Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I select Mariposa Jungle Lodge?
There are several wonderful lodges in our area. We think we are a little different in that we are seasoned travelers who like to focus on local culture in addition to the standard excursion fare. We have designed excursions and trained our guides to offer our guests an array of insights into the lifestyles, earning and spending habits, and cultural differences among the local peoples.
Put simply, we take a combined academic and adventuresome approach to exploring Cayo. So, we think you should select Mariposa Jungle Lodge if you want the best combination of:
- Cultural orientation
- Excellent food
- Large, clean and comfortable cabañas with spacious modern bathrooms
- Best proximity to a majority of the most popular excursion destinations
- An intimate lodge main building featuring a beautiful bar, screened-in restaurant and lounging area
- An eclectic library with international art and memorabilia to titillate your traveler memory or plans
- Free high-speed Internet access
- Hosts and staff with abundant enthusiasm and desire to ensure your best possible Belize experience.
When should I visit?
The most popular time to visit is between Christmas and April, between the rainy and dry seasons. May and June are lovely for people who don't mind some hot weather. Rain is intermittent between June and December; weather patterns no longer seem to follow traditional patterns. From October to January, the temperature ranges from cool to hot, and visitors must be prepared for muddy roads.
Are there wild animals around the Lodge?
Yes, but sightings are rare because most are nocturnal. Our guests have seen gray foxes, armadillos, coatimundi, possums, squirrels, and other unidentified small animals. A resident jaguar has been heard wandering near our buildings and has been seen on nearby properties, but he or she stays within the protective shield of the rain forest. We are often visited by Howler Monkeys and the unique howl of the protective males.
How about birds?
The Mariposa Jungle Lodge site is truly a birdwatcher’s paradise. You are likely to spot between a dozen and 100 species on any given day, including flocks of Mealy Parrots, Brown Jays and a local group of Keel-Billed Toucans.
What should I wear?
Belize is very informal. We suggest wearing comfortable cotton clothes. For those who typically attract biting insects, slacks are preferable to shorts. A long sleeve cotton shirt would be handy to wear over sleeveless tops when visiting places that tend to have the insidious 'no-seeums'. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. Two pairs are desirable in case one gets wet. It's best not to choose your best clothes for excursions and jungle outings. Don't forget a bathing suit. If you are adventuresome and might find yourself exploring a muddy cave, or hiking along a muddy path, you may wish to bring some 'disposable clothes' because the local mud tends to stain.
What should I bring?Binoculars for viewing birds or wildlife, insect repellent with a high DEET factor, sunglasses, head protection, light raingear, a protective sun hat or cap, spare batteries or recharging equipment for your camera batteries. We provide umbrellas, flashlights, bug spray, hairdryers, and mango-scented liquid body soap, shampoo and conditioner.
Do you accommodate children?
Mariposa Jungle Lodge is designed for adults and young people who are independent and self-sufficient. We do not have highchairs, cribs or other amenities for infants and toddlers. We welcome young children who are accustomed to an adult environment.
What do you mean by "border fees?"
If you cross the border from Belize to Guatemala in order to visit Tikal, the Belize government imposes a departure tax. The tax is currently about $18 U.S. (Another departure tax is charged at the airport when you leave Belize, but some air carriers include it in the price of your ticket.) In addition, a small entry fee may be charged at Guatemala Immigration. Then a representative of the Municipality of Melchor de Mencos, the first town after the Guatemala border, may stop you for an entry fee. Your guide will assist you throughout the process.
Why do you include service charges?
Service charges are added to ensure that all employees of the Lodge, seen and unseen, receive some recognition that their efforts have contributed to occupancy. Most resorts in Belize have adopted this policy. Given the fact that 10% is distributed among the entire staff, we expect some guests to give supplemental gratuities to anyone you'd normally tip at a higher rate. Supplemental tipping is neither required nor expected, but it is greatly appreciated.
How much should I tip our tour guide?
A generous tip for excellent service would be US $5-$10/per person for a full-day excursion and half that for a half-day excursion. The amount is discretionary, of course, and should reflect your level of satisfaction.
Do I need a passport to travel to Belize?
How long does it take to drive from the airport to the Lodge?
About two hours from Belize International Airport, 1.5 hours from Belize City, and 20-30 minutes from San Ignacio.
What time zone is Belize in?
Central, but we do not observe Daylight Savings Time.
What is the primary language?
English, but Spanish is spoken widely in the Cayo District.
Is the voltage the same for electricity as the U.S.?
Yes, 110 volts.
Do we need any shots?
No. The Belize Tourist Board posts a statement that there are no serious epidemic diseases in Belize and no inoculations are necessary. Some people take anti malaria tablets in an abundance of caution, but malaria is not common in this area. You should make these decisions with your personal doctor.
How do you get to the cayes or Placencia from Mariposa Jungle Lodge?
You can fly from Belmopan George Price Airstrip, Maya Flats Airstrip, Goldson International Airport or Belize Municipal Airport. We recommend the latter because the fares are lower and there’s no disadvantage when traveling to the islands. The best bargain is one of the water taxi services in Belize City. The fares are nominal and it’s a great boat ride (We can transport you to any of the three transportation sites for the same price from the Lodge). Useful trivia: In Belize, “cayes” is pronounced “keys.”
Should I exchange money at the airport?
Only if you’re not using US currency. Locals prefer to be paid in US currency because it’s more valuable in exchange for currencies outside Belize. For example, at the Guatemala border, one gets more quetzales for US $1 than for the equivalent $2 Belize. The Belize dollar is pegged 2:1 to the US dollar and US currency is accepted throughout Belize at that rate. The exchange rate at the airport bank office is less favorable than at other locations.
Are travelers checks or credit cards typically accepted?
Travelers checks may be accepted at larger establishments but are not popular because the local banks do not cash them at par. Mariposa Jungle Lodge accepts Visa and Mastercard. Cash is always gratefully accepted.