Cassa Zenda is a private home turned rentable retreat – the newest resort to the Family Coppola Hideaways as of December 2019. As such, this second lodge in Guatemala (after La Lancha in the north, near Tikal) creates a circuit between their resort properties in Belize. Travel upriver through Guatemala’s serpentine Rio Dulce, surrounded by the rainforest for a dockside arrival on Lago de Izabal. Here, steep canyons frame the muddy riverbank, ushering you into a tranquil jungle escape dotted by thatched dwellings. In fact, the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s nostalgia for the jungle was what led him to open his first hotel in Belize, Blancaneaux Lodge, in 1993.
A Multi-Destination Escape
With the neighboring Coppola Hideaways, plan a multi-destination vacation in Belize and Guatemala for the ultimate fusion of adventure and luxury. Have the first part of your Caribbean itinerary set for Placencia, Belize. Specifically, at Turtle Inn, the low-key luxe beach hideaway on the peninsula. Spend the day lounging between the spa and southern Belize’s brown sugar beach before experiencing the nearby Sofia’s Beach House. This bohemian, California-modern compound comes with its own pool, though shares the beach and all the luxury amenities of Turtle Inn. Bask in the Belizean warmth before departing further south to explore its sister site in Guatemala.
Speed an hour and half down the down the turquoise, mangrove-lined Belizean coast before crossing into Guatemala. CN Traveler’s experience anchored them at the port of Livingston, a mesh of colorful ramshackle buildings and dockside restaurants. The town reverberates with reggaeton and punta rock, typical in this Caribbean-inflected Garifuna community. Finally, the the 27-mile cinematic journey to Cassa Zenda begins. Unlike Belize’s Coppola Hideaway counterparts, Cassa Zenda requires a complete buyout. But sweet isolation is the point – you wouldn’t want to share this place with strangers. If your journey seeks to retreat and embody a barefoot elegance adventure, look no further. The draw of Cassa Zenda sets the perfect background for the ultimate tailored vacation surrounded by Guatemala’s wilderness.
Read more of author Alex Postman's full experience at Cassa Zenda for Condé Nast Traveler by clicking the photo below.