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Barton Creek Outpost, Belize

Author: Henry J.
Date of Trip: July 2009

Last month my wife and I backpacked through Belize and found a place called Barton Creek Outpost where we stayed for a week. It was recommended by The Lonely Planet Guidebook as one of the 5 “Highlights of Belize”. I Googled them and read some great things with the only negative being the ride out there. Well the ride out there was everything it was advertised to be and then some! Man what a trip, they say its only about 10 miles off the highway but it feels like 100 miles. It was a beautiful ride though through a large orange grove, Mennonite farmlands and into the jungle…we then drove through a creek that seemed a bit iffy but it worked out.

Upon arriving I knew we had made the right choice. The place was lush and green with one of the most beautiful swimming holes I’ve ever seen. The facility is an open air deck overlooking the creek, cliffs, jungle and swimming hole, great stuff! The owners, Jim and Jacquelyn, were not there when we arrived but were in a nearby town getting some R & R. A couple volunteers were looking after the place and got us settled and into a rental tent that was large and new.

We also rented a foam pad so we weren’t sleeping directly on the ground, the whole setup was only about $15 US a night and we pitched our tent creekside, it was great.

The owners got back later that evening and we really hit it off with them. They were both navy deep sea divers and met that way, I think they are both in their late 30’s or ealry 40’s. They loved to have a good time and Jacquelyn was a great cook. We didn’t have anything to say about what was served (they asked us if we were vegetarians but we are not so they just cooked and served her specialties) but every meal was really, really good and very reasonable priced.

While we were there we went with Jim up to Mountain Pine Ridge for a day trip to a place called Rio On Pools and another called Big Rock Falls. It was a full day and both places were unbelievable. I did some pretty big cliff jumps at Big Rock Falls and loved climbing all over the rocks as well. We hit a very cool little bar on the way back called Misty Mountain where the owner, along with serving beers and local rums, sold and served several liquors that he made on site and even sold into other bars, resorts and even grocery stores. We bought a very nice bottle of coconut rum and his version of Baileys as well. I think they were $20 US together.

Back at Barton Creek Outpost we spent a lot of time in hammocks, exchanged some paperbacks with them and went on three free hikes through the jungle. While we were there we also enjoyed their three children they are raising there. They home-school the kids and they are bright, well adjusted and great fun!

Jim & Jacquelyn both love to talk about the La Ruta Maya 180 mile canoe race they do every year and they have lots of pictures to show and a couple videos as well. I am going back in March to paddle in the race with two buddies and two of us are bringing our wives. I am pumped! I booked a 10 day ALL INCLUSIVE trip through Jim and two of his friends are running the whole deal, a 10 day all inclusive package including EVERYTHING!

I’ll post again after our trip in March!

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