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“Cotton Tree & Jungle Cabana”
Review of Cotton Tree Lodge

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Cotton Tree Lodge
Ranked #4 of 18 Punta Gorda B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Kansas
Level Contributor
57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Cotton Tree & Jungle Cabana”
Reviewed 13 January 2013

My husband & I stayed at Cotton Tree Lodge in the Jungle Cabana 12/11-15/12 & we had an amazing time. Our ride was waiting for us when we arrived in Punta Gorda & we rode to the lodge. Check in was smooth &friendly. We are both world travelers & cannot praise Cotton Tree Lodge or the staff enough! We stayed in the Jungle Cabana (AWESOME!). We are both adventuresome types of people & the Jungle Cabana was right up our alley! We took the Blue Creek Cave, Nim Li Punit/River Tubing w/optional ziplining, & Eladio’s Chocolate Farm tours during our stay. Pop was our guide for all 3 tours & did an incredible job! When we had to leave (yes - we would have LOVED to have been able to stay longer!), we left via boat on the Moho River. We cannot praise Chris & Jeff (owners) highly enough nor their staff! We both highly recommend staying at Cotton Tree AND we highly recommend staying as long as possible! Thank you to all Chris, Jeff, Pop, & all the staff for a wonderful stay! We WILL be back!

Room Tip: For those that can handle more rustic - Jungle Cabana is spot on!
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tammy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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271 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2012

My friend and I stayed for 6 nights at Cotton Tree Lodge in April 2012. We had a fantastic time! The staff are very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, and the day trips were absolutely fantastic. We were able to do a trip each day, and they included snorkeling in the Caribbean, chocolate making & lunch at Eladio Pop's cacao farm, visiting Mayan ruins and tubing down a local river, exploring Blue Creek Cave (highly recommended!), and tortilla-making with Mrs. Bo in her home. Each day trip was unique and special in its own way; the cacao farm and tortilla-making were awesome because we were able to talk with some of the locals and feel connected, whereas the snorkeling, Mayan ruins/ tubing, & Blue Creek Cave were extraordinary semi-adventure excursions. If you do go to Cotton Tree, try to squeeze in as many day trips as you can---they are all worthy in their own way. We stayed in a deluxe cabana, which meant we had a porch with two hammocks. The hammocks were great to relax in after being out all day, but watch out for the biting insects! We used a fair share of bug spray down there. The lodging was very nice; my only minor complaint is that there is no air-conditioning, so be prepared to sweat a lot. The cabanas do have ceiling fans; ours was okay. But the fact that there is no air conditioning gives you a true sense of how the locals live, so that in itself is definitely a learning experience. Overall, I highly, highly recommend Cotton Tree Lodge and Belize! Truly a one-of-a-kind trip!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Meghan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Strongsville, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2012

My husband and I went to Cotton Tree last April and we had the time of our lives!! We enjoyed every minute of our trip and wished we would of been able to stay longer.(We were there for 6 nights). There were still a few excursions we wish we could have done , they were all soooo intriguing .....We loved the ruins/river float and zip lining , the cacao farm was a great experience to feel their culture. I really had to go to the blue waters of the sea, snorkeling was worth the extra money. My favorite was the Blue Creek hike and canyon swim.....that one will be in my mind forever, that place is beautiful. The guides were fabulous!!! They seem genuinely happy to share their country with us, they are very knowledgeable and completely "get" customer service! Cotton Tree is a great place to unwind on a kayak on the river, rest on the cabana porch on the swing or kick it up with great adventures. Keep up the great work Cotton Tree Staff.

Room Tip: get one by the river......so pretty!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2012

This place is just fantastic! I loved everything about it: the living arrangements, the activities offered, the food and, most of all, the people. It was great to have days filled with interesting and educational excursions and spend evenings at the communal table with people from around the world. There was always something to do and see, yet, the whole experience was very relaxing.
It is nothing like your typical cookie-cutter resort, this place has its unique character.
The magnificent cotton tree that is on the premises lends its magic to the whole place.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Taty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed at Cotton Tree for 3 nights and we could not have had a better experience. The adventure trips they offer were a lot of fun and very interesting. We especially liked the cacao farm we visited. The food was delicious and the staff were very friendly and hospitable. We hope to return soon!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Noah J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2012

Just retruned from my eco vacation with my son and daughter. Cotton Tree staff are the best ever. They are friendly and very attentive. My son and daughter went for our now yearly vacation together away from the spouses just to have fun. We fished for 2 days with the guide Alex. I fish all over the world and he is the hardest working nice guide I have ever fished with. Did not get the permit and bonefish I wanted but we did get baracuda and jack. The lodge cooked them for us.
The lodge is in the rain forest. There are plenty of bugs, spiders, and mesquitos. It's just part of where you are so deal with them with bug spray. Long sleeve shirts and long pants are just part of everyday.
It's warm and humid. A disadvantage is not having air conditioning. On humid mid 70's nights I didn't sleep too well. But it rained eveynight and cooled things down. The ceiling fans help and we got another floor fan. We tossed and turned trying to sleep but finally you get to sleep. No coffee pots in the rooms or refrigeration. There is a filtered water bottle for drinking water.
The lodge is better than the website shows. The greeting building with hatched roof is the meeting area. Food was great.
The grounds are well maintained and construction was going on. Chris the owner is one of the nicest guys I have met and works hard to keep the lodge running efficiently.
The tours are awesome. The chocolate tour sounds crazy but was one of the top tours of my life. Eladio Pop is the owner and you first go through the rain forest he owns and look and eat all the plants you would never know about. Then to his home where his wife and 15 children live. They show how the cocoa beans are roasted and then you grind the beans into cocoa balls. The lodge made cocoa for us the next morning. The sell some of the best hand made baskets I have ever seen. Do not miss talking with Eladio- he will make a big impression as to how to be a good person through Jesus.
The kayak trip down the river was fun. The night jungle tour was also unusual and fun.
My son loved the trip and is going back with his wife for a week in December.

Room Tip: We stayed by the river but could not see it because of the trees. I would ask for a river view.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, California, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2012

Had a great time at the Cotton Tree Lodge! We booked our trip using Groupon and it was a great deal. We did a 5 day all inclusive package which included daily excursions and great meals (including delicious daily 4 course dinners!). The staff at the lodge are mostly locals to Punta Gorda, who are wonderful and accommodating. Additionally, the owner of the lodge, Chris, typically shows up for dinner and participates in the excursions, he is involved with the lodge and ensures his guests are taken care of.

Pros:
- The Daily Excursions are great, we did tubing down the river, tour of the mayan ruins, zip lining, nocturnal jungle tour, kayaking, and much more. I highly recommend doing the nocturnal jungle tour!
- The staff are extremely considerate and accommodating
- There are other activities you can also do on the grounds of the lodge, such as horse back riding, garden tours, etc.. at no cost
- The bartenders are great, and they do not go easy on the liquor! Great strong drinks!
- The lodge is very accommodating when it comes to the reservations, we simply picked the dates and gave them our flight information and they booked the Tropic air flight (local flight from Beliz Intl Airport to Punta Gorda) and picked us up at Punta Gorda for the ~45min drive to the lodge.
- Most all of the excursions are off of the lodge where you get to see and interact with the Punta Gorda (Toledo District) community who educate you on their ways.
- The lodge is well kept, with daily housekeeping who tidies up you're room each day while you are away on the excursions.
- The area is safe and both the community and the lodge make you feel at home.

Cons:
- I can only think of one Con which was mainly an 'ignorance' thing on our part given we knew the lodge is in the jungle with netted cabanas. We were not expecting to find many insects in the room (cabana), and safe to say we have a fun time chasing insects out of the room (especially when we came back to the room very tipsy from the strong drinks at the bar!). We started doing nightly "room check's" where we would inspect every corner of the room when we came back at night and we would usually find a few spiders or cockroaches lingering around. Once you catch them up and throw them out of the room you will be good until the following night. The worse thing we found in the room was a Scorpion, however the lodge explained to us that the scorpions that are around the lodge are not deadly and if you were to get stung it is the equivalent of a wasp sting. So, the insects are manageable and you need only check out your room each night if you are not a fan of bugs. I personally am deathly afraid of Spiders and I was able to manage!

Tips:
-- Try the Cotton Tree Chocolate, it is great! (They grow the cocoa beans at the lodge and make the chocolate bars in the Toledo District City)
-- Get to know the bartender, they have daily drink specials, I recommended one and what do you know the next day we found the bartender outside picking fresh Mango's from the grounds for the Mango Daiquiri special I recommended! Drinks are average priced, however the specials are a great deal and the drinks are strong!
-- Request a River view room if possible, great view!
-- Some of the tours cost extra (outside of the all inclusive package) I highly recommend you go for them as well if they seem interesting, the cost is worth it (Usually $20USD-$60USD per person) however they are great! We did the Nocturnal Tour and Zip Lining at an extra cost, however it was well spent!
-- If you have any dietary needs let the lodge know and they will accommodate, one of us was a vegetarian and they easily provided vegetarian equivalent meals for her that were just as delicious!
-- Bring extra strength insect repellant! Nowadays Deet is indicated as being bad for you, nonetheless I purchased a Deet 100% bug spray from Target and went wild while I was there and I walked away with only 1 Mosquito bite, where as my friend with a lesser bug spray walked away with at least 15 mosquito bites! You are literally in the jungle, so be prepared!
-- I recommend the all inclusive package, it is worth it as you do not have to pay for the meals and excursions, plus the meals are great! Breakfast, Lunch, and a 4 course dinner!


Overal this lodge is excellent! The rooms are great (fully netted, and even though bugs get in the beds are also fully netted to ensure your sleep is peaceful), it is on the river where you can spend hours relaxing with a drink from the bar, kayaking, rope swing into the river, or just hang out on the balcony in the hammock and enjoy the surroundings. Note that in addition to the lodge cost and the flight to Belize Intl Airport you will also have to pay for the flight to Punta Gorda (It is about $300USD round trip per person), however it is a great flight down Belize and the cost is minuscule in the overall trip. I highly recommend this lodge, it was one of the best vacations I have had and I would recommend it to anyone!

Room Tip: Recommend requesting a room on the river if possible.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Tomy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cotton Tree Lodge

Property: Cotton Tree Lodge
Address: Moho River, Punta Gorda, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Toledo District > Punta Gorda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Punta Gorda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Cotton Tree Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our eco-lodge is hidden between the Moho River, the rain forest, and Mayan villages in southern Belize. Stay in beautiful thatch cabanas with private bathrooms and verandas. Enjoy delicious cuisine prepared with organic produce from our garden. Try kayaking, birding, swimming, and horseback riding on the grounds. Connect with the people and culture of Belize on daily tours to villages, Mayan ruins, cacao farms, caves, waterfalls, and more. Or simply relax in a hammock all day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cotton Tree Hotel Punta Gorda
Cotton Tree Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda

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