Hotel

Gaia Riverlodge

Step into Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and sitting atop a tall ridge, overlooking the spectacle of the Five Sisters Waterfalls, you’ll find Gaïa Riverlodge. Intentionally low-key, Gaïa believes in a simple kind of beauty as shown by its 16 rustic-chic cabanas. A place to reconnect with the outdoors as much as with yourself, it’s an invitation to explore the wild and rugged side of Belize.

Location

Tucked away in Belize’s Cayo District, Gaïa is surrounded on all sides by caves, rivers, waterfalls and natural pools – all waiting to be explored. To reach this hidden oasis, it’s a two and a half hour drive from Belize’s International Airport, or, if you’re looking to combine Belize with Guatemala, it’s just a one and a half hour drive from the Guatemalan border.

Your room

Set against a backdrop of Belizean hardwood and bright Mexican tiling, the 16 thatch-roof cabanas offer a luxurious stripped-back forest experience. There’s no air-con – but the ceiling fans and the mountain breeze are all you need to stay cool. Each of the views is spectacular, whether its luscious pine forest or tropical gardens – though our favourite has to be that of the cascading Five Sisters waterfall. If it’s total privacy you’re after, the Riverside Villa has the answer.

Why we like it

The secluded location combined with cooler temperatures make this the perfect playground for the adventurous, with activities ranging from hiking or horse riding in the surrounding forest to canoeing or tubing on the river. Follow the 300 stone steps (or take the hydro-powered tram) from the lodge to the falls for an invigorating wild swim in the natural pools or relax in the hammocks on the small, sandy river-island. The sunsets are mind-blowing, made even more dramatic with views of the misty pine valley and the sound of the roaring fire torches on the lodge’s wrap-around veranda.

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