"Away from it all" Lamanai by toonsarah

Lamanai Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 77 photos

Sunset on the New River Lagoon

Before we came to Lamanai I had been wondering if we had made a mistake in booking two inland lodges in Belize rather than a stay at the coast. Would they be too similar? Would we get bored?

Well, I need not have worried. Lamanai was a complete contrast to Chaa Creek, where we had been for the previous three nights, and in its way even more special.

Arriving here by boat gives you a real sense of being “away from it all” and a stay here immerses you in the Belizean countryside in a way that I imagine few other places can do. Hardly surprising when you discover that the nearest hotel is 70 kilometres away!

The big draws here are, firstly, the nearby Mayan ruins, which although less extensive than, say, Tikal, have an atmosphere all of their own. You could visit these as a day trip from the coast, but a stay nearby allows you to see them in more depth and at different times of day – our early morning view of the Jaguar Temple in the mist was particularly impressive.

The second big draw is the wildlife. Expect to see a wide variety of birds, howler monkeys, crocodiles and, if you are lucky, as we were, maybe even a manatee.

There’s also an opportunity to visit an unspoiled local village – you may be isolated from your own daily life but despite initial appearances you aren’t in the middle of nowhere, and your neighbours will be friendly and welcoming.

And when not out exploring you can enjoy good home-cooking, Belizean style, in a restaurant with views to die for! Or simply relax in a hammock and enjoy these beautiful natural surroundings.

I could go on singing the praises of this place ... but come on in and explore it with me. I’m sure you’ll be as bowled over as were we!

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:A very special corner of Belize
  • Last visit to Lamanai: Nov 2010
  • Intro Updated Dec 24, 2011
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Reviews (21)

Comments (10)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    What a fabulous adventure. The butter fly and Ginger Bloom are gorgeous! Ah, to see a Mayan ruin. Wonderful page!

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Great page. You captured the feeling of your stay very well, and with excellent pictures. Thank you for sharing.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2011 at 6:10 AM

    As usual Sarah, another fantastic page! Thanks for the excellent tips and pics of your fun-filled time in Lamanai. Your descriptions brought back many fond memories of my visit to nearby Crooked Tree lagoon. Looks like you really got your money's worth!!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Sarah, you've had amazing adventures I must say! Thanks for sharing here! ><><><><

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    Wow Sarah, I enjoyed this page on Lamanai immensely. Your thorough writing was a joy to read, esp. the Mask Temple, Lamanai Lodge, Howler Monkey Trek, Spotlight Safari and the amazing encounter with a Manatee. Well done.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:17 AM

    What a fascinating place! Thanks for this great virtual visit!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Great mix of nature & ruins, Sarah. The Lodge sounds like a winner too. Escabeche sounds tasty & making your own tortillas has to be fun. Must say this page has swayed me. I might not ever make it there but if i do, this would be the place for me.

  • Feb 7, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    fantastic page sarah, ingrid was right to point me in your direction! i missed out on lamanai sadly, but it looks very impressive! belize is a beautiful country is it not? id love to go back!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    Oh wow, what a magic place!! I like it much better than Tikal, especially because of the explanatory-educative approach :-) Ah, yes, these misty mornings! Would love to hop into a plane and go now!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Another great new page, with detailed and authoritative tips on the magnificent ruins, and on the bird and animal watching excursions. Great that you got to hold a young crocodile!


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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