Chaa Creek in San Ignacio, Belize

Chaa Creek, also referred to as the Lodge at Chaa Creek or the Chaa Creek Lodge, is located in the neighborhood of the twin towns San Ignacio and Santa Elena in the Cayo District of Belize. The lodge is located in the rainforest on the Macal River and the theme of the lodge is eco friendly, organic and conservation.

Chaa Creek is located on a private 365 acres nature reserve at the banks of the Macal River. The jungle lodge consists of 18 cottage rooms, two garden suites, two treetop suites with an outdoor jacuzzi and a view of the Macal River and an orchard villa, which are all nestled along the riverside. Prices start at BZD 180 (USD 90) excluding 9% tax and 10% service charge per person per night based on double occupancy. The rooms do not have a television and most of them neither do have an airconditioning, but all of them have ceiling fans. Ten percent of the revenue of the accommodations goes to environmental and social programs. The reviews for this lodge are very good to excellent. 
 
Part of the Chaa Creek Lodge are the Rainforest Mayan Medicine Trail, the Natural History Centre, the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm, horse stables, a Maya organic farm, a hilltop spa, a bi-level infinity swimming pool, a restaurant serving international cuisine and an airy jungle bar. The restaurant is serving an a la carte menu for breakfast and lunch and a set menu with two main course options for dinner.


The lodge has the possibility to explore the river and explore the jungle through miles of maintained trails. Other activities at the resort or in the neighborhood consist of visits to Mayan ruins, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching and daily trips to San Ignacio. At the resort more than 70 Maya archaeological and temple sites have been identified. The different offered tours include helicopter tours, bird watching tours, tours to Mayan caves such as Actun Tunichil Muknal, Barton Creek Cave, Chumpiate Maya Cave and Caves Branch, tours to Mayan ruins such as Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Caracol and Tikal (in Guatemala), a tour to the Mountain Pine Ridge, river tubing, a visit to the Belize Zoo, boating with a pontoon at the Vaca Lake, snorkeling and scuba diving, ziplining and a San Ignacio market tour. 
 
It all started with Mick and Lucy Fleming buying an overgrown 140-acre citrus farm in the Cayo District in 1977 as a family farm. At that moment road access was not possible to this terrain and the Flemings got to San Ignacio, the nearest town, by boat on the Macal River. They supported themselves by selling produce of their farm (vegetables and dairy products) at the Saturday market of San Ignacio. The word spread that a young couple in the Cayo District were always welcoming travellers with a place to sleep and a plate of rice and beans and so more and more people went to them. To cope with the constant stream of travellers the Flemings started with charging a modest amount a day for hammock space and dinner. Also they started with building a cottage and directly followed by another. This were the first two cottages at the start of Chaa Creek Cottages in 1981 as the first jungle lodge in Belize. The two cottages grew to six cottages in 1983, 16 cottages in 1988, 21 cottages in 1997 and 24 cottages at the moment. 
 
The Chaa Creek Natural History Centre and the Blue Morpho Butterfly Breeding Centre were both established in 1993. Both centres are raising awareness of the local environment and are encouraging scientific research. In 2003 the Ixchel Medicine Trail, also known as the Maya Medicinal Plant Trail, was acquired. During that time also the 33 acres Maya Organic Farm was established to give an insigh into the Maya agricultural practices and also to supply fresh vegetables to the resort and the Macal River Camp
 
The Chaa Creek Natural History Centre is displaying the flora and fauna of Belize and the early Maya on basis of a timeline. The Butterfly Farm is breeding the iridescent blue morpho (Morpho peleides), Belize blue, for export. The Maya Medicinal Plant Trail was established by Dr Rosita Arvigo with the goal of spreading knowledge of traditional healing methods and preserving the rainforest habitats. The trail consists of about 100 medicinal plants from the traditional Maya and modern medicine. 
 
The resort is as most Belizean resort offering the possibility for hosting a Belizean wedding
 
The contact details of Chaa Creek are:  
Telephone Reservations: +501 824 2037 
Telephone Lodge: +501 834 4010 
Telephone from US: 877-709-8708 
E-mail: reservations@chaacreek.com