Switching Winter Blues for Warm Greens in Belize with Hidden Valley Inn

by Carolee Chanona

While there are still pockets of sunshine to be found in the southern corners of North America, it’s no comparison to escaping the winter blues in a tropical destination instead. After all, a healthy dose of wanderlust is one thing the cold grips of winter won’t freeze. And in a sun-splashed place like Belize that dually blends Central America with the Caribbean, it’s more than just white-sand islands awaiting (which isn’t a bad idea, to begin with). Instead, a healthy dose of ‘winter greens’ in Belize might be river-cruising in inner tubes, lying on empty sun-warmed granite boulders—which turn near steamy after a quick, yet invigorating, swim—or shopping in the San Ignacio Farmer’s Market for abundant tropical produce.

Photo By Belize Travel Agency

Not to mention, winter also spells opportunity: a colorful and melodic bird migration that takes Belize’s tally up to near 600-species of birds, crisp weather, and in places like Mountain Pine Ridge, enough space all to yourself—despite winter coinciding with Belize’s “high season” for tourism. Take Hidden Valley Inn, which boasts enough privacy to go around with 12 luxury cottages surrounded by 7,200 acres on its private estate.

Within, blend the beckon of emerald green expanse just beyond your doorstep with all of Hidden Valley’s on-site amenities, exclusive to guests: like 5 stand-out waterfalls, 90+ combined miles of trails, the main pool, and a fireplace in each cottage (which only makes sense in Mountain Pine Ridge). So while temperatures dip into the 40s at night for cozy nights to recount tales of your day’s adventures over a lapping fire, daylight holds a new promise to near-boundless adventures within the epic 300,000 forest reserve the Inn is found within. Air conditioning, who?

A Day At The Inn

tiger creek falls mountain pine ridge

Hiking to Tiger Creek Falls. Image via Duarte Dellarole

Nothing to wake you up like the sights and sounds of your surroundings, which is why the outdoor waterfall rock shower in your cottage is one of the best ways to do it. Or if your muscles are a little achy after summitting ruins of the Caracol Maya Site the day prior, start off slow with a rejuvenating soak in your standalone bathtub. Fresh-faced and ready to tackle the escapes of the day,  you head out to the Lobby to grab a cup of coffee, a mountain bike to chase waterfalls, or a pair of binoculars to head out birdwatching on one of the trails onsite. Or, all three; I hear warm Stuffed Fry Jacks make a great on-the-go breakfast too. After all, it’s practically impossible to get bored at Hidden Valley Inn, despite intermittent phone service (but reliable WiFi at will) and no in-room TVs.

caracol maya site must see belize

Caracol – Maya Site © Duarte Dellarole Photography

Be back for lunch to grab a bite, or call ahead on your complimentary walkie-talkie if you’ve already found a favorite on the lunch menu, like the Maya Pizza or Fajitas. Spend the rest of your day lazing until dinner from the comfort of your room’s hammock, or swimming at one of the Inn’s hidden splash pools.

Later, an eclectic four-course dining experience awaits at the restaurant or on the pool terrace—the choice is up to you. Farm fresh ingredients, either grown on the property or brought in daily from local fruit & vegetable vendors in San Ignacio/Spanish Lookout, combine for a different dinner menu every night. Chefs bake bread and desserts daily in-house, and the Hidden Valley Inn coffee that’s grown, roasted, and ground on-property is the perfect after-dinner perk-up.

Why Hidden Valley Inn Is The Perfect Winter Destination

With the property being a destination in and of itself, spend your winter days tan-building at the terrace-stone framed pool with a tropical cocktail in hand, or venturing out to any of Mountain Pine Ridge’s big-ticket attractions, like the 1000 Foot Falls, the Rio Frio Cave, or Caracol—Belize’s largest Maya Site. Indeed, switching out your winter blues to an expanse of winter greens is the healthiest choice of all. This winter, make Hidden Valley Inn your perfect getaway destination!

All other images not captioned, and the header image is courtesy Hidden Valley Inn.

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