Belize is the fastest-growing destination in the Caribbean and tempts all sorts of travellers with its abundance of rainforests, beaches, nature reserves and ancient Mayan ruins. This year, a jungle resort is looking to cater to this new wave of tourism with an eco-friendly travel experience that won't break the bank.
The Macal River Camp is an eco-lodge resort hidden inside a 400-acre private nature reserve in Belize's Cayo District, the country's top spot for eco-adventure tourism. It's the little sister property of the Lodge at Chaa Creek, an upmarket hotel with a lush tropical rainforest setting on the Macal River.
Macal River Camp is located half a mile from the Lodge and offers a more budget-friendly mix of 10 rustic casitas (the Spanish for 'small house') which are essentially screened-in wooden cabins on stilts. Inside there are comfy double or single beds with mosquito nets and a shady veranda. All cabins share clean bathrooms and hot showers, along with a thatched-roof dining area, a kitchen, a large campfire and a canoe landing.
"The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s little sister property offering our guests a simple pace and a natural setting which allow visitors to stop and savour the sounds of the jungle, the gardens and their endless varieties of flowers and scents, and the night sky, loaded with stars," said Robert Harrison, marketing administrator at Chaa Creek.
The camp is totally in tune with its jungle environment and is an ideal sport for bird-watching, hiking and canoeing. Getting there is a bit of a trek though, you'll have to park in the designated area and hike in through the jungle for about half a mile. Rates start from US$75 (€66/£57) per night and you don't have to spend extra cash on activities. Canoeing, guided bird walks, and visits to the onsite rainforest medicine trail, natural history centre and butterfly farm are included in the cost.
While the Macal River Camp has been open to guests as an under-the-radar spot for some years, this is the first time Chaa Creek is officially marketing it for travellers. For more information or to book a stay, see here.