Blancaneaux Lodge in Cayo District, Belize
Anyone who has seen Heart of Darkness, a fascinating documentary of Francis Ford Coppola's fight against all those who stood in the way of the making of the film Apocalypse Now, will be amazed to find that he has been able to consider stepping back into some jungle. . We must believe that the tropical rainforest of Belize was attractive enough to give rise to the birth of Blancaneaux Lodge, refuge for Coppola and his family. The only English-speaking country in Central America, Belize remained a British colony until 1981, and its 200 inhabitants still consider the Queen of England as their monarch. It has the second largest coral reef in the world and its jungle hides spectacular Mayan ruins. It's an unexpected, almost wacky, mysterious and exotic place that suits the writer of such a complex and surreal film and vice versa - like Apocalypse Now. When in 1982, Coppola read that Belize had gained its independence, he flew on the spot to offer the authorities what he saw as a unique opportunity: to make this new country an important telecommunications center. . But the ministers of Belize did not hear it that way and abandoned our director… in his spare time. As in the scenario of one of his films, it is on the advice of a bartender that he went on an excursion into the forest and stumbled upon an uninhabited house. Finding the perfect place to write, he bought it. End of the first episode. A corner of the jungle perched high in the mountain, bordered by a crystal-clear river with a waterfall… what more could you ask for? But, in paradise, the smallest material detail requires organizational feats. When the Coppola family wanted to travel to Belize, they had to make preparations worthy of a military campaign: provisions, loading the generator, prior checking of the condition of the road ... It became essential to take the next step. : invest in infrastructure and convert Blancaneaux Lodge into a small hotel, luxurious, of course, but respectful of the environment. This is where Mexican architect Manuel Mestre comes in. Coppola admired his creations full of artistic sensibility and, being what he is, did not envisage, for this project, any intellectual, practical or, as one would find it, financial compromise. The result was up to the task, very inventive and… very expensive. By all accounts, Coppola is a man driven by his ideas, and used to getting what he wants, no matter what. Giving all the advice, he decided to create a hydroelectric facility. 400 tons of sand were needed. But now it's the sparkling Privassion River that provides electricity XNUMX hours a day, and not just a little! Sitting in front of the screen of his drinking PC, Coppola still experiences a thrill of excitement. Other luxuries in this tropical mountain hideaway: a real Italian wood-fired pizza oven and an espresso setup including a roaster. And since a self-respecting pizza cannot be made without fresh vegetables, we cultivate a vegetable garden. If the deer benefited from the first harvest, a new, stronger barrier now allows all the vegetables to be on hand. Anyway, the real star is the scenery: the water in the river is clear enough to make you want to drink it, the hot and humid climate is tempered by the altitude, and you ignore the mosquitoes. most of the year. As an added bonus, the spectacular Mayan ruins of Caracol are only ninety minutes away. In short, Blancaneaux is handsome, very handsome. You can easily enjoy the fruits of Coppola's overflowing and daring imagination, the quality of his wines and his cuisine, his lifestyle, without spending any energy (we are not talking about money of course). Coppola loves this joke: "How do you make a small fortune in Belize?" ", Answer:" By bringing a big one.
Address: Blancaneaux Lodge, Central Farm, PO Box B, Cayo District, Belize
Telephone: +501 92 3878 - Fax: +501 92 3919