Branch out in BELIZE

Kinga Philipps delves deep into the Belize jungle, exploring caves, visiting ancient Mayan ruins,  and sleeping amid the treetops at Parrot Nest Lodge.

Charlie, said endearingly as if referencing an old friend, is the palm-sized wolf spider you might see occupying wall space in the cabins and bathrooms at the Parrot Nest Lodge. Let me clarify, Charlie is the common name for ALL the various wolf spiders you might see. Then again, that’s part of the package when you’re in the jungle of Belize.

And in the jungle you are. A few miles out of San Ignacio in a village called Bullet Tree Falls.

Lodge in greenery

Two tree houses perched in 100-foot Guanacaste trees and seven rustic cabins set on the banks of the Mopan river for $50-$75 a night are the specs you’ll find in a guidebook. But it’s the spirit of the Parrot Nest that makes you contemplate becoming a jungle dwelling ex-pat. The humid air fits the hippy-esque vibe since it makes sense that free spirits would have wild, unruly hair. What also makes sense are the communal tables in the open-air lounge area and abundant hammocks overlooking the riverbank. Really making this spot hard to leave are the fireflies, a pet guinea pig, the family dogs and cats who you will know by name…Nina, Kimba, Pally and Ninjo… and the sound of rain on the roof of your cabin. It will rain. You’re in a jungle.

>>Read also: Top five things to do in Belize and Belize, From Jungle To Reef

Common area

Bring a flashlight. The paths are dark and jungly at night and either your imagination or a stubbed toe will get the best of you. I’d love to instill a fear of jaguars, but they prefer the deeper jungle…a few miles away. Here it’s mostly coati, agouti and various birds.

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