Guest Author - Chris McBeath
Located in the rich Belize River Valley, known as the Cayo District, award-winning Chaa Creek Resort & Spa is for the nature lover and romantic at heart. And for spa lovers, the entire in the middle of nowhere, but in the midst of everything magnificent experience, is like no other.
Chaa Creek provides a remarkable opportunity to get up close and personal with Belize’s archaeological, cultural and natural wonders while enjoying the comforts of deluxe accommodations, spa al fresco therapies, fine food and a truly, authentic Belizean experience.
First is its location.
Chaa Creek is set amidst 330-acres of a world-renowned, private nature reserve. Here, you’ll find an impressive Natural History Centre, a Butterfly Farm which breeds the iridescent-winged Blue Morphos, miles of trails for walking, birding (some 250 species of birds have been sighted here), mountain biking or horseback riding, a fleet of canoes to explore the Macal River, and adventure tours.
Home base is an exquisite, private palm-thatch roofed cottage (with no locks), sitting on the bank of the Macal River which silently carves its course from the karst limestone of the Maya Mountains, through the dense rainforests to the Caribbean Sea. Or, for something more rustic, the Macal River Jungle Camp features 10 raised, fully-screened casitas, or small bungalows with airy peak-roofs, and comfortable beds. Either choice, and you’re in the heart of undisturbed jungle habitat.
The Spa itself is set high above the Macal River, and commands a stunning panoramic view of the Maya Mountains and lush Belizean rainforest. Affiliated with the renowned international Pevonia network, the spa offers a variety of personalized treatments including massage therapies, facials, body wraps and scrubs, hydro and aroma therapies, as well as the latest in spa technology such as a massaging Vichy Shower. My favorite? The Coma – a multi-technique massage that, by the end of 90-minutes, puts you in virtual stasis.
Staying at Chaa Creek is an adventure. Not least because so many natural and cultural riches within easy reach from day tours to the stunning Caribbean sea, barrier reef and caves to visits to Mayan ruins of Tipu, Xunantunich and others, the Mountain Pine Ridge, and the Chumpiate Maya Cave.
There’s even a farm nearby which grows medicinal plants for herbal medicines, created in the ancient Mayan tradition. These Rainforest Remedies include Flu Away, Jungle Salve, Sunburn Ointment and Immune Boost.
It is, perhaps, at night when you will best discover – in your soul – what drew you to this corner of the world, when dusk is greeted with an ice cold Belikin beer in the colonial-style bar, or you’re enjoying delicious Belizean specialties on the open-air veranda. You’ll hear the rushing of water in the small stream and perhaps an owl nearby, cooing every so often, as fire-flies flutter along the stream like hundreds of twinkle lights strung under the trees. Then, quite unexpectedly, a storm breaks out over the distant mountains, rolling up and over their peaks in a mass of lightning and angry clouds. Yet just above the storm, the midnight blue sky is brilliantly lit with stars and a shining, full moon. Layers of incredible sights and sounds. And an extraordinary sensory experience. That’s what Chaa Creek is all about.