Deep in the jungles of Northwest Belize lies an incredibly wildlife-rich ecosystem home to the Gallon Jug Estate. At the end of a 2.5-hour drive from Belize City, you’ll be greeted by the sign welcoming you to the 35,000-acre farm.
Gallon Jug Estate, owned by Belize’s Bowen&Bowen Ltd., is an impressionable diverse site chock-full of jaguars, hundreds of species of birds and even an undocumented Maya archaeological site. The farm itself is a vast blanket of greenery, nature and the occasional strolling oscillated turkey. Arriving at the property, you’ll be transported into a nature bubble that makes you forget about the buzz of the outside world. Here, you’ll learn how the famous Gallon Jug Estate sauces are made from scratch, how to harvest coffee beans for delicious roasted coffee and how to kick back and let go of your worldly worries.
Travelers visiting the site to get their nature fix – and maybe spot a jaguar, or two, in the flesh – will be pleased to know there is lodging on site. Named after the creek known as Chan Chich (“little bird” in Maya), Chan Chich Lodge offers rooms for the avid birder or nature lover. Keep your eyes peeled during lunch at the on-site restaurant, for a grey fox might just dart by in the garden, or a hummingbird might pay a visit near your table. Driving through the property in one of the guides’ open trucks, deer, birds, and other wildlife is not an uncommon sight. Blink and you just might miss a roadside hawk taking flight, or a coatimundi hiding in the bushes.
An unmissable experience is the Maya archaeological tour, where you come across authentic Maya mounds in the forest right on the estate’s grounds. If you’re lucky, spider and howler monkeys will get extremely near to get a closer look at you before jetting off to swing from tree to tree.
Before you leave, make sure to take the sought-after Maya Fyah or Mango Tango sauces to your friends back home, or even a bag or two of dark roasted coffee. This, coupled with your endless array of nature shots in your camera roll, will be a stark reminder of the beauty surrounding the Gallon Jug Estate.
Photos courtesy of Chan Chich Lodge