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Very Good 512 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
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What We Love

  • Don't miss daybreak on your terrace — the light is spectacular.
  • Secluded, unpretentious pool.
  • Poolside Guatemaltecqua restaurant
  • Intimate screened-in porches overlook the river.
  • Very family-friendly.
  • Wine from the Coppola wineries is served.
  • For the full Belize experience, spend a few nights on the beach at Coppola's sister property, Turtle Inn

What To Know

  • Yes, it is in fact director Francis Ford Coppola's resort.
  • It's secluded; two and a half hours from Belize City.
  • Service is amazing and very personal.
  • No TV or phone, but there is a shell phone intercom system linked to the resort's front desk.
  • Expect spotty cell phone service.


  •  Eco friendly
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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The Review

I feel as if I’m on a far-flung movie set at Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge, not least because the bar is decorated with fans from the set of Apocalypse Now. Located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, one of Belize’s oldest protected areas, the resort exercises a light touch, with simple stone paths winding between the hillside accommodations. {“type”:”tab-link”,”tab”:”maps”,”text”:”Explore the location..”}

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/102/pgal-46446-1280870884-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The resort exercises a light touch, with simple stone paths winding between the hillside accommodations.”}Guests hide away in one of the 20 thatch-roofed villas and cabanas built into the hillside above the swift-moving Privassion Creek and waterfalls. Tropical gardens, native pines and palms surround the buildings, providing a touch of privacy. Inside, the guest spaces are decorated with authentic Guatemalan fabrics and Mexican antiques chosen by Coppola’s wife, Eleanor, as well as soft, hand-woven rugs that cover the tropical hardwood floor.

I have breakfast on the screened-in porch of the main lodge: fresh-baked banana muffins, fry jacks (fried dough), fresh papaya, watermelon and cantaloupe. Afterward I indulge in a Thai massage in the outwardly simple Balinese rice hut near the creek. Inside, two massage tables stand in front of an intricate black-and-gold Asian-inspired mural of irises and wild beasts, painted by a San Francisco artist. On the high bed, the Thai masseur manipulates my joints into place while I gaze at the artwork and listen to the creek, which is almost as soothing as the massage itself.

Another San Franciscan “friend of Francis” taught the staff how to garden organically, and now three acres of gardens grow everything from roma tomatoes to basil to leaf lettuce, to supply the resort’s two restaurants.

Every Sunday the resort holds a wine tasting in the Jaguar Bar, with selections from a deep list that features vintages from the Coppola vineyards in Napa and Sonoma valleys. Besides wine, the bar also serves cocktails, including Jaguar Juice, which consists of rum, pineapple juice and a local liqueur made from the fruit of the craboo tree.

In a way, it reflects the overall experience at the Blancaneaux: all-natural, totally tropical and perfectly indulgent.

How to Get There

Blancaneaux Lodge
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve c/o 85 Burns Avenue
San Ignacio, Cayo District, 00000 Belize


4.5 Very Good 512 Reviews
Close to perfection
Reviewed 1 week ago

When we decided to visit Belize, our travel professional urged us to look into staying at Blancaneaux, and we are so glad she did. This was an excellent property, and was a great place to start our adventure. We had a rather bumpy start to the journey. Our driver was a few minutes delayed in meeting us at the airport, but soon we were on our way. He was transporting the two of us as well as a party of three, so had to bring a van to collect us. Unfortunately there had been quite a bit of rain and there was a minor accident on the dirt road leading to the lodge, leading to a long delay while they cleared the scene. Our traveling companions were interesting, so the time passed quickly. Our driver was a bit anxious as the van was not a 4WD as most of the other vehicles in the fleet, and sure enough, we did require assistance to get up a muddy section, but other than that delay, there were no problems.

Check in was effortless, and our room was fantastic. I agree with other reviewers in that the photos can’t really do justice to this property. Our bungalow was directly over the waterfall, and it had its own little private lawn area overlooking the water. Regional fabrics were used on throws and pillows, creating a welcoming ambience. The room and bathroom were spacious and well appointed, with fun and quirky touches like the shell phone. As other reviewers have noted, turn down service was amazing, with candles lit in the room and hot water bottles in the bed. The robes are cozy and nice quality. The mini bar was well stocked and included helpful things like electrolyte drinks, not just the typical beverages. The property as a whole was well laid out, with maximum privacy for guests. Paths meandered through the complex, and it was enjoyable to explore the grounds. Staff can assist in planning out trails to use, as well as helping to identify birds, etc. The Big Rock Falls is accessible via a path from the lodge. Both the regular pool and the hot pool were lovely, and there were a variety of sunscreens available for guest use poolside.

The staff was knowledgable and very friendly. Ryan at the front desk was incredible. We stayed four nights, but many staff members knew our names by lunch on the first full day. It was obvious that the staff enjoyed working with one another as well as interacting with the guests. We took many walks around the property and were greeted enthusiastically by the personnel working the grounds. “Be sure to stop by the stables and see the baby pony” one worker told us one morning as we walked along. On our way toward the garden area, the head gardener fell into step with us and told us quite a bit about the work going on in that part of the lodge.

During our stay, we hiked and rode horses to Big Rock falls, as well as going to Caracol and Barton Creek caves. All activities were organized by the lodge. The Caracol trip included a wonderful lunch that was packed for us. Our guide, Gilberto, was very knowledgeable about both the cave as well as the Mayan ruins. We were fortunate to have nice weather during our stay—the only rain was at night so we were able to fully enjoy our days. We did note that the lodge kept a variety of books and board games for guests that would be useful during inclement weather.

Our package included all meals, and we were surprised at how many options there were for a property the size of Blancaneaux. At breakfast and lunch there was one restaurant available, but at dinner there were choices many nights. We enjoyed both the Guatelmalan-themed restaurant, and well as the Garden event. I would urge any patrons to be sure not to miss the latter. Beginning with a chef’s tour of the almost 4 acre garden, and ending with a feast that would convert even the most die-hard carnivore into trying vegetarian cuisine, this was the culinary highlight of our stay. I have an allergy to bell peppers that makes eating regional cuisines problematical, but the staff had made note of this prior to our arrival and gave me wonderful options as substitutes. With one exception, everything we had was delicious. The only minor disappointment was the yogurt and granola I had one morning for breakfast. The yogurt tasted like one I had made at home using non-fat milk powder—(a recipe I didn’t use again), and the granola was rather tasteless. It was a surprise given the excellence of everything else we had, and I hope the staff will make improvements in the recipes used. All the other menu selections we made were fantastic.

I would recommend this property to anyone wanting to experience the inland region of Belize, with the caveat that they are not experiencing any mobility issues. One must be able to navigate stairs to fully appreciate the beauty of this property. This lodge is not easy to get to. I would urge clients to use the lodge drivers from the airport rather than to try to rent a car and drive themselves. There is an airstrip next to the property so one can arrange a flight on a tiny plane from the airport but it is weather dependent.

If this site let me, I would give this property 4.5 or even 4.75 stars. It is VERY close to getting a five star rating from me. Here are the minor improvements I would make to push it into that echelon:

1. Provide slippers and have a shoe shelf at the entrance to cabanas. The terrain is dusty or muddy and having a comfortable way to be shoeless would be a benefit to both guests and staff, who wouldn’t have so much mopping to do.

2. This is a forested area and there are bugs that bite. A nice touch would be to provide insect spray or towelettes in guest rooms and by the pools. We brought our own and applied daily but were bitten aggressively after enjoying the hot pool as we didn’t bring any product to reapply

3. The culinary staff is excellent. Feature their creations each evening at “Roaming Hour” with a small plate of bar snacks.

4. Update the technology a bit. The Bose iPod and phone docks in the rooms were state of the art several years ago, but they use the older, rather than the lightning connectors so are obsolete except as a clock or alarm. They make the room look dated so I would either eliminate them or provide adapters so that they are compatible with modern electronics.

5. The pathways are of a material that gets extremely slick when damp. We saw numerous guests slipping although none fell. I would suggest that management assess where it would be advantageous to add guide chains or rails along elevations.

Know before you go:

This property is in a remote location, and it is not like there is a shop around the corner to pick up things you may have forgotten. The gift store on site features crafts rather than sundries. Be sure you have all toiletries you may need. Other reviewers have mentioned the willingness of the staff to go to town to pick up medications, etc, so you have options but not on site.

There is a tip box for general staff at the front desk so you can be sure to take care of the people who make your holiday special and you don’t have to have money on you all the time to tip the pool guy, etc.

Concluding notes: this is a wonderful property and if you are considering a trip to inland Belize, I would definitely recommend that you stay at Blancaneaux.

Guides are terrific
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were very impressed by the friendly, well trained, and knowledgeable staff at this lodge. Our goal was to visit some of the local Mayan ruins which we did over a nicely paced two days. On a third day we visited one of the may caves in the area. During our stay we had four different driver/guides and, without exception, they were very knowledgeable about Belize, natural history, and Mayan history. We were completely satisfied by our visits to the ruins, including Caracol, Xunatunich, and Cahal Pech, and our guides contributed greatly to our enjoyment.

A fair bit of driving, some on very basic (and bumpy) roads, was required but we felt it gave us an opportunity to see some of the countryside. We also appreciated the opportunity to have fairly in-depth conversations with our driver/guides who, as mentioned, were very knowledgeable.

During our 4 nights the night temperature fell to the low 60's F. There is no heating in the cabana and we were happy to have the hot water bottles the staff put in our beds each evening. I could have used a sweater for evening dinner but didn't bring one as I expected it to be warmer.

Beautiful, naturally.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As well-healed travelers, we like to think we're easy, but we're not. We can be particular about tour arrangements, get untidy in our rooms, or in our case, have one drink too many and tip over an entire display of items in the gift shop (how mortifying)! What impressed me the most about Blancaneaux was the absolute professionalism of the staff. They are kind, make time to have a conversation with you, and handle any situation with a great deal of discretion and ease. A level of true professionalism that I really admire. Move beyond these wonderful people and you'll see an immaculately maintained resort, with natural, exquisite accommodations. As my husband said, "This place is so calming". Take the time to visit the garden and the stables, and have a drink in the polished wood Jaguar bar, or make your way down to the river to check out the man-made waterfall that generates electricity for the entire property. When you return to your room at night, there will be candles lit, hot water bottles and a big fluffy comforter on the bed to take the chill out of the cool evenings, and you'll sleep like a dream, only to wake up to another morning with coffee delivered to your front door.

Beautiful and peaceful
Reviewed 1 month ago

Blancaneaux Lodge was awesome. Attentive staff. Good food The grounds are so beautiful. Very peaceful. Fantastic place to unplug. Cooking class was an absolute joy. Hike to Big Rock Falls for amazing views.

Perfect Change of scenery
Reviewed 1 month ago

Having spent a week on the Island of San Pedro on the beach in Ambergris Caye we wanted to spend a few days in the rainforest to discover the diverse landscape and scenery Belize has to offer.
We were collected from the Belize express port by a very friendly, knowledgeable driver from Blancaneaux. He made the 2.5 hour, very bumpy drive a pleasure. Upon arrival, the grounds are spectacular. There is not a leaf out of place. The staff offered us a more than warm welcome. Being owned by the legendary film director Frances Ford Cappola, the attention to detail was as you’d expect, on point.
We booked for three nights. This gave us time to enjoy the beauty that was surrounding us and get some external trips in to see caves, ruins and natural pools.
On the grounds, there is the most spectacular, 3 acre allotment tended by only 6 gardeners. All the vegetables and salad is grown here for the restaurants. The riding stables are also on site and watching the very well looked after horses grazing in the afternoon sun was heaven.
The food was faultless, as was the service.
The rooms are very well thought out with lovely big statement pieces of furniture. The evening turn down service was a real delight with candles being lit to hot water bottles being left in your bed.
The large, horseshoe shaped hot tub was pure joy when the temperature dropped in the evening.
This is a wonderful destination.