May 15th, 2012
“The horseback ride was one of my favorite parts of the trip.” – Hand-cranked ferry to Xunantunich, 5 minutes from Ka’ana.
We stayed at Ka’ana from thurs-sunday in early May. The tone for the trip was set immediately when we arrived and were greeted with drinks as we stepped out of the van. The staff could not have been friendlier and more attentive. We truly felt like we were the only guests there and they attended to our every need. We met with the concierge Onil who walked us through our planned activities and asked what type of foods we liked for our arranged meals.
We did a horseback ride/river picnic as the lone excursion type activity. I heard a lot of great things about the ATM tour but didn’t try that out. The horseback ride was one of my favorite parts of the trip. After a 5-minute car rise we arrived at a horse ranch and were led by the owner of the ranch Santiago (request him if you can, he was awesome) through a long trail ride that ultimately led us to the Mayan ruins. These are simply incredible to see and should be visited. on our way back we stopped off at an area near a river and enjoyed a picnic right near the water. Oscar, our favorite Ka’ana employee, had set-up an incredible picnic area for us. It was an overall fun and relaxing experience and the food we ate (from a menu discussed the day before back at the hotel) was delicious.
We got massaged the last day which my girlfriend and I both enjoyed. Be sure to book them in advance as they are not full time employees on-site.
The last night we did the private five course meal on the yoga platform and again, Oscar helped serve us and did an incredible job ensuring that we were enjoying ourselves. He goes above and beyond with little touches like putting local flowers on the ground around our table.
The hotel grounds and rooms are very nice, the staff waits on your hand and foot and I would recommend the hotel for special occasion type vacations. You get almost every TV channel you can think of and there is WiFi on the grounds. The pool area is a little small but suitable for the size hotel. You should have no problem getting a chair.
Some note: As mentioned often, breakfast is the best meal of the day. Dinner is good too although not everything stands out. I will say that I had red snapper that was cooked on a cedar plank that was incredible. The only “Con” I would mention is that the hotel itself is a considerable drive from the airport. While this has nothing to go with the hotel and can’t be improved upon, it is something to factor in. It took us 2 hours to get from the airport to the hotel and while it was very interesting to learn about the country from our driver, we had come from NYC and were tired from traveling for so long. On the way home we had mentioned to Oscar (now one of our buddies) that the initial drive-in took a while and he forwarded our frustration along. The drive back was actually cut to about 1.5 hours thanks to an aggressive driver which was much appreciated.
May 7th, 2012
You like us, you really like us! We topped great places in Costa Rica and Guatemala – even our own Placencia and San Pedro! The farmlands, jungle hikes, nearby rivers and ruins – all contribute to make us the #1 Belize spot on Trip Advisor’s Central America: Top 25 Destinations 2012.
April 18th, 2012
We got to work with some very talented friends who came down from New York to check out Ka’ana’s version of Belize – and capture it on video.
From making clay pots with local Maya women, horseback riding through rivers, hanging out in private pool villas, swimming into – and exploring Maya caves (Including human remains!) to helicoptering over rivers and waterfalls… The list goes on, so let’s leave it to the photos!
Arriving In Style!
The View From The Helicopter, No Big Deal.
Chasing An Airboat On The Way To Lamanai!
Breaking-In The New Villas…
Luxury Tent At A Maya Ruin.
Our Genetically-Blessed Friends:
Spelunking The Maya Underworld!
Meeting The Locals At The Zoo.
April 2nd, 2012
We couldn’t think of a better way to combine our love for cocktails and helping our local school, so we came up with The Succotz Cocktail: Sweet Corn and Banana Colada with a Choco Banana treat. All proceeds go to Succotz Primary School. Now who says a drinking habit is a bad thing?
January 24th, 2012
The skeletal remains of an adult Maya, along with several artifacts and ceramics – reported to be over 2000 years old – was discovered during the replacement of drainage pipes on Burns Avenue: one of the busiest streets in San Ignacio, Cayo.
In addition, bone tools, ceramic vessels, conch shell fragments, deer antlers, obsidian blade fragments, peccary teeth and pottery shards were buried with the individual who, according to renowned archaeologist Dr. Jaime Awe, was a male. Of the ceramic vessels obtained, three were complete while the pottery shards included an etched Juventud-Red vessel which possibly dates the site as early as the Middle Pre-Classic Period. What’s more is that the situ, which may have been abandoned after being destroyed by flood waters, is believed to be a part of Cahal Pech, thus proving that the “Place Of Ticks” was as extensive a settlement as was originally thought.
The artifacts, ceramics and remains will be displayed in the Welcome Center which is currently under construction as part of the development and rehabilitation of San Ignacio Town. For the time being, though, locals and tourists alike flock to the site to offer assistance, speculation and support to the archaeologists who’ve halted public works until their excavation is completed.
For more information read “Burns Avenue Becomes New Tenochtitlan” and “The Maya Arise On Preclassic Burns Avenue.”
October 24th, 2011
Soar through subtropical jungle on Belize’s longest aerial runway at over 2,700 feet and gain a bird’s eye view of the rainforest below!
Following a scenic 60-minute drive through rugged terrain, Calico Jack’s Village – sitting atop an incline in the Mountain Pine Ridge Region and surrounded by a private 400-acre reserve – comes into sight. Once there, you’re outfitted with climbing cable gear, helmets and leather gloves after which you’re instructed on how to traverse from one platform to the next – all while hooked to the railing from your harness; safety is the priority. Your guide then quickly explains the intricately designed course you’ll be zipping through: fifteen connecting platforms, including a suspended bridge, and culminating with a ride on a hydraulic jungle elevator which lifts you fifty-five feet above the jungle canopy!
October 19th, 2011
In an effort to foster early childhood learning, Ka’ana adopted the Succotz Primary School, located in the nearby village of San Jose Succotz, in April of this year. Since then, we’ve raised US$1,275 which has helped us in executing initiatives such as the recently completed Bathroom Rehabilitation Project. In addition to arts & crafts supplies and the one-cubicle bathroom facility for the kindergartners, we’ve paid the US$18 yearly tuition for over sixty of the three hundred and sixty students currently attending by customizing our Summer Offer. Through generous donations, the staff was able to provide the school’s baseball team with sporting equipment and uniforms, which afforded them the opportunity to, not only compete in the National Softball Competition, but also secure the league’s first place.
We here at Ka’ana are committed to supporting the school with the following programs: Feeding Program, Scholarship Fund and Sports Program. We also plan to assist with the establishment of new bathroom and cafeteria facilities for the juniors and seniors as well as to fence the school grounds.
September 28th, 2011
Tucked into a limestone ridge in the Upper Macal River Valley of the Maya Mountains in Belize’s Cayo District is Che Chem Ha (Poisonwood Water). This quarter-mile dry cave was first discovered by William Playtez, ranch owner and tour guide, while harvesting Xate leaves in the 1980s.
Accessing the cave involves a 40-minute drive on an unpaved road and a 35-minute hike along jungle-lined trails. Once in the cave, journey into the underworld – Xibalba – through nine levels using ladders and ropes. View ancient altars and undisturbed artifacts, including the largest ceramic vessels recorded in caverns, some of which are set high above the floor level and are accessible only by ladders. The descent into the ceremonial chamber is worthwhile as it displays the silhouette of a woman carrying a pot carved into its stone wall.
Upon exiting the cave, continue hiking for approximately ten minutes through farmland to a 214 feet waterfall. Climb down a steep incline and take a refreshing dip after a half day of hiking, climbing and even crawling in one of Belize’s leading caves.