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Blancaneaux Lodge, Cayo District

Editor's Pick
Belize, Central + South America
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
Tel: 800 746 3743 (toll-free)
Tel: 501 824 3878's insider take:

Blancaneaux is the kind of place that makes you feel as if you were being put up by your rich, eccentric uncle. Of course, he's merely your figurative uncle—unless you happen to be, say, Nicolas Cage. Yes, Francis Ford Coppola is the proprietor in question, and his tastes and travel loot pervade the place, where he's blended Central American textiles, Mexican curios, a Thai spa (with some of the best massage this side of the Mekong), and most recently, a Guatemalan restaurant to supplement the Italian fare already on offer at Montagna. The mix works beautifully, not least because of its setting: on the banks of a cascading river in the middle of a pine forest. Napping is a constant temptation, whether in one of the 19 breezy, thatch-roofed rooms or one of the innumerable hammocks hanging around. But then you'd miss the hiking, river swimming, and horseback riding on the property; not far away, you can survey jungle-shrouded ruins. Combine a trip here with a visit to Coppola's Turtle Inn for an abridged version of the best of Belize.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.