My Tour Around the Sanctuary Belize (or Mega-Project: Part Two

Over the past few days, I’ve been describing my weekend tour of the largest development project that Belize has ever seen – Sanctuary Belize.  A project that many of you have heard a bit about…or heard of…with TV commercials on CNBC or Fox TV.  Part of

I was invited (or did I invite myself?) to tour the project.   Saturday morning, I checked into the AMAZINGLY gorgeous Kanantik Lodge about 5 miles south of Hopkins, Belize.  I wrote about my stay at the lodge.


Sunday, I travelled with the sales staff, a rep from Atlantic Bank, some builders and the potential investors to Sanctuary Caye.  One of the more beautiful places on earth.  I wrote all about that.  And took one thousand pictures.


Saturday was the main day.  To show the visitors around Sanctuary – the mega-tour (and a bit adventure tour) of the HUGE project.  Yesterday I wrote about the morning tour…of the marina and some of the land closer to the waterfront.   We ended the morning at Sanctuary’s pool club on the common beachfront.  There is not a huge amount of land on the Caribbean sea as part of this project but they’ve done pretty nicely with this area.

The views and the green pool are gorgeous.  Behind the pool club is a mangrove lagoon and a view of the Mayan mountains…

IMG_1506And to the front.


Down the beach, next to the pool area, are a number of what my sales guy Mark called tents.  These are HARDLY tents.  Glamping at its very best.  These tents were originally ordered, before the development owned Kanantik Lodge, and were going to be used to house visitors.  They are pretty cool (to say the least)…

Very Ralph Lauren on the Serengeti.  I could hear Toto playing in the background…


IMG_1494Full mahogany, huge outside porch, gorgeous outside shower…


And right on the beach.


Mark mentioned that these 15-odd “tents” will be used as a resort at some point.

We finished lunch and headed back to the development.  Our cart was a water crowd…others were keeping cool with Belikin beer.


We spun back to the marina area (it’s so so huge) where there are three homes in various states of done-ness.

Workers were just finishing the pool for this one.  There is still no electric or water running to the property.


But the house is gorgeous (and air conditioned) and the ladies are almost completely unpacked.

The view of the water ways from the third floor terrace.

IMG_1520IMG_1519We headed out to the river side of the property…over the savannah.  Sometimes I really felt like I was in a space rover on the surface of Mars.  I felt totally Land of the Lost…


The long road across the savannah.  Land that will not be touched.  It’s so beautiful out there.  You expect elephants and wildebeasts.


It’s also INCREDIBLY dry right now.  Us backseaters were covered in dust.

We headed back to the community organic gardens.  The ladies went crazy for this.  They served us Sanctuary sugar cane and papaya.

IMG_1530 IMG_1534

All sorts of fruits, veg and herbs as well as tons of landscaping plants.  They are going to need them!

We headed back to where they were cutting roads thru jungle.  HUGE cohune trees, smaller hardwoods, THICK BUSH.


Clearing roads to get to the lots.

IMG_1538Back closer to the river is an equestrian center.   It’s the area where there are electric lines and water is almost there.  It’s about to be electrically pumped from a well…


Water lines going in.


We visited a house being finished.

IMG_1543And the view.

IMG_1544And then back along the largest back road to Johnny Usher’s home, the Sanctuary office and our Sittee River ride back to Kanantik.

IMG_1548Back by the office, there is a tiny graveyard with two graves.  Two sisters…nuns from Prussia that died in the 1880s and 90s.  Louisa and Sophia Ramper.  Beautiful.


I heard later in Hopkins, that there was a small village in this area called All Pine before the Great Hurricane of 1931.  Super interesting to me…


Johnny Usher’s house.  He is the Belizean owner of ALL of this land.  I did not get the full story about how he has 14,000 acres from sea to mountain.


The area around Sittee River is just gorgeous.  I need to come back here for further examination.  Super green and lush in an otherwise dusty April landscape.

IMG_1557WE moved slowly down the river.  Passed houses and some old lodges for sale and lots of “Go Slow, Manatee zone” signs but we saw mostly birds and lazy iguanas.

We cut thru a tiny Mayan cut in the mangroves to the Caribbean and 15 minutes later were back at Kanantik Lodge for the night…

IMG_1582For my conclusions on the investors, check my previous post.  For specifics on the project, the Sanctuary website.

That is what I saw on my tour of Sanctuary Belize – the 14,000 acre project halfway between Hopkins and Placencia, Belize.   From beach to savannah to mountains, 1800 lots, it’s almost impossible to summarize.  It IS impossible to summarize.

It is a project well underway.  And they have a great opportunity – town planning from, literally, the ground up.  They talk of organic foods, the purest water in the country, recycling, preserved land.  A great responsibility…to say the least.

(Sanctuary about halfway down the coast between Dangriga and Placencia.)

Map 1

The sanctuary tour itinerary for Monday (Saturday was this HUGE tour, Sunday was the caye) was a more laid back trip to Placencia (about an hour away) to check out more of the local area.  Lunch at Barefoot Bar was the plan.

I was heading back to the sleepy village of Hopkins to continue my own (less structured) tour…

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