Belize’s 1st Eco-Resort: The Lodge at Chaa Creek

by Nelita Castillo
chaa-creek-belize

In the 1970s, a couple of travelers, Mick and Lucy Fleming, settled in Belize’s Cayo district. Converting an old citrus farm on the banks of the Macal River, to an eco-friendly establishment. From humble roots, Chaa Creek became Belize’s first eco-resort in the 1980s.  Today, the Flemings continue to uphold those values with their eco-resort.   

Expansion

By 1981, the Flemings ventured into tourism. Their two cottages were the first-ever jungle accommodations in the country! With no road access in 1983, British engineers from the Army Corps cleared the way into Chaa Creek.  This enabled expansion for more guests. Step by step, more rooms were added, as well as a water tower. 1988 brought electricity, hot water, and even ice! With accommodations improving, an office opened in San Ignacio to meet the needs of a growing clientele. Additionally, on-site trails made horseback riding tours, biking and trekking possible. Later, Chaa Creek hosted a large group of archaeologists and began to sponsor research.

By 1993, the staff had grown to 26 and 2019 marked the establishment of the Chaa Creek Natural History Center and the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm.  Later, the IxChel medicine trail was created for research and knowledge on proper use of local medicinal plants and herbs. Additionally, Chaa Creek’s organic farm continued to supply the eco-resort with fresh produce. 

Today

Today, the Lodge at Chaa Creek has received many awards and international recognition as a true model of sustainable practices. It is on a well-manicured riverside retreat. This Belize eco-resort is described by archaeologists as a catchment basin where pottery and other Maya artifacts have been uncovered. As a nature reserve, it is home to 300 species of birds and a butterfly farm. The Resort is spectacular, with the rustic charm of the past, plus all comforts and amenities of today. Thatched roofed cottages are tropical in nature, without losing its luxury. Also, amenities are all-inclusive. On-site chefs create exquisite from International dishes to pool-side grub.

Their Spa Villas are equipped with private jacuzzis, perfect for a romantic getaway.  On-site Tree Top Suites are perched among the majestic hardwood trees. Here, guests at Chaa Creek can relax in the sights and sounds of the jungle without leaving the eco-resort. Craving adventure? Tours include Birding, Trekking and visits to nearby Maya sites. Last but not least, experience a culinary immersion with fire-hearth cooking for an authentic Belizean meal. Budget-friendly group rates are available. Additionally, a local travel planner can help tailor a uniquely Belizean eco-experience. 

Giving Back 

Guests will learn that 10% of all occupancy revenue at Chaa Creek goes back into the community. Specifically, into environmental protection under an initiative called “Chaa Creek Cares”.  Your Belize eco-resort vacation therefore gives back to the community through education and preservation of land and Belizean culture. 

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