Spa Retreat Secluded in 1,000-Acre Jungle
During the famous Mood Mud massage at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, clients are daubed with earthy pigments of red, orange, and pink. They emerge looking like leopards as imagined by abstract expressionists. Everywhere you look, the jungle seems to have left its mark. Carved masks line the walls and fresh hibiscus blossoms dot the footpaths each morning. Nestled in a 1,000-acre rainforest, the resort draws inspiration from its tropical surroundings and pays homage to Mayan, Creole, and African cultures.
Described as "decadent, sensual, and exotic” by Frommer's, the spa is Maruba's signature attraction. Each adult can choose between the two spa treatments included with this deal: a 50-minute aromatherapy massage or a 50-minute seaweed body wrap. Afterward, guests can take a dip in the steaming mineral pool or dive into the main pool, which is fed by a waterfall.
The guest rooms are connected by winding cobblestone walkways through dense palms. Junior suites come with vaulted roofs made of fronds. Although the jungle never feels far away at the resort, a rainforest safari hike draws visitors even deeper into the surrounding landscape. During jungle hikes, a guide slashes a path through the undergrowth with a machete and demystifies some of the forest's medicinal plants.
Maskall Village, Belize: Dense Rainforests near Ancient Ruins
Though it's hidden in a rural corner of Belize, the resort lies only a few kilometers from one of the country's most famous attractions: Altun Ha. This archeological site's iconic stepped pyramids appear on Belizean banknotes as well as on the label of Belikin beer, a local brew.
Farther south, Belize City forms a gateway to nearby islands, such as Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. These keys are surrounded by the Belize Barrier Reef, part of the second-longest stretch of coral in the world. Popular dive sites include shark-ray alley, where stingrays up to 4 feet wide glide between nurse sharks, which are harmless because they've taken the Hippocratic oath.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.