Top 10 Reasons to Put HVIR on Your Bucket List
6/3/2014 10:57 AM
The jungle and interior of Belize is one of the most amazing places in the world. The mountains, rivers and forests abound with nature and adventure -- awesome, peaceful and exhilarating all at once! The Cayo District offers many of the best examples of the ancient Maya world, adventure activities, eco-cultural experiences and more, and there are dozens of wonders to see. Where you hang your hat can make all of the difference in your experience. Here are my top 10 reasons for checking out and checking in with Hidden Valley Inn.
Reason #1: It's Personal
Just 12 rooms and friendly and amazing staff make Hidden Valley a different kind of experience, more like staying at your wealthy friend's house who happens to have some great guest cottages and a lot of good and friendly help.
Reason #2: Self Exploration (with a back up plan)
Over 90 miles of trails, some that start just outside your doorstep, and over 7000 acres of private reserve to discover, you can wander through the rain and pine forests to panoramas and picturesque places unlike anywhere else in the world. No worries, you are armed with a radio and map, and the staff at the Inn is listening for your call should you need a lift back to the Inn.
Reason #3: The Cottage Rooms Are Comfortable in Every Kind of Weather
The luxurious cottage rooms have closed roof tops and screens, ceiling fans and fireplaces, and large enough living areas that they welcome relaxation and just lazing about (plus private, "real" bathrooms). If a Northern blows through or it gets chilly at night, the fireplaces burn real wood. The closed roofs (not thatch) and screens keep nature where you want it....right outside your door, so relaxing in your room is relaxing.
Reason #4: There is Never a Crowd
Hidden Valley Inn is a PRIVATE reserve. You could hike all day and not see another person. You can experience the magnificence of the sites and sounds without interruption of other people, in all aspects of your stay. Your guides, tours, etc. are either private or semi-private, ensured by the inherent intimacy of the Inn.
Reason #5: Your Personal Waterfall
There are over 6 major waterfalls on property, several waterfalls with "pools," great for swimming including: Butterfly Falls, Secret Pools and Falls and Devil's Falls. Secret Pools and Falls can be rented for a super-private, champagne picnic excursion, but picnic lunches can be brought to you nearly anywhere on property.
Reason #6: The Restaurant
Although intimate in size, Hidden Valley Inn offers a "real" and elegant full service restaurant inside their main lodge. Fireplace dining, your own table (read: not communal, an elsewhere popular option) wait staff and an a la carte 4-course menu, with some of the finest cuisine in Belize.
Reason #6A: The Lounge
After a day of exploring, hiking and adventuring, it is nice to freshen up and be treated to something a bit more civilized. The beautiful lounge, which opens to the pool is the perfect place to unwind with a cocktail or glass of wine, meet other guests and share stories of the day.
Reason #7: The Hand Massage (and other spa services)
Deep in the jungle, with the nearest villages miles away, Hidden Valley Inn manages to find some of the greatest (and licensed) masseurs. Upon arrival, refreshing towels, lemon grass tea and a hand massage welcome you to relax and put yourself in the capable hands of the Hidden Valley staff.
Reason #8: Fredy and Richy (the Hidden Valley Inn guides)
From spotting the rarest falcons and navigating the ancient Maya cities, to traversing the wooden bridges, or the trails at night, the guides at Hidden Valley are dedicated to continually learning aspects in nature, culture, history, archeology, and conservation...rattling off facts between sightings and conversation, and both bring a generosity of spirit to their jobs.
Reason #9: Location
Hidden Valley Inn is both in the middle of nowhere and close to a number Belize's most interesting interior attractions including Caracol, the Chiquibul Forest, Rio Frio/Rio on Pools, Barton Creek Canoe cave experience, Calico Jack's Zipline and jungle adventures, Che Chem Ha Cave, Eco-Tour and Mountain Equestrian Trails, Green Hills Butterfly Farm and more. Be sure to book enough time at Hidden Valley to experience both the attraction inside and around the property.
Reason #10: "For Love of The Wild"
Belize's "Rare 5" birds call Hidden Valley their home. All of Belize's cats live here, from the Jaguar to the Jagurundi. While birders have a better chance of actually seeing one of the coveted feathered species on their list, the hopes of one day seeing a jaguar keeps me looking. (Note: in over 2 decades I have never spotted a jaguar, I have spotted a fresh a paw print, and I am certain they have stood in the jungle looking at me, but peccary, monkeys and a coatamundi are probably the most significant animal sitings of mine to date. I will keep trying.)
10 great reasons to consider not only Hidden Valley, but Belize. I will be back.