A Slice of Heaven at Chaa Creek Eco-Lodge

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I swore that I was not a resort girl. I was fighting them tooth and nail. I wanted to prove to myself that, somehow, I was a “true” traveler. I didn’t need the luxury. We’re hardcore right?

My world was turned upside down when we were invited to Chaa Creek in San Ignacio, Belize.

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Situated in the heart of the Belizean rainforest, they brought everything I could imagine to the table. One of the big things that really drew me to Chaa Creek was their social responsibility as a company to keep their resort green and sustainable. How many other places put 10% of their room revenue back into the community – supporting environmental, educational, and community programs? This is something that we care deeply about it and I am proud to be able to support Chaa Creek in this endeavor.

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We arrived dusty, hot, and sunburned after making our way on a ferry, 2 chicken buses, and a taxi over a period of 10 hours. As we fumbled up to the front desk we were greeted with a hearty hello, a complimentary cup of jamaica juice, and a cold towel that smelled phenomenal. We quickly gulped down the deliciousness and took a moment to bury our scorched faces into the towel. Little did I know that this would set the precedent for the rest of our stay.

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We were taken through a quick tour of the property that carried a calm and ethereal ambiance. Tiki torches, candles, and lights lit the paths, bar, restaurant, and the pool. Everything gave off a glow that was welcoming and warm.

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Our guide left us at our personal bungalow complete with robes, hammocks, bottled water, enough towels to be able to clean a small army, and an incredibly comfortable bed. After being in hostels and on the boat, we quickly jumped in and made ourselves a comforter burrito… but not before the solar shower – with HOT water. *swoon* With the distant cry of the howlers in the morning, we found ourselves in a small slice of heaven. There is nothing in the world quite like the sounds of a rainforest.

I think I gained all the weight I had managed to lose during the course of our trip due to the meals. I like to eat. *pokes stomach* The restaurant didn’t disappoint. During our stay we had a traditional Belizean breakfast, french toast, a breakfast burrito, fresh coffee, ceviche, corn fritters, beet tostadas, thai salad, jicama salad, steak with a pesto sauce, fish chowder, chicken kabobs, coconut shrimp, and a rich chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream on top. Obviously not all at once but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have given it a go if I had the opportunity. Everything was artfully put together and I just barely remembered to take pictures of the food before I shoved it into my mouth.

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There are so many free things you can do there that are part of the Chaa Creek eco resort as well. Here are a few things that we did:

Natural History Museum:

From the history of the Maya to the flora and fauna of the area, Shaun and I were able to geek out at all the information and specimens presented. My favorite part of this area? The Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm. Those pretty blue butterflies you see everywhere are kept in a hands on area where you can experience these beauties landing all over you. (I just hope you’re not creeped out by bugs.) I can’t even fully express the glee I had when interacting with the Blue Morphos.

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Take a canoe and head up the Macal River. If you can make it up the third set of rapids, there are some awesome areas to picnic, a botanical garden, and ruins. Shaun and I only made it up the second set before giving up. I’m not sure if it was because we were lazy or that another argument on how to steer the canoe was going to end up in WWIII.

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Regardless, the moments of serenity afforded you views like this.

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…and our very popular picture of canoeing with our feet in (I swear Shaun was helping too. I’m not his pack mule.).

The hike there is beautiful as well:

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The Rainforest Medicine Trail

If you’re into plants, this hike covers quite a bit. If you show up on the hour, you get a free tour of the area. Many trees and bushes are labeled with descriptions of the genus and overall makes a very scenic hike as you make your way next to the Macal River.

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The Salt Water Swimming Pool

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As a kid growing up in Arizona, Shaun always had a pool in his backyard. In the 15 years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him so excited about a pool. We took the opportunity to take both day swims and night swims (to peek at the nearly full moon in the rainforest). Although I think people get annoyed with how playful we are in the pool. 😛

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If you’re looking for something a little more budget friendly, they also offer the opportunity to stay in the Camp Casitas at the end of the Medicine Trail. This campground is super cute! With a bonfire ring, a kitchen that serves breakfast and dinner, along with all the activities mentioned above, you have everything at your fingertips!

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To say the least, we were impressed and I may have been converted. Dare I say that Shaun and I are considering making a resort stay part of our yearly itinerary? Chaa Creek showed us that all inclusives can also line with our ecological ethics. As we found ourselves wrapped in the lap of luxury, I realized that occasionally, even the most hardcore traveler just needs to splurge for a couple of days. We not only rested our bodies, but our minds. If it is good enough for Prince Harry, it is good enough for us!

If you’re looking to make your way to Belize this summer, make sure to make your reservations at Chaa Creek as they are celebrating the 2013 Summer of Love sale. Until June 14, 2013, they are offering 20% off of all accommodation – and in the month of May, you can also receive 10% off the “Belize Swim Suits and Hiking Boots” tour package which takes you from the the amazing beaches of Placencia to the Mayan ruins of Tikal. You really can’t beat that!

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Make sure to include them in your summer vacation plans!

Disclosure: We were guests of Chaa Creek, however all opinions are our own. I mean, come on, look at those pictures. We can’t lie about dreamy!


36 Responses to “A Slice of Heaven at Chaa Creek Eco-Lodge”

  1. Carri Uranga May 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Looks like a perfect place to hold a Yoga Teacher Training! Is it near the beach? I’ll def check out their website. Thanks for the great story!

    • Erica May 13, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      It would be EXTRA awesome but it is not. It is in the heart of the rainforest. It would still be great as a yoga retreat though!

    • Giselle June 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      that taco looks so good!

  2. Cam @ Traveling Canucks May 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    We stayed there a couple years ago, so your photos have brought back fun memories. We did the canoe trip also and almost hit a massive snack – scared the crap out of Nicole (who was within a couple feet of the snake).We had some good times in that pool!

    • Cam @ Traveling Canucks May 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Snake (not snack!)

    • Erica May 13, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      I don’t know what I would have done had we seen a giant snake. Girl screams would have ensued and paddling like hell.

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures May 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    This place looks BEYOND amazing! I got goosebumps when I saw the blue butterfly pics!!!

    • Erica May 13, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      I got goosebumps being with them. I felt like a fairy princess when a few landed on me lol.

  4. Jennifer May 10, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Wow this place looks amazing and the food looks devine too! Maybe on my honeymoon i’ll be able to visit somewhere like this!

  5. Larry Waight May 10, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Thanks for the review Erica and Shaun.

  6. Ashley of Ashley Abroad May 12, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    The ceviche, swimming pool and butterflies look especially divine- I would love to go there!

    • Erica May 13, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      It is like a dream. I could have spent MUCH longer there. <3

  7. Tina Laurent May 12, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Beautiful resort! I would love to go again…

    • Erica May 13, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      When were you there last? 😀

  8. Hogga May 13, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    literally looks like heaven!

    • Erica May 13, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      I know. I was so sad to leave. It was a nice way to regroup, think, and make plans… while not thinking, eating, and sitting out. 😛

  9. Ayngelina May 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    You know I spent so little time in Belize while I was in Central America and didn’t really connect with it but this place could make me change my mind.

    • Erica May 30, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Belize is really hit or miss sometimes – especially because it is not cheap in any way. I think I’m okay with a splurge like this when it is done so well. I think there is a side of this country I am missing.

    • Larry Waight June 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      If you decide to come back to Belize, we would love to host you Ayngelina!

  10. Barbara Weibel May 14, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    Sweet photo of you with the butterfly

    • Erica May 30, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      Thank you Barbara. I was super excited that we got this shot. These are by far my favorite bugs. So beautiful.

  11. Kenin Bassart May 14, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Looks like a wonderful spot to reflect on the world. Nice!

  12. Nicole @ Green Global Travel May 14, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    This place looks amazing! I think I just found where we are staying for our Belize trip

    • Erica May 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      YES. This place is AWESOME.

  13. Ali May 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Definitely looks and sounds like a great place to stay! I’m not a big fan of resorts either, but this doesn’t seem like a typical resort, and I love how eco-friendly they are. Glad you had a great time!

    • Erica May 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

      The eco friendly is what got me. My solar shower was the greatest thing EVER.

  14. Alex May 17, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    So fun to see this! I visited Cha Creek maybe ten years ago when I was staying at the nearby Blancanaux Lodge with my family. Can’t remember why we stopped by Chaa Creek, maybe it was the butterflies? Would love to return there now!

    • Erica May 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      They have a whole bunch of cheap activities that are super family friendly so I’m sure it was probably the butterflies that sparked it.

  15. Randy Kalp May 18, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Wow, now that is my kind of place! Not sure why, but I am a sucker for thatched roofs. Love that they are socially conscious too.

    • Erica May 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      ME TOO. I can’t help that I love palapas. They remind me of paradise and I’m instantly in love.

  16. Liz | Two Weeks to Travel May 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    When it looks like that, I say a bit of luxury can’t hurt every now and again, especially if it is eco friendly!

    • Erica June 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      For realz! We kinda needed it by that point. Going budget is hard on the soul sometimes.

  17. Abi June 12, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    No-one needs luxury. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it!


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