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
Image of Will Boocock

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.

Will, Original Traveller

Other Places to Stay in Inland Belize

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Ollie and Kate B are our 'Chan Chich ' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.