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There are several lodges in Central America that are near to Mayan cities, but only one actually in the ruins of one.
Chan Chich sits in the middle of a 130,000 acre private nature reserve in north-western Belize, and the lodge itself was built on the plaza of an unexcavated Mayan city. There are just 12 thatch-roofed cabanas and one two-bedroomed villa. Each cabana is decorated in local hardwoods, with queen sized beds (or king-size for the deluxe cabanas), colonial style ceiling fans, baths and verandas complete with hammocks. The villa has an additional outdoor shower and a large living room and bar.
The lodge restaurant is very good, and serves traditional Belizean specialities cooked using locally grown produce. There is also a bar, a pool and a Jacuzzi.
Activities on offer include trekking (guided if requested) on nine miles of well-maintained trails around the lodge; bird-watching for 350-plus species including Ornate Hawk Eagles and Rose Throated Tanagers; riding and canoeing.
Why we love it
The authorities allowed the building of the lodge on a Mayan site because the original plaza was already beyond repair, and to deter looters who had already entered many of the temples at the site.