This was our 7th time to Belize but first time to Punta Gorda, and Belcampo. My first impression was the same as my parting impression - excellence in every corner, from meals, resort, staff, excursions, birding, fishing, etc.
When I began researching the perfect place to celebrate a “big” birthday, I discovered Belcampo Lodge from the Travel and Leisure article spotlighting this incredible eco-agri-jungle-fly-fishing adventure lodge.
At first, I thought the reviewers on TripAdvisor were exaggerating - how could one lodge provide everything an adventurous couple or family could want in one location? Belcampo Lodge not only has, but has exceeded our expectations on every level.
It's hard to add any new descriptives to the lists already presented by the many eloquent reviews, but I'll do my best. Work has taken us all over the world, and we have experienced the gamut of 5-star resorts, hotels, and restaurants. I can truly say that Belcampo is the complete package. This lodge dazzled us with amazing on-site sourced organic gardens where the chef turned these hand-picked vegetables and herbs into incredible 5 star restaurant creations. Belcampo also raises their own chickens for consumption as well as for eggs. Every other meat or seafood comes from locally sourced and environmentally conscious Mennonite farms. Every meal is fresh with a beautiful presentation. I am a restaurant reviewer for our local online paper (including a stint as an Iron Chef Judge at local restaurants competitions), hence judging food is more than just a passion. I wish I could add something here that wasn't already said, but I'll just say that we were overwhelmed by the gourmet quality of every meal we ate at Belcampo!
The cabana we stayed in exceeded our every expectation. Tucked away in the canopy, beautiful Mexican Saltillo tile flowed into the marble bathroom with a floor to ceiling window privately peering into the jungle. You can see howler monkeys while taking a shower. We had 2 incredibly comfortable queen size beds, and our very large quarters continued onto a screened-in veranda. Every morning we were brought delicious French pressed coffee to drink on our screened-in veranda while awakening to an array of birds and monkeys.
Just want to mention at breakfast you are served on a white linen table cloth with fresh homemade granola with yogurt and a fruit plate for starters. On the back of the menu is a birding identification chart, complete with binoculars and a spotting scope on the breakfast veranda. We saw parrots, toucans, trogons, and collared aracaris every morning, all the while serenaded by the howlers. The menu includes almost every type of free range egg with house-cured bacon, along with many other options.
One morning after breakfast we took about 50 steps from the breakfast veranda to go birding with Chan in the courtyard area. An hour and a half later we added 36 new bird species to our “life list.” Chan kindly emailed us the complete list so we could have the documentation.
We were mostly interested in fly fishing, so many of the mornings we were out early and onto the flats in no time. Our guide knew every corner of the rivers and cayes for permit habitat and could put us directly on them. One permit should have been a photo on our wall, but hey, that's why it's called permit fishing, not permit “catching.” We did take the 90 minute boat ride to Sapodilla Cayes, which are amazingly beautiful and I highly recommend it. We caught so many bonefish it was incredible. We also caught snook and jumped quite a few tarpon in the Rio Grande river right below the lodge. We saw a huge manatee, agouti, freshwater crocs (far more afraid of you than you of them), many eagle rays, bat rays, trigger fish, and many more oceanic creatures.
We also did the Blue Creek cave expedition, complete with ruins and lunch with Vince at his home. This is a once in a life time experience, as some other reviewers have mentioned and I highly recommend this excursion. Vince is incredibly knowledgeable about the Mayan cultural history, the local flora and fauna, and everything we were interested in. “Lights out” in the Blue River cave is an experience not to be missed,
Finally, I would like to give as many accolades as possible to Mara J., general manager. This self-sustaining, environmentally conscious, professionally staffed, and just incredible, incredible resort would not be possible if it weren't for Mara J. She is visible every day making sure every guest is completely satisfied. An incredible chef in her own right, Mara is a visionary, a people person and a one-in-a-million general manager that, in my opinion, Belcampo is very lucky to have in their corner.
We loved all of the staff; I don't want to mention people by name because I don't want to miss anyone. They all attended to our every request without hesitation or questioning whether it was possible.
This is a-once-in-a-lifetime experience, yet cannot wait to come back with our entire extended family. This lodge affords every imaginable activity you can think of along with food that is outstanding and hospitality that is second-to –none. All I can say is go!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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- Also Known As:
- Belcampo Hotel Punta Gorda
- Belcampo Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda