from the airport to …
... t take cameras, apparently people in the past have lagged behind group taking pictures and then walk over artifacts or have actually dropped camera on artifacts while talking a photo. That said, all the photos I have post were copied off the internet, but where exactly what I saw today. Pretty amazing and by no means just a walk in a cave. Started off with a quick swim in, some tight squeezes through boulders while in the water, crazy stalactites/stalagmites, and the artifacts ...
... and the ceiling was made of stalactites and limestone chandeliers. Everywhere we looked were pottery shards, some more complete than others. Each pot had been ceremoniously killed so as to release it from its life on earth (as Mayans believed anything that had been man made had a soul). Some pots had been triply killed- shattering, chipping and drilling a 'kill hole' into it were the only 3 methods of killing a pot. There were quite a few other groups in there with us so ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Maya Mountain Lodge San Ignacio
Great Family Travel
We spent about a week at this lodge with our 5 and 6 year old girls. They loved it and we loved it. The service was very personable. Since we stayed there for several days in a row, we had the same people serving our meals and got to know the kitchen staff. They were very good with children.
The lodge is comoprised of about 5 huts with thatch roofs. These are simple and comfortable. Make sure to get the hut without a metal roof because it can be a bit loud in the rain. The dining area is an open air space with rainforest plants all around.
The food was so good. We had many Belizean dishes. Herbs were grown on site. Lots of fresh fruit. Every morning we had a different fresh juice sqeezed from watermelon, limes, mangoes etc.
Every day we did a different tour. We had the same guide for 6 days. He was fantastic. We saw Mayan ruins, canoed in a cave with stalagtites, hiked in a cave with Mayan pots, and spent a day at Tikal in Guatemala. We didn't find the town of San Ignacio (or Belize City) very inviting but there are so many natural wonders.
We felt like we were able to get a personal experience of Belize.
Loved Maya Mountain!
My family and I visited Maya Mountain Lodge in April and enjoyed it very much! The environment was superb, friendly staff, great food -the best! The tour guides took very good care of our family, very knowledgeable and the staff was accommodating to our dietary needs at all times.
There may be cheaper options for tours in town however if you want quality and safety of your family as well as yourself , Maya Mountain Lodge certainly deserves an A for their excellent service.
My son is picky with his food yet he enjoyed every thing that the cooks prepared and ate the local dishes happily! This made my husband and my stay alot better!
The rooms are a good combination between jungle and convenience. We enjoyed the natural gardens, -we're happy that we did not find manicured grounds. It gives the perfect ambience for a jungle experience!
We will definately be back!
Worst part of my vacation
The grounds are very nice, you really feel as if you are in a tropical paradise and the staff were very friendly as well (except for the owner). We made accommodations through the lodge for one of the tours and later found out that we could go on the same trip for $40US cheaper than they offered!! As soon as we told them that we would like to cancel our tour through them we were treated like outcasts the rest of our stay (eg..our dinner was cancelled as well and, the security guard followed us everywhere we went). We came to find that all of their tours were way overpriced as well as the meals that they served. I would suggest that you set up your own tours thru MayaWalks or PACZ tours downtown if you have your own transportation or if possible. Same goes for your meals. Don't cancel your tours because they will charge you $15US as a result (still cheaper in the end to go directly through Mayawalks + the cancellation fee) It was a very bizaar atmosphere and annoying experience that I was more than happy to leave behind
We booked (and paid) for 7 nights at Maya Mountain Lodge, but ended up leaving after 4 nights. The accommodation was very disappointing. We were not expecting luxury, but basic clean rooms. The bunk bed our teenage boys had to sleep on was very rickety with very thin mattresses, we ended up putting all the extra blankets under the mattress for extra padding for our oldest son (our double was not much better). We complained about it after the first night and an attempt was made to fix it, but both boys were very uncomfortable. We got the impression that maintenance is badly needed. For example, the deck around the above ground pool is rotting in places, the rooms have fly screens, but there are gaps between the walls and the fly screens, the lock on our door didn't work etc, etc. Luckily we had a roll of duct tape. We found the meals to be interesting, but a bit pricey. We had one dinner and one breakfast at Maya Mountain, for the rest of our meals we went into town. The employees were friendly and did a good job cleaning the rooms and would take the time to put try and decorate the room with flowers on the towels, pillows and dresser. This was very nice, but the walls are in desperate need of a coat of paint and the cabin we stayed in did not look like the quaint thatch roof cottage on the brochure. It had a tin roof and a ceiling that was slapped on and needs a coat of paint as well and the gaps filled in.
Maya Mountain Lodge is a series of small thatched roof cottages and caters to the eco-tourist, as they set up many adventure trips in the area. The people that work at the lodge are friendly and dining takes place with a pre-set menu (though they will allow substitutions)at set times in a main dining area overlooking the jungle. There is a swimming pool, and it appeared that most cabins have an outdoor hammock. The rooms are comfortable and decorated with mayan tapestries. The bathroom/shower is very basic/rustic, but the room has the basics. An all-night security guard watches the perimeter. This is a dry-lodge (no alcohol), but the town is a short walk or drive and guests are allowed to bring liquor to the lodge. The grounds are pretty and there are walking trails. I would return. My only complaint is that the tours are not well-explained to the guests and the tour buses were not well-kept (many breakdowns occurred). There are many tours that are not age or skill-level appropriate for all people. In my opinion, the lodge sells the tours but does not consider that some of the people going on these tours are not aware of the scope of skills needed. A better job needs to be done of explaining what the tours involve and in making sure that the transportation is functioning properly. If you are a bird-watcher ask to do a tour with Luis - he is fantastic!
Food was suberb! Tours were great! Staff was super friendly!
Great jungle hideaway
Maya Mountain has several great little cabanas as well as rooms. Maya mountain is tucked just off the main highway, but you feel secluded and only occasionally hear the traffic from the highway. The rooms were clean and the cabanas had personal showers and toilets (remember you are going to Belize the Hilton is in Cabo). The owner Bart is very friendly and gracious host. They have a great restaurant on site and also offer jungle tours. They also have a pool. If you are a drinker you will need to BYOB, because Maya Mountain does not sell alcohol.
Kid Friendly Base for Exploring Western Belize
My family of six spent a week in June on the Mundo Maya package. We had a great guide, Luis Godol, whose knowledge of archaeology, birds, orchids, and local politics never seemed to be exhausted. For a family with kids (mine were 5-12), the package provide a nice mix of caving, archaeology sites, swimming in rivers, and jungle exploring. Transfers over the border to Tikal went smoothly and safely. Caracol was particularly amazing - we were the only ones visting this massive site. The pool provided a refreshing end to every day.
The food was very good and highly varied - we probably had 16 different juices while we were there. As mentioned in other reviews, the staff was flexible although the owners have left much of the daily business to others to manage.
Overall, the accomodations are nice but far from luxury - this is eco-tourism after all. I recommend this for flexible, curious families who are ready for a bit of adventure. In particular, ask for Luis Godol as a guide - he made the trip worthwhile.
We stayed here for a week last year and had a wonderful time. The accomodation was basic but clean and well looked after. The food was freshly prepared and very tasty. The staff were wonderful and extremely helpful. Close to town (a downhill walk - worth paying the cab fare back!) You really feel in amongst the wildlife and forest. Worth paying the extra for the cottage with a hamock out side.