Pook's Hill Lodge is located at the foothills of the Maya Mountains in the Cayo District of Belize, bordering the Roaring River and Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. The lodge is situated within a 300 acre Private Reserve encompassing the site of an ancient Maya Plazeula Group. This, coupled with its unparalleled position in the very heart of the country, makes Pook's Hill a perfect base to discover the sites and sounds of Belize.
Adventurers, researchers, birders, families, and those looking to explore all that Belize has to offer will find Pook's Hill an ideal destination. The adventure begins along the 3/4 mile access road that leads you through the rainforest; private nature trails in the reserve take you past giant Mahogany, Cedar, Strangling Fig and Ceiba. The forest is the home of Belizean mammals such as the tapir, jaguar, coati mundi, gibnut.
The lodge surrounds a small Maya plaza with rolling lawns, leading to a river and jungle. Each of the 11 cabanas has a private bathroom, 24 hr electricity and a fan. Enjoy a cool drink in the open bar and delicious Caribbean-style cuisine in the lantern-lit dining room.
The thatched cabanas surround a Maya site and overlook the forest canopy and creek below. The bar/veranda is ideal for birding or just relaxing in the tranquil setting.
Activities at the lodge include: birding, hiking, river tubing and swimming. The lodge is walking distance from the cave, Actun Tunichil Mucnal, the most adventurous caving expedition in Belize. Cave tubing or canoe tours on the Belize and Macal rivers or tours to Caracol, Tikal and Xunantunich are also offered.
Pook's Hill has been endorsed by ornithologists as in a league of its own. The birding from the lodge veranda, the meadows and along the riverside is superb. Birders can enjoy miles of forest trails, river walks and open landscape. Hummingbirds give a spectacular display at the veranda and there are good sightings of trogans, motmots, toucans and most of the forest species.
Pook's Hill Reserve is a delight to explore. Hike pass giant mahogany and under a tangle of lianas. Discover the various medicinal plants, orchids, palms and hardwood and the insects and animals that use the rainforest of Belize as their home. There are extensive jungle trails and an information sheet about the plants and trees.
Enjoy the crystal clear water of the Roaring River just downstream from the Thousand-Foot Falls in the Maya Mountains of Belize. Pook's Hill has two miles of frontage on the Roaring River. It is perfect for tubing or cooling off in one of the hidden jungle pools.
The horses at Pook's Hill are as enthusiastic as the riders for a day of adventure in the Belize rainforest. The riding trail meanders under the jungle canopy, through the river and into the open valley. Take advantage of being on horseback to enjoy the exciting Belizean landscape at the foothills of the Maya Mountains. The rides are suitable for both novice and experienced riders.
One of the most exciting adventures in Belize is in our valley, on our doorstep. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave) (Mayan for 'Stone Sepulchre Cave') is a truly unique caving experience. The cave is accessed by hiking through jungle trails and traversing the Roaring River. At the hourglass entrance of the cave, you will swim through a turquoise pool and venture upstream over rocks and through formations to the cave's main chamber. Combining spectacular natural formations and the untouched remains of ancient Maya rituals, Actun Tunichil Muknal is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
For those looking for a softer adventure, we also provide tours to Barton Creek Cave or Caves Branch.
Pook's Hill Lodge is the perfect jumping-off point to explore the rich archaeological heritage of Belize.
At the heart of the Pook's Hill property is a Maya residential complex dating mainly to the Terminal Classic Period (ca.830-950 AD). The site is being investigated and consolidated by Christophe Helmke and Jaime Awe as part of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project. For additional information click here
- Natural History
Natural interest is in all that is around, the forest, flora and fauna. Pook's Hill Nature Reserve offers an ideal location, in the heart of prime rainforest, for students and researchers alike. Adjacent to the 300 acre private reserve at Pook's Hill, is the 6,700 acre preserve of the Tapir Mountain Reserve. This is closed to tourism but access is available for research. This preserve is managed by the Audubon Society Belize.
Researchers use these facilities and leave valuable information. This is available to all our guests. There is also a well established High Rise Habitat for nesting birds.
Tours and on-site activities
Spend the day exploring the unique jungle setting of the 300 acre Pook's Hill Nature Reserve and enjoy any or all of the following complimentary activities:
EARLY MORNING BIRDING
Wake up with the birds as the sun rises over the hills to bath the jungle in light. Pook's Hill has been described as a "birders paradise" and is host to birding groups who come yearly to marvel at the both the native forest birds and our winter visitors. Let one of our naturalist guides help you spot toucans, trogons, orioles, woodpeckers, and hawks (just to name a few) all right around the lodge center! Early morning coffee and tea can be served for this activity upon request.
GUIDED WALKS ON JUNGLE TRAILS
Choose from a walk through old growth primary rainforest where you will see ancient trees and mind-bending vines or the flood plain thicket forest, popular haunt of Belize's national animal, Baird's Tapir. One of the experienced naturalist guides will be happy to take you on a guided exploration of these trails and teach you about jungle ecology, local fauna, and local uses of the forest's varied plant life. Or, grab a map and head out to explore the bush yourself!
INNER TUBING AND SWIMMING ON THE ROARING RIVER
Take a 15 minute walk on the flood plain forest trail towards the Roaring River with your inner tubes and one of the friendly staff who will take you on a run of the river. Once you know the ropes, go back for as many more rides as you like! We also encourage guests to go down to the river and enjoy our many "natural swimming" pools, beautiful stone beaches, and lovely riparian forest. A splashing good time!
NIGHT HIKE IN THE JUNGLE
The jungle is a different world once the sun goes down. Head out with your flashlight to experience a bit of the "night life" and see if which forest dwellers come out to join you.
(These activities are subject to a first come first served basis and pre-arrangement with the management is recommended to ensure the availability of a guide for specific activities (all are also great as self-guided activities). River activities may be unavailable during periods of flood.)