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“Excellent Example of Eco-tourism!”

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La Milpa Field Station
Ranked #5 of 8 Orange Walk B&B and Inns
San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Excellent Example of Eco-tourism!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2012

La Milpa Field Station is an excellent example of Eco-tourism. In addition, it is a great place for educational programs. Our student group engaged in various wildlife research projects onsite. Professional, friendly staff, knowledgeable guides, and management who cares about you the customer and the environment.

A perfect place to experience some of natures many wonders!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Rhondine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Andover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2012

It's not 5 star in the classic way, but it's everything you'd want in an eco-lodge. Comfortable, clean, safe, great food and excellent staff and guides. Just back from a week in Belize with two nights at La Milpa. Would go back in a flash. Programme for Belize is a wonderful organization and is doing so much for environmental education. I'm proud to be part of the Massachusettes Audubon which helped found La Milpa.

Room Tip: All rooms seemed about the same. Cabin #2 had three double beds (one in a loft) and private bath wi...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Donna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ray Brook, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2012

We had an absolutely fabulous time at La Milpa - Melvis was an excellent guide & we felt very honored with all the personalized service and birding expertise - we did not expect such wonderful attention & knowledge!

We were the only group at La Milpa during our stay, including our 4-year old son. And the staff was great about accomodating a slower pace so our son could participate in hikes, or for me to take photos.

The bird and other wildlife was great - we saw many species of birds - the resident pygmy kingfisher was definitely a hit, as was Lisa, the crocodile, the toucans, and the howler monkeys. It was amazing how many birds and other critters we could see or hear right at the field station, as well as on the trails.

It was also great to learn about the conservation efforts, archeaological research, and environmental outreach that Programme for Belize conducts...very much needed, particularly with local residents who still kill wildlife for the fun of it or for consumption.

We look forward to returning to visit La Milpa in the future, and being able to spend more time than just a few nights.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank adkbk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bracknell
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2012

This is a very special place in the Belize jungle, off the usual tourist track. It is peaceful and relaxing. There is lots to watch from your hammock or the central area. The La Milpa Mayan ruins have not been uncovered and are a haven for wildlife. The food is good, the cabanas comfortable and the staff are knowledgeable and helpful. Make sure you take plenty of insect repellent and long trousers and shirts for the trails to try and avoid the chiggers.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank carolles365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

We spent 2 days at Hill Bank and 2 days at La Milpa so can compare and contrast. Both are run by the Programme for Belize, which is part of why we chose to go - helping to support their research and efforts at sustainable development in their preserve of over 260,000 acres seemed a better use of our tourist dollars than staying at a for-profit eco-lodge.

La Milpa looks and feels more like an eco-lodge than Hill Bank (which is located at the site of an old logging camp and is bigger and has more cleared area than La Milpa, as well as leftovers from its former life). The central building/dining area is very close to the cabanas (and dormitory), while it was a short walk at Hill Bank. La Milpa also has a nice library of books about the fauna and flora and a spotting scope out on the deck for visitors to use, which Hill Bank did not have.

We stayed in a cabana, which was clean and comfortable, well-screened and with a fan. It was large/open, well-built and well-maintained. Food was fine. If you want gourmet delights, stick to eco-lodges, but it was tasty Belizean cuisine. They had fresh juice for breakfast, which Hill Bank did not. They will accommodate any dietary needs you have - just let them know in advance since food has to be hauled in. They also now have internet access. Wifi reception is spotty from the cabanas and lodge area but fine inside or outside the classroom building. Bandwidth is modest - you're in the middle of the rainforest - but fine for email and browsing.

The main reason to come here is to see the flora and fauna. Vladimir and Melvis were both wonderful guides. They bring a great spotting scope on birding walks. We went on morning bird walks, a night-spotting drive, and a night-spotting walk and saw lots of birds as well as insects, tarantulas, geckos, etc. Someone saw a tapir a few days before we got there, but we saw no tapirs or jaguars. We did briefly see a jaguarundi on the night-spotting drive and heard something big on the night-spotting walk.

La Milpa is surrounded by rainforest, while Hill Bank is on the edge of the New River Lagoon and a former logging camp site, so La Milpa has a stronger feel of being deep in the rainforest (which it is). It has more hiking trails you can go on than Hill Bank. There's also, currently, a resident crocodile in the pond, no night-spotting tours required to see it.

We went on a trip to the undeveloped La Milpa Mayan ruins nearby. It was less impressive than the well-excavated Lamanai ruins, but also interesting to see – including the evidence of looting by chicleros in the 1930s. We saw lots of interesting plants, frogs and toads, lizards, etc. – and an amazing ornate hawk eagle.

Everybody at La Milpa was incredibly nice and we had a wonderful stay. We paid PfB for transport in and back and, while Vladimir and Jorge (from Hill Bank) say they have given people directions to drive themselves in and out, I am quite glad we didn't attempt it, between lack of road signs and very muddy areas in places on the roads when it rained.

Pricing at PfB seems to have changed since 2010-2011, based on what I ran into on the web (yes, they went up) - and they offer either packages or a la carte services. I found that a little confusing and also wanted to do something that didn't fit their packages (going from one site to the other). I used the inquiry form on their website a couple of times and never got a response. I was about to give up but Googled and came up with an email address - marketing@pfbelize.org. Thyra Thompson responded immediately and was very helpful. I mentioned the lack of website responses and hopefully they have fixed that. We were very glad we persisted and really enjoyed our visits at both sites.

Room Tip: Cabanas were great, didn't look at the dorms.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Barry987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Mexico
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

Our experience was probably unusual in that we were the only guests staying at La Milpa on Christmas eve and Christmas day, 2011, so the place was especially tranquil. Just three staff members were staying there too along with Lucy, the resident crocodile, and a clutch of colorful wild turkeys -- Melvis called them ocellated turkeys.

Melvis was our host, naturalist, and guide while at La Milpa. Because he had drawn duty over the holidays, his lovely family was staying there too, which made our first Christmas away from our own grown children seem more homey.

We stayed in one of the cabanas or palapas, which are actually duplex accommodations with two units per structure. The staff was friendly, Ruth's meals were very tasty, and the room was clean and in good repair. There was hot water in the bathroom. We even had an opportunity to use the newly installed wi-fi Internet link

Melvis and Mauricio took us on a night spotting mission, and the next day Melvis took us on a visit to the La Milpa Maya site, which has mostly been reclaimed by jungle foliage. One morning Melvis showed me how he takes the daily readings at the little weather station. We also took advantage of the system of self-guided nature trails.

Lorena, with the lodging reservations staff in Belize City, and the local staff at La Milpa went out of their way to make sure we made our transportation connections between Belize City, La Milpa, Orange Walk town, and Chetumal, Mexico.

La Milpa was one of the highlights of two memorable weeks visiting the Yucutan in Belize and in Mexico.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MGMaxwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allendale, New Jersey
Level Contributor
68 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2011

Everyone there, staff and guests, is really interested in the natural and historical environment of this place which is situated within a nature preserve owned by Program for Belize. When booking our 3 night stay, we prepared a plan of what we wanted to do and see. We knew we wanted to take advantage of the guides, and Bladimir, the manager and chief guide organized our stay in such a way that we felt well taken care of and involved. All but 2 of our walks and other activities, were led either by Bladimir or Melvis, also expert in birding and Mayan history. The newly built cabanas were beautiful, rustic and comfortable. All meals, which were buffet style, were tasty. We really enjoyed talking with other guests and staff during meals.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SaraMike68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Milpa Field Station

Property: La Milpa Field Station
Address: Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, Orange Walk 00000, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Orange Walk District > Orange Walk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Orange Walk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The La Milpa Ecolodge and Research Center on the Rio Bravo is located only three miles from the third largest archaeological site in Belize, the La Milpa Mayan Site. Guests can experience firsthand the rich history of the Maya Civilization.For accommodations, guests can choose between charming private thatched-roof cabanas with private baths with hot/cold water. La Milpa has four cabanas with 8 units that can sleep 16 persons. Or a comfortable and tastefully decorated dormitory featuring state-of-the-art ‘green’ technology that features 100% solar powered energy, no-flush composting toilets and a rainwater collection system which sleeps 30. Dining facilities, gift shop and internet wi-fi access available on site. Hiking nature trails, jungle trekking, biking and birding are the order of the day at La Milpa. Avid birders can compile a list of more than 150 species during a three day trip to our La Milpa venue. Come Explore the Natural Mystique of the Rio Bravo...An Unparalleled Eco Adventure! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Milpa Field Station Hotel Orange Walk
La Milpa Field Station Belize/Orange Walk

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