The Best Ecolodges to Book for Your Stay in Belize

Copal Tree Lodge is immersed in a vast, forested nature reserve
Copal Tree Lodge is immersed in a vast, forested nature reserve | Courtesy of Copal Tree Lodge / Expedia
Alex Robinson

Belize is brimming over with natural beauty, with everything from rainforests and waterfalls to pristine reefs, bat-filled caves and lagoons where crocodiles lurk. It’s a small country, so you can see it all on a single vacation. And our advice is to stay in a Belize ecolodge – a number practise genuine sustainable tourism – and wake to the call of macaws. These lodges in Belize – bookable on Culture Trip – are, for our money, the best.

1. Xanadu Island Resort, for the variety of lodgings


Pool and sunloungers at Xanadu Island Resort, Belize
Courtesy of Xanadu Island Resort / Expedia

As much a beach hotel as an ecolodge, Xanadu Island Resort offers accommodation in mock-Mayan palm-roofed shacks on the sand, just south of San Pedro village on the island of Ambergris Caye. The rooms come in a range of sizes: there are whitewashed two- and three-bed villas done out in taupe tiles, with hammocks on wrap-around balconies (some have sunrise-over-the-ocean views) and large living areas with wicker sofas; at the other end of the scale are one-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and studios. Ecofriendly features include solar-heated water and a degree of recycling.

2. Table Rock Jungle Lodge, for excellent sustainability


Interior of Table Rock Jungle Lodge, Belize
Courtesy of Table Rock Jungle Lodge / Expedia

Table Rock Jungle Lodge is in a stunning rainforest location, overlooking the Macal River in the western jungles, and here, sustainable practices (including solar power, community support, mahogany tree planting and rainwater harvesting) are balanced with jungle-chic comfort. The stylish thatched cottages are whitewashed and open plan. They were built using sumptuous hardwoods and are flooded with natural light from wall-high windows. These open onto wrap-around balconies that deliver rainforest or river views. Feast on farm-to-table food from milpa plantations, and choose from a variety of nature-based tours.

3. Chaa Creek, for pioneering ecotourism


Interior of lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize
Courtesy of Chaa Creek / Expedia

Mick and Lucy Fleming have been Belize ecolodge pioneers since the early 1980s, when they set up Chaa Creek in an area of depleted forest in Western Belize. The surroundings are now a private wild reserve, and the lodge actively supports the local community. Stays are as luxurious as heart-of-the-wild tourism gets: there’s a fabulous restaurant, an infinity pool and a butterfly farm; meanwhile, the villas are the business, with polished woods, bespoke wall art and private plunge pools. Book a treetop villa for canopy-level views of the toucans in the trees.

4. Copal Tree Lodge, for Mayan ingredients


Room at Copal Tree Lodge, Belize
Courtesy of Copal Tree Lodge / Expedia

Belize ecolodges don’t get much greener than Copal Tree Lodge, hidden in a private, reforested nature reserve in the south of the country. In the canopy-level rooms, mood-lit in a modern palette of muted whites, you’ll see monkeys in the trees through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. There are hammocks on the large balconies, the nature tours are first-class, the food is organically grown by local people on the farm at the lodge and the kitchen uses delicious, authentically Mayan recipes and ingredients.

5. Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge, for the sounds of nature


Outdoor bath with petals at Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge, Belize
Courtesy of Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge / Expedia

If you’re looking for genuine sustainable tourism, there are better choices than this Belize ecolodge, but it’s hard to beat the spectacular rainforest setting. Elegant, palm-thatched treehouse cabins, linked by long wooden walkways, are decked out entirely in warm tropical hardwoods. They’re at canopy level, with netted sides entirely open to the forest so you get to enjoy the bird life, the monkeys in the branches and the tree frog chorus. The lodge offers a range of light adventure tours and trips to nearby Mayan ruins in Cayo.

6. Blancaneaux Lodge, for film-star finery

Luxury, Eco-Lodge

Pool at Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize
Courtesy of Blancaneaux Lodge / Expedia

Film director Francis Ford Coppola’s Belize ecolodge is a breathtaking place, with waterfall views from the beautifully appointed, Mayan-style cottages, and rainforest wildlife all around: expect everything from hummingbirds feeding in the heliconias to ocelots padding silently through the grounds at night. Steep paths link the villas, and Blancaneaux, like Coppola’s Placencia beach retreat Turtle Inn, is one of the most sustainable lodges in Belize. It was made using certified local woods, with electricity generated on site, water recycling, no single-use plastics and active support for conservation initiatives.

7. Cahal Pech Village Resort, for top tours


Pool at Cahal Pech Village Resort, Belize
Courtesy of Cahal Pech / Expedia

The duplex cabins in this hilltop lodge in central San Ignacio town are certainly simple: you get a bed, a workstation and a balcony. But it has sustainability credentials – and spectacular views. The lodge is right next to Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve. Balconies overlook the Mayan ruins, the downtown district and the surrounding rainforests. Best of all, the lodge runs tours throughout the Cayo region, including rainforest hikes, zip lining, birdwatching and visits to Mayan ruins in Belize and neighboring Guatemala.

8. Chan Chich Lodge, for chic interiors


Exterior of Chan Chich Lodge, Belize
Courtesy of Chan Chich Lodge / Expedia

Belize ecolodge stays don’t get much wilder than Chan Chich Lodge, which stands among semi-excavated Mayan ruins in the heart of the largest stretch of rainforest in the Americas north of the Amazon. Jaguars live in the surrounding reserve, and guides have enough know-how to please the most demanding birder. This is a lodge with first-class sustainable credentials, from recycling to reusing materials and reducing waste. Stays are comfortable, in palm-thatched cottages with high-gleam timber walls, cosy living areas and walk-in showers.

Fancy a stay in the capital? Check out the best hotels in and around Belize City, bookable with Culture Trip.

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