Driving through the road trip-worthy Hummingbird Highway, you’re bound to come across signage of a particular eco-resort on Mile 36: that of the luxurious Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge. Tucked in the foothills of the great Maya Mountains lies one of the most luxurious eco-resorts in Belize, with 10,000 acres of protected reserve on one side and a river on the other. This Gold Standard certified accommodation is highly sought after for its keen attention to detail and the award-winning on-site restaurant. The best part? Unobstructed views of the lodge’s eponymous sleeping giant, the Maya Mountains’ perennial dozing resident.
About the Giant
Many locals have grown up accustomed to seeing the rolling hills of the Maya Mountains in the distance when driving south. What many visitors may be delighted to notice near Mile 25 is a large, looming mountain undulating just right to resemble the form of someone sleeping. So while not an actual giant (thankfully), once you make out the nose (highest peak), it’s hard to unsee it.
It makes for a great photo op when stopping for some sightseeing along the Hummingbird Highway. Or, in the case of Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge, a perfect morning coffee view.
Close to the City of Belmopan, the rainforest lodge lives up to its name. Nestled within a 650-acre farm, your worries will be left at the bottom of the hill as you ascend to the comfort quarters that make up Sleeping Giant Lodge. The jungle and its inhabitants are your only neighbors, a fact you will come to not only appreciate but embrace when settling in for the night. In the mornings, after rousing from a restful slumber, pad out onto the balcony and admire the vast views of the canopy-clad mountains. Or, if you’ve chosen a river suite, pop into the hammock outside your room and listen to the gurglings of the Sibun River right at your feet.
With artfully curated touches adorning the earthy suites, your only excuse to leave your space would be to try the 2018/2019 Restaurant of the Year, The Grove House. It’s no surprise the on-site restaurant won this BTB Tourism Award two years in a row. Time and again, both Belizeans and travelers make the trek to Sleeping Giant Lodge just to dine at The Grove House. Cuisine inspired by the Mayas, the restaurant falls in line with the lodge’s history as being situated in the Maya Heartland.
What to do
While it’s true you wouldn’t want to leave your room while staying here, there is good reason to explore the property. From jungle hiking trails and suspension bridges leading you to the famous gazebo hike to the notable Ceremonial Cave holding ancient pottery and skeletal remains, you will have a story to tell once you leave.
And if you’re looking for a change of space with the same amount of passion-driven amenities, check out the rest of The Belize Collection’s properties scattered across the fine-sand beaches of Hopkins Village.