Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Caves Branch / Ian Anderson #111095
11/11/05 02:21 PM
11/11/05 02:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 2
vancouver, Canada
jungle jinx Offline OP
jungle jinx  Offline OP
I have just returned from my 4th trip to Belize and my 3rd stay at Caves Branch. I have to say that Caves Branch is better than ever! Every time I return, I am surprised how much more that Ian has done to move his jungle lodge into the realm of a true jungle / adventure experience while providing the little amenities of true jungle luxury.

Most recently since my last visit is the new jungle lodge, 6000. sq feet of open air, mahogany, tropical cedar and natural cane with 12 foot ceilings. All the 12 foot suport posts were hand carved by craftsmen, not a machine touched them and the floor is tiled in hand made terra cotta clay tiles. The entire appearance fits right into its surroundings.

The meals were even better than I remembered them to be and that was a hard show to follow.

During my most recent visit, all the guides were undergoing their annual recertification of their medical and rescue training. From a distance I observed what could be considered to be no less than premium first world training being given to the guides who all had to do two days of hands on scenarios to prove their recertifiacton. I was impressed!

I'm writing in specific after reading Marys posting on the Disaster and Rescue Response Teams busy week. See:


I was at Caves Branch during that week. I saw it all:
. the rescue team arriving back from Mexico, totally exhausted from their 9 days of work at the epicentre of Hurricane Wilma
. The flurry of activity between 8:30 and 9: am when 12 guides loaded their trucks and raced out the driveway to rescue 6 tourists and their 3 guides from flooding rivers and returning just 5 hours later with smiles on their faces after a successful rescue of guests that were not even theirs.
. they allowed me to volenteer the day of the Belmopan disaster scenario, I was covered with blood and tried my best to be a "good" victim. The scene was chaotic, as it was meant to be, the whole while being supervised by Ian Anderson, the Caves Branch and DARRT teams.
. and the following day when a number of the Caves Branch staff, along with Ian set off to pick up the kids in Belmopan for a days outing.

I can't say, after returning home and giving the week some thought, just how impressed I was with the selfless volenteerism of Ian Anderson and his Caves Branch oganization.

Of course while this was all going on, the lodge itself provided top notch services as usual.

I know it costs me a bit more to stay at Caves Branch than some other jungle lodges. It works out to costing me about 3 beers a day more .. something I can certainly handle. But for the cost of 3 beers a day, I know that I am in the hands of people who would be called upon on rescueing me from the less professional hands of other tour operations if an incident occured .. for the cost of about 3 beers a day, I know I am in the hands of some of the most highly trainied adventure guides in not only Belize, but from what I have personally seen, perhaps the world .. for the cost of about 3 beers a day, I will continue opting for the Caves Branch experience with Ian Anderson and his team.

After all, look what the cost of those 3 beers are supporting: a disaster rescue and response team that might save your life someday even if you are not staying at Caves Branch, a team that responds to national and international disasters and an oganization that is working with "Youth at risk" within the country .. Not to mention the finest adventure jungle lodge in Belize.

All for the cost of a few beers .. Ian Anderson and Caves Branch has my vote!

Re: Caves Branch / Ian Anderson #111096
11/11/05 10:07 PM
11/11/05 10:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 17
DLM2000 Offline
DLM2000  Offline
jungle jinx - thank you for that report. I have my first trip to Belize planned for 12/17 and will be staying at Caves Branch the first half and on Ambergris at Ramon's the second half. This is a family trip and although I checked into the safety ratings at Caves (and they were excellent), it's also good to hear it from a customer. This will be a family trip with our sons - 20 and 16. We are all 'outdoorsy' types and look forward to the experience. We haven't picked our particular excursions for Caves yet.....any recommendations?


Re: Caves Branch / Ian Anderson #111097
11/12/05 10:04 PM
11/12/05 10:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 2
vancouver, Canada
jungle jinx Offline OP
jungle jinx  Offline OP
Heck Yeah, The two most incredible adventures of my life were both at Caves Branch: The black Hole Drop and the Waterfall expedition.

The black hole drop starts off with the fun ride to the jungle edge on the "Jungle Limo", an old tractor pulling a flat deck. Something we from the US never have a chance to do these days. Reminded me from a ride through the old pumpkin fields years ago. From there there is a very .. demanding .. hike for about 1.5 hours up to the rim of the sinkhole. Don't worry though, the guides are great and take all the breaks you might need while insisting on your water intake.

From the top edge of the sinkhole which must be a kilometre across ( half mile) you are harnessed up and hooked onto the rappel ropes.

Then, after some very good instructions, soothing words and lots of eye contact .. you take you first steps over the edge .. a 300 foot edge.

The rest you'll have to experience for yourself, but just dont miss it. Your kids will Love it.

Then the Waterfall cave expedition. Hundreds of feet below the jungle floor, hiking upstream through a spectacular river cave .. crystal clear pool, cascading waterfalls ( 6 in all ) you have to rock climb up and through the waterfalls to get to the next one , and so on. At the end of the day, its plunge pooling all the way back.

Dont' miss either of them. But there are so many other adventures offered.

Let us know how you enjoyed your trip.

Re: Caves Branch / Ian Anderson #111098
11/12/05 10:38 PM
11/12/05 10:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 6,251
NYgal Offline
NYgal  Offline
Thanks for sharing your experiences...what a wonderful place to stay....minus 3 beers (daily) laugh
Only if others would see things your way wink

It's truly remarkable practice for the safety of others.
I would loved to have seen them smile

Re: Caves Branch / Ian Anderson #111099
11/13/05 12:41 PM
11/13/05 12:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 17
DLM2000 Offline
DLM2000  Offline
Oh I am so psyched for this trip I can't even tell you! The Black Hole Drop was on our list already but good to know about the waterfall cave trip - so hard to decide - we have the opportunity to do 3 trips. Then we get to recuperate on Ambergris. You can keep the beers! I want something tropical with a tacky paper umbrella stuck in it....on the beach, of course!

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

Things to do

Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Love FM
The Reporter
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
To Get Your Questions Answered

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater
San Pedro Fun Finder
Paradise Guy Event Calendar
Cayo Event Calendar

San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Belize Happy Adventures
Conch Creative
Caribbean Culture & Lifestyle
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
ShoutChat Box
Who's Online Now
3 registered members (Marty, bobcat bill, 1 invisible), 135 guests, and 0 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Most Online5,530
Jun 13th, 2021 HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1