Reviews and News

Georgia Review

Whitney - Atlanta, Georgia - September 2015

 

“This was the best Airbnb experience I have ever had. First, let me tell you that this place is even more beautiful then the pictures and what makes it even better is it's environmentally friendly. This place is truly tucked away in paradise, but please make sure you do get a 4WD drive vehicle because it is off a non paved road. When we pulled up we were greeted by Lucy the property manager who had a homemade cold drink and a smile waiting for us. Afterwards, she went over the property and how things worked as well as the local activities and things to do. Not only did she tell us what to do while there but she set the activities for us including platooning down the Macal River and seeing the waterfalls and our day trip to Tikal Guatemala to see the ruins. Breakfast and lunch was ready for us at our request, all Lucy needed was the time that we wanted it prepared. The highlight of every morning was the beautiful sunrises as well as listening to the Howler Monkey's, which was unbelievable. Me and my boyfriend split our time between this side of Belize and the islands on the beach, but next time we will spend our entire time in Belize at this location. Jim and Lucy you will definitely see us again and for longer next time. This property and location stole my heart! Jim & Lucy thank you so much for a wonderful and unforgettable experience. ”

North Carolina Review

McKendree - North Carolina - August  2015

 

“This place was AMAZING! The views were breath-taking. The cabin is tucked away in the side of a mountain in the middle of the jungle yet only a short trek to town, the ruins, and activities. (We did horseback riding at Martz Farm which we totally recommend: great views, very well taken care of horses, Joe is hysterical, knows so much about the land, and recites his own poetry.) The whole house was a really cool mix of jungle cabin with modern, and decorated with exotic flowers. We spent a lot of time on the large porches taking in our surroundings and enjoying the little slice of jungle heaven while reading and sipping coffee or drinking Belikin (The Beer of Belize). There is also a private trail down to the river where you can sit on a rock to sun tan and watch for crocodiles. Last but certain not least is Lucy, I have so much I want to say but not enough words to describe how awesome she is. She cooked us the most delicious breakfasts introducing us to Belizean dishes like coco porridge and star fruit while including items we were familiar with just incase like banana pancakes and fried eggs. EVERYTHING she cooked was delicious, we ate every bite, and all but licked our plates. Lucy also helped us get to and set up activities and had suggestions of places to eat/visit while in Belize. We were on our honeymoon and she had the bed decorated with a heart made from a jungle blossom's petals and had a bottle of wine and two glasses waiting for us; it was perfection. Jim was extremely easy and quick to communicate with and made finding the place a breeze (it is very secluded and Belize roads are hectic) he also clearly loves the country and has great suggestions of what to bring, buy, and do so listen to what he tells you especially about the 4 wheel drive! The only regrets we have about this place is not staying longer.”

Toronto, Ontario Canada Review

Jeph -  October 2015

 

“Our time at Casa Santa Maria was nothing short of amazing! Though it was a long journey to get there, I can honestly say it was worth it! The views are even more spectacular in person. The home is gorgeous and well decorated. It was really an oasis in the jungle. Lucy was the best host one could ask for. Her meals were all absolutely delicious. She was so accommodating and welcoming from the moment we arrived until literally when we drove off and had to say goodbye. The pontoon boat ride and horseback riding were far better than anything we could have imagined. Laz and Joe were insightful and entertaining and far more than just tour guides; they're honestly wonderful people. The entire family at the Martz Farm was inviting and provided a surreal experience that truly made our vacation complete. I would highly recommend this to anyone and everyone as you're guaranteed to have a vacation like none other. We will most certainly be visiting again in the future.”

Texas Review

Colleen- Texas - September 2015

 

The setting for this home is amazing; truly the jungle. We enjoyed our time in this beautiful home. Be ready for a very bumpy ride to the Ecovillage. It is worth the trip. Lucy made us feel so welcome and cared for. Thank you, Lucy! her meals were amazing! Nights are a bit warm, with a cooling as the night progresses.”

Detroit Michigan Review

D-Girls- Michigan - October 2015

 

“We had a great time at the Casa Santa Maria in the Belizean jungle. When we arrived after a long day of travelling we were hungry and very irritated. That last 10.5 miles down that unpaved road is no joke!! When Jim advises you to get there before dark (especially if you are driving yourself) he is serious. Once we got to the eco-village we had a hard time finding the house, so we were not in the best mood when we arrived, but Lucy greeted us with a smile and welcome beverage. She also already had our dinner prepared and took us on a quick tour of the house. The house looks exactly like it does in the pictures.....its beautiful and the views are breathtaking. Hopefully during your stay you will get a chance to hear and see the Howler Monkeys. Lucy will be your host and cook while you are there and she is FANTASTIC!!! She is a total sweetheart and an excellent cook. The Martz Farm (her family farm) is just 2.5 miles down the road and if you plan on doing any excursions, some of them are done by her brothers and/or sisters on the family farm. We did the Pontoon Boat Tour with her brother Lazo and sister, Millie. We went to 3 different waterfalls, checked out the wildlife on the river and just had a great afternoon with them. They are just as sweet and kind as Lucy. We also got to meet her other brother Joe when we got back from the boat tour and he shared 2 poems with us. Lucy and her family are just all around great people, so make sure you get in at least 1 excursion with them while you are there. Our communication with Jim before our arrival was excellent. He was super responsive and didn't seem to have a problem answering all of our questions. Things to remember: If you are driving yourself to the house, PLEASE GET THERE BEFORE IT GETS DARK!!! It gets dark in Belize at 6pm. The last 10.5 miles to the Casa Santa Maria is down an unpaved road. IT IS VERY BUMPY!! It will take you at least 45 minutes to get down this road. Follow Jim's directions!!! There are no street signs (besides the signs at the junctions) so make sure you follow his directions to a tee. When you get to Benque Viejo, DO NOT GO OVER THE HIGH BRIDGE!! We almost made this mistake. The high bridge is just a landmark, to let you know you're going in the right direction. All in all, we had a great time. We would definitely come back and we LOVE Lucy. She is best.”

Colorado Review - Rachel -  February 2018

 

"ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!!! Casa Santa Maria is absolutely breathtaking! We had never visited the jungle and if you're planning a trip to Belize and debating about spending some or all of your trip in the jungle dive in! Casa Santa Maria is hands down the best vacation rental I have ever stayed at! The house and the location are absolutely stunning, but what really makes this place special is Lucy and her family. We have never traveled abroad and felt like we were with family but Lucy and her family made us feel welcome, at home and cared for. They have a non-invasive presence in the morning and afternoon and leave you with plenty of privacy while being available to you for any of your needs. Lucy took care of everything for us while we were here from food to car issues to laundry. We had car issues which I'll give some pointers on below and Lucy handled our rental company while we were out seeing the Mayan Ruins and had the rental company bring a new car to us at lunch. Lucy is an incredible cook. Everything she made was delicious and we are all missing her lemon pudding bread with caramel frosting! We bought dinners for every night we stayed here and my best advice to you is to do the same. The food is delicious and you will be staying an hour from the nearest grocery store and restaurants. Let Lucy handle this for you and I assure you your stay will be amazing like ours. Having bought dinners Lucy would come and make us breakfast, then we would head out all day to excursions and come home, shower and be served dinner every night. It made the trip so special. We were provided with all of the essentials and snacks. It was like heaven and we hope to return again soon. Tips and Favorites: CAR RENTAL: 4 wheel drive means 4-wheel drive. A mid-size SUV with all wheel drive will leave you stuck in the mud on the way in/out of Casa Santa Maria. You're best bet is to rent a large SUV with clearance and 4 wheel drive. The first car we were given was a Mazda CX-5 with all wheel drive. We were stuck in the mud and had to push it out! Thanks to Lucy the rental company exchanged this for a Ford Expedition. Wow what a game changer! It was like off roading the entire time. You will be on a dirt road and we even had several instances where we had to drive across rivers (my husband was in heaven). You want to rent a Jeep Wrangler or other large vehicle like an Expedition with 4WD; you need clearance and power! EXCURSIONS: We zip lined, went to Barton's Cave and Xunantunich (amazing) and did the pontoon excursion. The PONTOON EXCURSION was the best of all these excursions. We got to see the whole jungle and went to 3 amazing waterfalls. Lucy's nephews..."

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