Cotton Tree Lodge has only been open since December 2006 and while they are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the lodge, you can tell it has been developed and launched with the "it takes a village" approach and lots of love for staying true and honest to the surroundings and background of the Belizean jungle. The locals that work there helped design and build it, and the daily trips you take to learn how to grow/make mayan chocolate, swim through a river in a limestone cave are really interesting, but what makes them extra special is that you get to do it with local folks and even meet their families along the way - it has not been "touristized" and is real, human and a great learning experience for adults and kids. Be prepared for a rustic stay - if you are used to turn down service and air conditioning - this is not the place for you. Yet, the beds are comfortable, there is enough privacy, and the rooms are lovely open air thatched huts (better to hear the fantastic birds singing in the morning and the low hum of the howler monkeys at dusk) and we're talking spiders in the shower and eco-toilets (they flush, but you can figure that one out). The hammocks on our porch provided an excellent way to chill during the heat of the day. I do think they could provide a little more FAQ type information to NYers like me to make sure we're prepared (e.g., wear closed-toed shoes on certain trips - you WILL be following a guide through the jungle wielding a machete and many of the "rest stops" are wooden outhouses with a hole in the ground). While you want to sleep in on vacation, on this kind of trip they may want to start the activities earlier in the morning, as it takes a while to get to places (only 2 paved roads in the country!) and it does get pretty darn hot during the midpoint of the day. Great for nature photography. We were there for four days - and for the first three, there was only one couple besides my friend and I - on one hand, we got pretty much private tours of everything and got to pick and choose whatever we wanted. On the other hand, once other people got there, it was fun to share in the experiences. Most of the guests were adventurous singles or couples from the U.S. in their 30s, 40s. I would recommend combining a stay here in the jungle with a few days in Placentia, or another low key beach location so you can get the best Belize has to offer.
- 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