Mountain Pine Ridge, Mayan Mountains, Belize
At a Glance
There is something for everyone. You can explore the jungle on horseback, read a book suspended in the hammock, gaze at the colourful hummingbird fluttering amongst the bright flora around or potter to the ancient ruins.
The Lodge’s 20 or so villas and cabanas are scattered alongside the meandering Privasson River, being the perfect spot to cool off in.
For those Italian food lovers, enjoy the Coppolas family recipes with many ingredients sourced from the lodge’s organic garden!
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Belize's climate is marked by two distinct seasons, the rainy season (June to November) and the dry season (December to May). The coldest month is January and the warmest temperatures are in May.
The busier time of the year for travellers to Belize is November to May, which are the winter months of the Northern Hemisphere. It is possible to visit out-side of these months but the rainy season in the Forest Highlands can be rather wet.
To start planning your holiday to Blancaneaux Lodge
Blancaneaux Lodge is movie director Francis Ford Coppola's romantic Mountain Pine Ridge retreat in western Belize home to 20 villas and cabanas surrounded by Mayan ruins, shimmering waterfalls, turquoise pools, lush vegetation and exotic wildlife.
Blancaneaux Lodge is located in the northwest corner of the 107,000-acre Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in western Belize's Cayo District. This rustic forest lodge reflects movie director Coppola’s vision of tranquillity and comfort. The thatched cabanas and villas have been based on local homes and structures that he saw in the Philippines whilst shooting ‘Apocalypse Now’. Each of these feature a soaring hand-woven thatched roof, artisan-crafted, antique furnishings and a Japanese style bathroom with jungle views.
The fast flowing river running beneath the cabanas has been harnessed for energy and this combined with the organically grown produce provides an ecological haven for those who want a break from conventional resorts. Blancaneaux Lodge also boasts an excellent restaurant serving Italian cuisine and even features a wood-fired pizza oven.
Given Blancaneaux Lodge's privileged forest location, you can explore the nature reserve with ease by mountain bike, on horseback or by foot. There are also plenty of cultural tours on offer including one to the Rio Frio Cave, an ancient Mayan burial site located close by.
Tucked away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge is a 20-room luxury resort The 20 rooms include, six two-bedroom Villas, a Family Cabana, the Francis Ford Coppola Villa, and a private cottage.
Children are welcome at the hotel, and babysitting can be arranged upon request, but there are no specific facilities. Children will love the new infinity swimming pool and the swimming hole and sandy beaches along Privassion Creek. There are plenty of activity options for the whole family from learning about Blancaneaux's jaguar, raptor, Scarlet Macaw and bat research projects to birding and nature treks to exploring the nearby ancient Maya sites. Complimentary kids activities are also available from kite making to horse therapy and Easter/Xmas kids' camps.
Blancaneaux Lodge offers guests a fantastic spa (which specialises in Thai treatments), beautiful gardens and a refreshing plunge pool. It boasts its own stables with well-groomed thoroughbred horses, perfect for the adventurous rides to be experienced in the surrounding trails.
Complimentary activities at Blancaneaux Lodge include mountain biking and activities at an additional charge include excursions to nearby Mayan ruins, caving, horseback riding, spa treatments and nature trails.
Camilla Greenwood (Staff)
Heaven for riders, both starters and for those with more experience. Blancaneaux has lovely stables, beautiful thoroughbred horses and a lovely combination of jungle and savannah riding trails that suit every level. For more experienced riders a full day horseback ride is a fantastic experience, stop for a picnic at lunch and then head back towards the lodge as the sun sets.
Set off from Blancaneaux Lodge at 3pm and spend the rest of your afternoon delving deep into the Mountain Pine Ridge reserve in search of the elusive jaguar Even if you aren't lucky enough to spot the wild cat this experience gives you the chance to trek through the jungle, climb to the top of viewing tower and watch the sun set over the canopy. As night falls the jungle comes alive with wonderful croaks and russles from down below. Top tip: on the trek back through the jungle turn off your head torch, be amazed at the millions of stars that light up the sky. The tour starts at 3pm, ends at around 9-10pm, snacks and drinks are included (tortilla crisps with dip, granola bars,water and juice)
Mark Beken (Staff)
It's a bit of an effort to get to Blancaneaux, as it is not really on the way to anywhere, but once you have bumped along for an hour through hills and forest, you are more than rewarded by the old hunting lodge that Francis Ford Coppola dreamed would one day be a fine hotel. I loved the fact that you can wander along the river and see all kinds of bird life, while the stables are very impressive and horse riding here a superb option. Upgrading to superior room types really does give you a lot more for your money, and if you are going to have a splurge, this is a good place to do it.
ATM Cave Adventure
Actun Tunichil Muknal or ATM caves is one of Belize’s most impressive adventure experiences and a rare opportunity to see ancient Maya ceremonial sites and altars as they were and virtually untouched for centuries.
Cave Tubing - Caves Branch
Float on rubber tubes on crystal clear waters, through majestic caverns with breathtaking stalagmite and stalactite formations. Discover the secrets of the ancient Mayas tubing through an underground realm known as the Mayan underworld.
Explore the majestic Mayan ruins at Xunantunich with your very own private guide. This classic period site was a thriving city near the end of the Classic period and provides an impressive view of the entire Mopan River valley.
Horseback Riding Cayo District
Follow trails through the rain forest visiting Mayan plazas and ceremonial sites, including Skeleton Cave. Finish the day at Big Rock Falls, where you can take a refreshing dip and enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back to your lodge.
Hot Sauce & Rum Tasting Tour
San Ignacio is known as the heart and soul of the Cayo District and is a vibrant, buzzing town with plenty of character, Caribbean colour and an easy-going Belizean charm. Sample delicious local rums and hot sauces on this half day tour.
Family Fun in Belize
Miami, Cayo District, Mountain Pine Ridge & Ambergris Caye
from £5600 pp inc flights & transfers for 13 nights
- Keep your eyes peeled for an array of wildlife and bird species at Chaa Creek which sits deep within the Belizean jungle
- Spend a couple of nights in Miami to break up the journey to Belize and enjoy soaking in its lively atmosphere and Art Deco architecture
- Easy access to some of Belize's most pristine reefs from Victoria House, perfect for diving and snorkelling
Ultimate Guatemala & Belize
Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Tikal, Mountain Pine Ridge & Cayo Espanto
from £10500 pp inc flights & transfers for 14 nights
- An exhilarating honeymoon through Guatemala & Belize, combining culture with adventure and luxurious accommodation
- Immerse yourselves in the jungle, exploring Mayan ruins, amazing cave systems and nature trails
- Visit volcanic Lake Atitlan and discover the unique villages that dot the shores
Location & directions
Mountain Pine Ridge, Mayan Mountains, Belize
Set within the Mountain Ridge Forest, in the remote mountains of western Belize, outside of San Ignacio.
How to get there
12-hour international flight to Belize City (overnight in Miami) and 2-hour car transfer.
- 100% financial protection
- 24/7 emergency assistance
- Firsthand knowledge
- Renowned service
- Award-winning tour operator