The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Cayo District
Near San Ignacio
Chaa Creek Nature Reserve
Tel: 501 824 2037
Concierge.com's insider take:
When vagabonding Brits Mick and Lucy Fleming happened upon the Cayo district's Chaa Creek, circa 1977, they thought an organic vegetable farm would be just the thing there. The project failed, but agriculture's loss was eco-tourism's gain. Having hosted guests even in the property's early days, the Flemings quickly understood the site's potential, and have since built 23 thatch-roofed, locally furnished cottages. Though there's something to recommend every room, stay in an airy (and aerie-like) Tree Top Jacuzzi suite, and you'll find yourself eye to eye with the denizens of the surrounding hardwoods' upper branches. When you come down from your perch, there's plenty to do on-site: hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, horseback ridingand the serious practice of sybaritism (at the eco-decadent spa, Mayan chocolate forms the basis for everything from a cocoa massage to a fondue wrap). Off-campus excursions include a trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal (a.k.a. "ATM," or Cave of the Stone Sepulcher).