Mystic River Resort: Something Special Carved Out of the Jungle
About 8 years ago, a tiny lady bought a large piece of gorgeous jungle on the Macal River and decided to build a resort. She and her new husband Tom (both former residents of Ambergris Caye, Belize – a far cry from the jungle) set out to carve their own world – on over 180 acres. And they did it…absolutely beautifully.
Mystic River Resort, just outside the tiny village of Cristo Rey, is set in the broad leaf “jungle” right on the wide Macal River – about a two hour drive directly west from Belize City. Once you hit San Igancio, you turn up hill and into higher elevations…and a totally different landscape. One that can change in just a few feet.
It is perfectly situated for all sorts of adventures…from trips to the the Mayan sites like Caracol and Tikal to ATM Cave (which I NEED to tell you about) to one of a kind Polaris trips to water falls and secret caves.
Now let me show you some photos of the property.
The Mystic River van picked me up at the Water Taxi in Belize City for the quite comfortable 2 hour ride.
After slowing for a few of the famous Cristo Rey Village “Sleeping Policemen”…colonial Brit-speak for speedbumps…
…we turned off and drove up hill for a bit on a dirt road and emerged at Mystic River.
I walked through rows of FRAGRANT jasmine bushes passing this sitting area on a Mayan mound…
To the office and then made it to my cottage. While mentally putting river tubing on my list of things to do.
I very quickly found out that two days and three nights were barely enough to squeeze even half the adventures you can find on and off the property.
The resort area is beautifully planted and manicured…but the river…and the jungle…the humming cicadas and the squawking birds are right there. Literally. 4 of these aracari toucans sat just next to me during breakfast. GORGEOUS.
All of the rooms are named after Local Trees. My Lady and Sapodilla.
And mine…a one bedroom with a big living room (where they can set up an area for kids…or additional guests)…named Guanacaste.
Super comfy bedroom with down pillows (I almost stuffed one in my bag…)
And the prettiest flowers from the property.
I had a fireplace…YES! It gets chilly here in the winter at night (as low as the high 50s!) and a gorgeous deck and sitting area over the river. The perfect spot for my 7am coffee basket to be unpacked. A little sugar…a little goat milk…
Just down the path to the common lounge, dining area and the bar.
Overlooking the river.
I soon found out that they serve delicious food here…and can be specialized for almost any diet since they grow almost all of their veggies here on the property AND they have goats…and cows…sheep and, in the non-edibles category, horses.
I had goat cheese stuffed pork chops and thick delicious goat yogurt with granola and fruit. Goat milk in my coffee.
Sheep. Clearly of the Belizean rasta variety.
Goats that are milked…and then the cheese! The yogurt! I had no idea goats made such delicious things. I am now checking with my condo board to see if they would mind a goat on premises.
Now that I know how to do this? It’s clearly win win for everyone.
The owners, Tom and Nadege, are a big part of what makes the experience so special. But so are the staff. They encourage you to visit the horses, to get up at 7:30am and milk the goats, to hit the MANY trails…
A dangling cashew fruit.
Swing in a hammock on the yoga platform…
The view…you can see straight across to Cahal Pech, the Maya site that sits right in the midst of San Ignacio.
They are welcoming and informative and in love with their spot. For very good reasons.
I ended up staying a whole day extra. Day one, I went to one of Belize’s most famous sites, the ATM Cave Tour. A mix of archaeology, adventure, geology and a touch of HOLY SH*T…are you SURE we should be doing this?
Day Two I went on a trip that only Mystic River does. On a crazy awesome adventure Polaris ride to Blancaneaux Cave and gorgeous Sapodilla Fall.
I have a ton more to tell you about. I loved this trip and Tom and Nadege and Mystic River Resort. Full days of activity and then LONG long nights of sleeping with the chirping frogs and the breeze from the river.
What a gorgeous area…
Polaris driving through a running river.
Eli with incredible patience as I asked him 4000 city folk questions about animals.
Amazing giant grass hoppers with bright orange wings.
For more information on Mystic River Resort, check out their site and stay tuned. What a gorgeous area and only a few hours away from the reef and the beach.