Entrance to Riverside Villa
Welcome to Riverside Villa. This villa is located in a very secluded and serene setting on the banks of the Privassion. This river flows through the largely undeveloped Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in the Cayo District of western Belize. It is a charming and romantic get away for adventuresome couples, honeymooners or any one seeking a quiet retreat. It is a truly unusual location on the banks of a gorgeous river where the Mountain Pine Ridge and the jungle meet. The villa is privately owned but managed by the friendly and capable staff of the adjacent Gaia River Lodge who can help visitors plan any of the many activities in the area. A full kitchen is provided but guests can also take all meals at the lodge's lovely restaurant over looking beautiful Five Sister's Falls or even have meals delivered from the lodge to enjoy in the privacy of the villa.Exterior of Riverside Villa
Riverside Villa consists of two log and thatch cabañas connected by an open air deck. The cheerful sleeping cabana which holds the bedroom and bathroom is warmly furnished with a bamboo bed and Mayan fabrics and wall hangings. The full bath contains a fancifully tiled bathtub and beautiful hardwood furnishings. A screened in porch at one end of the bedroom has a hammock as well as two chairs. It is nestled into the trees and overlooks the garden with the river just beyond.
The larger cabaña contains a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, writing desk and a small library. It is surrounded on four sides with fully screened porches arranged into relaxed and comfortable living spaces. Hammocks and seating areas are situated to take advantage of the tropical gardens as well as the entrancing views of the river. All furnishings are locally made by Belizean craftsman. Colorful Mayan rugs, fabrics and wall hangings complete the cozy ambiance of the interior.Morning sun on the river in front of the villa Bedroom furnished with queen sized bamboo bed and mayan weavings
For those who prefer to dine outdoors, a beautiful picnic table faces the water with the pines and ferns across the river. It is an especially lovely spot under the full moon. The smaller “river deck” is an intimate spot to enjoy morning coffee or to watch the sun slip behind the pines in the evening. Nighttime brings a soothing chorus of tree frogs from the surrounding jungle, a perfect ending to the day.Handcrafted picnic table, bench and chairs for dinners overlooking the river The river deck Garden areas as seen from back porch
The living cabana, in addition to providing a very well equipped kitchen is surrounded on four sides by covered porches with floor to ceiling screens. Views await guests from every vantage point- views of the river, pine forest, jungle and gardens. Plan to spend time relaxing in a comfortable hammock with an unobstructed view of the Privassion. Lounge in the day bed or the sitting room for an afternoon of reading in the shade. This cabana also has a newly constructed full bath and can be configured to accommodate additional guests.Kitchen
Screened porch with a view of gardens and the river
Additional Guest Accommodations
Riverside Villa was designed as a spacious one bedroom home. Over the years we have had many requests from guests interested in traveling with a third or fourth party. Recent additions and upgrades have made it possible to accommodate adventurous guests in a delightful setting. One of our covered screened porches, the jungle deck, serves as a living area when the villa is rented by two. This couch in the sitting area is a trundle bed that can be converted to a king sized bed. Curtains can be used to provide privacy on all sides or left open to face the gardens and jungle. There is an adjacent full bath with an armoire for storage.
One additional guest can chose from several options. The king sized bed can be set up on the jungle deck as described above or the lower portion of the trundle (a single bed) can be moved around the corner to “the banana deck’’. The banana deck is also adjacent to the full bath and overlooks our banana trees (of course) as well as the river. The banana deck does not have privacy curtains facing out although the location is secluded and private. It can be closed off from the main living area with shutter doors.
There is a maximum occupancy of four and there is an additional per night fee for each guest beyond two.
Larger groups or those who prefer a full second bedroom can choose from the wonderfully designed cabanas at Gaia River Lodge.
The day bed on the banana deck is a great place for an afternoon reading or napping. It is used to set up the trundle as a king sized bed when the villa is occupied by four people. When the villa is used by three persons the jungle deck can remain as a seating area and the daybed used as a single bed.Full Bath with armoire adjacent to jungle deck and banana deck
The Cayo region is adventure central for Belize and this location provides peace and quiet in addition to access to the tours in the area. There are many activities nearby for those who wish an active vacation. The lodge can arrange for horseback visits to the jungle as well as canoeing trips into the caves of Barton creek or along the peaceful Macal River. The Mayan ruins of Caracol and Xunantunich are common day trips from the Pine Ridge as is the somewhat longer trip over the Guatemalan border to the famous ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. There is also a lovely nature trail which takes guests from the steps of the villa through lush broadleaf jungle and on to a private waterfall on Little Vaqueros Creek. A steeper trail to nearby Big Rock falls rewards hikers with a stunning waterfall in a gorgeous natural setting. Mountain bike tours can also be arranged.
Those looking for a relaxing vacation will find Riverside to be a very peaceful haven. The decks and gardens provide a lovely spot to enjoy the view and watch the birds and butterflies. A palapa at the waters edge has two comfortable hammocks that are perfect for enjoying a book on a lazy afternoon. The fast flowing section of the creek in front of the villa has numerous small swimming holes and a large slow moving pool is just a minute's walk down stream. The base of Five Sister's Waterfall is a short walk up stream. This beautiful waterfall has a lovely white sand beach, excellent swimming, a shaded gazebo and a thatched palapa furnished with hammocks.
One of the many cascades steps from the villa
The majority of visitors to the interior of Belize come to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings as well as the abundance of bird and animal life. Riverside Villa was created to take advantage of the surroundings while protecting the environment. Water is gravity fed to the villa from a pure spring high above in the hills (providing abundant pressure) and then passed through a state of the art water filtration system. Electricity is provided by the hydro powered generator at Gaia Riverlodge and the eco-friendly septic system is designed to avoid polluting the pristine river.
The location of Riverside Villa is one of it's best features. It is accessed by a 4 wheel drive driveway (and most rental cars in Belize are 4 wheel drive) and a paved, lighted walkway to the villa. Luggage transfer is provided by the lodge for guests who do not have a rental car. Guests should be prepared with a light jacket or sweater in the evenings as the riverside location brings cooler temperatures in the evenings than in surrounding areas. Visits to Riverside Villa are intended to be a natural retreat. There are an abundance of screened in porch areas and open decks where guests can enjoy the view of the river as well as the birds and butterflies flitting through the gardens. The secluded and beautiful setting, the amenities of the villa, the proximity to the charming Gaia River Lodge and the many activities in the area will provide adventurous travelers with an unforgettable visit to Belize.
Travel to Riverside Villa a can be arranged in a number of ways. Gaia Riverlodge can meet your flight and provide van service directly to the lodge. Guests can rent a car at the airport and drive out to the Pine Ridge which is about a three hour drive. It is also possible to charter a small plane from the airport to a landing strip two miles from the villa. The staff at Gaia river Lodge will meet your plane.
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