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“Belcampo Bliss” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belcampo Lodge

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Belcampo Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Wilson Road, Punta Gorda, Belize (Formerly Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Punta Gorda
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1 review
“Belcampo Bliss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

Had a great stay. Great People. Mara runs the lodge with pride. The food was fantastic! Thanks Chad. High quality lodge and rooms. The local guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Overall, highly recommended. We will be back.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 11. The highest on the property.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

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!

Room Tip: All rooms are fabulous. We walked around the resort and looked at everyone. However, I loved being...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I found the reviews very helpful and echo all the wonderful comments made by other visitors to this spectacular property. I wanted to add, however, that we spent an amazing day on the water traveling the Rio Grande River out to the reef where we feasted on a freshly caught lunch. There are few days in life that are so wonderful. The staff was fabulous. We had a chef on board, the captain and tour guide dove for our lunch, and Mara was a gracious host. We learned a lot about the history of Belize and the natural life surrounding us, as we cruised and went snorkeling.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I cannot recommend Belcampo highly enough in terms of quality, attention to detail, wonderful staff and management and overall amazing facility. I recently spent a year in the Toledo district, working with a local clinic. During this time, I often retreated to Belcampo for a quiet morning on the porch if ever I felt the need to get away. Mara, the general manager, is extremely generous in offering affordable rates for meals and day packages for long-term volunteers who are working away from their homes and families, as well as for our students.

I was lucky enough to be able to become involved in some community/ staff wellness activities that Mara was trying to get started for the Belcampo staff. She takes a special interest in employee health and we were happy to partner with her. I found the entire staff to be an absolute pleasure to work with and made some lasting friendships, as well. By collaborating with Mara, we were even able to begin a very exciting partnership whereby the gentlemen who work in the Belcampo wood shop have begun to assist us by building beautiful and high-quality rehabilitation equipment that we would otherwise not be able to attain for the people we serve here in Belize.

When my year in Toledo was finished, it was it was extremely difficult to say goodbye to everyone at Belcampo and I sincerely look forward to coming back for a visit. I cannot say enough good things about the entire staff, our mutually enjoyable and beneficial collaborations together and the generosity and the true spirit of collaboration and partnership shown to our organization, you by Mara and everyone else. Many thanks!

Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boulder
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

I've travelled, explored and fly-fished (for Permit) extensively throughout Belize.This was my 4th trip to Punta Gorda and my first overnight visit to Belcampo. It has the perfect combination. The setting spectacular for nature and relaxation. The staff does a great job offering daily cultural and nature tours, and one morning I did a free nature morning walk with Mara (the manager) and Wil (the resident nature expert) that was truly fantastic. The food was excellent all around at Belcampo. My experiences eating in town was poor and even heard reports of people getting sick. Never had a reason to explore further because continued great service and food/drink quality that the resort had to offer. The staff was very professional and accommodating, with Mara (manager) being the true cornerstone of the resort!
My Highlights:
-beautiful jungle setting with diverse wildlife
-the farm, eating resort grown fruits and vegetables
-excellent food and drinks
-wonderful tours, waterfalls,ruins, birding,people
-permit fly fishing, excellent habitat and access from the resort. resort is on a river with easy,quick access to the flats.
-isolated beautiful island excursion (with my wife) and custom lunch with linens and ice cool wine
-the staff, awesome all around
Mara- the perfect manager with you ever need addressed and met

Room Tip: they only have 12 rooms
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HK
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

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.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

This was our 3rd time to Belize and Belcampo blew us away! Our plan was to stay for 3 days and move on, but due to such a welcoming, comfortable and awesome adventure, we ended up staying for a week! My husband is a fly-fishing fanatic and has fished all over the world and I enjoy a little fishing and hanging out at the lodge. Belcampo has it all! The tours are incredible. The staff are so pleasant, knowledgeable, and just fun to be around. We have traveled all over the world (Europe, Asia, S. America, C. America.....) and the accommodations in the middle of the jungle are truly amazing. The food is simply delicious! Organic, fresh, a huge variety and almost everything is right there on the farm. You are welcome to leave and explore other options in town, which some people did, but I cannot imagine why??? Every night the menu is new and tastefully done! We have been to town to many restaurants and you can get the usual Belizean fare and beers!!! Belcampo makes incredible drinks.....Passion fruit margarita, anyone??? They are unique, and so yummy.....If you are a real foodie and care and understand where your food is coming from you will want to stay!!!! This is a place where at the end of your trip you feel like you are leaving a family. Everyone is so passionate and dedicated and they are there to make you feel welcome. The GM Mara makes it all happen!!! She is one in a million and so gracious to us and all the guests. If anyone has anything negative to say about this place- they shouldn't be traveling. What a great find this place was! We had an unbelievable week and can't wait to return with our entire family. Thank you Belcampo, Mara, and Belize!!!! It was an unforgettable week.

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad one! All are beautiful.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Belcampo Lodge

Address: Wilson Road, Punta Gorda, Belize (Formerly Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Toledo > Punta Gorda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Punta Gorda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Belcampo Lodge 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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Also Known As:
Belcampo Hotel Punta Gorda
Belcampo Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda

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