Chaa Creek’s nature reserve is an adventure in itself and offers a range of exciting, educational and healthy activities for adventurers of all ages and abilities. Chaa Creek Nature Reserve’s miles of lush, well maintained trails are perfect for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking, and licensed guides are here to help you explore Belize’s natural history including the fascinating Maya civilization, which once thrived in this area. Canoe trips down the beautiful Macal River are a relaxing way to travel through the jungle, and with the Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, Rainforest Medicine Trail and numerous activities, your days at Chaa Creek are wonderfully full. And for exquisite pampering, there’s always the Hilltop Spa with stunning views and professional treatments guaranteed to soothe the spirit.
RAINFOREST MEDICINE TRAIL
Guided and self-guided tours wind gently above the bank of the Macal River past medicinal plants and introduce visitors to many of the plants and herbs used in traditional Maya medicine. See and learn about vines that store drinking water, plants that helps abate malaria, aid diabetics, cleanse the blood, plus many more.
Departures: Every hour from 8:00am - 4:00pm
Duration: 1-1 1/2 hours
BELIZE BIRD WATCHING
With 308 species of resident and migratory birds, the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve offers some of the best bird watching in Belize. Early Morning Bird Watching tours will take you around the 365 private acre nature reserve where professional naturalist guides, who are trained and knowledgeable birders, will assist you in spotting many of the tropical avian species that abound in western Belize. Daily guided birding tours are also offered to different nature reserves around the Cayo District.
Departures: Early Morning: 6:30am
Duration: 2 hours
Fitness: Average to good
BUTTERFLY FARM TOURS
The Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm continues to be a major attraction as people marvel at the splendid iridescent wings of these magnificent butterflies. The "Belizean Blue" can be observed during every stage of their life cycle. It begins its cycle as a pale green egg, which looks like a dewdrop, soon after it changes into a voraciously hungry caterpillar, then into the bizarre form of a dormant pupa, and finally into a dazzling beauty that delights the public in butterfly houses throughout the world.
Departures: Every hour from 8:00am - 4:00pm
Duration: 1/2 hour
Rent a canoe for exploring the Macal River. Take a trip upstream, paddling up as far as you wish before leisurely drifting back to Chaa Creek. Head downstream on the pristine Macal River as it flows from its headwaters in the Maya Mountains on its endless journey to the Caribbean Sea. Paddle and explore on your own or relax and enjoy the wonders of nature with a professional naturalist guide. Canoe tours to numerous sites on the Macal river can also be arranged.
Departures: Anytime before 2:00pm
Duration: 2-3 hours
The Belize Eco Resort has a picturesque trail network that will take you to many different areas of the 365-acre forest reserve. All of the trails are numbered as shown on a comprehensive trail map. For your comfort, hiking boots or tennis shoes and sunscreen or a cap are suggested. Feel free to explore on your own and at your leisure or join a guided tour and interact with an exotic tropical environment.
Fitness: Moderate to Good
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT WALK
Join the creatures of the night and experience the undiscovered side of the rainforest! Experienced and knowledgeable naturalist guides will take you through trails populated by Ocelots, Howler Monkeys, Tarantulas, Patoos, Jaguarundis and many more intriguing rainforest residents. The exotic beauty of the tropical night comes alive with troops of fireflies dancing through the trees, decorating the river valley below. The light from your head lamp may capture a surprised inhabitant, while a special ultraviolet light illuminates phosphorescent insects busy at work!
Duration: 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Fitness: Basic to Moderate
SAN IGNACIO MARKET TOUR
Local market days are great opportunities to experience Belizean life and colour, and this is certainly true for Cayo where every Saturday the market area comes alive with its own multicultural blend of colors, sounds, flavors and foodstuffs. This is the day when farmers and almost everyone comes into San Ignacio town to buy, sell, trade, gossip and generally catch up. If you want to experience real Western Belize life, this is the place, and what a pleasant, heady experience it is. Vendors from nearby and remote communities contribute to the melodic mix of Maya, Creole, English and Spanish while Mennonite farmers can be heard conversing in German. Your market day experience begins with a picturesque, downstream canoe trip down the meandering Macal River where a variety of birds and exotic jungle life can be seen along the verdant banks. The market experience begins at the canoe landing adjacent to the marketplace where a tour will familiarize you with the area before allowing you to experience everything at your own pace. The day ends with a lovely ride back to Chaa Creek, but this unique experience is guaranteed to stay with you for a long time.
Duration: Full day
HORSEBACK RIDING TOUR
Chaa Creek maintains a stable of well-groomed riding horses that are suited for all levels of riding experience. Guided rides traverse the trails of the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve through sub-tropical broadleaf forest past ancient Maya sites. As you ride along, your naturalist guide will highlight the various unique plant and wildlife species native to the reserve. Optional rides to the Maya Organic Farm and Belize Botanic Gardens may also be arranged.
Departures: Daily tours at 9:00am and 1:30pm
Duration: 2 1/2 - 3 hours
MAYA FARM TOUR
The 33 acre Maya Organic Farm is an integral part of the Chaa Creek Reserve. It provides freshly harvested produce for The Lodge at Chaa Creek and the Macal River Camp. The farm integrates traditional Maya farming with more advanced systems of irrigated raised beds of composted soil fed with nutrients derived from natures store house. As part of the many onsite activities offered guided horseback riding tours to the Maya Farm allow guests the opportunity to experience how the Maya farmed. They can see all the different fruits and vegetables that are grown and the different organic farming methods. Freshly harvested organic fruits and vegetables from our traditional Maya Farm are complimented by local dairy and meat products to create a distinct flavor of the Caribbean and Latin American region.
Departures: Varies, typically combined with horseback excursions
Duration: Half day
A team of experienced and specially trained naturalist guides will lead the way and share their extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna that you will encounter as you experience the sights and sounds of the tropical jungle. The trail system was designed to provide enjoyable cycling for riders of all experience levels. The designated routes will provide an exciting opportunity for beginners and adventurous thrills for the seasoned biker. In addition to the on-site trail system, guided tours are offered to many of the spectacular attractions of the Cayo District such as to the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich and then on to Clarissa Falls along the Mopan River.
Duration: Varies - 4 1/2 hours to full day
Fitness: Moderate to Good
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
The Chaa Creek Natural History Centre, situated at the top of the hill behind the cottages, takes students and visitors along a fascinating time line, which begins with prehistoric land formation through to the shifting of the continents. Visitors are able to see the movement of life in Belize through the ages; from Mayan temples in the steaming jungle to modern day traditional healers. A comprehensive introduction to the history and geography of Belize is on display along with visual displays of archaeological artifacts, butterflies, moths, insects and amphibians that capture the curiosity of young children, students and scientists alike. The forested area surrounding the Centre has become an educational destination which, combined with the Rainforest Medicine Trail, this offers an excellent opportunity to study medicinal and useful plants.
Departures: Guided tours at 8:00am and 1:00pm
Duration: Half day
HILLTOP SPA AT CHAA CREEK
To truly immerse yourself in the Belizean rainforest experience, take time out to enjoy the benefits of professional spa treatments in one of the most stunning, relaxing settings imaginable. The Hilltop Spa at Chaa Creek is set above the winding Macal River with a panoramic view of the Maya Mountains and lush Caribbean Rainforest – an extraordinary, peaceful setting enhanced by the background music of tropical birds and gentle rustling of leaves. Professional therapists will help you select from a range of treatments to create a personalized Spa experience guaranteed to put you in harmony with the beautiful natural surroundings – and yourself.
You’ll also be happy to know that your Chaa Creek Spa treatments don’t come at a cost to the natural environment. As with all onsite operations, the Spa lives in harmony with the natural surroundings with scrupulous attention paid to product selection and waste management. Natural, herbal based approach sets an example for sustainable, environmentally friendly spas. Naturally mineral rich mud treatments, herbal wraps and carefully chosen botanicals, sourced as locally as possible, enrich you without depleting the earth. Pamper yourself with a Chaa Creek Spa experience and see what jungle luxury really feels like – it will be another once-in-a-lifetime Belizean experience.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is making a splash with the latest addition to its 365-acre nature reserve. A new beautifully appointed, fresh water swimming pool has been added to the numerous onsite activities that Chaa Creek offers, and combines to make Chaa Creek an extra special holiday destination. The eco-friendly swimming pool was built with both adults and children in mind. Its bi-level configuration allows for swimming and paddling pools, as well as generous lounging space for dining, sun bathing and relaxation.