A few weeks ago I had to do a visa run (leave Honduras for 72 hours to get my passport re-stamped) so I could stay until the end of the school year. I had to travel by myself, which was a first for me internationally. I needed the time away to reflect and figure out what I wanted to do next. Things had changed for us in Utila and it was time to regroup.
I found Chaa Creek by accident while looking for another resort in the jungles of Belize. I have traveled to the jungle of Belize before and was completely mesmerized so I decided this was the quiet retreat I needed. Of course getting there from here was not easy, getting anywhere from here is not easy.
I took a boat to Utila town, then a ferry to Roatan, spent the night, then hopped an early flight to Belize City and then another flight to San Ignacio. With each movement away from our home I felt a change. It was nice to not be sweaty all the time, but also nice to be around people, and to see new things. There is a certain strength in being alone for me and at Chaa Creek I was able to quietly recenter and focus.
When I landed in San Ignacio, Belize I was immediately taken aback by the incredible lush landscape, the vibrant greens of the jungle, the adorable log cabin-esque airport and the complete lack of sound. It was as if time had completely stopped.
Arriving at Chaa Creek left me without words. The sensory experience of quiet, lush, and tropical serenity overwhelmed me. I couldn’t really hear what they were saying to me as I checked in because I was completely entranced. They led me through the grounds to my beautiful cottage (which I booked off season for only 99.00 per night on a special promo!) and private balcony. Inside the room was a beautiful and plush king size bed, seating area, chaise lounge, large bathroom and complete privacy from any sound in the hotel.
I spent a lot of time laying in the colorful and gorgeous hammock on my private porch, reading, napping and watching lizards move slowly through the jungle. Complete heaven! It took a few hours of being outside to get used to the absence of sandflies, mosquitos and other crazy bugs we deal with in Utila everyday. On my first day I decided to also get a massage which was done on the deck of the spa. As if on queue it started to rain, making the most beautiful and relaxing sound. My soul was smiling. I think I slipped into a different level of existence during that massage and it never left me the entire time I was at Chaa Creek.
The second day I was there I walked the trails to the Butterfly Exhibit. I hadn’t really intended to go there, but luckily I made a wrong turn and there I was. It was an incredible experience. The whole time I was at Chaa Creek I felt like I was the only person there because of all of the personal attention, and the complete seclusion the property offers. When I started talking the guide at the Butterfly exhibit it was a continuation of this amazing experience of them being completely focused on me. He taught me things about butterflies, catepillars and the jungle which I had never heard before. Then we watched a butterfly hatch, completely by luck. It will forever be one of the most magical moments of my life. It felt as though the earth consisted only of me, the guide and this beautiful butterfly as it crawled out of the cocoon, started to open its wings and sucrete the fluid in its belly. The guide quietly explained to me what was happening and then we stood there, for as long as I wanted and watched.
I walked several other trails while at the lodge, sat at the pool, ate incredible food grown on the property and spent time talking to the bartenders as I drank their specially infused alcohol. Each person was so friendly, interesting and kind I enjoyed every moment with each person I talked to while there. They made me feel at home and welcome, taking away any awkwardness I was concerned about traveling on my own.
Each morning when I woke, usually around 5:00 in the morning I was surprised by the complete darkness as I opened my eyes. On the first day I was momentarily worried because it was completely silent, and so dark that I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face when I held it up! Then I remembered where I was and laid in the cushy down topper, snuggled under the down comforter and reveled in the silent darkness, appreciating the absence of anything while it lasted.
Leaving The Lodge at Chaa Creek was sad for me but I took comfort in feeling so centered, so calm and so blessed to have been there. I can honestly say that since I have left I think of my experience there almost daily. I know it isn’t often in our lives we get to have such incredible experiences. My soul draws me back there when I am feeling off center and my mind gives thanks for the incredible memories I made in such a special place.
(While I didn’t get out much, there are so many tours, hikes, ruins and other things to do either at the Lodge or in the surrounding area you could be as busy or laid back as you wanted to be.)
(I flew Tropic Air from Roatan, Honduras to Belize City, Belize and then to San Ignacio, Belize. I love this airline and their dedication to making the country of Belize accessible.)