Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
By any standards, Maruba Resort Jungle Spa (tel. 501/225-5555, U.S. tel. 800/627-8227, www.maruba-belize.com, US$130–700 per night) is an interesting sight in the middle of the forest, located at Mile 40½ on the Old Northern Highway, about a mile out of Maskall Village. Many visitors come just for the day—it’s a popular stopover for Altun Ha explorers who decide to enjoy lunch and a mud mask before heading back to San Pedro, Belize City, or other nearby destinations.
The resort’s verdant landscaping is enhanced by intriguing focal points spread around the grounds: a tiny, glass-decorated chapel, a palapa-covered stone chess table, a pool that seems to spring from the jungle, complete with waterfalls. The uniquely named rooms—Moon, Fertility, Mayan Loft, and Bondage, to name a few—continue the eclectic motif with carved masks, mosaic-tile floors, standing candles, concrete fountains, tiled tubs, screened windows, and fresh flowers on the massive feather beds and in the bathrooms.
The restaurant often offers tasty international fusion fare, and at the bar you will find viper rum (“for real men only”), an insanely strong shot of liquor infused with snake venom. Instructions on how to properly down a shot will be given by owner/bartender Nicky. Massages, mud wraps, manicures, and pedicures are available, as well as a free-weight gym. Packages are available with tours to the reefs, ruins, and inland destinations.
Getting to Maruba
If you want to bus it, ask at your hotel for current schedules and make sure there is a return bus the same day if you do not plan on staying in the area. Maruba is close enough to Belize City that a taxi is your best bet, or try a tour operator that specializes in these trips.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition