Welcome to the Jungle…

…the Belizean jungle, that is! No, the title is not a reference to the Guns n’ Roses song. I actually hate Guns n’ Roses, and only realized that it might be construed as a nod to that song after typing it in. So my first thought was to change the blog title, but then I had an “Office Space” moment and thought, “Why should I have to change? They’re the ones who suck!” So I’m keeping the title as is! Anyways…

We spent the latter five days of our vacation in the Belizean jungle. We stayed at a really unique resort, called a jungle lodge. It is fashioned after an all-inclusive beach resort, with a restaurant, bar, pool, and really nice accomodations, but it’s smack in the middle of the jungle. They have many hired guides and they take you on various adventure excursions. The place is called “Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company and Jungle Lodge.” Hereafter known as simply, Caves Branch. The lodge is located outside of the capital city of Belmopan (and I use the term “city” very loosely; the entire country of Belize has less than a million residents). We flew a prop plane into Belize City, then a guide from the Lodge picked us up and drove us the 2 hours to the place. Upon arrival, you must sign a waiver. If you don’t sign the waiver, you will not be shown your room and you will be escorted off the premises. The waiver is long, and contains much standard boilerplate language, but the intro paragraph is particularly interesting. I reprint it here:

“Caves Branch Ltd., the Jungle Lodge, is not a “resort” and is located in the wilds. Caves Branch Ltd., the Adventure Company, is not a sightseeing company and provides high adventure activities into the wilds of Belize. Being in the wilds and participating in high adventure activities in the wilds, is in itself, by definition…DANGEROUS. And can cause BODILY HARM and DEATH. All participants of all activities and services must acknowledge and take responsibility that DEATH MAY OCCUR. Initial here _______.”

So there you go. Whatever, we had a blast! I don’t regret a minute of it! Our room was spectacular. We had a treehouse suite, which is a luxury hotel room that is literally a treehouse. It contained a bedroom portion with king size bed, a bathroom and vanity, and a living room area with a futon, coffee table, other random furniture, and a balcony. The best part was our outdoor shower, though. Here are some pics of our suite.

As you can see, a tree runs through the living room area. And the walls you see? They are not windows. They are screens.

Our balcony.

The cleaning crew always folder our towels into shapes for us.
And on our last night, they gave us this! Very sweet…

The outdoor shower!!

The water came through the pipes system and out the bucket

The stall itself.

This picture was taken standing in the shower stall looking out. The jungle is right there as you are hosing off.

This is the pathway leading from our suite to the dining area and pool, and eventually out of the lodge. It was pitch black after dark. We always had to carry flashlights with us to dinner.

The dining area where we had breakfast and dinner. We got to socialize with all the other people staying at Caves Branch – fun times!!
The pool! We spent all our afternoons there; we would return from an excursion, shower off quickly, change into swimsuits, and then hit the pool and relax until dinner. It was heaven!

A couple more shots of the pool… 🙂

Caves Branch is (quite proudly) not sanitized from its jungle surroundings. As a result, there are jungle animals everywhere. The brochure even states, “The Caves Branch … is considered home to many wild animals that do from time to time visit the guest areas.” After you sign the waiver upon arrival, you are warned about snakes, and actually shown what the poisonous snakes look like. They have dead snakes preserved in jars, in the dining room, no less! All I saw was a little grass snake though, and Matt didn’t see any. He kept saying it wasn’t fair that I saw a snake and he didn’t. I couldn’t agree more. I didn’t get a picture of the snake, but we got many pics of lizards and other bugs. Since they are nocturnal, we could not get a picture of the howler monkeys. But we heard them. Every night, around 4 am. They are very loud! We also experienced another kind of monkey, a species that live high up in trees, and eat nuts. After they have eaten the inside of the nut, they drop the shell down about thirty feet onto our roof. It sounded like someone was trying to break in!

Those spots you see on the wall are geckos. These geckos live in the dining room. We saw them every night at dinner.
Here are some shots of the foliage and some of the fruit that grows on the Caves Branch grounds.

Future blog posts will detail our adventure excursions. Caves Branch was a really wonderful and unforgettable place to visit in Belize. I highly recommend it if you’re into the jungle adventure kind of thing. You can check them out at their website www.cavesbranch.com. Also, and I say this in all seriousness, if you do decide you’d like to take a trip there, please contact me or Matt, because you can save 10% on your total bill if we “officially” refer you there!


About jwall915

I love to cook and I love to travel! This blog explores my love of both. I share recipes and restaurant reviews, and I blog the trips I take.
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