Mopan River Resort 2001 -2011 Content
For a number of years this was the official website for the Mopan River Resort located in Belize.
Content is from the site's 2001 - 2011 archived pages providing a glimpse of what this resort offered its visitors.
Belize's first all-inclusive luxury resort...Located in the magnificent Cayo District.
Mopan River Resort is Belize's Premier Luxury Resort
providing Belize's first and only TRUE all-inclusive program in Belize!
Belize's premier all-inclusive luxury resort...Located in the magnificent Cayo District.
Once you arrive in Belize, we take care of everything from there, all in one great price.
That's what all-inclusive means at Mopan River Resort!
Come Experience Belize at Mopan River Resort!
Adventure in the lap of luxury!
A carefree adventure holiday awaits you at Mopan River Resort. Imagine 10 acres of lush garden paradise surrounded by 80 acres of incredible rainforest; a veritable birding paradise! With the sleepy village life of Benque to experience just across the river, Mopan River Resort has the best of both worlds! After a day of exploring ancient Mayan ruins, cave tubing and other adventure sites of the area, relax with a cocktail on your private veranda, enjoy our inviting swimming pool, relax in a hammock by the river, or enjoy some bird watching. Evening gatherings feature local musicians and sharing stories of the day with other guests over cocktails and hors d'ouevres . And talk about food... our cuisine has been featured by Gourmet Magazine! All for one great all-inclusive price!
"What an enchanting escape the Mopan River Resort turned out to be! From the moment I touched down in Belize, I felt cradled in luxury and adventure. Situated amidst the breathtaking Cayo District, the resort boasts a lush 10-acre garden that seamlessly merges into an 80-acre rainforest, making it a bird-watcher's dream. Each day, I found myself immersed in riveting adventures, from marveling at ancient Mayan wonders to the spine-tingling thrill of cave tubing. And as the sun set, the quaint allure of Benque village across the river provided a cultural treat. But what truly captivated me was the resort's ability to merge relaxation and luxury so effortlessly. As I sipped a cocktail on my private veranda, my thoughts would occasionally drift to the inviting warmth of the hot tubs back in Hudson Valley, NY. The sensation of the two - the tropical allure of the Mopan and the cozy embrace of Hudson Valley hot tubs - intertwined in a dance of memories and experiences. Evenings at the resort were spellbinding, with the harmonious tunes of local musicians and delectable dishes that rightly earned their acclaim from Gourmet Magazine. The Mopan River Resort, with its exquisite blend of luxury, adventure, and tranquility, felt like an extension of the relaxation I cherish back home, but with its own unique Belizean charm. A must-visit for anyone looking to experience the best of both worlds!" Jenna Hines
This aerial view of Mopan River Resort also shows 'El Castillo' the temple at the Maya ruins of Xunantunich. Can you see it at the top of the highest hill?
All-Inclusive Features of our Belize Resort:
- Round trip transfers from Belize City
- Air-Conditioned Accommodations
- Daily guided expeditions, including Tikal
- Three fabulous meals each day
- Tropical cocktails, domestic beer: all drinks included
- Hors d'oeuvres & cocktails every evening
- All taxes - No Tipping allowed!
- Guest is only responsible for tour site entrance fees
"Fact is, it may be the best upmarket deal on the mainland..." Belize First~Lan Sluder
"... even if you decide to skip a day or two of tours, the value is still fantastic!" Kim & Ron Chrysler
"If you're in the mood for some luxurious pampering, then the Mopan River Resort...might be just what you need. With all the extras on offer, it's actually very good value, quite possibly the best deal in the country at this level..." The Rough Guide
Note the maya ruin of El Castillo on the highest point of the hills behind the resort near the top left of the picture."
The Washington Post...."...this one offers good value compared with going a la carte..."
Fodor's Belize & Guatemala..."Belize's first true all inclusive... Mopan River Resort is a terrific value."
Belize, The Rough Guide...."With all the extras on offer, it's actually very good value, quite possibly the best deal in the country at this level..."
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize...."Fact is, it may be the best upmarket deal on the mainland"
Comparing apples to apples, we aren't the only ones who believe you will not find a better value or a more rewarding, luxurious experience of Belize than right here at Mopan River Resort!
"Kim & Ron were very helpful! Many resorts we spoke with seemed more interested in taking our money, talking us into excursions that would have resulted in long tedious travel days rather than quality time enjoying the sites WE wanted to see. Kim & Ron really listened and gave us great tips on planning our vacation. Knowing some of their advice was at their own expense proved to us they truly cared about OUR experience!
Our daughter and her fiancée chose Mopan River Resort for their wedding & we could not have picked a nicer piece of paradise for two wonderful people, to begin their life together.
~Cathy & Jack Elder, Ontario
What 'all-inclusive' means at Mopan River Resort:
- Round trip airport transfers
- via air-conditioned ground transport, between Belize City and the resort; every day of the week
- Air conditioned lodging in luxuriously appointed rooms with hardwood furnishings and many finishing touches
- Daily scheduled guided expeditions:
- including the Maya ruins of Tikal in Guatemala, local ruins & ancient sacred caves
- cave tubing
- kayaking on the Mopan River
- all tours in Belize include a guide
- All meals, beginning with dinner on arrival day, ending with breakfast on departure day
- full made to order hot breakfast menu
- sit down lunch or made to order pack lunch on full day tour days
- hors d'oeuvres with cocktails every evening
- three course dinner based on a different international theme every evening and served buffet style
- All drinks
- Tropical cocktails, local beer and sodas in our lounge
- beer and sodas in the mini-bar in your room
- water provided on tours
- beer and sodas provided for after tour refreshment
- Marimba music twice weekly
- ALL government taxes-(9% hotel tax & 12.5% general sales tax)
- We do not charge service charges or gratuities and tipping is not permitted.
PLEASE NOTE: Guest is responsible ONLY for: all tour site admission fees plus Belize-Guatemala visa/border fees for Tikal tour; total estimated at US$150 per person, per week (more info)
Just a sampling of the Mopan River Resort adventure!
(Click on images above for larger views)
All expeditions, including Tikal, are provided at no additional cost to guests of Mopan River Resort.
Information on Expeditions
(Visit the links for details where available)
We operate all of your transfers and expeditions with our own vehicles; using licensed guides and drivers that are employed by us. All expeditions within Belize are guided. Our guides are knowledgeable about the history of the Maya, and will also point out the many birds, animals and plants you will see while on tour. The activity schedule is pre-arranged based on a 7 night stay, therefore, some excursions are not available to guests staying less than a week. Tour schedule for 2011-2012 season will be posted shortly, meanwhile contact us for details.
Visit this link for an overview of the great Cayo District!
Tikal, (Guatemala) These ruins are the greatest site in Central America, and only 1.5 hours drive from the Mopan River Resort: the closest resort in Belize to this magnificent site. Tikal is located in Tikal National Park; a 50 square mile protected park. You will also see howler monkeys, spider monkeys, birds and the plant life of the jungle in this area. This is a full day tour, departing the resort at 7.00 a.m., returning around 5.30 p.m. Lunch is provided. You will have at least 5 hours to tour the site. This trip is done on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you are staying for a short visit, be sure to allow the full day for this trip. Guides at Tikal (if desired) charge approximately US$80 for 1-4 persons. Guests can make the trip more than once only when space permits.
Xunantunich This beautiful site is one mile, as the crow flies, from our resort. Accessed with a 5 minute drive and a hand-cranked ferry river crossing. A climb to the top of towering "El Castillo" pyramid is a must for a fabulous 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. Guests are back at the resort in time for lunch. Cold beverages and handicrafts sold at the site.
Cahal Pech On a hill just outside the town of San Ignacio, these ruins are easily accessed and present a different style of Maya architecture. An excellent museum is located next to the site. Over the years, archaeologists have found many wonderful artifacts here, including some of the finest jade masks ever uncovered in the Mayan world. This is a half day excursion. Driving time: 15 minutes. This is a half day tour and guests are back at the resort in time for lunch.
Caves Branch River Cave Tubing adventure An all day expedition; driving time 1.5 hours down the Western Highway. After a short walk under the jungle canopy, guests spend nearly two hours floating through an underground river cave. A picnic lunch is enjoyed along with two opportunities to shop with local artisans before returning to the resort around 3.30pm.
Chechem Hah Cave This is our "Indiana Jones" adventure, located 8 miles south of the resort. The cave is full of intact Maya pottery; some as old as 2000 years. There are very few places left in the world where the ancient artifacts have been left largely untouched. Your guide is the young man who found the cave in the late 1980's as a young teenager. This tour includes a short hike under the jungle canopy where your guide will point out the many birds and plants of the area. This is a long half day tour returning to the resort about 2:00pm. A picnic lunch is enjoyed while overlooking a spectacular valley view including a 100 foot waterfall. Driving time: 30 minutes.
Barton Creek Cave Canoeing This unusual cave is located 20 miles from the resort. Half the journey is on the paved Western Highway, the remainder is a fairly rough road through the Orthodox Mennonite community. This scenic drive to the site takes you through a traditional Mennonite community, and a local orange orchard. Barton Creek Cave is explored by canoe. This is nearly a full day's trip, done in conjunction with the butterfly farm (see below). Packed lunches and cold drinks are enjoyed at the butterfly farm's picnic area. Guests return to the resort at approximately 3.00 - 4.00 p.m. Driving time 1.5 hours each way. Photo by Ian Rasmussen
Green Hills Butterfly Farm This unusual and interesting operation raises up to 18 different species of tropical butterflies. Visitors enter a unique enclosure for a fascinating tour and insight into the life cycle of Belize's famous Blue Morpho and a wide variety of other exotic beauties. This site is normally visited in conjunction with Barton Creek Cave (see above). The Green Hills Butterfly Farm also hosts a hummingbird garden making it an ideal spot for a picnic lunch after Barton Creek Cave.
The Cayo District of Belize is rich with many sites to explore and experience. Here are just a few examples available to guests staying 8 or more nights.
- Belize Botanic Garden; presenting a fine selection of native trees, plants, and orchids. This is a good bird watching location.
- Blue Hole National Park;
- Guanacaste National Park;
The Belize Zoo is a great opportunity to photograph the amazing creatures of Belize. Set in a natural habitat with extensive, informative signage, this zoo is a fun and educational experience. A one hour visit is scheduled for departing guests on their return trip to Belize City.
San Ignacio Market Saturday morning is the weekly farmer's market in San Ignacio Town. Afternoon shopping trips are also available, as an alternative to kayaking.
Guests are always welcome to opt out of activities and relax around the resort. Birding is great from our bird watching tower, and we have a beautiful swimming pool, complete with a cascading waterfall...perfect for lounging and sunbathing! There are many alternate activities within a few minutes drive such as: Green Iguana Exhibit, Medicine Trail, Poustinia Earth Art Project and Horseback Riding to name just a few. We are happy to arrange your visit these wonderful sites.
Self-guided, half day River Kayaking trips to Calla Creek are available most afternoons.
Benque Viejo del Carmen, the little town across the river, has a distinctly Spanish feel which is rich in Mestizo cultural heritage and is worth exploring anytime. Highlights include the Benque House of Culture, for a fascinating history of the area; StoneTree Records, the recording studio that records and produces some of Belize's most well known music including the late Andy Palacio and the currently popular collective 'Garifuna Women's Project'; and the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, a historical building still in use. It has a rich in a history of community service. During Holy Week on Good Friday there is a dramatic processional through the streets – a spiritually moving experience. Benque Fiesta is a mid-July celebration of the towns patron saint, the Lady of Mount Carmel, with 9 days of prayer culminating in a weekend carnival and fair complete with cultural displays & fireworks every evening!
Exploring Benque is a wonderful cultural experience!
Please note: Arriving guests will reach the resort in late afternoon hours. Therefore, no tours are available on that day.
Departing guests will visit the Belize Zoo en route to Belize City. Time constraints do not permit substitutions, or additional tours on departure day. Early international departures may preclude a stop at the zoo.
Disclaimer: Some excursions and activities within Belize are subject to weather, road and/or river conditions. Alternate sites or activities will be chosen, as necessary, to fill the activity schedule.
01 May 2011 - 31 August 2012
(excluding holiday dates)
beginning any day of the week
minimum stay: 3 nights
per person, double occupancy
All-inclusive holiday rates from
20 December 2011 - 2 January 2012 & 6-9 April 2012(Easter Weekend)
beginning any day of the week
minimum stay: 4 nights
per person, single occupancy
per person, single occupancy
That's it! One price covers it all! No hidden charges! no complicated calculations! No heart-stopping surprises at check-out!
Frequently Asked Questions
about Mopan River Resort's packages, and Belize in general...
Airlines currently serving Belize:
- American Airlines via Dallas and Miami
- Continental Airlines via Houston and Newark~Continental currently has direct flights from Newark.
- Delta Airlines via Atlanta
- USAirways via Charlotte, NC
- TACA via LAX, El Salvador and Houston (Please note: TACA schedules do not connect with our resort transportation. Extra waiting time, or additional cost for extra transfers may apply. .)
- Maya Island Air via Cancun, Mexico
All international flights land at Belize's international airport (code is BZE). Our transfer can pick you up there, or at the Municipal Airstrip (TZA) if you are arriving from a location within Belize, or at any boat dock or hotel within Belize City.
Alcohol / Food: Our packages include all meals, drinks, and bar. Our bar serves Belizean liquor only: Several varieties of rum, and gin and vodka. We also serve the local beer, and softdrinks. No imported liquors are served. You are welcome to bring your own, however. A selection of imported red and white table wines are available for purchase in our gift shop. The Bar is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Beer and sodas are always available in the mini bar in your cabana.
Because our evening meal is already in preparation before guests arrive, please contact us directly via e-mail with details of any life-threatening food allergies or restrictions.
Basic vegetarian diets can be accommodated; advance notice requested, please! (However, vegan alternatives are not possible.)
Our breakfast offerings include special omelets, pancakes, fresh fruit, and the best cinnamon buns in the world. Lunches feature locally inspired dishes, such as burritos, chimichangas and taco salad. Dinner presents a different international theme each night of the week, including exotic Asian cuisines, Italian, and Mexican meals prepared by our talented kitchen staff. Our specialties include: Thai coconut curry, Linguine with Garlic & fresh herbs, and Cashew Chicken; as well as barbecue night, and a Belizean dinner.
Communications: We have a wi-fi "hot zone" allowing guests to access the internet with their wireless-capable laptops (Mac & PC). There is also a terminal in our reception area that guests may use, free of charge, to check their e-mail.
There is a guests' courtesy telephone in our reception area; from which you can make collect calls, and calls using major credit cards. Foreign phone cards (AT&T, MCI, etc.) and pre-paid cards purchased in the USA will no longer work, as the local phone company has discontinued this relay service. We sell Belize pre-paid cards here at the resort.
Currency: US cash is accepted everywhere at the rate of US$1.00 = BZ$2.00. Guests should bring enough cash in small US$ bills (5's and 10's) to cover their entrance and border fees during their stay: US$150 per person for 7 nights, US$75-125 pp for shorter stays. We are happy to exchange US$ and traveler's cheques to BZ$ at the resort. We carry a limited amount of cash at the resort, so please advise in advance or on arrival if a larger amount is required.
Drinking Water: Most all towns and cities in Belize have potable tap water. Mopan River Resort is connected to the municipal water supply: a spring source which is also treated. All indoor taps are pure water and absolutely safe. We use this water for cooking, ice, etc. Bottled water is available in the country, if you wish to purchase your own. We do not stock bottled water at the resort because our tap water tastes better, and the bottles produce excessive waste!
Expedition schedules: Tours are scheduled as follows: Sunday-Caves Branch Cave Tubing and Zipline, Monday-Xunantunich, Tuesday-Tikal, Wednesday-Barton Creek and Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, Thursday-Che Chem Hah Pottery Cave, Friday-Tikal (for those who participated in our Tikal tour on Tuesday the alternate tour is the Inland Blue Hole National Park), Saturday-Cahal Pech and either the San Ignacio Market or the Green Iguana Conservation Exhibit. For people on shorter stays that wish to do an alternate tour, it can be arranged at an additional cost. Likewise other tours not part of our all inclusive program such as ATM, Caracol or a snorkel day trip are available at an additional cost. Please contact us for details. Each day is a great adventure, and plenty of fun! Some excursions within Belize are subject to weather, road and/or river conditions. Alternate sites or activities will be chosen, as necessary, to fill the tour schedule.
Site Entrance Fees: Xunantunich: $10.00; Cahal Pech (includes museum) $10.00 each; Chechem Hah Cave: $20.00; Barton Creek Cave: $10.00; Green Hills Butterfly Farm: $10.00; Belize Zoo: $15.00. Caves Branch Cave Tubing $15.00 (includes equipment). Mopan River Resort does not have control over the site entrance fees, therefore they are subject to change without notice. Prices are in US$, per person.
Notes about Tikal Tour, Site Entrance and Border Fees: Tikal excursion is included for ALL guests, but operates on Tuesdays and Fridays, only. If you are staying for 3 or 4 nights, BE SURE your arrival schedule allows the full day for this excursion! The total tour to Tikal will cost US$60.00 per person, broken down as follows: Guatemalan border crossing: $20.00; Tikal park entrance fee: $25.00. If you desire a guide at Tikal, they charge $60 for 1-4 persons, $15/extra person. Mopan River Resort does not have control over the site entrance and border crossing fees, therefore they are subject to change without notice.
Suite vs. Cabana: Both types of unit have identical quality of furnishings, and are finished in varnished hardwoods, with thatched roof. Each cabana or suite is an individual unit, with private bath, and veranda. Suites are 40% larger, with an extra seating area; and offer a much "grander" space, with extra room to stretch out. Two suites also have a small kitchen, which would be suitable for extended stays. The third suite has an extra twin bed, instead of a kitchen. All suites have a queen bed. Cabanas have either one queen bed, or twin beds. All units have lovely views of the river and beautiful grounds.
Transfers: Driving time to Mopan River Resort is approximately two hours. Our van will bring you into the town of Benque Viejo, and from there, you take a short boat ride across the river to the resort property.
NOTE ABOUT TRANSFERS: While we make every effort to adjust the transfer schedule to minimize waiting times and inconvenience to arriving guests, please understand that on occasion, you may have up to 2-1/2 hours of waiting time at the airport, or in the City, before heading to the resort. For guests wishing a 'custom' transfer with no airport delay, taxis are available at the terminal for a minimum fare of US$125, one way. Because the resort is a two hour drive from International Airport, we regret that we cannot meet international flights scheduled to arrive after 4.00pm; OR international departures prior to 12 noon. Departing guests' transfer leaves the resort at approx. 8.30 am; reaching Belize City around noon following a stop at the zoo. For guests wishing a later departure, a taxi can also be arranged for this. When Daylight Savings Time is in effect, all these airport times are an hour earlier, as Belize does not observe DST.
Weather / Insects / Health: Average temperatures in our area of Cayo:
Nov. - Feb. : Daytime: 80F; nights can be 20 degrees cooler (as low as 50F in Dec. and Jan!). March through Oct.: Daytime: 85-95F; nights: still coolish, averaging 68 - 75F. Around the resort area, biting insects are never a major nuisance. Our cabanas are all fully screened. You may encounter pests at some expedition locations, so use of repellent, or appropriate clothing coverage is helpful. OFF! works fine-- you do not need 100% DEET. No immunizations are required to enter Belize; however, please contact your personal physician for current travel recommendations that might be appropriate for you. Anti-malarial pills are normally prescribed for travel to Belize.
What to bring / Useful info: Be sure to bring an insulated, refillable water bottle to carry on tours; and a small flashlight, or head lamp. Upon confirming your reservation, we will e-mail you a complete list of updated useful info, including what you see here; plus a suggested packing list of clothing and personal equipment, so that you are prepared for your daily adventures. If you have booked through a travel agent, you may request additional information from them. You are welcome to e-mail us directly, and we will forward this info to you!
- Deposit: 15% of total cost is due to confirm reservations. 25% deposit is required for groups of 8 or more. Deposit is non-refundable.
Balance: Due 60 days prior to arrival.
Late Bookings: When booking less than 60 days in advance, full payment is required within seven days to confirm space.
Cancellation notice: 60 days cancellation notice required for full refund of the balance. Less than 60 days: No refunds.
Credits/Refunds:Our packages are priced all-inclusive. Credits/refunds are not issed for transfers, tours and other services not used. We cannot offer refunds within cancellation periods as a result of airline delays, strikes, political unrest, weather conditions, travel advisories, or acts of God including hurricanes or personal emergencies. We strongly recommend travel insurance in order to safeguard against such potential circumstances.
Tours Disclaimer: The activity schedule is pre-arranged based on a 7 night stay, therefore, some excursions are not available to guests staying less than a week. Excursions and activities within Belize are subject to weather, road and/or river conditions. Alternate sites or activities will be chosen, as necessary, to fill the activity schedule.
Rest assured, you will always remember your Mopan River Resort experience, which combines comfort, uniqueness, adventure, and enjoyment...all at a great price. We will care for you from start to finish, operating all transfers and excursions with our own vehicles, and licensed guides and drivers employed by us. All combined, Mopan River Resort is guaranteed to provide you with the best inland Belize experience in the Cayo District!