A New Visit to The Most Fascinating Property on Ambergris Caye – Essene Way

Fact:  There is no property on Ambergris Caye more interesting than Essene Way.  (Can facts be based solely on my opinion?)

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They can be if I can now convince everyone that it is true.  A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about mysterious Essene Way.   Essene is a bit of a mysterious word in its own right…describing an ancient sect of Judaism dedicated to voluntary poverty and daily ritual immersion (like baptism).

It’s a huge gorgeous property located between two large, busy resorts – Captain Morgan’s and CocoBeach – at about 3 miles north Ambergris Caye.   After I published my original post (mostly about the bible and fitness enthusiast who owned it starting in 1997), I got some more information.

Though this part bears repeating if I am going to name this place “THE MOST FASCINATING”.  He actually wrote the book “Moses Wasn’t Fat”.  And created a nutritional bar – THE BIBLE BAR.

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Did Moses eat twinkies and drink Coke?  Ummm…no.  So surely you shouldn’t either.

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The original owner (back in the early 1980s) was the heir to the Perrier water fortune.  He developed the Belizean Hotel – it had six beautiful cabins and a lounge – and the third hotel north of the bridge after El Pescador (1974) and Journey’s End (1984).

After his death, the place was sold to some developers who tried and failed at building and selling condo-cabanas (the ones you see now).

The bank took it back and sat on it for a while.  The current owner bought it during the 90’s and went nuts spending and building. The super-large structure on the property now was to have been his family home. The aim was to have his family live there after the disaster that was to be Y2K.

He put up the largest solar-panel installation in Central America, he brought in an array of pairs of animals & a lot of black dirt for growing food.
He built a survival dome and stocked it with food.

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He put in not only the concrete whale, but a half-Jonah sticking out of the ground with arms up-stretched …. and more.

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He did not buy hurricane insurance.

And so…it is in its current state.  Here are the pictures of what is there as of yesterday.  Fascinating and hauntingly beautiful.   I’m glad there are  people living there…this huge property on one gorgeous stretch of beachfront might, otherwise, creep me out.

On the south end of the property nestled just up against Captain Morgan’s Resort is the only more current development – these condos.

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And then the first of a few pools…I can imagine that the only users are mosquitos.

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Plaques with psalms and the 10 Commandments.

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And, again, the famous whale.

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There is a beautiful wedding chapel that has, like the rest of the property, fallen into disrepair.  If anyone has pictures of any marriage here, I would SO love to see them.

IMG_9620 IMG_9619There is a bell tower…

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and I was so not going to risk climbing up it.  I’ve seen “Vertigo”!

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Through the dirty window of the chapel.

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An odd eagle statue.

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And a pretty nice basketball court.

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And then maybe the most grand structure…a raised pool surrounded by angels.

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The beautiful beachfront.

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The elaborate arched dock with these beautiful lion statues.

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And then the dock in this photo taken by San Pedro’s Conch Creative – a wedding portrait that is just totally beautiful.

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The property is under contract with a resort on the island – I imagine that it is Las Terrazas since their advertising is out front.  But on hold for development…for who knows how long.  They have their own expansion to do…

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I met a handful of people that are living in some of the cottages.  Renters who work at the local resorts.  And while I’m sure there haven’t been repairs to anything in the last 10 years or so…it’s really a beautiful place with a fascinating story.

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And another part of the charm of Ambergris Caye.

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Take a peek in when you walk by on the beach…and a photo with Jonahs’ whale.  One tip:  the crabs and wish willies have dug some pretty deep holes in the lawn over the years.  Just watch where you step…or better yet?  Stick to the paths.

Most fascinating?

 






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  • Michelle Kosin Jesus

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have been wondering about this since coming across it last year. I took tons of photos and was trying to remember if it was the resort we ate at back in 2004 the night before we eloped, but I guess it wasn’t. (That mystery may never be solved!) I am glad to have the story to go with my photos. Looking forward to taking more next week.

  • Donna

    Never saw this. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathleen Hoffman

    You might talk to Bill Wilkerson (owner of Seven Seas). He and his wife Barbara, before she died had lived on this property for awhile, I do believe.

    • Belize Blog

      I think I shall steer clear of Bill Wilkenson…but thank you for the suggestion…I DO want to know more.

      • hahahahahahhaah….good one !!!!

  • Kathleen Hoffman

    I had also heard at one time families that were experiencing a major crisis had been given trips there for recuperating and healing.

  • DebbieF

    When we started coming down there was a restaurant – Caliente Norte! We were sad when it closed because the food was delicious even though the setting was a little creepy at night.

  • Jeff Melnyk

    Gorgeous property. Who owns this? What is its value? What are the plans for clean up and re-using the space?

  • Billizer

    Great to see the ole dame. Visited there many times through the years…Jenny Staines opened a Caliente’s North at the site. Alway enjoyed walking about the property…so much to see. I hope Wayne is still doing well…haven’t seen him for some time.

  • Larry Jessup

    I built the water treatment plant in the mid 90’s. The owner was from Orlando and the inventor of numerous bodybuilding nutritional supplements. His son in law Steve Brisbois was former Mr Universe. I stayed there for about 4 days, the people were great, very spiritual and health conscious. They had huge plans to expand the facility. I’m sorry to see it in such disrepair.

    • They left soon after the hurricane in 2001? I think it is so beautiful – as our island gets bigger and more busy, I love to wander around this property. You don’t happen to have any photos from back then do you?