I spent five nights at Belcampo and was completely inspired by what the team are doing in terms of food sustainability - they plan to make the lodge almost entirely self-sustaining, with fruit, cacao, sugar cane, vanilla, and so on all grown on the farm. The GM, Mara, has been a chef for 30 years, previously running a prestigious lodge in Canada, and she is a former Slow Food Canada president. The CEO of the company behind Belcampo is a regular Iron Chef judge and sustainability expert. I spent a lot of time talking to Mara about their plans for the farm and it's a thoughtful, classy, and groundbreaking jungle-to-table project.
But all of that aside, Belcampo is also a great place for a holiday. The cabanas are spacious and light-filled and have glowing wooden floors and furnishings, some of which is built in the carpentry workshop on the Belcampo farm. Taking a nap in the hammock on the cabana balcony (enclosed with mosquito netting) makes you feel like you are right in the jungle, which you are: howler monkeys and hummingbirds are just metres away. The food is fantastic; you can taste the difference with a lot of the ingredients coming from the farm - it's as fresh as it gets. Eating breakfast of homemade granola and house-cured bacon, while watching toucans fly by, is a great start to any day. The staff are all very friendly and helpful, and the guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the birds, plants and other wildlife of the jungle. I went kayaking on the river (one of the free activities the lodge offers), and joined the paid trip of snorkelling and manatee spotting. Unfortunately we didn't get to see a manatee, but we saw a shark and lots of fish and colourful corals while snorkelling.
I had a great, relaxing time at this beautiful lodge. But what made the experience even more memorable for me was that I left feeling like I had learned something and that my thinking had changed: food sustainability is something I will be reading about and paying more attention to from now on.
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- Also Known As:
- Belcampo Hotel Punta Gorda
- Belcampo Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda