Day Trippin' - Magic in the Middle of the Jungle - Maruba Resort & Jungle Spa

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 9            March 1, 2001

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Maruba Resort's Master Suite

"Are you ready?" was the greeting we received from Willy Leslie upon reaching the pier to start the first leg of our journey. Boy, were we ever ready and SEArious Adventures was kind enough to give us a lift to Maruba, on one of their many adventures, this particular one to the ruins of Altun Ha.

    After reaching the coast of Belize, we slowly navigated our way up the Northern River, while Willy point out the variety of hardwood trees that are able to grow in the briny water along the sides of the river. He also identified the many birds perched in the mangrove and several species of orchids that colored the landscape. Arriving in the tiny village of Bomba, we parted ways and headed off with our driver while the rest of the group continued onto Altun Ha. Cruising down the bumpy back roads we traveled first through quaint Maskall Village, home of the original wood carvers of Belize. A short time later, we reached the road that led to our final destination Maruba Resort and Jungle Spa.

    Traveling down the lane to this family-owned and operated resort you could feel the everyday tension fading away as you came upon this idyllic jungle setting. After walking down one of the many palm-lined jungle paths, we entered the beautiful huge main palapa, which houses a combination reception area, gift shop, dining room and bar. Interesting carvings, native art and comfortable furnishings surrounded us and a friendly green parrot entertained us while the attentive staff checked us in.

    Drinking our "welcome to the jungle punch" adorned by a red Hibiscus we immediately began to relax. Overwhelmed by the myriad of beautiful sights we observed touring this jungle resort, we were even more delighted when we reached our Master suite. Quite private, the thatch roofed, stucco bungalow was almost hidden from view as you walked down the path leading to it. The attention paid to every little detail was amazing as our eyes followed the mosaic tiled floor to the native hardwood furnishings that filled the room- exquisitely decorated in several types of international style. From the four-poster feather bed draped in richly colored silks to the overstuffed couch overflowing with large jungle-print pillows, it was truly a romantic dream. Soothing music from the room's stereo and exotic incense aromas filled the air as we spied a number of red hibiscus flowers that seemed to have landed on every surface of the room. The bathroom was just as lovely and a big jacuzzi tub made the comforts complete. Maruba products such as bath and body oil, anti-itch lotion and insect repellent adorned the bathroom shelf. Also Maruba's own brand of toiletries and mouthwash were provided, so we only would have needed to bring a change of clothing for an overnight stay (a nice touch for those spontaneous people who are so enchanted by a day visit, they decide to stay the night).

    Within fifteen minutes, we slipped into our soft cotton Maruba robes and slippers and were whisked away for our first spa treatment - the Mood Mud Massage. At different spots during our walk through the resort to the spa rooms we spied small alcoves, housing a table and chairs, nearly hidden beside the path- perfect for a couple to spend a quiet talk or a relaxing drink. When we reached our destination, another impressively decorated large room with two massage tables awaited us, complete with disposable underwear and large towels. After a pleasantly vigorous total body massage, we watched as the mud dried into wrinkles, detoxifying us and restoring our skin. A few steps away in another room, we were gently cleansed of our mud by our masseuse with buckets of warm water. Besides being totally relaxed and rejuvenated from this wonderful massage, we felt like we had brand new skin! Many other treatments are available from the professional staff at the spa to suit any need or mood:  Mood Mud, Jungle Herb and Seaweed Body Wraps; Seaweed and Aromatherapy Massages; Cellulite Treatments; African Honey Bee Scrubs; and Mood Mud and Seaweed Hair Packs. The spa also offers a variety of facials, as well as manicures and pedicures to round out the total experience of pampering and pleasure. Owner/physician Dr. Merickston Nicholson believes in using natural products to revitalize and rejuvenate the body. He has recently introduced his own body treatments and Diabetes/Hypertension Control and Weight Loss programs. Multi-purpose Maruba Mood Mud, (Dr. Nicholson's creation), can be used as a shampoo, soap, mask for hair or body and for massage. Different herbal teas and tonics (Stinger, Viper and Muga) can be purchased as well. Maruba products are produced (and sold) at the spa from ingredients found in the surrounding jungle and are also available on Ambergris Caye from Mayan Secrets. Their all-natural products may also be obtained in the US through their website

   After a lengthy shower back at the room, it was time for lunch. Only healthy, nutritious foods were featured, smoked meat and game meat and vegetables provided by local hunters and farmers. Tempting fresh tropical drinks were served with or without alcohol. After a delicious meal, we had the option of horseback riding, a jungle safari hike, one-on-one exercising, or any number of tours arranged with local guides. We opted to simply relax at the large "Jungle Falls" swimming pool, mystified by thoughts of how the native Mayans must have lived here so long ago.

    Pampering is what they do best at Maruba- no matter how you choose to spend your time. Before dinner, we enjoyed an entrancing aromatherapy massage. Soft music and lighting greeting us in the massage room where we were given a choice of scented oils made by the Marugan tribe from petals, oils and the bark of plants. After an hour of this pleasure we made our way to our next spa delicacy- a soothing Japanese mineral bath located under the palms and stars of this jungle paradise. The extremely warm mineral water is said to rejuvenate the body by reducing muscle fatigue and stress while stimulating circulation and we proved this to be true. All thoughts of the "real world" melted away as we immersed ourselves in the warmth of the pool.

    Dinner in the "Bird Cage Restaurant" that night was the ultimate experience to end a most fascinating and relaxing day. Sipping liqueur on our patio daybed that evening, captivated by the amount of stars we could see, it was like we had traveled to a place that time forgot. A day at Maruba had given us the same feeling as a week's vacation anywhere else.

   Whether you can spend an afternoon, a night or a week, the Maruba experience should not be missed while in Belize. So, if it is fitness and nutrition you seek or relaxation and rejuvenation in a romantic atmosphere, discover the secrets of nature that the Mayans knew so well- at Maruba Resort and Jungle Spa. It is the perfect prescription- every doctor would agree.
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