Sustainable tourism is not just a buzz word, it’s a way of life: for sale

Sustainable tourism is not just a buzz word, it’s a way of life

Cristo Rey, San Ignacio, Belize


1 980 000 USD

Agent: Cliff Jacobs - Managing Principal Estate Agent & CEO (Nat.Dpl.Hotel Man (UJ). M.P.R.E.)
Agent Cellphone: +27 (0) 84 413 1071 / +27 (0) 61 716 6951
Agent Office Number: +27 (0) 21 554 0283
Agent Email Address:
Type: Eco Lodge
Bedrooms: 10
Bathrooms: 10
Showers: 10
Parking: 10
Yield: Not Disclosed

San Ignacio

San Ignacio and Santa Elena are towns in western Belize. San Ignacio serves as the cultural-economic hub of Cayo District. It got its start from mahogany and chicle production during British colonisation. Over time it attracted people from the surrounding areas, which led to the diverse population of the town today. San Ignacio is the largest settlement in Cayo District and the second largest in the country, after Belize City.


The town was originally named El Cayo by the Spanish. On 19 October 1904, El Cayo was officially declared a town by the government of British Honduras. In the past a creek ran between the Macal and the Mopan rivers one mile outside of San Ignacio going toward Benque Viejo. This creek then fulfilled the definition of an area of land completely surrounded by water and thus the name Cayo, "island". There was a large wooden bridge across this creek in the late 1940s, but since the creek eventually dried up, the area was filled with limestone gravel and today there remains no evidence of its existence. The demise of the creek, however, took away the distinction for the classification of a 'cayo' from the venerable western town of 'El Cayo' and returned it to a regular land mass.


San Ignacio is situated on the banks of the Macal River, about 63 miles (101 km) west of Belize City and 22 miles (35 km) west of the country's capital: Belmopan. The town has an area of approximately 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2).


The population is largely Mestizo, followed by Kriol, and some Lebanese and Mopan Maya. San Ignacio also boasts a fairly large Chinese population, most of whom emigrated from Guangzhou in waves in the mid-20th century. The Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout is situated a few miles outside San Ignacio. The 2010 census counted 17,878 inhabitants in San Ignacio and Santa Elena, of whom 8,751 are males and 9,127 are females. The total number of households is 4,351 and the average household size is 4.1.

Santa Elena

In recent years San Ignacio has absorbed the formerly separate village of Santa Elena. San Ignacio and its sister-town Santa Elena make up Belize's second largest urban area. The two towns are connected by Belize's only suspension bridge, the one-lane Hawkesworth Bridge across the Macal river, built in 1949. The two are collectively referred to as the "Twin Towns" although San Ignacio has a larger population. As of 2010, Santa Elena has a population of 7,389 compared with San Ignacio's population of 10,489.


San Ignacio is currently governed by a town council affiliated with the United Democratic Party (UDP). The mayor is Earl Trapp, also of the UDP. Town council elections are held every three years to elect the mayor and council. Both UDP and People's United Party (PUP) candidates participate in town elections. The next municipal elections are scheduled for the year 2020.

At the national level, the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area is represented by three constituencies in the Belize House of RepresentativesCayo CentralCayo North and Cayo North East.

Educational institutions

San Ignacio has three main colleges. Sacred Heart College of Catholic denomination is the largest institution, with both a high school and a junior college division, and is one of the largest high schools in Belize. Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School and Saint Ignatius High School (Catholic) are also found here.

Galen University was founded in 2003 and is located at Central Farm, a couple of minutes east of San Ignacio. The University of Belize also has an agricultural campus next to Galen.

Health care

The city is served by the San Ignacio Hospital, which is a regional clinic, and the Loma Luz Adventist hospital in Santa Elena. It also has various clinics, doctors and pharmacies scattered around town, and "the only official medical electives program run by Belizians."


The area around San Ignacio is one of the most popular parts of the country for tourism. Nearby attractions include the ancient Maya ruins of CaracolXunantunichCahal Pech, and El Pilar. Notable caves to explore include the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, which includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware, and Barton Creek Cave, which is popular among adventure tourists interested in cave canoeing.

Also popular among adventure travelers are nature reserves such as the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve, and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. A day trip to Mountain Pine Ridge allows visitors to go on several hikes and visit waterfalls, caves, and Maya ruins.


Belize is a Caribbean country on the northeastern coast of Central America. It borders Mexico to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Guatemala to the west and south. It has an area of 22,970 square kilometres (8,867 sq mi) and a population of 419,199 (2020). Its mainland is about 290 km (180 mi) long and 110 km (68 mi) wide. It has the lowest population and population density in Central America. Its population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2018 estimate) is the second-highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Its capital is Belmopan, and its largest city is Belize City.

The Maya civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 BC and AD 300 and flourished until about 1200. European contact began in 1492 when Christopher Columbus sailed along the Gulf of Honduras. European exploration was begun by English settlers in 1638. Spain and Britain both laid claim to the land until Britain defeated the Spanish in the Battle of St. George's Caye (1798). In 1840 it became a British colony known as British Honduras, and a Crown colony in 1862. It achieved its independence from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1981.

Belize has a diverse society that is composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. It is the only Central American country where English is the official language, while Belizean Creole is the most widely spoken dialect. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language, followed by Mayan languagesGerman dialects, and Garifuna. Over half the population is multilingual, due to the diverse linguistic backgrounds of the population. It is known for its September Celebrations, its extensive barrier reef coral reefs, and punta music.

Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. It is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the American and Caribbean regions. It is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organizations. It is the only mainland Central American country which is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state, represented by a Governor General (currently, Dame Froyla Tzalam). It is considered a tax haven.


The earliest known record of the name "Belize" appears in the journal of the Dominican priest Fray José Delgado, dating to 1677. Delgado recorded the names of three major rivers that he crossed while travelling north along the Caribbean coast: Rio Soyte, Rio Kibum, and Rio Balis. The names of these waterways, which correspond to the Sittee RiverSibun River, and Belize River, were provided to Delgado by his translator. It has been proposed that Delgado's "Balis" was actually the Mayan word belix (or belize), meaning "muddy-watered". More recently, it has been proposed that the name comes from the Mayan phrase "bel Itza", meaning "the road to Itza".

In the 1820s, the Creole elite of Belize invented the legend that the toponym Belize derived from the Spanish pronunciation of the name of a Scottish buccaneer, Peter Wallace, who established a settlement at the mouth of the Belize River in 1638. There is no proof that buccaneers settled in this area and the very existence of Wallace is considered a myth. Writers and historians have suggested several other possible etymologies, including postulated French and African origins.

Early history

The Maya Civilization emerged at least three millennia ago in the lowland area of the Yucatán Peninsula and the highlands to the south, in the area of present-day southeastern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and western Honduras. Many aspects of this culture persist in the area, despite nearly 500 years of European domination. Prior to about 2500 BC, some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages; they domesticated crops such as corn, beans, squash, and chili peppers.

A profusion of languages and subcultures developed within the Maya core culture. Between about 2500 BC and 250 AD, the basic institutions of Maya civilization emerged.

Early colonial period (1506–1862)

Spanish conquistadors explored the land and declared it part of the Spanish Empire, but they failed to settle the territory because of its lack of resources and the hostile tribes of the Yucatán.

English pirates sporadically visited the coast of what is now Belize, seeking a sheltered region from which they could attack Spanish ships (see English settlement in Belize) and cut logwood (Haematoxylum campechianum) trees. The first British permanent settlement was founded around 1716, nearly 200 years after the Spanish had initially arrived, in what became the Belize District, and during the 18th century, established a system using enslaved Africans to cut logwood trees. This yielded a valuable fixing agent for clothing dyes, and was one of the first ways to achieve a fast black before the advent of artificial dyes. The Spanish granted the British settlers the right to occupy the area and cut logwood in exchange for their help suppressing piracy.

The British first appointed a superintendent over the Belize area in 1786. Before then the British government had not recognized the settlement as a colony for fear of provoking a Spanish attack. The delay in government oversight allowed the settlers to establish their own laws and forms of government. During this period, a few successful settlers gained control of the local legislature, known as the Public Meeting, as well as of most of the settlement's land and timber.

Throughout the 18th century, the Spanish attacked Belize every time war broke out with Britain. The Battle of St. George's Caye was the last of such military engagements, in 1798, between a Spanish fleet and a small force of Baymen and their slaves. From 3 to 5 September, the Spaniards tried to force their way through Montego Caye shoal, but were blocked by defenders. Spain's last attempt occurred on 10 September, when the Baymen repelled the Spanish fleet in a short engagement with no known casualties on either side. The anniversary of the battle has been declared a national holiday in Belize and is celebrated to commemorate the "first Belizeans" and the defence of their territory taken from the Spanish empire.

Independent Belize (since 1981)

Belize was granted independence on 21 September 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation because of its longstanding territorial dispute with the British colony, claiming that Belize belonged to Guatemala. About 1,500 British troops remained in Belize to deter any possible incursions.

With Price at the helm, the PUP won all national elections until 1984. In that election, the first national election after independence, the PUP was defeated by the United Democratic Party (UDP). UDP leader Manuel Esquivel replaced Price as prime minister, with Price himself unexpectedly losing his own House seat to a UDP challenger. The PUP under Price returned to power after elections in 1989. The following year the United Kingdom announced that it would end its military involvement in Belize, and the RAF Harrier detachment was withdrawn the same year, having remained stationed in the country continuously since its deployment had become permanent there in 1980. British soldiers were withdrawn in 1994, but the United Kingdom left behind a military training unit to assist with the newly created Belize Defence Force.

The UDP regained power in the 1993 national election, and Esquivel became prime minister for a second time. Soon afterwards, Esquivel announced the suspension of a pact reached with Guatemala during Price's tenure, claiming Price had made too many concessions to gain Guatemalan recognition. The pact may have curtailed the 130-year-old border dispute between the two countries. Border tensions continued into the early 2000s, although the two countries cooperated in other areas.

In 1996, the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the Western Hemipsphere's most pristine ecosystems, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The PUP won a landslide victory in the 1998 national elections, and PUP leader Said Musa was sworn in as prime minister. In the 2003 elections the PUP maintained its majority, and Musa continued as prime minister. He pledged to improve conditions in the underdeveloped and largely inaccessible southern part of Belize.

In 2005, Belize was the site of unrest caused by discontent with the PUP government, including tax increases in the national budget. On 8 February 2008, Dean Barrow was sworn in as prime minister after his UDP won a landslide victory in general elections. Barrow and the UDP were re-elected in 2012 with a considerably smaller majority. Barrow led the UDP to a third consecutive general election victory in November 2015, increasing the party's number of seats from 17 to 19. However, he stated the election would be his last as party leader and preparations are under way for the party to elect his successor.

On 11 November 2020, the People's United Party (PUP), led by Johnny Briceño, defeated the United Democratic Party (UDP) for the first time since 2003, having won 26 seats out of 31 to form the new government of Belize. Briceño took office as Prime Minister on 12 November.


Belize is on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America. It shares a border on the north with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the west with the Guatemalan department of Petén, and on the south with the Guatemalan department of Izabal. To the east in the Caribbean Sea, the second-longest barrier reef in the world flanks much of the 386 kilometres (240 mi) of predominantly marshy coastline. The area of the country totals 22,960 square kilometres (8,865 sq mi), an area slightly larger than El Salvador, Israel, New Jersey, or Wales. The many lagoons along the coasts and in the northern interior reduces the actual land area to 21,400 square kilometres (8,263 sq mi). It is the only Central American country with no Pacific coastline.

Belize is shaped like a rectangle that extends about 280 kilometres (174 mi) north-south and about 100 kilometres (62 mi) east-west, with a total land boundary length of 516 kilometres (321 mi). The undulating courses of two rivers, the Hondo and the Sarstoon River, define much of the course of the country's northern and southern boundaries. The western border follows no natural features and runs north–south through lowland forest and highland plateau.

The north of Belize consists mostly of flat, swampy coastal plains, in places heavily forested. The flora is highly diverse considering the small geographical area. The south contains the low mountain range of the Maya Mountains. The highest point in Belize is Doyle's Delight at 1,124 m (3,688 ft).

Belize's rugged geography has also made the country's coastline and jungle attractive to drug smugglers, who use the country as a gateway into Mexico. In 2011, the United States added Belize to the list of nations considered major drug producers or transit countries for narcotics.


Belize has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons, although there are significant variations in weather patterns by region. Temperatures vary according to elevation, proximity to the coast, and the moderating effects of the northeast trade winds off the Caribbean. Average temperatures in the coastal regions range from 24 °C (75.2 °F) in January to 27 °C (80.6 °F) in July. Temperatures are slightly higher inland, except for the southern highland plateaus, such as the Mountain Pine Ridge, where it is noticeably cooler year round. Overall, the seasons are marked more by differences in humidity and rainfall than in temperature.

Average rainfall varies considerably, from 1,350 millimetres (53 in) in the north and west to over 4,500 millimetres (180 in) in the extreme south. Seasonal differences in rainfall are greatest in the northern and central regions of the country where, between January and April or May, less than 100 millimetres (3.9 in) of rainfall per month. The dry season is shorter in the south, normally only lasting from February to April. A shorter, less rainy period, known locally as the "little dry", usually occurs in late July or August, after the onset of the rainy season.

Hurricanes have played key—and devastating—roles in Belizean history. In 1931, an unnamed hurricane destroyed over two-thirds of the buildings in Belize City and killed more than 1,000 people. In 1955, Hurricane Janet levelled the northern town of Corozal. Only six years later, Hurricane Hattie struck the central coastal area of the country, with winds in excess of 300 km/h (185 mph) and 4 m (13 ft) storm tides. The devastation of Belize City for the second time in thirty years prompted the relocation of the capital some 80 kilometres (50 mi) inland to the planned city of Belmopan.

In 1978, Hurricane Greta caused more than US$25 million in damages along the southern coast. In 2000, Hurricane Keith, the wettest tropical cyclone in the nation's record, stalled, and hit the nation as a Category 4 storm on 1 October, causing 19 deaths and at least $280 million in damage. Soon after, on 9 October 2001, Hurricane Iris made landfall at Monkey River Town as a 235 km/h (145 mph) Category 4 storm. The storm demolished most of the homes in the village, and destroyed the banana crop. In 2007, Hurricane Dean made landfall as a Category 5 storm only 40 km (25 mi) north of the Belize–Mexico border. Dean caused extensive damage in northern Belize.

In 2010, Belize was directly affected by the Category 2 Hurricane Richard, which made landfall approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi) south-southeast of Belize City at around 00:45 UTC on 25 October 2010.[ The storm moved inland towards Belmopan, causing estimated damage of BZ$33.8 million ($17.4 million 2010 USD), primarily from damage to crops and housing.

The most recent hurricane to affect the nation was Hurricane Nana in 2020.


Belize has a small, mostly private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction recently assuming greater importance. The country is also a producer of industrial minerals, crude oil, and petroleum. As of 2017, oil production was 320 m3/d (2,000 bbl/d). In agriculture, sugar, like in colonial times, remains the chief crop, accounting for nearly half of exports, while the banana industry is the largest employer. In 2007 Belize became the world's third largest exporter of papaya.

The government of Belize faces important challenges to economic stability. Rapid action to improve tax collection has been promised, but a lack of progress in reining in spending could bring the exchange rate under pressure. The tourist and construction sectors strengthened in early 1999, leading to a preliminary estimate of revived growth at four percent. Infrastructure remains a major economic development challenge;[97] Belize has the region's most expensive electricity. Trade is important and the major trading partners are the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and CARICOM.

Belize has four commercial bank groups, of which the largest and oldest is Belize Bank. The other three banks are Heritage Bank, Atlantic Bank, and Scotiabank (Belize). A robust complex of credit unions began in the 1940s under the leadership of Marion M. Ganey, S.J.


Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the nation, and their respectively wide variety of foods. It might best be described as both similar to Mexican/Central American cuisine and Jamaican/Anglo-Caribbean cuisine but very different from these areas as well, with Belizean touches and innovation which have been handed down by generations. All immigrant communities add to the diversity of Belizean food, including the Indian and Chinese communities.

The Belizean diet can be both very modern and traditional. There are no rules. Breakfast typically consists of bread, flour tortillas, or fry jacks (deep fried dough pieces) that are often homemade. Fry jacks are eaten with various cheeses, "fry" beans, various forms of eggs or cereal, along with powdered milk, coffee, or tea. Tacos made from corn or flour tortillas and meat pies can also be consumed for a hearty breakfast from a street vendor. Midday meals are the main meals for Belizeans, usually called "dinner". They vary, from foods such as rice and beans with or without coconut milk, tamales"panades" (fried maize shells with beans or fish), meat pies, escabeche (onion soup), chimole (soup), caldo, stewed chicken, and garnaches (fried tortillas with beans, cheese, and sauce) to various constituted dinners featuring some type of rice and beans, meat and salad, or coleslaw. Fried "fry" chicken is another common course.

In rural areas, meals are typically simpler than in cities. The Maya use maizebeans, or squash for most meals, and the Garifuna are fond of seafood, cassava (particularly made into cassava bread or ereba), and vegetables. The nation abounds with restaurants and fast food establishments that are fairly affordable. Local fruits are quite common, but raw vegetables from the markets less so. Mealtime is a communion for families and schools and some businesses close at midday for lunch, reopening later in the afternoon.


According to the 2010 census, 40.1% of Belizeans are Roman Catholics, 31.8% are Protestants (8.4% Pentecostal; 5.4% Adventist; 4.7% Anglican; 3.7% Mennonite; 3.6% Baptist; 2.9% Methodist; 2.8% Nazarene), 1.7% are Jehovah's Witnesses, 10.3% adhere to other religions (Maya religionGarifuna religionObeah and Myalism, and minorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsHindusBuddhistsMuslimsBaháʼísRastafarians and other) and 15.5% profess to be irreligious.

According to PROLADES, Belize was 64.6% Roman Catholic, 27.8% Protestant, 7.6% Other in 1971.[125] Until the late 1990s, Belize was a Roman Catholic majority country. Catholics formed 57% of the population in 1991, and dropped to 49% in 2000. The percentage of Roman Catholics in the population has been decreasing in the past few decades due to the growth of Protestant churches, other religions and non-religious people.[126]

In addition to Catholics, there has always been a large accompanying Protestant minority. It was brought by BritishGerman, and other settlers to the British colony of British Honduras. From the beginning, it was largely Anglican and Mennonite in nature. The Protestant community in Belize experienced a large Pentecostal and Seventh-Day Adventist influx tied to the recent spread of various Evangelical Protestant denominations throughout Latin America. Geographically speaking, German Mennonites live mostly in the rural districts of Cayo and Orange Walk.

The Greek Orthodox Church has a presence in Santa Elena.

The Association of Religion Data Archives estimates there were 7,776 Baháʼís in Belize in 2005, or 2.5% of the national population. Their estimates suggest this is the highest proportion of Baháʼís in any country. Their data also states that the Baháʼí Faith is the second most common non-Christian religion in Belize, followed by Judaism. Hinduism is followed by most Indian immigrants, however, Sikhs were the first Indian immigrants to Belize (not counting indentured workers), and the former Chief Justice of Belize George Singh was the son of a Sikh immigrant, there was also a Sikh cabinet minister. Muslims claim that there have been Muslims in Belize since the 16th century having been brought over from Africa as slaves, but there are no sources for that claim. The Muslim population of today started in the 1980s. Muslims numbered 243 in 2000 and 577 in 2010 according to the official statistics. and comprise 0.16 percent of the population. A mosque is at the Islamic Mission of Belize (IMB), also known as the Muslim Community of Belize. Another mosque, Masjid Al-Falah, officially opened in 2008 in Belize City.

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About Us

The owners' story begins in 1998, when they honeymooned in Belize with only a rented 4×4, an axe, and a paper map. With little distraction, they became enamored by jungle life–the land, the flora and fauna, and most all, perhaps, the people. Belize became the spot they returned to again and again.

After several years, they decided to set down roots in the same way that their Belizean adventure began, purchasing a thick swath of jungle and an abandoned farm. For the time being, they’d live in a tent with no running water, no electricity, only a rough idea of a citrus farm, and a dream of sustainable living.

The first walking trail was chopped by machete in 2002 and the eco lodge was born. Their dream of sustainable living had bloomed like bougainvillea into what would become an award-winning 105-acre jungle reserve with 10 cabanas, farm-to-table dining, and eco-adventures in the heart of the Belize jungle.

The lodge has worked to preserve its natural surroundings using solar power, keeping the number of guest rooms limited, employing local villagers, and by replenishing one of Belize’s earliest natural resources–the mahogany tree. All electricity is produced onsite and the majority of the water for the lodge is supplied by purified rain and river water. In addition to experiencing the jungle canopy, guests are invited to gather exotic tropical fruits and visit with the donkeys, bunnies, and laying hens on the organic farm.

The lodge's love of the local people has extended to its eco-lodge guests who visit from all across the world, bringing with them stories and ideas, and experiencing the jungle with a sense of childlike wonder and an ever-changing appreciation of the natural world.

Join us in rediscovering yourself and connecting with nature in the Belizean jungle.

Once a local farm where Belizeans had cultivated corn, beans, and watermelon, the lodge’s current farm was re-developed by the owners after having been abandoned for over a decade. Now a dedicated fruit farm, its major crop is Valencia Oranges. Also growing on the farm are several varieties of  mangoes, coconuts, avocadoes, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, breadfruit, sapodilla (chico sapote), starfruit (carambola), craboo, soursop (guanábana), bananas, plantains, guava, and chaya (a local green favored by the Maya). During different times of the year the farms also grows a small selection of fresh herbs, and you can visit its flower and plant nursery where the farm grows the tropicals that are used to decorate and landscape the lodge. The farm is home to a Kekchi Maya family and their children, as well as a small herd of donkeys and rabbits that the owners raise as pets, and a large flock of laying hens that supply them with the eggs they use in their restaurant. All of their farm animals receive food scraps from the lodge kitchen to supplement their diets and to aid in our recycling and waste reduction efforts.

The owners encourage you to take a walk around the farm, visit with the Ba Family, pet and feed the animals, and help yourself to any of the farm's tropical fruits — the only rule is that you eat what you pick.

Cristo Rey Village

Located on a high bank above the Macal River and with a population of less than 1,000, Cristo Rey is the closest village to the lodge and the home of most of of the owners' staff and their families. The Belizeans living in Cristo Rey are almost exclusively Mestizo (Spanish-Mayan heritage) and grow up speaking Spanish in the home. English is learned a little while later when mandatory attendance at the village’s only school begins at age four or five. Most villagers also speak Kriol, a Caribbean mix of English, Spanish, Mayan, and Garifuna languages.

The majority of villagers from Cristo Rey are employed in one way or another by the tourism industry, with the remaining population working for the government, for private individuals, or in agriculture. Most villagers own their own homes and land in the village, and frequently own additional large plots outside of the village which are used for farming and livestock.

The people of Cristo Rey are warm and genuine, and respect hard work and family loyalty highly. Laughter and camaraderie are commonplace throughout the village, and a general air of happiness and contentment cannot be missed as you pass through. The owners welcome all their guests to interact and get to know the members of their staff and to visit their charming village.

San Ignacio Town

San Ignacio, originally dubbed El Cayo (“The Caye”) by the Spanish for its island-like position between the Macal and Mopan Rivers, has been the cultural and economic center of the Cayo District in Western Belize since 1904. Only 5 miles from the lodge, San Ignacio is home to Belize’s only drivable suspension bridge, The Hawksworh, which connects San Ignacio with Santa Elena. Collectively referred to as the Twin Towns.

Second Largest Municipality In belize

San Ignacio-Santa Elena is the second largest municipality in Belize. With around 18,000 inhabitants, San Ignacio-Santa Elena is home to a largely Mestizo and Kriol population sprinkled in with Lebanese, Mayan, and Chinese cultures. The large Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout is located just a few miles outside of the Twin Towns, so it’s fairly commonplace to see a colorful interaction of all of these ethnic groups mingling and doing business together.

Every Saturday, the San Ignacio Market comes alive with farmers selling local fruits and vegetables. Vendors also hawk crafts, clothing, and household goods. Some vendors show up on other days as well, but Saturday has by far the largest market. Town is also home to other fun cultural activities such as the Green Iguana Conservation Project, Ajaw Mayan Chocolate Demonstration Center, and the Marie Sharp’s Tourist Centre & Culinary Class.


Garden View Rooms

Our two Garden View Rooms share a veranda overlooking the tropical flower garden and are within easy walking distance of the dining room and bar.

  • Bed: 1 Queen
  • Building Style: Duplex with Semi-Shared Veranda
  • View: Garden
  • Number of Rooms Available: 2

Thatched Roof Cabana

Sleep like the ancient Maya in a fully thatched cabana overlooking the jungle.

  • Bed: 1 Queen and 1 Futon
  • Building Style: Stand-Alone
  • View: Jungle
  • Number of Cabanas Available: 1

Jungle View Cabanas

Larger and more private than the Garden View Rooms, the Jungle View Cabañas are spacious, stand-alone rooms offering either a handcrafted queen-sized or king-sized four poster bed and futon, private thatched roof veranda, and gorgeous views of the surrounding jungle.

  • Beds: 1 Queen or 1 King, and 1 Futon
  • Building Style: Stand-Alone
  • View: Jungle
  • Number of Cabañas Available: 1 Queen & 2 King

River Valley View Cabanas

Our most secluded and spacious rooms, these cabañas are prized for their stunning views of the Macal River Valley from their cantilevered perches one hundred feet above the river.

  • Bed: 1 King and 1 Futon
  • Building Style: Stand-Alone
  • View: River Valley
  • Number of Cabañas Available: 4

Rainforest Cabin

Formerly the abode of the owners and closest to the dining room, this 2-bedroom/1-bath cabin features a private veranda, multiple ceiling fans, and a mixture of hardwood and ceramic tile flooring.

  • Beds: 1 King and 1 Bunk
  • Building Style: Two-Bedroom Stand-Alone
  • View: Jungle
  • Number of Cabins Available: 1

Amenities & Services

In Room Amenities

  • 24-Hour Electricity
  • Local In-Network Cell Phones (outgoing calls to the lodge only, unlimited incoming calls)
  • Daily Housekeeping Service
  • Shamrock Bluff House offers weekly housekeeping, daily service available for an additional fee
  • Hot Water River Stone Showers
  • Industrial Ceiling Fans
  • Locally Handcrafted Décor and Furnishings
  • Hammock (all rooms except Garden View Rooms)
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash
  • Bath Towels, Pool Towels, and Bed Linens
  • Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
  • Purified Drinking Water
  • Umbrella
  • Cutting Board and Bottle Opener
  • Alarm Clock

Property Amenities

  • 105-Acres of Nature Reserve and Working Citrus Farm
  • ½-Mile of Macal River Frontage
  • Wi-Fi Service in Common Areas
  • Saltwater Infinity Pool
  • Concierge Service
  • Arranging of adventure tours, ground and local air transfers
  • Reservations made at local restaurants, spas, and other sites
  • Maps on offer to surrounding sites and activities
  • Open-Air Fine Dining
  • Full Liquor Bar
  • Private Parking
  • Board Games
  • Safe
  • Specials & Vacation Packages
  • Adventures
  • Farm to Table


The lodge's culinary team strives to present you with a unique and unforgettable dining experience that will enhance your Belizean jungle adventure. We love farm-to-table cooking, and our gourmet chefs combine the freshest local products with their cooking skills to dazzle you with elegant candlelit dinners served outdoors in our stunning open-air dining room. 

Tiki torches and candles, jungle canopy and mouthwatering food, your own private paradise for the most romantic dinner you may ever have. With our private candlelight dinner service, you enjoy the best of the lodge’s lush surroundings, award-winning service, and outstanding flavors all to yourselves.

Want to try your favorite lodge foods at home? Get a little bit of Belize into your own kitchen with a collection of some of the lodge's most popular dishes with the lodge’s premier cookbook, From Our Jungle Kitchen.

The Bar is Open

Because drinking rum before noon makes you a pirate!


Imagine symbolically exchanging your vows in the midst of towering tropical hardwood trees, the flowing waters of the Macal River as a backdrop, and the calls of exotic birds announcing your bliss. Allow us to fulfill your idyllic vision of the destination wedding you’ve been dreaming of. Our dedicated team will work with you to arrange the ceremony, prepare the flowers, cake, photographs, and more—all that’s needed to ensure that your special day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a true celebration of love.

At the lodge, we specialize in symbolic intimate destination weddings of 20 guests or fewer. Our small size and location in the jungle-canopied river valley make the perfect backdrop for your wedding day. Our wedding ceremony is designed for 4 guests or less, so inquire for per person additional guest pricing and extras, such as a Waterfall Ceremony or a professional photo shoot. We offer a symbolic ceremony only, so our wedding couples should plan to make arrangements for their legal marriage in their home country prior to arrival in Belize.

Enjoy an amazing experience as you exchange your vows overlooking the pristine Macal River and surrounding jungle while spending 5 glorious nights in the heart of Belize’s jungle frontier.  Climb ancient Mayan ruins or thrill to an adventurous caving excursion, enjoy the lodge's award winning grounds and gourmet cuisine, and relax as our dedicated staff makes all the preparations for the intimate destination wedding you’ve always envisioned.

On-site Activities

Enjoy all that the lodge’s 105-acre reserve has to offer. There’s plenty to do without ever stepping foot off the property.

Guided Excursions

Mayan ruins, caving adventures, cultural experiences, and natural wonders— whatever your interests, the lodge offers all the best adventure and sightseeing tours in a small group setting and with the very best Gold Standard Certified guides in the country.

Explore the beauty and culture of Western Belize and all it has to offer on your own time-frame and at your own pace.

TRJL infinity pool
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TRJL front office
TRJL garden view cabana
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TRJL jungle infinity pool
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TRJL private candlelit dinner
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Cliff Jacobs (Nat Dpl Hotel Man (UJ). MPRE. GA Level 5 TEFL)

Managing Principal / CEO

Exquisite Hotel Consultants (Pty) Ltd

Mobile: +27 (0) 84 413 1071 / +27 (0) 61 716 6951

Landline: +27 (0) 21 554 0283

Skype: cliff.jacobs


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