About the property
- Estate3200 sqft
- Half Baths1
- Minimum Stay2 - 3 nights
Kukulkan is the finest country home in Belize in a magnificent jungle setting
I built Kukulkan as my dream home in what I have always considered the most beautiful part of the world.
We located it on a hilltop to get the freshest air and best possible view of the valley below. We had to build the 1.5-mile road to the site. And we built the house with steel for strength and wood to blend in with the environment and for comfort.
We did our best to build a comfortable modern home that was totally eco-friendly and off the grid and solar powered yet with high-speed internet and efficient A/C in the bedrooms for those rare hot stuffy nights.
But mostly we designed a house to allow the breezes and natural sounds of the jungle to come through. We put in screens mostly to keep out the moths because miraculously one never sees a mosquito. I think if one mosquito survived in this hilly terrain it would be eaten immediately by a gecko or a bat. So laying outdoors on the deck or in the pool is just serene with no ‘off’ ever needed.
I added the pool after 2012 but originally I did my daily swim in the river below. It's still lovely to take a dip in the river or take a kayak, but once we built the pool which sits well off the ground alongside the decks it became irresistible to just jump in the water at the house. And because the pool is only visible to passing birds or an occasional howler monkey in a nearby tree, bathing suits are optional. Of course, I’ve had a few embarrassing moments. But oh well.
I decided to put Kukulkan for rent on VRBO/HomeAway in 2012 as I knew I would be gone for quite a while and it is just too beautiful a place to keep greedily for oneself. Kukulkan should be shared and others should enjoy and take inspiration from being there. I did come back to Kukulkan to live in 2015 with no rentals for two years but have now moved to Italy and since May of this year, it is back on HomeAway/VRBO available for rental. Although I admit Italy is nice, I do miss Kukulkan and Belize.
But it's not just the location that makes Kukulkan so special for me and for our guests. It is the Moh family. Leonardo and Adelita moved to Kukulkan with their 2 and 6-year-old daughters two months before I moved in in 2006. They have been with me and taken care of me and our guests with such thoughtfulness and kindness that they have become even more important to Kukulkan than the amazing views. Just read the reviews and you will see what I mean. And happily, there is now a 3rd Moh with the arrival of little Kayon Alroy almost one year ago.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- english, french, spanish, italian, Mayan
- Calendar last updated:
- May 24, 2018
About Alvin Granoff
I fell in love with Belize over 30 years ago as a young man and have come back many many times. In 2003 I decided to semi-retire and completed this house in 2006 as a place to live. It took two years to build and I was lucky to have Irish designer and Belize resident Brendan Odonoghue help me design and build my dream house. I have traveled a good deal in my life and you will see some of my art collection in the house including a piece by my old friend and well known artist Gregory Amenoff whose large abstract painting greets you on the way into Kukulkan as well as paintings by local artists and others from travel to China and Bali. I lived at Kukulkan for almost 5 years before deciding to move back to Texas in 2010 and returned to Belize for another two years in 2015. Now I am off to Italy where my next project will involve wines and perhaps a small hotel. I love Belize in large part because it is a special place filled with charming, warm and friendly people. I suppose it is the people of Belize more than anything that kept me and continues to keep me coming back to this beautiful country. I encourage my guests to get to know not just the physical beauty of this land but also the kind and gentle people of so many races and backgrounds who inhabit Belize and make it their home.
Alvin Granoff purchased this Estate in 2006
Why Alvin Granoff chose Cayo
I had been traveling to Belize since 1981 taking a week to rejuvenate myself every few months from my hectic life at the time in Dallas and Austin.. For many of those years in the 80s and 90s I had an active business and political life as a lawyer and member of the Texas House of Representatives and escaping to Belize was critical in keeping my sanity and putting things in balance. It still is. My trip was always a mix of spending some time in San Pedro on the seaside and then going inland and staying at The Lodge at Chaa Creek. I remember in the early 80s when Chaa Creek first opened and had 3 cabanas and one outhouse. Today Chaa Creek is one of the finest mountain lodges in the world and its owners Mick and Lucy Fleming are among my closest friends. In 2003 when I decided to base myself in Belize it was the magnificent beauty of the Macal River Valley and the land around Chaa Creek that attracted me. I wanted to live in this rich green environment full of both the beauty of nature and charming and friendly people. At first I stayed with Mick and Lucy at Chaa Creek then rented a little home in town. Within a few months Mick Fleming found me this very special 50 acres right on the Macal River and just one mile down river from his own Chaa Creek. I bought it and proceeded to design and build my dream home with the help of the amazingly talented Brendan Odonoghue who is without doubt the leading designer in Belize. That dream home is Kukulkan. With Mayan ruins literally right on the property we named our villa in honor of the leading Mayan god who is featured in Chichen Itza. Over the years we expanded the trails, built the swimming pool to hang over the valley and planted many fruit trees. Come in the summer and enjoy our mangos and avocados. I love this 50 acres of greenery and trails and riverfront as much as I love the special house we built to sit atop it and be a part of this unique and special environment.
What makes this Estate unique
Let me simply make a list of some of the special things you should not miss while staying at Kukulkan. 1/ Just lay out on the comfortable lounge chairs on the deck in the evening and watch the stars. Do it for 20 minutes and your bound to see a shooting star and more stars than you ever saw in your life as well as whole clouds of galaxies in the distance. 2/ Always open the windows (we have screens) and listen to the sounds of the night when you go to sleep. You'll sleep well. I have come to miss it so much that when I'm in the USA I listen to recordings of evening sounds to help me sleep. 3/Take a walk on the Kukulkan trails with Leonardo or Manuel (and the dogs if you like) and make sure to visit the orchard area just above the river for a special memory and have a nice swim in the river which is quite safe and clean or in the pool when you're done. 4/Get Leonardo to drive you over to Chaa Creek for lunch and a visit to their museum and butterfly farm or maybe have a treatment at their elegant spa. If you feel energetic take our kayaks to get there . It will be harder getting there going upstream and quite easy downstream on the way back. At Kukulkan you have your own full time private tour guide with Leonardo. Let him take you around or make any arrangements you want to explore the area. Just relax and enjoy my home. And maybe take an outside shower on the master bedroom deck. Everything is quite private at Kukulkan. I designed it that way. I know you'll never forget it.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 12:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
Magnificent Property with Amazing Views, Privacy, and Hospitality You Can't Beat!
I really don't know if I can say enough about this beautiful home and the incredibly kind and attentive family who cared for us. We stayed at Kukulkan for 7 days with our 3 children, ages 9, 7, and 3, and I'm not sure what we would have done without Leonardo and his lovely family who live on-site and take care of anything you might need during our stay. For us, this was Leonardo taking my son and I to the market and grocery store, taking the whole family kayaking through caves in the jungle (while even kayaking with our 7-year-old son and two children from another family so we could all enjoy the experience together), taking my sons and I on a day trip to Tikal in Guatemala (my husband and 3-year-old daughter stayed behind, so Leonardo also really helped look after our young sons and even got them some chips when he thought they were hungry and some of the Mayan natural chewing gum which was such a cool treat!), taking the whole family zip lining through the jungle (and offered to take pictures for us that we will treasure for a lifetime!), getting us little things we needed from town while he was out, pointing out spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and a toucan as we saw them in the wild on our excursions. And Adelita, Leonardo's wife, came in while we were gone and washed dishes (unfortunately, the dishwasher was broken while we were there), washed, dried, and folded our laundry, cleaned up and restocked toilet paper, paper towels and such, and cooked the most delicious traditional Mayan meals for us on two occasions!!! The kids loved the house and the pool so much they could have just stayed at Kukulkan the entire time, but we all really enjoyed our excursions as a family and have memories that will last a lifetime. We enjoyed family time at the house--relaxing by the pool, grilling out one night on the HUGE deck, and waking up each morning to the beautiful jungle. One suggestion--the expansive windows truly make the house and help provide the jungle experience, but bring an eye mask if you're a late riser. Also, although Kukulkan has A/C in the bedrooms for comfortable sleeping at night, the rest of the house does not, and our 3-year-old daughter developed heat rash a few days we were there. Just something to consider if you have very young children. We are so very grateful for this experience, and we would return again and again!
Jamie thank you for your very generous comments. In response I think it best I simply quote the comments Leonardo made in an email to me on how much he enjoyed your stay and how happy the staff was to have you as a guest.
"Ms Jamie and her family were so lovely we had a great time with them, on tours or just staying at the house. One thing is for sure it is a pleasure having them staying with us at Kukulkan and we simply just do our best to make them feel as if they are at home and make their vacation a memorable one."
I can't really add to those sincere comments from Leonardo. The house and location may be beautiful but it is always the dedication and charm of Leonardo and Adelita that gets the most stars. Hopefully your generous comments will encourage more families to enjoy this unique experience in a very special place with the personalized care of a wonderful Mayan family.
Beautiful home in amazing location
We had a very enjoyable holiday week in this gorgeous property. The kids won't forget this trip for a long time. Thanks again to Leonardo and family for making it a great experience!
Matt it was great having you and your family at Kukulkan. It was especially nice that you all were able to spend time with your nearby Belizean relatives. Please let us know if there is any way we can earn that fifth star in the future as Leonardo and Adelita want everyone's stay at Kukulkan to be absolutely perfect. We hope you come back and stay with us again.
Absolutely one of the best vacations I've ever had
It is close to being in heaven as you can get without actually getting there. The views overlooking the mountains are just spectacular
Adelita and Leonardo really enjoyed having your family as guests and loved how you spent time at the house and really enjoyed yourself on our little hilltop hacienda.
We hope one day you will return.
Beautiful Belizian Jungle Home!
If you want to go enjoy the jungles of Belize, this home is perfect! We first were going to spend our entire vacation on the beach and do excursions to the jungle; but then I felt like the experience at each location would be totally different and I was right! This home is absolutely beautiful and the views from the backside of the house and pool are unbelievable. There are 3 decks off the back that are huge as well. I always felt secure on the property and in this area of Belize, with Leonardo and Adelita, their 3 children, and 2 dogs staying right next door on the property. Also Leonardo would take us anywhere we wanted to go, whenever we wanted to go. Leonardo and his family helped make our vacation even more special! Leonardo arranged all our excursions and took us there as well. We did the Tikal Ruins, ATM Caves, Medicinal Tour, several trips to town for drinks, food, dinner. Leonardo and Rocky (their dog) took us down the path on property to the river, so we could swim. One night we were going to go out to a restaurant to eat, and since there were 10 of us, Leonardo needed help getting us around, his helper was name, Noel. Noel was taking us to our restaurant they had picked for us, and Noel told us, that was his job for the day, figuring out which places were open and which would be the best place for us to eat. One night Leonardo came over and bbq ribs and chicken for our family. Adelita made flour tortillas and black beans. Leonardo and Adelita and their children joined us for dinner that evening on our huge deck! We all enjoyed this night with them. The home sleeps 10 comfortably. It had very comfortable beds with beautiful views from the bedrooms. All the furniture in the house was comfortable. The house had wifi, which was a big plus for our family. I definitely didn't regret my decision to split our vacation up in Belize and stay at Kulkulkan Villa for the first 4 nights. We enjoyed the beach in San Pedro, but it was a totally different experience in the jungle and definitely very personal. I would go back again and stay longer next time!! Recommend this place!!!
Absolutely Perfect Jungle Vacation Home!!
If you are looking for the perfect Belizian Jungle Vacation home-you have found it right here!! We stayed 5 nights with our four kids and they literally cried when it was time to leave. We spent the next five nights at a resort near a beach and each day our 6 yr old would ask "Can we go back to Leonardo's house, please?" The beautiful home, pool and 50 acre private and very secure property are just incredible. Perhaps even MORE incredible is the wonderful family who lives on site! Leonardo and Adelita made our stay just perfect. They were so kind and accommodating. Our 8 yr old son needed an emergency appendectomy our very first morning at Kukulkan Villa. We were so grateful to have Leonardo and Adelita there to help us figure out exactly how to handle this very scary situation. Leonardo even came to visit and brought breakfast and a gift the morning after surgery! Leonardo also accompanied us as a tour guide on a cave canoeing and zip-lining adventure. Many of the Belizian adventures require a tour guide to participate and it was SO wonderful to have a licensed guide ready and willing to accompany us each day! He carried kayaks to the on-site river for us to explore and picked us up downstream two hours later. He accompanied us everywhere we wanted to go and lead the way. He also recommended great restaurants, shopping and Mayan ruin sites in the nearby town of San Ignacio. Such a great little town! The home is very modern, clean and equipped with everything you could possibly need. The WIFI worked well and the beds were so so comfy! The sun rises early in Belize, so bring some sleep masks if you enjoy sleeping in! Adelita is also a fantastic cook, if you'd like to try some typical Belizian cuisine. She makes incredible breakfast foods with hand-made flour tortillas and the best beans you'll ever have! We also had a delicious rib dinner with them one night and Adelita made a fabulous potato salad and cole slaw.
The experience at Kulkulkan Villa is un-like any we have ever had and one we will never forget! I promise if you choose this property, you will not regret it. We will definitely return to Kukulkan with our family!
Your comments are very kind Krista and I know Leonardo and Adelina enjoyed you being guests and really hope you will come back. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful Mayan family to take care our guests (or me when I'm in belize). This year I'm living in Italy yet I know the house and our guests are well taken care of. We were all very worried when your child had to go to the hospital and I'm so happy everything turned out well.
You are most definitely five star guests and your comments are deeply appreciated.
Beautiful property, beautiful people, beautiful Belize!
Let me begin with our arrival and the fresh homade tamales that were delivered to us for dinner that evening. The staff is absolutely wonderful. If you take the time to get to know them they quickly become friends. The house is AMAZING with a view from every room. The large windows are screened and we slept every night with the cool breeze blowing through the house. The property is very safe with two large friendly dogs that sleep on the front porch every night. The property is also fenced and off the beaten path. This house has all the comforts of home in the beautiful Mayan mountains of Belize. We will be back!!
We designed Kukulkan to really make it all one 5000 square foot house part of it inside and part of it on the decks leading from each main room.
The large social living room which is 1200sf has a wall of windows and sliding door leading to its own great deck which is also 1200sf. The first master bedroom has its sliding door and wall of windows leading to its own wrap around deck which even has an outdoor shower. Both decks sit 15 feet above the ground as do the bedrooms. The second master bedroom also has its own beautiful deck overlooking the valley and the pool.
The swimming pool is quite near the second master bedroom but the pool is entered by a door in the hallway and has its own smaller cement deck. The pool sits just a few feet lower than the two decks that surround it but is still high off the ground.
What makes all these high decks even more special is that the birds whether a toucan or other tropical birds that visit the trees will be at almost eye level as they fly by. It's quite amazing to see a full keel-bill toucan flying by, half beak and half bird, and right at eye level.
The pool is very special and was designed by Brendan O'donoghue to blend in with the house' angles and curves and be well off the ground. The pool is fan shaped and 4.5 feet in depth with the whole pool being tiled in blue glass tiles which are beautiful to behold as they reflect the light and also very comfortable to the feet. The view from the pool is as amazing as it is from the decks but in a pool, you just don’t expect to be hanging out at the end of it totally safe yet suspended above a jungle valley with scenery that is really once in a lifetime beautiful. There is also an infinity edge to make it even more dramatic (and safe)
Some guests spend most of their time between the pool, the kitchen, the bar and the decks. It is a unique and wonderful environment so why not just take it easy. Remember Leonardo can come over and do a cookout for you or Adelita can make you a local dish and the worlds best flour tortillas whenever you like.
After all it's your vacation!
OUR MANAGER Leonardo Moh is a Mayan from southern Belize and is a safe driver and licensed tour guide who can be your private guide to many locations.
Leonardo can pick up 5-6 people at the airport and arrange for a van to pick up larger groups and take you directly to Kukulkan. Leonardo can also arrange all your activities in advance or when you are here. Leonardo and his wife and daughters have lived on and managed Kukulkan for over 10 years and can help you have a very special journey to this beautiful and undiscovered part of Belize.
You can’t use GPS to arrive at our door.
We can pick you up at the international airport in Belize City when you arrive or the municipal airport if you are flying from the island or anywhere in Belize and take you to Kukulkan. Or if you have your own rent car (we always suggest 4WD for Belize) then Leonardo can meet you in San Ignacio Town 10 minutes away and lead you to the property. Kukulkan is not easy to find and you can’t use google maps as we are down a road we built that has no name plus we like Kukulkan to be very private. Of course, charges apply for pickups and drop offs and vary depending on the number of people and location.
PRICING FOR AIRPORT PICK UP AND DAY TRIPS UPON REQUEST. Those costs can be paid by credit card at Kukulkan or in advance.
You can also fly Tropic Air a small local but very good local airline that will take you to an airstrip quite near to us. This could be the best way to come to us from San Pedro and we are happy to pick you up and take you to Kukulkan. You would simply book online on Tropic Air to San Ignacio or you can ask us to make the booking for you and we will take care of everything. You can also fly up to San Ignacio on Tropic from Placencia in southern Belize but the drive is pretty beautiful if you don’t mind 3 hours in a vehicle you’ll have lots of dramatic photos to take.
You can certainly rent a vehicle in Belize but it's not really necessary or always advisable. But you do NOT want to rent a regular sedan, so if you rent please rent a 4WD SUV. As the cost of rental for a good SUV is fairly high and as it is quite easy to arrange transport I generally recommend you let Belizeans do the driving when you are on the mainland of Belize. Of course on the island in San Pedro you can roam around in your own golf cart rental but although it is very safe on the mainland there are lots of very rough roads and all the places you would want to go on a side trip are not easy to find. So an SUV rental is certainly possible but having a professional Belize driver and tour guide is usually a better way to go.
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
NEW LOWER PRICES---We have lowered our prices for bookings by 40% to encourage more visitors to Kukulkan and will keep these lower prices until we reach 60% occupancy. Book now and take advantage of these special rates. Villa rental rates include the service of 3 full time staff as well as daily housekeeping. We can pick you up at the International airport or arrange pickup in vans for larger groups and take you to our villa. Our 7 seater with driver can also be available to drive you around the Cayo region or you can rent your own car and we will show you just how to get around or our manager Leonardo can act as your personal driver using our 7 seat Dodge ram truck for 75$ per day plus cost of diesel. This can include pick up and drop off and trips in the region with diesel cost for pick up or drop off at Belize City or airport being an additional 75$. Alternatively for minor nearby trips the cost including driver will be 2$ per mile. We can customize trips or arrange for any other visits to the area you would like including to the Tikal ruins in Guatemala where Leonardo will accompany you for the whole journey along with a private Guatemalan guide and driver to make the trip safer and more interesting. Guests will also have use of our 3 Kayaks to have fun in the Macal River ( we have 1/2 mile of river frontage) as well hikes and runs on our private 50 acres of trails. If you have any special requirements we are happy to do our best to accommodate your needs including having foods ready for you, special mayan meals prepared and the bar outfitted with whatever you would like. We will only charge you for the cost of goods we purchase at your request. There is also an honor bar with some basic bottles where you only pay for what you use including Scotch, Tequila, Gin, Vodka and other liquors. We will supply the house with wines and beers or mixers and sodas upon request or you can stop at the incoming duty free shops at Belize international airport.