On Hidden Valley Inn’s Reserve, the Hidden Valley Institute has built several jungle platforms and resting areas. Some of these platforms are 25×25 sq. feet in space and rest alongside the waterfalls and cascading streams. At times these platforms are used for Yoga and meditation, hence the Sanskrit names, however, they are also resting places for peaceful viewing of the surrounding environment and can also be used for hosting a private luncheon, small reception or wedding.
The short walk to the Om Shanti platform starts off in the Pine Savanna and quickly descends into the cool shade of broadleaf forest. The platform itself was built as an extension of the landscape; live trees grow up from is centre, and a small creek winds along its base. The gentle sound of bubbling water creates an ambient accompaniment to the myriad of birds serenading from beneath the canopy – an ideal spot for peaceful meditation. Before returning to the Inn, venture deeper into the jungle with a short stroll along the Mot Mot Trail (30 minute loop)
An easy 10 minute walk from the Inn, the Platform is situated directly over a gently flowing river. Large dark tree ferns, Mountain Palmetto, Paradox Sedge and Giant St John’s Wort surround the platform adding to the feeling of tranquillity and seclusion. The platforms thatched roof – a traditional Belizean building technique that dates back to before the Maya – provides ample shade and protection from the rain. Continue along the trail (20 minutes) and you will reach Lake Lolly Folly. Take a canoe out for a relaxing morning, sit along the lakes edge watching the birds or simply enjoy the serenity of the still waters.
For those with the more adventurous spirit, walk (45 minutes) or drive to the double tiered Awat Balam platform at Tiger Creek Falls. Here waterfalls and wild orchids dot the landscape; a roaring cascade rushes over dark granite before falling out of view as sunlight filters through the pine trees overhead. Allow yourself some extra time to take a relaxing dip in the crystal clear Tiger Creek pools – ideal for cooling off after a long yoga session.