Things To Do at the Lodge
There is so much to do right on the property that we hope you will spend some time exploring your surroundings and enjoying our beach, floating on the river, visiting the adjacent Belize Botanic Gardens, exploring our extensive network of trails on foot or on horseback, as well as bird watching and spotting other wildlife and more.
Swimming, Canoeing & Tubing
Spending time on or in the Macal River, or just lying on the beach is very relaxing. If you want to canoe around the area or float around in an inner tube, just ask the office for paddles and life jackets. Complimentary canoes and inner tubes are available for use by guests around the property and refreshing swim from our sandy beach is a great way to cool off.
We have our own float trip for inner tubes. From the lodge, just walk down the entrance road for about 5 minutes until you reach the "Tube Palapa", grab an inner tube and take a short walk down to the Macal River where you put in and enjoy a 20-30 minute float downstream to our beach. The cliffs and high bamboo stands are just some of the memorable scenery you will pass through.
For a picnic lunch on the beach (we have picnic tables); just ask your waiter or bartender to deliver it for you. Equipment for beach volleyball and frisbees are available for your use. Enjoying a picnic lunch, swimming and spending time on the beach is great fun for families with young children.
Read more about Canoeing & Tubing.
We recommend that you try to get in at least one good ride before departing from duPlooy's, as there is really no better way to take in the Cayo countryside. We can take you on a short 45 minute - 2 hour ride around the property or a full day's adventure.
Horseback riding is from 8am to 2pm. Rides can also be combined with other half-day activities on or off-site.
Horseback Riding & River Tubing
For a relaxing day, ride for an hour around the property and then be dropped off by the river for a 20-30 minute tube downstream to duPlooy's beach. You can also combine this with a guided walk through Belize Botanic Gardens.
Read more about Horseback Riding.
Hiking Around The Lodge
The best hiking in Belize is in the Cayo district and duPlooy's Jungle Lodge offers you some great hiking experiences whether guided or on your own. There is a trail for everyone from short and easy ones in the Gardens to longer ones, including Xunantunich, a Maya archaeological site (12km).
If you want to visit Xunantunich, take along one of our professionally trained and licensed naturalist guides. All are local Belizeans who possess a wealth of historical and cultural knowledge of past and present Belize.
Mai Loop (20 minutes)
For a short walk anytime, check out this nature trail, located right under the Bird Deck and accessed from stairs leading down to duPlooy's beach. The looping trail is rocky and on the steep side. There are a number of ground birds that inhabit this area and it's common to spot an agouti or fox or other small animals.
River Walk (1/2 - 1 km)
This trail begins a short distance from the main parking lot. It's a short walk down a river access road, which leads you directly to the Macal River. On the way down you have additional hiking options. Turn left at the junction and the trail winds along the Macal River and the backside of the Belize Botanic Gardens with more walking options, including the Hammock Bridge or turn in the other direction and you will reach the beach at the base of the lodge.
Hiking Farther Afield
(Guided or Unguided)
Cohune Loops (1.5 km)
Upper and lower Cohune Loops, located just outside the main grounds, are accessed from the entry road, and lead to a number of hiking options, including a loop which passes under several large stands of the Cohune Palms.
Valley View (2 km)
Continuing up the entry road brings you to the starting point for this uphill nature walk, leading to some unforgettable valley scenery. Take a deserved rest and enjoy this memorable view while sitting under a jungle palapa.
If you wish to continue, there is a nearby trail which takes you straight down to the valley floor. The uphill trail to this lookout spot makes for a good work-out for both walkers and joggers.
Xunantunich - Maya archaeological site (12 km)
Continue on from the Cohune Loop trail and enjoy more of the Cayo countryside on foot. If you do the entire walk, (2.5 -3 hours), you will arrive at the Mayan village of Succotz; Cross the Mopan River in a hand-cranked ferry and then trek onward and upward the last 1 km and you will have reached the Maya Archaeological site of Xunantunich.
The complete hike to Xunantunich is ideal for persons in good physical condition and makes for a memorable hiking adventure. You can also do this trip on Horseback. We can arrange for return transport back to the lodge on this one. We recommend a guide for this hike, if this is your first time.
Read more about Xunantunich.
Belize Botanic Gardens
While you are here don't miss the opportunity to visit the gardens, which consists of 45 acres of native and exotic plants. There isn't a lovelier place to stroll in the early evening or early morning hours. Winding paths through this conservation project will introduce you to some of Belize's varied habitats and to the plants that are native to these areas.
Within the Garden you'll find the Maya Medicine Trail, Native Orchid house, the Bird Hide looking out over the pond, lots of tropical fruits and flowers, a Rainforest Walk, palm displays and lots more tropical splendor.
Visiting hours are from 7am to 5pm
(Sweet Songs’ guests are free to wander in the garden at any time)
Guided tours are available daily until 2:30pm
Read more about the Botanic Gardens.
Traditional Healers Experience (Fridays 9am)
With today's interest in natural healing you are going to want to join us on a Friday morning in the garden for a guided-walk on the Medicine Trail. Along the trail your guide will be pointing out some of the more than 30 medicinal plants that can be found and you'll have the opportunity to learn first-hand about some of the more commonly used plants, their healing properties, along with best methods on how to prepare them.
Before you begin your guided-walk, learn how to make tamales on a wood-fired Fogon and then while they're' cookin-up, begin your tour. Following the walk learn how to make a small craft item from palm leaves. And after enjoying the taste of home-cooked tamales for lunch, there's time to re-visit the garden, have a cool swim or go tubing in the Macal River or just relax on the Bird-Deck with a cool drink.
This day of fun and learning includes: transportation, guided medicine walk, use of inner-tubes, tamale making (and eating), along with other Belizean goodies cooked on the fogon, as well as local fruit juices and a typical Belizean dessert. If you are not staying at duPlooy’s, we can pick you up at the San Ignacio Welcome Center at 8:30am; with a Return at 3pm.
Cost to non-guests: US $50 or BZ $100 per person; 10% discount for groups of 4 or more.
Bird and other Wildlife Watching
Bird watching at Sweet Songs is superb! Professional bird watchers are always coming to Sweet Songs and telling us that we have the best location for bird watching in the area. The best part is you don’t even have to leave the bar and deck area!
We invite you to join us each morning on the deck for complimentary coffee and tea and you will see such exotic birds as: mot-mots, aracari toucans, trogons,tanagers, masked tyras and many more. With over 300 bird species recorded within five miles of Sweet Songs, it is worth getting up early for.
Read more about Birds & Wildlife.
The Jungle comes to Life at Night
This family of kinkajous (above) are frequent visitors around dinner-time.
Sunset marks the changing of worlds. Enhance your garden experience by taking a night walk. Listen to a symphony of night sounds and the fascinating nocturnal animal life that your guide will point out; Enjoy an unobstructed view of the night sky, from atop the the botanic garden Lookout Tower. You are sure to be awed by the clarity and sheer number of stars and constellations you can see.
Guided Bird Walks begin at 6.30am
Night Walks begin at 7.30pm
* Walks last 1 - 2 hours.
What better way to end the day? After a day in the saddle or scaling ancient Maya sites you may want to book a massage, facial or other body treatment. Try to arrange the day before but if you forget or find yourself in urgent need we can sometimes arrange a massage with just a few hours notice.