But it hasn’t always been that way. Wild? Yes. Civilized? Not so much.
It all began in 1977 when two young globetrotters arrived in
In true entrepreneurial style, the Flemings figured a way to purchase the property, and the rest is history.
Before long Mick and Lucy were living in a thatched roof house in the middle of the jungle. The land was now producing milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs while the Flemings were producing two children.
So thick was the forest surrounding the land, there was no access road to the property. To make a living Mick and Lucy paddled their produce to market in San Ignacio by dugout canoe just as the native Maya had done ten centuries earlier.
Living so close to the land had a profound affect on the Flemings. They became environmentally savvy and, as time passed, they began to develop a philosophy that contemporary luxury could, indeed, exist in harmony with nature.
Today Mick, with his tussled hair, khaki shorts and shirt and mud-covered boots, resembles a modern version of “Jungle Jim.” His youthful enthusiasm, exuberance and energy are infectious. It only takes one encounter with the owner to understand how Chaa Creek Resort evolved into an elegant paradise in the middle of the Belizean jungle.
Four years after buying the land, Mick and Lucy opened a thatched roof jungle lodge. It was the first of its kind in
By 1983, the British Army Corps of Engineers had built a road. In the same year, a dining room was added to cater to the six existing cottages. Six more cottages followed two years later, along with indoor plumbing and a 6,000 gallon water tower.
For more than three decades the Flemings have dedicated their lives to “stimulating interest in the environment and local culture.”
Though larger now, the original garden provides most of the produce used in the resort restaurant. With more than 60 species of vegetables, herbs and fruit trees, the 30-acre Maya Organic Farm is a favorite tour for guests that can be done either by vehicle or on horseback.
Even the swimming pool is environmentally designed with salt water that continuously circulates and re-cycles.
Activities include a private 365 acre nature reserve, miles of well maintained nature trails, nature hikes, birding, horseback riding, mountain biking and canoeing on the
Thanks to Mick’s unlimited creativity and imagination, the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm propagates one of the most beautiful butterfly species in the world. The butterfly farm and nature centre are complimentary for guests. Others pay $5
Popular off-property tours of Mayan archaeological sites include Xunantunich and Cahal Pech situated on a hill overlooking San Ignacio. Both are just a 30-minute drive from Chaa Creek.
For the more adventurous, try caving at Actun Tunichil Muknal, known as the “place of fright,” or Barton Creek Cave which is part of one of the longest archaeological sites in
Like all of
Rates are seasonal. From December 16 to April 30, cottages are $235 per person for a single, $165 per person double or $125 per person in a triple. The rest of the year is priced at a per person price of $215 (single), $150 (double) and $115 (triple). Suites and villas are priced per room accommodating between 2 and 6 people depending upon the size of the space. High season prices range from $380 to $625 per suite. Low season goes for $350 to $575 per suite.
Within easy walking distance of the lodge, traveler’s on a budget may want to stay in one of ten Casitas located on the banks of the
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
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