Forest Highlands, Belize
Forest Highlands, Belize
MOUNTAIN PINE RIDGE, BELIZE
Blancaneaux Lodge is a luxury hideaway hotel in Belize located in the northwest corner of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in western Belize’s Cayo District. Created by filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola as his private retreat until 1993, Blancaneaux today reflects Coppola’s vision of tranquillity and comfort. The resort is easily accessible by a two-and-a-half-hour drive or 30 minutes flights from Belize City to a nearby airstrip.
Nestled on a hillside above the swift-moving Privassion Creek, Blancaneaux lodge has 20 charming thatched cabanas and villas. Set among tropical pines, these are based on local homes that he saw in the Philippines whilst shooting ‘Apocalypse Now’, and don’t be surprised to see the bar decorated with fans from the set of that film. Meals are authentic Italian cuisine or Guatemalan with Californian wines and there is an on-site hydroelectric dam that powers the resort’s operations.
Stay Blancaneaux Lodge has 20 thatch-roofed villas and cabanas built into the hillside above the swift-moving Privassion Creek and waterfalls. These include six two-bedroom Villas, a Family Cabana, the Francis Ford Coppola Villa, and a “serenity cottage” with a full kitchen and its own large plunge pool. The two luxury honeymoon cabanas also have their own plunge pool, while the two–bedroom villas are like an upscale mountain cabins. All rooms are large and airy, decorated with authentic Guatemalan fabrics, hand-woven rugs covering the tropical hardwood floor and come with expansive private decks.
ChildCare Children are welcome to stay at the Blancaneaux Lodge, but there are no specific facilities available. There is one family cabana and six two-bedroom Villas that are ideal for families. Interesting activities can be arranged for children aged 3-11, from bat research projects to birding to nature trek to see Scarlet Macaws and learn about the elusive jaguar. Babysitting can be arranged upon request.
Dine Blancaneux's main Ristorante Montagna offers an exquisite Italian–centric menu, thanks to Coppola's Italian heritage, you will have pizzas from a wood-fired oven. Breakfast is served à la carte, in the restaurant or delivered to your room. There is also the Guatemaltequa restaurant which is open for dinner, that specialises in Guatemalan dishes. The Jaguar Bar holds wine tasting with selections from a deep list that features vintages from the Coppola vineyards in Napa and Sonoma valleys.
Relax A large swimming pool at the Blancaneaux Lodge, joins a U-shaped hot water pool by the river, and you can swim in the river. There is also a fantastic Waterfall Spa, built in the style of an Indonesian rice house that offers a variety of treatments, wraps and massages and there is a rejuvenating hot pool overlooking cascading waterfalls. If it’s raining, relax by the log fire but when it is sunny, Blancaneaux's hilly grounds are lush with flowers and bright landscape.
Experience Activities at the Blancaneaux lodge include riding, mountain biking, and birdwatching into the nearby forest. In the surrounds are the steep limestone hills and valleys of the Elijio Panti National Park, home to breath taking waterfalls, natural pools and endangered species of flora and fauna. There is also a wide choice of cultural tours, including one to the Rio Frio Cave, an ancient Mayan burial site.
Location Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize
Blancaneaux Lodge lies within the Mountain Ridge Forest, in western Belize, outside of San Ignacio. The lodge is at an altitude of 1,500ft so bring something warm to wear at night. The lodge is located at Mile 14.5 and has its own airstrip.
Getting There All international flights to Belize arrive at Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) in Belize City. The easiest way to get to Belize from the UK is via the US. Flying via Miami is the shortest, approx. 9 hours from Heathrow and approx. 2 hours onward flight from Miami to Belize City. Blancaneaux Lodge is an hour's drive south-east from San Ignacio and two-and-a-half-hour drive from the international airport in Belize City. There is also an airstrip nearby with flights from Belize City taking 30 minutes.
When to go Belize's climate is marked by two distinct wet and dry seasons. November through April (Dry) is the best time to visit Belize when the days and nights are cooler. The coldest month is January and the warmest temperatures are in May. Late June through November (Wet) experience sporadic downpours that occur without warning and gets intense between August and October.