The Experience

Blancaneaux Lodge

Blancaneaux Lodge is outside of San Ignacio, Belize in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, a 300-square-mile national wildlife reserve in the Maya Mountains.  The Sofia, our private Islander aircraft, can transport you from Belize City in less than an hour. The adventurous may choose to travel by road; the Lodge can be reached from Belize City and Belmopan via the Western Highway.  Belize is less than two hours by air from Houston, New Orleans and Miami.

Here amid the pines and tropical foliage Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor first found this modest forest hunting lodge while hiking in 1981 and for years it was a private hide-away for his family and friends. In 1993 it opened its doors to a discerning public who were looking for comfort and style in a remote and adventurous location.  Blancaneaux Lodge is designed to provide rustic comfort in harmony with its surroundings, and it definitely succeeds.

The Lodge’s accommodations mirror the rainforest’s vibrant hues.  Each bungalow features a soaring hand-woven thatched roof, artisan-crafted and antique colonial furnishings and a luxurious Japanese bath with views of the jungle sky.

Food is prepared from fruits and vegetables grown in our own Organic Garden.  The Lodge is a guest in this fertile natural forest. To complement this, our chef has established a three-acre, self-sustaining organic garden that produces all of the fruits and vegetables used to make traditional Coppola family recipes. Dine on fresh seafood, smoked meats and authentic Neapolitan pizzas cooked in a wood-burning Italian oven. Local rum punches await at the Jaguar Bar. The Privassion River courses through the Lodge’s grounds.

Above the river, a kaleidoscope of forest birdlife plays against the palmettos. All of the electricity used at the Lodge is generated by a hydroelectric plant that harnesses the power of the river. Blancaneaux Lodge is surrounded by many cave complexes that vary from the tiny to the vast.  On the vast side is the Rio Frio Cave, an enormous two-ended cave carved out of a mountain by the Rio Frio River.  Many other caves surround the Lodge. Some, such as the popular Barton Creek Cave and the newly opened complex at Actun Tunichil Muknal, contain pottery and bones left by the Mayans.

The hidden Big Rock Falls are a short trip away by car, horse or mountainbike. Hike down to the misty base of the falls, and swim in the warm pools.  Or take a trip to the Rio On Pools, where small waterfalls spill between pools carved by the river out of the mountain granite. Some of the pools are connected by natural waterslides.  The Lodge houses a number of handsome horses in its private stable.  Our friendly guides will lead you on horseback to local falls and caves or will take you deep into the jungle where you can spot unusual birds and other wildlife.  Mountainbikes are also available at no charge.

Terms & Conditions

Minimum stay requirements:

Peak Season (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving) – A four night minimum stay is required.  

Winter Season (Jan-May) – A two night minimum stay is required.  

Summer Season (Jun-mid-Dec) – No minimum stay.  

The Enchanted Cottage requires a minimum stay of three nights year round.

Francis Ford Coppola’s secluded mountain retreat, Blancaneaux Lodge, is every bit as dramatic and inspiring as one might hope. Guests choose from an array of luxuriant accommodations, including the owner’s villa, with its open-air living area, and the peaceful riverfront cabanas, with their decks overlooking the waterfalls of Privassion Creek. Active types enjoy riding horseback to hidden falls, hiking, exploring caves and “discovering” hidden Mayan cities. Of course, there are myriad spa treatments, a swimming pool, a hot tub and two gourmet restaurants (Montagna and Guatemaltecqua) to boot.
In the Know
Favorite dwellings are the deluxe cabanas with private pools. Combining a stay with sister property Turtle Inn is ideal for those wishing both a mountain/jungle and beach experience. Guests Receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
    • served in restaurant
  • A horseback riding trip
    • through the Jaguar Jungle to Big Rock Falls
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability
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