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Jun 6, 2019

Chaa Creek: A Wildly Civilized Belize Luxury Resort

Established in 1981, Chaa Creek: Belize Luxury Resort started off with a single hut. Fast forward more than three decades later; it is one of the world’s most eco-friendly resorts. The resort sits on a four hundred acre nature reserve along the majestic Macal River. The atmosphere is relaxing, but very much alive with activities. The resort boasts top-notch accommodations with great customer services and its award-winning relationship with its surrounding communities. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo shares his Chaa Creek experience. Here is that report.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Nestled beneath the canopy of San Ignacio’s jungle, Chaa Creek Resort sits on a four hundred acre nature reserve. The resort runs along the majestic Macal River towards the foothills of the Maya Mountains. Established more than three decades ago, Chaa Creek has grown into one of Belize’s finest luxury resorts, catering to tourist from around to world and Belizeans.

The resort boasts a wide range of accommodations, including a collection of cottages with retrofitted interiors, pleasingly designed to complement the surroundings. Guests also have the option to experience one of the many suites furnished with amenities such as a Jacuzzi. Or sip on one of several infused cocktails by the relaxing infinity pool.

As a quest, I welcomed the relaxing ambience which, coupled with a warm reception, signaled a stress-free weekend.

Chaa Creek offers a variety of activities and we began early in the morning by bird watching with one of the resort’s professional naturalists who is highly trained to spot and identify the many tropical birds.


Julio Hernandez

Julio Hernandez, Naturalist Guide

“Chaa Creek is one of the best birding hotspots in Belize. We rank third throughout the country. This year we have recorded two hundred and ninety-seven species of birds. We are the second best birding hotspot in Cayo.”


We then sat down for a delicious Belizean-style breakfast inside Chaa Creek’s palapa Mariposa restaurant. Our stay then took us to the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm where the “Belizean Blue” is in abundance. Visitors are given the opportunity, as part of a package deal, to witness the life cycle of these majestic creatures.


David Juarez

David Juarez, Naturalist Guide

“Butterflies are pollinators and to the Lodge at Chaa Creek, they retain to our sustainable development especially reforestation but mainly they are pollinators and that is the message we try to take across each and everyone who comes to the butterfly farm.”


Our guide, David Juarez then escorted us to the resort’s Natural History Center where a fascinating timeline of Belize’s history, biodiversity and geography is on display.


David Juarez

“There are displays where people can learn about like the snake displays, bird and insect displays. We have endangered species display and also archaeology which some of the artifacts were found her on the property. That makes it unique here and the pieces found are right on display here at the Nature Centre.”


And finally! It was time for lunch. We returned to the Mariposa Restaurant where our taste buds were spoiled with a delectable ‘Jungle Cuisine’.

As part of its sustainable goals, Chaa Creek has dedicated thirty-three acres to its Maya Organic Farm where its freshly harvested ingredients are produced. The fruits and vegetables are handpicked by the chef, taken to the kitchen and prepared using a combination of modern and ‘old fashioned’ cooking techniques for a mouthwatering meal.

Our guide then led us to the horse stables where I met Crystal, one of several well-groomed and trained horses, for my first horseback riding experience.


Emil, Naturalist Guide

“This is Crystal. She will be your ride for today. Feel free to pet her and make sure she gets used to you. We at Chaa Creek, we ride western. Basically, you would stop to pull back, to go to your right you pull to the right. To go to the left, you pull to the left. Always remember that these guys are like big dogs. They respond really well. Make sure you talk to them. That is always important.  You hold right above the knot with one hand. And then you can use the other hand if you feel comfortable holding on to the saddle. When we are out in the trail, we are mostly under the canopy so it is nice and cool. There are options when we get into the open areas if you would like to canter we can do some cantering with the horse.”


We rode off from the Chaa Creek Stables, into the trails as our guide pinpointed the flora and fauna within the reserve.  And for the last leg of the trail, we cantered.

Naturalist guide MeshackEliah joined us as we ventured deeper into the reserve for the Rainforest RTV Safari tour. The tour took us along rainforest trails to a cohune ridge and through broadleaf forests that support a wide variety of wildlife.

From there, we disembarked at the Hilltop Spa for a relaxing massage in one of the most stunning, relaxing settings imaginable. The spa overlooks the Macal River and guests receive professional spa treatments enhanced by the background music of tropical birds and the gentle rustling of leaves.


Nancy Bonilla

Nancy Bonilla, Spa Manager

“We offer different types of massages. We have body treatments, the facials which are excellent because we have people with acne. We also have the manicure, pedicure. One of the best comments is like Oh I feel like I am in heaven, I feel like I am surrounded by angels.”


We caught up with Alex Cermeno, our guide for the Creatures of the Night Tour where the exotic beauty of the tropical night comes alive.


Alex Cermeno, Naturalist Guide

“You see it is there on top of a branch. He camouflages so perfectly that if you see him, he puts himself right upright like a portion of a broken branch. Many persons gave it the nickname of the stick bird but its name is the Northern Potoo. It is also a nightjar species. Are we seeing right on top? Welcome to the master of camouflage. And in the background, you’ll here owl vocalizing. That is the Mottled Owl. When you look at the night walk, you look at eye reflections. You look out for sound and noises.”


And to end the night, a four-course meal was prepared for us near the infinity pool and under the starry skies. Hipolito Novelo, News Five.


In Friday’s newscast, we’ll take a look at what it takes to run the award-winning, eco-friendly resort.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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