Windy Hill Resort, Belize

By Esther Perica
This item appears on page 50 of the October 2015 issue.

After taking a group tour of Mayan ruins in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize, I stayed six extra days in western Belize, Feb. 10-15, 2015, to visit more Mayan sites near the Guatemalan border.

I had contacted several properties for information. The one that was the easiest to work with (and had the best price) was Windy Hill Resort (Graceland Ranch, Western Hwy., San Ignacio, Belize; phone +501 824 2017 or, from the US, 800/946-3995,  www.windyhill
, located at the edge of San Ignacio. Their reservations manager, Elmer Puc, emailed, “Let me know what you’d like,” and designed a package that fit my needs and interests.

I asked for round-trip transfers from Belize City 1½ hours away, half-board (breakfast and dinner) accommodation in an air-conditioned cabin for five nights, and private tours to the sites of Cahal Pech, El Pilar and Caracol. He quoted $1,700, which I thought was reasonable.

Windy Hill Resort turned out to be a lovely property and a great jumping-off point for visiting these remote Mayan ruins. My large, stand-alone cottage had everything I needed, including a hammock and furniture on the porch, a table and chairs in the room, an easy chair, two double beds and places to set luggage. 

Wi-Fi (when the service provider was up) was excellent. I didn’t have time to use the pool. I ordered off the menu in their Black Orchid Restaurant and the meals were excellent; I was never charged for anything extra.

The included tours went as planned, with excellent guides and good transportation. After I arrived, I signed up for an all-day group tour ($100) to the fabulous Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. National Geographic listed this as the most sacred cave in the world.

I even enjoyed the transfers, which were done in a large, comfortable van with a friendly, talkative driver who pointed out interesting sites along the way. 

Jessica Quintero, one of the receptionists, recommended that I ask the driver to stop at The Belize Zoo ( on my way to the resort. It houses only rescued animals and keeps them in natural settings. There was no charge for this extra one-hour stop, though I paid the zoo admission fee.

Getting into “downtown” San Ignacio was very easy. If it wasn’t too hot, I could walk. A taxi cost between $2.50 (per person, shared ride) and $3.50 (private ride).

I enjoyed two lunches in town at Ko-Ox Han-nah (5 Burns Avenue, San Ignacio; phone +501 824 3014). My lunch favorites were the huge chicken quesadillas (BZD16, near $8) and the iced coffee, which was more like a coffee milkshake (BZD6).

Life is leisurely in San Ignacio. I enjoyed the pace (slow), the Windy Hill Resort property (lovely) and the nearby Mayan sites (fabulous).