According to Greek mythology, the primordial goddess Gaia is the personification of Earth, often referred to as Mother Earth or Mother Nature.
So it’s not all that surprising that a resort like Five Sisters, which has always strived to remain as environmentally friendly and ecologically conscious as possible, would be renamed as Gaia River Lodge when it came under new ownership.
Daniel Lighter, owner of Matachica Resort & Spa on Ambergris Caye, acquired Five Sisters Lodge & Tours in early 2012, and along with the change in ownership came a change of name as well.
Located in the heart of Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge, surrounded by jungle, mountains and pine forests on the banks of the white-water Privassion River, Gaia River Lodge offers a peaceful sanctuary from everyday life.
Imposing mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to Mayan ruins, dense rainforest, stalactite caverns and some of the most diverse wildlife on earth… not to mention the series of spectacular waterfalls known collectively as the Five Sisters, from which the resort derived its original name when it first opened in 1991.
The falls can be readily accessed via Belize’s only hydro-powered rain forest tram, which affords a unique view of the valley as you descend further down into the rainforest. At the falls, you will also see a spectacular display of flowers growing in the wild, including over 450 species of orchids, palmettos, bromeliads and other exotic plants, not to mention all the different species of birds and butterflies that flit along the rainforest trails.
And speaking of trails, Gaia River offers specially guided tours of its very own medicinal nature trail, where guests can view and learn about over 76 different species of medicinal plants and trees. This is a particularly informative tour for those interested in alternative medicine.
Guests at Gaia River Lodge can also enjoy a wide range of off-site activities, including archaeological tours of ancient Mayan sites such as Caracol, Xunantunich and Tikal, horseback jungle treks, or exploring the wonders of the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave, which National Geographic Magazinehas described as the most spectacular cave to be seen in this part of the world.
Mountain biking, ziplining, tubing through the cave formations of the Caves Branch River, birdwatching, hiking and rock climbing are also activities that are just steps away from your door at Gaia River.
An extensive redesign of the property is currently underway, with plans to transform Gaia River Lodge into an intimate rainforest retreat that reflects the unparalleled standards of quality and service at its sister property, Matachica Resort & Spa.
Currently, however, the mountain lodge in Belize’s Cayo District continues to offer comfortable accommodations ranging from standard and family-sized cabanas to riverside villas and junior suites (as well as full restaurant and bar services, natural swimming pools, and even its own wedding chapel, located on a beautiful river island nicknamed “The Garden of Eden.”
And of course, the highest standards of service and hospitality will continue to be a mainstay of the resort under its new management team, which includes Nigel Richards, the on-site manager, and Gricel Graniel, now the managing director at both Gaia River and Matachica.