The Cayo District is where nature, culture, and wildlife meet and your Belize adventure begins. This is where birds and butterflies glide through the resort gardens, where the gleaming hard-wood verandas of lodge dining rooms look out over majestic river gorges, and where a chorus of howler monkeys provide the soundtrack to your evening meal.

Western Belize is best known for its spectacular Maya sites, its abundant adventure activities, its prolific wildlife, and for its lush tropical forests. It has also become famous for its premier nature lodges and inns, which provide guests with a range of comforts and direct access to the area's spectacular attractions. Many of the Cayo District's accommodations are truly destinations in themselves with extensive properties that offer myriad onsite activities to their guests. Whether you prefer a cozy inn, a remote jungle lodge, a fun hotel in town, or a luxurious resort, the Cayo District truly has it all.

Click here to view SabreWing Travel's Top Picks for Adventures & Activities in the Cayo District>

Riverview cabana at Black Rock

Black Rock Lodge

This unique eco-lodge nestled in forest overlooking the Macal River in the Maya Mountains of Belize offers stunning rainforest surroundings and abundant opportunities for nature and adventure activities. Whether canoeing down the Macal River, hiking the various trails on the property, or simply looking out over the forest from the lodge dining room, the abundant diversity of the local flora and fauna is evident everywhere at Black Rock. This 242 acre property is a premier destination for nature enthusiasts of all sorts and bird watchers may be rewarded by over 300 species of resident and migratory birds that inhabit the area.  The lodge's airy one-room cabins boast stunning views of Black Rock Canyon, the Macal River, and the surrounding forest and are built to take advantage of the fresh mountain breezes and the stunning jungle location. Black Rock Lodge prides itself on its excellent customer service and top notch guides, as well as and its commitment to environmental stewardship - All of the lodge’s electricity is supplied by a custom hybrid system consisting of micro-hydro and solar power and the delicious meals at the restaurant are prepared with fresh ingredients from the onsite organic garden.

Recommended Activities at Black Rock Lodge: Tikal and Yaxha Maya Site day tours in Guatemala, Xunantunich, El Pilar and Cahal Pech Maya Sites in Belize, Bird Watching, Hiking, Inner Tubing, and Conoeing onsite, and doing Yoga on the stunning yoga platform overlooking the river

River Valley View Cabana at TABLE ROCK LODGE

Table Rock Lodge

Table Rock Lodge combines the natural beauty and sustainable practices of a forest eco-lodge with guest services more typical of an upscale resort to create an intimate experience in a beautiful environment offering comfortable lodgings, gourmet dining, and attentive personal service. Located on a 104 acre property that borders the Macal River, Table Rock offers a relaxing nature retreat that is just 20 minutes from San Ignacio town allowing guests full access to the area's main attractions while staying in a forest location. Owners Allan and Colleen live onsite and oversee all aspects of the lodge to ensure that guests receive the excellent service that Table Rock has become famous for offering. Their meals are decidedly gourmet and serve up delicious creations with fresh ingredients and a local twist. Table Rock’s eight free standing rooms are spread throughout the forest around the main lodge to offer guests privacy while the rooms' large screened windows allow the sounds and sights of the forest in so you can feel the jungle location. This lodge offers an intimate experience that is perfect for couples, friends, and families.

Recommended Activities at Table Rock: Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Maya Sites, ATM Cave, Barton Creek Cave & Green Hills Butterfly Farm, Canoeing on the Macal River, Tikal and Yaxha Maya Site day tours in Guatemala, Caracol Maya Site & the Mountain Pine Ridge

Pook's Hill Lodge is surrounded by 7,000 acres of rainforest

Pook’s Hill Lodge

Pook’s Hill is a small jungle lodge located in the middle of a 300 acre primary rainforest reserve in the foothills of the Maya Mountains and it is the buffer zone to the 7,000 acre Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. This is truly one of Belize’s most authentic jungle lodges offering visitors intimate nature experiences – miles of hiking trails allow you to explore the forest and knowledgeable naturalist guides provide complimentary guided bird watching, nature walks, night hikes, and inner tubing on the Roaring River. Tasty meals are served buffet style at the lodge center, where guest dine together. The beautiful hardwood verandah/bar area provides the perfect setting to relax over a cup of coffee or cold drink while watching howler monkeys dine on the leaves of a nearby tree. Eleven thatch cabanas surround an ancient Maya Plazuela group and look out of over the dense jungle and provide charming comfort with a simple but thoughtfully designed aesthetic in a truly remote setting. Pook’s Hill Lodge is a favorite among bird watchers, biologists, and nature enthusiasts and is the perfect choice for those looking for a truly authentic jungle immersion experience. It's location in the center of the Cayo District also make it an excellent base camp for exploring the region’s attractions, including the world famous ATM Cave, which is on its doorstep.

Recommended Adventures and Activities at Pook's Hill Lodge: ATM Cave, Guided Jungle Walks, Night Hikes, Bird Watching, and Inner Tubing on the Roaring River, Cave Tubing & Zip-line Combination Tour, Crystal Cave Adventure, Xunantunich Temples and Macal River canoeing

The dining terrace at Mystic River Resort

Mystic River Resort

Located on a steep bank overlooking the Macal River, 7 miles (1/2 hour drive) from San Ignacio town, Mystic River Resort is an intimate  nature resort offering well-appointed suites crafted with fine touches that deliver just the right amount of luxury while accentuating the splendid jungle environment. All rooms are detached units with their own fireplaces, verandahs providing fabulous vistas of the forest and the Macal River valley, and sparkling bathrooms with black quartz counters and spacious showers. The extensive menu at Mystic River offers an assortment of delicious meals which are prepared with ingredients from the onsite farming operation (including fresh eggs, organic vegetables, and goat cheese made by the owner, Nadege), and are served up in the open air dining room with views of the jungle and river. Mystic River is an ideal destination to enjoy nature and the resort is well situated for day trips to the area's main attractions including the mountain pine ridge. Mystic River also offers specialty tours with their Polaris 4 wheel drive vehicle to water-falls and caves that are not available anywhere else.

Recommended Adventures and Activities at Mystic River Resort: Blancaneaux Cave & Sapodilla Falls, Caracol Maya Site & the Mountain Pine Ridge, ATM Cave, Howler Monkey Trip, Barton Creek Cave & Green Hills Butterfly Farm, Hiking, Bird Watching, Canoeing, Spa Treatments at the onsite Jasmine Spa

Estate rooms at Hidden Valley Inn

Hidden Valley Inn

Hidden Valley Inn is located in a private wilderness reserve spread along the escarpment of the Mountain Pine Ridge area of the Cayo District, arguably one of Belize's most pictureque settings. The 7,290 acre Hidden Valley reserve offers exclusive access to some of the country’s best hiking with miles of trails that lead through verdant ravines, crisscross crystal clear creeks, lead to majestic waterfalls, and provide breathtaking vistas.  Over 80 species of wild orchids cling to the walls of rocks that line aqua-blue jungle pools at the foot of spectacular waterfalls that are accessible only to Hidden Valley guests. Exploring the property on your own is easy and the inn provides radios, maps and even catered picnics. Experienced guides are also available for guided hikes and bird watching, to share their holistic knowledge of the area, and to take guests on a wide range of day tours. Hidden Valley Inn’s main house emulates Victorian plantation style in its decor, and is elegantly designed with airy ceilings and fireplace lounges for cooler mountain nights. Twelve cottages are scattered throughout the gardens and are appointed with comforts and amenities that indulge guests and highlight the beauty of the setting. Stone hearths, polished mahogany furnishings, plush leather chairs, a pool terrace set amid flourishing gardens, spa services, and a gourmet dining experience create an atmosphere of rustic luxury at Hidden Valley Inn that caters to the every comfort of guests.

Recommended Activities at Hidden Valley Inn: Caracol Maya Site & the Mountain Pine Ridge, Hiking through ravines to hidden waterfalls on miles of trails, Bird Watching, Barton Creek Cave & Green Hills Butterfly Farm, Maya Cutural Tours, Relaxing and Indulging at the Inn

Cabana overlooking Privassion Creek at Blancaneaux Lodge

Blancaneux Lodge

Blancaneaux Lodge – Francis Ford Coppola’s “dramatic hideaway in a rainforest wonderland” – is a gorgeous boutique nature lodge offering luxurious accommodations in a truly breathtaking setting. Twenty free-standing rooms are tucked among lush tropical foliage overlooking the turquoise pools of Privassion Creek in the remote Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Nestled within beautifully manicured gardens, the comfortable Garden View Cabañas feature a large screened-in porch with hammock, and will transport you to an exotic, tropical paradise. Riverfront Cabañas feature an expansive deck overlooking Privassion Creek and Luxury Cabañas offer a secluded setting and feature their own private plunge pools and a second outdoor shower. Spacious Two Bedroom Villas and the Family Cabana offer the ideal set-up for families and friends traveling together. All rooms showcase Guatemalan decor and antiques, have hand-painted tile bathrooms and feature the following in-room amenities: bathrobes, safe deposit box, mini-bar stocked with water, wine, soft drinks, Belikin beer, and local snacks, Illy espresso machine, ceiling fan, writing table & chair, alarm clock & iPod docking station, and hair dryer. The Montagna Ristorante offers classic Italian meals while the poolside Guatemaltecqua specializes in the cooking of Guatemala. Both restaurants feature herbs and vegetables grown in the thriving three-acre Organic Garden, which is located right at the lodge. Other onsite amenities include the Jaguar Bar, the Waterfall Spa, which specializes in the art of Thai massage and offers a variety of other treatments, wraps, and massages, the onsite horse stables, a fresh water infinity pool, and an adults only hot pool adjacent to the spa and overlooking the creek. Blancaneaux offers a truly pampered experience in an intimate and wild setting.  

Recommended Activities at Blancaneaux Lodge: Caracol Maya Site & the Mountain Pine Ridge, Hiking to Big Rock Falls, Bird Watching, Barton Creek Cave & Green Hills Butterfly Farm, Horse Riding, Relaxing and Indulging in a treatment at the Waterfall Spa

the tree houses at Cave's branch Lodge

The Treehouses At Cave's Branch Lodge

The Tree Houses at Ian Anderson’s Cave Branch Lodge provide the ultimate luxury jungle immersion experience. All ten tree houses are perched on a hillside above the Cave’s Branch River and include spacious living rooms with floor to ceiling screens providing direct views of the mature forest that surrounds the rooms. But despite being right in the jungle, these rooms are anything but rustic and are appointed with exquisite hardwood furniture pieces, local artwork, spacious marble bathrooms with his and her sinks and hot water, electric lights and fans, and good screens that keep the jungle critters out but let the jungle sounds in and offer panoramic views of the forest. Each room has a raised bedroom with king bed over-looking the living room (some have bunk beds), while the Canopy Tree Houses also feature an upstairs private deck with soaker tub, and the Two Bedroom Tree Houses have an additional 2nd floor bedroom with king bed and private bathroom. Cave’s Branch Lodge itself is beautifully landscaped with a seamless blend of cultivated and jungle plants co-mingled to form their onsite botanical garden. A lovely pool area is perched on a cliff overlooking the Cave’s Branch River next the open air restaurant, which offers buffet meals and family style dining in a casual atmosphere. The lodge’s excellent in house tour company offers some of the most unique and exciting adventure tours in the country.

Recommended Activities at Cave's Branch Lodge: The Black Hole Drop Rappelling Tour, River of Caves Tubing, Waterfall Cave Expedition, Hiking and Bird Watching at the Blue Hole National Park, River Cave Expedition


the Lodge at Chaa Creek

“Wildly civilized” is the motto at Chaa Creek, a beautiful luxury resort set along the banks of the Macal River about 20 minutes from San Ignacio Town in the western portion the Cayo District. Chaa Creek is one the region’s original jungle lodges, and since its inception in 1981, it has grown and expanded into the area’s premier full-service resort offering an exquisite blend of natural beauty and man-made comforts. All amenities are decidedly upscale with intricate furnishings and added design touches that create an atmosphere of pampered luxury within a lovely tropical garden setting. The grounds are beautifully landscaped – mature trees and palms shade the gardens that surround the rooms and verdant lawns extend from the large infinity pool to meet the forest that surrounds the resort. Chaa Creek boasts a full service spa, restaurant, bar, and natural history center with Blue Morpho Butterfly enclosure, and all are attended by competent, well-trained staff who will cater to your every need. This is a perfect choice for those looking to experience the region’s adventures while indulging in the comforts of an upscale resort in a lovely setting.

Recommended Activities at Chaa Creek: Tour of the Natural History Center, Horse Riding, Canoeing, Tikal Maya Site in Guatemala, Xunantunich Maya Site, ATM Cave, Cave Tubing & Zip-line Combination Tour, Caracol Maya Site & the Mountain Pine Ridge, Barton Creek Cave & Green Hills Butterfly Farm

The pool at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel

The San Ignacio Resort Hotel

The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a full-service Belize resort located in San Ignacio town and offering classic resort amenities that include a pool, spa, tennis courts, and full restaurant and bar. Though it is right in town, the hotel is perched above a strip of forest overlooking the Macal River which provides a lovely setting with views of the trees and a quiet retreat from the bustle of San Ignacio. Meanwhile, this location offers the visitor the opportunity to explore and enjoy one of Belize’s most vibrant communities. The San Ignacio market, the Cahal Pech Maya Site, and an assortment of local restaurants and shops are all accessible by foot from the hotel, which is also perfectly located to visit many of the area’s top attractions. The resort is one of the longest running of the area’s accommodations and has been recently renovated. All rooms offer updated amenities and classic Belizean charm – our favorites are the spacious Deluxe rooms and Suites. The resort staff provide excellent service 24 hours a day and exemplify the warmth of Belize’s people. A stay here is the perfect choice for those seeking to enjoy a tropical resort setting with quick access to town and many adventures.

Recommended Activities at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel: The Iguana Project (a conservation program onsite!), Tikal Templs in Guatemala, Horse riding to the Xunantunich Maya Site, Cahal Pech Maya Site, ATM Cave, Cave Tubing & Zip-line Combination Tour, Caracol Maya Site & the Mountain Pine Ridge