Movie director Francis Ford Coppola had traveled the world, but when he visited Belize in the 1980s, in search of a “jungle paradise” like the one where he had filmed Apocalypse Now, he was taken by the untamed land and bought Blancaneaux, the first of two resort properties he would eventually own in Belize. (The other is Turtle Inn.) Initially, Blancaneaux was a family retreat, but by the early 1990s, Coppola decided to turn it into a small luxury resort. Today, guests with deep pockets enjoy visiting Blancaneaux for its sense of exclusivity; travelers have to really want to stay here. An hour’s drive down a bone-jarring road away from civilization, one doesn’t just happen upon the resort. Accommodations are gigantic villa- and cabana-style lodgings lavishly decorated with handmade furniture, textiles, and crafts. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and swimming are a few of the activities for guests on-site at Blancaneaux.

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Francis Ford Coppola’s Former Family Retreat

The ultimate jungle adventure is found just a short puddle jump from the States, in the only English-speaking country in Central America. At Francis Ford Coppola’s former family retreat, Blancaneaux Lodge, you can ride on horseback in search of gray foxes, have a picnic at nearby Green Hills Butterfly Farm, or survey jaguars with a conservationist. You could also just tuck yourself in for a papaya body polish at the Waterfall Spa and listen for the mating calls of the swallow-like gray-breasted martin, which doubles its population in the winter.

A Wild Escape in Belize's Jungle

Ride a helicopter over the great Blue hole—a giant sinkhole—to Blancaneaux, a Francis Ford Coppola hotel in the mountains of northwestern Belize. With rainforest hiking, a private pool, and beautiful waterfalls, the place couldn’t be more peaceful--or off the grid.

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