My wife, 21 yr. old son and I just spent 4 nights in the Avana Villa Penthouse for the first stage of our 12 days in Belize. Owners Martha & Murray proved to be fantastic hosts and the villa was the perfect basecamp for our daily adventures. Guests should plan to first arrive while it is still light out since the villa is located several miles west of San Ignacio. A small sign marks the turn to Avana Villa which is 1.5 miles off the Western Highway, down a bumpy, rocky “driveway”. The first ride down the road was intimidating; however we soon embraced the ride, especially at night when we were guided by nighthawks flying along the road. It is a 15 minute drive to San Ignacio and a car is recommended. Four wheel drive is not required as our rented Hyundai Sante Fe proved adequate.
The 4th floor penthouse suite is spacious, and immaculately clean with a large changing room/bathroom and a well-stocked kitchen. There is also a large veranda with a dining area and several lounge chairs. The veranda overlooks a beautifully landscaped property with a sheep pasture, fruit trees and fragrant, flowering tropical vegetation. The sunset views from the veranda are spectacular. Our favorite feature of the property was the triangular pool (which points directly to the Mayan archaeological site of Xunantunich.) The pool was the perfect way to cool off after an adventure filled day in the hot tropical sun. During our daily swim we were accompanied by the three property dogs, who entertained us playing their version of fetch.
Although the house is off the grid there is never a “lights out” period without power. The Villa does not have air conditioning but with ceiling fans and mountain breezes we slept comfortably each night. Surprisingly, mosquitos and bugs were not a problem. The Wi-Fi was sufficient for our email and web browsing needs. The villa also has a large library of DVD’s and books of all kinds for guests to use. Martha and Murry are not only welcoming hosts but also provided us with plenty of, what to do, what to see and where to eat information.
All three of us would highly recommend a stay at Avana Villa for anyone looking for a remarkable, comfortable, off the grid Belize experience.
I really enjoyed my stay here. The owners were wonderful and friendly. Had so much fun talking Canadian football and hockey while swimming in the pool. The owner also took me to watch as she fed the animals. It was so nice to go out exploring and come back to swim and cook our dinner. The sounds of parrots and monkeys filled the air around the villa :) It was a truly great place to spend my birthday after exploring TIkal...hope to stay again...
Just had a great stay at Avana Villa. Located 5-10 minutes out of town (but too far to walk) we did just fine using taxi's/ tour group pick-ups, without a rental car. Penthouse was clean and with AMAZING views of the surrounding areas. No issues with noise at night and saw a flock of about 40 parrots on our fourth morning. Martha can take you for a walk around the grounds after dark showing you all sorts of neat stuff, and there's not much point in going to the botanical garden if you're staying here as the grounds have a wide variety of trees and flowering shrubs. Folks not comfortable climbing stairs or desiring AC may not find this place ideal, but we were fine. Martha and Murray can provide lots of advice for tours and restaurants, and helped us find back-up plans when a tour we had planned was cancelled at the last minute. We also really appreciated flexibility in our arrival and departure times.
We loved our week here!! It was like a week in Paradise. The kitchen was great, especially with the kids who are "starving!" the second they wake up. We loved the pool, especially after a warm day of hiking Mayan sites. The grounds are beautiful, the penthouse was so roomy, clean and comfortable and the veranda offered amazing views! The hosts are amazing also - so friendly and hospitable. We couldn't have chosen a better place to base ourselves out of!
Avana Villa is very laid back and on absolutely amazing grounds. The penthouse has sunset views over the Guatemalan mountains. At first we weren't sure about staying here - the long road to the house, the dogs, the gated driveway were a little intimidating - but it turned out to be a spectacular few days near Benque and San Ignacio. The grounds are home to so many birds and howler monkeys roam the trees surrounding the estate.The hosts, Martha and Murray, are so knowledgeable about all the local things to see and do and there are so many! Ruins, jungles, gardens, rivers, wildlife all in abundance. The road to the house requires 4 wheel drive and it is maybe 10 minutes to either Benque or San Ignacio by car. The house is truly off grid - solar powered and no air conditioning. With the breezes we did just fine and plenty of power for cooking and hot water for showering. The penthouse is very spacious and suited our needs perfectly. We loved this area and our stay. Would stay here again in a heartbeat.