30,000 acres of wilderness, surrounded by half a million acres of conservation lands, provide what many believe to be the best wildlife-viewing opportunity in the Americas.
At Chan Chich Lodge you will experience what expeditions of past centuries set out to find: architectural wonders of the ancient Maya lost in the jungle.
With an unparalleled abundance of wildlife (and the best chance to see the elusive jaguar in its natural habitat) Chan Chich is an extraordinary destination for naturalists, birders and for those seeking an authentic retreat to the jungle.
Each guest, by staying at Chan Chich Lodge, is directly contributing to ongoing efforts to protect both the natural and cultural patrimony of Belize. We look forward to your visit.
Chan Chich Lodge is dedicated to developing lasting economic stability in Northwestern Belize through agriculture. Coffee, cattle and a variety of greens are being grown organically by local people who are paid fair wages and treated with fairness and respect. It all goes from our farm to your table.
Products that are not yet grown at Gallon Jug are found in the nearest town to Chan Chich Lodge, Spanish Lookout. That way we are responsible for a very small footprint that is compensated with the conservation of 30,000 acres of forest. Guests are in for a treat when they dine with us.
Thanks to our large working farm, Chan Chich sources roughly 60% of its food products from right on the premises.
Diners at our comfortable indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar will enjoy a variety of special Belizean dishes as well as an array of international flavors using the finest in local ingredients. The restaurant is located in our main lodge building surrounded by forest, garden and the buried grandeur of Mayan ruins.
All of the locally crafted cottages are built on top of the Main Plaza of the Mayan Temple the property protects. The thatched roofs of the cottages were inspired by traditional Mayan architecture. Each cottage is situated just a short walk from the main lodge. Wrap around veranda with hammock, chairs and futon for lounging Native tropical landscape views.
Native tropical landscape views. 2 double and 1 queen size beds with hand-crafted mosquito netting and natural eucalyptus fiber-cotton blended linens to enhance your sleep experience. Double-height rooms with cozy loft sleeping area and ceiling fans. En suite bathroom with shower and biodegradable, organic soaps, lotions and shampoos.
Luxury Cottage (2 Bedrooms)
Wrap around veranda including a screened in hot tub, lounge chairs and outdoor dining space Outdoor shower adjacent hot tub porch. 2 spacious bathrooms with lighted mirrors, double sinks, toilet and bidet, and bathtub with biodegradable, organic soaps, lotions and shampoos.
2 queen size beds or 1 king sized bed (depending on cottage) with hand-crafted mosquito netting and natural eucalyptus fiber-cotton blended linens to enhance your sleep experience. (occupancy 2-4 adults) Spacious en suite bathroom with lighted mirrors, double sinks, toilet and bidet, and double-headed rain shower with biodegradable, organic soaps, lotions and shampoos.
Our on-property tours are part of the Chan Chich experience and you won’t want to miss them. We employ three full-time experienced naturalist guides to ensure you get the most out of your time with us.
All guided tours in the Chan Chich Reserve help support the ongoing maintenance and land preservation of the rich Selva Maya biodiversity.
Hiking and learning about the rainforest interconnectedness with our trained, experienced guides not only offers an authentic local interpretation of the breathtaking natural beauty of our rainforest reserve, but it also means you’re supporting our local community by providing employment.
Chan Chich Lodge has an extensive trail system of over nine miles of well-maintained trails for hiking and exploring. Trails have directional signs and numbered markings that match the different plants and archaeological features throughout the trail system booklet.
Guests are free to explore the trails on their own or sign up for a guided walk service with one of our resident experts. Walking tours of the trail system area are available at your request.
Archaeological Walk: Led by one of our resident guides, guests will learn about the once thriving Mayan community known as Chan Chich, or “Little Bird.” The tour starts in the main plaza, which was once a Mayan ball court. Guests will visit the Upper Plaza and get a glimpse of various “looters’ trenches” from within. Our guides will share their vast knowledge of Mayan architecture, culture and medicine.
Birding Walk: Chan Chich is home to hundreds of resident bird species and hosts various species of migrant species. Our guides spend numerous hours studying their habitats, feeding habits and calls, allowing them to maximize unique sightings. This tour is sure to please beginning birders as well as seasoned veterans.
Medicinal Plant Walk: Spend some time with our guides learning about a variety of medicinal plants that were used by the Maya and are still used today throughout the region. Learn about the healing properties of the Provision Tree, Twelve O’ Clock Plant and many others.
Night Walks: As the sun sets on the tropical rain forest many creatures are settling down for the night while a host of nocturnal creatures emerge. After dinner, grab a flashlight and join your guide for a walk around the lodge area and surrounding trails. See Tarantulas and other spiders, Tree Frogs and various interesting critters. Go deeper into the trails for a chance at Kinkajous, Margays and Ocelots.
Night Drives: This safari-style drive uses our specially designed open-backed truck. Private tours utilize our battery powered golf cart. Guides are equipped with high-powered spotlights and will search for the eye-shine of nocturnal fauna.
Guests will see several nocturnal birds such as the Northern Potoo and the Spectacled Owl while searching for creatures closer to the top of the food chain.
The tour starts at Chan Chich and makes its way along Chan Chich Road, or the old Sylvester Road in search of nocturnal sightings. While Jaguar, Ocelot, Margay, and Puma can be spotted at all hours, the night drive is considered by most to be the best chance for a natural sighting.
Laguna Seca: The name of this wetland habitat translates to “Dry Lake” in English. The area is often patrolled by a troop of resident spider monkeys and is known for drying up completely in years with severe dry seasons.
It is a spot known for water loving bird species such as the Northern Jacana, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Anhingas and many others. It is also known as a seasonal spot for Lovely Cotingas and Ornate Hawk-eagles.
Upper Escarpment: Sitting over 900 feet above sea level, the upper escarpment is one of the highest points on the property and worth it for the breathtaking vista alone. The high elevation and broad field of view allow bird watchers glimpses of various raptors and vultures that soar the areas thermals. Black-and-White Hawk-Eagles and White Hawks are common to the area.
Gallon Jug Area: Explore the open area around the Gallon Jug farm and coffee plantation for many resident and migrant species. Toucans, Red-lored Parrots, Crested Guan and many others are permanent residents. Combine this with a Gallon Jug farm tour to learn about the various agricultural projects on the property.
Canoeing: Laguna Verde is a natural spring-fed lake approximately four miles north of the Gallon Jug farm. Take advantage of this tranquil lake and explore the area for the non-dangerous Morelet’s Crocodile, turtles and various bird species. It is not uncommon to spot White-lipped and White-collared Peccary when driving to the lake.
Horseback Riding: We have a stable of beautiful horses for horseback riding around the Gallon Jug farm and nearby jungle trails. We offer 1, 2 or 3 hour guided rides along jungle trails and/or to remote Mayan sites, such as Punta de Cacao, hidden deep within the jungle of Gallon Jug. This is a Western style horseback riding experience suitable for guests of all ages.
We care about our beautiful country as well as our amazing planet. For this reason we focus our attention on three R’s: Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. Although we have electricity 24/7 we curb electricity use by turning off lights and fans when not in use.
Although water is plentiful we manage it carefully in the lodge and staff housing. Staff gathers rainwater at their house and purifies it for cooking or washing. Our gardeners are working to plant an edible landscape of fruit bearing trees within the lodge grounds, and these items make their way into our kitchen and onto your plate. Ask for fresh lime juice the next time you’re thirsty!