The Cotton Tree Lodge is phenomenal. The location is beautiful with a "lazy" river, boardwalks, thatched roof buildings and well kept grounds. The food is incredible. It starts with the on-site organic gardens & livestock which provides the fresh food for each meal. Once at the kitchen the chef, Shawn (a Cordon-Bleu grad) performs magic. The staff treats you as if you are family and are most helpful and friendly. The available excursions are well worth the while and the guides that take you are incredibly well informed. It seems that each has a particular expertise (birding, horticulture, Mayan history,...) and are very willing to share their knowledge and answer every question along the way. The Mayan temple tour, Blue Creek Cave, Snake Cayes for snorkeling were incredible. the night jungle excursion was both interesting, & at times suspenseful. WE saw some pretty cool things gong on. After the daily excursions, happy hour ensued with fresh made appetizers at the patio by the river. It was the perfect transition from the events of the day to the evening meal. We were able to share our experiences with our newly found friends (other lodge guests & staff) with drinks and a snack.
Probably the most rewarding day was the day we volunteered with Sustainable Harvest International (SHI). We worked with a SHI field trainer to build a cacao bean solar dryer for a family in a small village about 2 hours from Cotton Tree. Ernesto, the SHI field trainer, was a terrific young man who is very dedicated to the improvement of the lives of those he is helping and improving organic farming techniques as a way to preserve the local environment. We helped a very worthy & hard working family to increase their cocoa bean production with the solar dryer so that they can continue to afford to send their children to school. In turn the family worked along side us and provided us a wonderful lunch of chicken & vegetables stew (cal do) that they grew in their garden. It was a truly rewarding & eye opening day. It was great to see a family that was so happy even though they did not have many material goods.
Cotton Tree Lodge has a feel to it that seems to transcend the description of a vacation spot. It seems to bring people together & allows you to get to know each other (staff & guests) and the area. Its a fun, adventurous, and even a learning experience all in one, while also being quite relaxing. I highly recommend it as a way to get away from it all, and should you want to, do some good for others too.
- 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
- Also Known As:
- Cotton Tree Hotel Punta Gorda
- Cotton Tree Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda