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“Study Abroad at its best!”
Review of Cotton Tree Lodge

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Cotton Tree Lodge
Ranked #4 of 18 Punta Gorda B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Dayton, Ohio
2 reviews
“Study Abroad at its best!”
Reviewed March 18, 2014

We took a group of 19 travelers ages 9 to 83 to Cotton Tree Lodge and experienced all that we hoped to on a community college study abroad experience. With so many activities for all ages, this was a trip that appealed to all members of our group. Granted, our group knew that we would be in the middle of the jungle and wouldn't have air conditioning, but the swim in the Moho River each night more than made up for the lack of it. The staff was very accommodating and we developed a respect for the Mayan people and culture. The food was excellent and well prepared, and the guides were knowledgeable and kind. Our bird watchers recoded seeing 74 varieties of birds including the national bird, the Toucan! Our jungle cabanas provided the perfect environment for our Eco tour. We hope to go back in the future!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Eileen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sherwood Park, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

We arrived at Cotton tree and really felt as though we had found a gem off the beaten path! My husband and I were travelling with our 3 children ... an 18,15 and 11 year old as well as my mom. We spent our first night in a Family Cabana Tree House ... so magical. Rustic, yet beautiful and comfortable. We love adventure and so exposure to the elements in terms of heat and humidity truly added to our jungle experience ... not to worry ... we had fans! The sights and sounds of the jungle were truly magical ... birds, iguana's and howler monkeys Not to waste a second we rose early for a morning kayak paddle on the Moho River ... the misty tranquility provided an amazing start to our first full day. After a lovely breakfast we headed off on an excursion of Eladio's Organic Cacao Farm. I cannot say enough about this tour ... it is an absolute must do!!! Eladio is a Belizean treasure ... his pride is palpable, welcoming you into his home, introducing his family and sharing details of his culture and livelihood.
Upon our return to Cotton tree Lodge we cooled off in the Moho River taking full advantage of the rope swing! My daughter and I then enjoyed a lovely late afternoon horseback ride through the jungle. My mom, daughter and I then took in a stunning sunset kayak on the River. We enjoyed Happy Hour at the River Bar ... met the owner of the lodge and enjoyed the company of fellow visitors. After another great meal we settled into the Family Cabana ... Garden view room. It was on the top floor of the tree house ... different, but equally as lovely as the first tree house. We loved our experience and wish we had another day or two to take in other excursions and explore the Punta Gorda region. The staff was so very friendly and helpful. Food was great ... experience priceless. My youngest sons Grade 6 class collected a shipment of school supplies that we had planned on delivering in person to two nearby schools ... unfortunately it was Easter break and school wasn't in session ... we left the supplies with the staff at Cottontree and they delivered them for us.
We look forward to returning for a longer stay someday soon,

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
Reviewed March 6, 2014

The jungle of Belize is amazing, beautiful landscapes, and faces! thank you for the beautiful discoveries, cacao, tubing, zipline,..the little touches for food restriction, and as well as yoga sessions!

Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank claudie c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

Being in our 60's, we have traveled quite a bit and were excited about doing something different ... and that it was. I fell in love with the whole experience. The setting was amazing , the sounds (howler monkeys darth vadar impersonations) memorable and the staff very friendly and efficient. (kudos to Mario who did not correct us when we called him Marco all day). We did the adventure tours to hike the "mountain", swim in Blue Creek Cave (my favorite) and kayak in addition to the mandatory cultural stuff (interesting) The food was above expectations. Sean was amazing with the prep considering he was working with all local ingredients. Yes, there were bugs, some dampness and the road was bumpy......but what a ride. Thanks to all the people who made our vacation so much fun and memorable

Room Tip: by the river
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank columbus47203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

This was the best part of our vacation, by far. This place is beautiful, peaceful, and a great cultural experience. If you are looking for a a place in the jungle where you listen to the awesome sounds of the jungle and have easy access to many fun adventures and are still comfortable and well fed - stay here. It is worth the cost.

We found the staff to be very attentive and friendly. The food great. The drinks great. The rooms are clean and fun. Spend enough days here that you can go on 2 or more adventures but also just laze around and listen to the jungle, kayak on the river, and wonder around yourselves. The adventures that let you get to know the guides and see a bit of how they live are really worth it. My only regret is that our trip was too short.

Someone suggested bringing chip clips to further secure the mosquito netting and we did, we didn't really need them because the bugs weren't bad at all, but if they had been, the clips are worth bringing.

I read some of the average and negative reviews before we visited and they made me hesitate. However, after visiting myself, the people who did not enjoy this were not looking for an off the beaten path, true jungle experience. Complaints about listening to howler monkeys at night or a bumpy road to get to the place are frankly a little bizarre. If you are looking for a fancy resort such as one you'd find in Hawaii or Cancun, you should go there instead. If you are not truly looking for an adventure, this probably isn't for you. That said, it's not like this is a crazy place to go to. It just has a bumpy dirt road. But every comfort most people need. This is a very nice lodge and exactly what I was looking for.

Room Tip: Spend a little extra and get a room that overlooks the river. Just do it.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sally S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
Reviewed February 1, 2014

We went down to Cotton Tree for a destination wedding! It was absolutely perfect. We had never been to a jungle in Central America. We walked away feeling as though we had embraced the unbelievable nature of the area, got a feel for the native history and life-style in Punta Gorda, loved relaxing at the lodge, and created beautiful memories we will never forget.
There are many different adventures you can sign-up for to experience anything from Mayan ruins to waterfall swimming. One highlight was Aladio's farm tour which is actually a jungle plant tasting walk. Yes, you actually taste different native jungle plants as well as raw cacao. Then we went to his families house for lunch and his wife and daughter showed us how to make chocolate the traditional Mayan way. As far as an authentic local culture experience, you can't really beat that!
The lodge itself is steeped in the traditions of local people. The buildings alone are works of art. Constructed in traditional techniques, the Cabanas are really cool and so is the main lodge. The main lodge is where you can mingle with other travelers, indulge in the delicious cocktails, and feast on the fabulous food.
We had a great time and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Kimberly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jefferson City, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2014

My husband and I, along with our 8 year old son, stayed at Cotton Tree Lodge for the second time in 3 years. You can be as laid back as you want or as adventurous as you dare. We love it! The employees are great, they are very friendly and are excellent with children. On our first day we went fishing with Alex (we highly recommend him!) and we took several of the fish we caught back to the lodge where the chef prepared them just as we requested and we shared them with the other guests. The lodge had packed a delicious lunch for us to take with us fishing that day, but our son did not eat very much. Alex noticed that and called the lodge and mentioned Nicholas may like something different, so after that when we had a picnic lunch, they made sure something was included that a kid would enjoy. While at Cotton Tree we went river tubing, explored Mayan ruins, learned to make tortillas from grains of corn, saw the chocolate making process, kayaked on the river, did an early morning bird watch, and fished two more days with Alex. We highly recommend staying in one of the cabanas, you have your own "deck" with hammocks and it's like having your own small home in the jungle. Yes, there are a few bugs and the sheets are a bit damp from humidity, but it's okay, if we wanted to stay in a hotel in the city, we wouldn't come here! They have a new apartment type set up, which would be okay if there was a large group of people, but we would definitely recommend staying in a cabana. As far as the food, the breakfast is a small buffet but they will cook eggs to order and they have delicious hot chocolate made from the chocolate bars they produce locally. All the food is grown at the lodge so it's fresh and the fruit is picked straight from the trees on-site. We thought every meal was very tasty. The bartender prepared awesome drinks and even made fresh limeade for our son each evening. Our favorite things were: the fishing, waking up to the sound of howler monkeys, visiting Mayan ruins, eating freshly made chocolate, and interacting with the staff members. They make you feel like you are part of their family. The owner is very friendly too and enjoys visiting with the guests. Our son says Cotton Tree Lodge is "awesome" and we completely agree. We're looking forward to another visit in a few years.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sue L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cotton Tree Lodge

Property: Cotton Tree Lodge
Address: Moho River, Punta Gorda, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Toledo District > Punta Gorda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Punta Gorda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cotton Tree Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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 
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Also Known As:
Cotton Tree Hotel Punta Gorda
Cotton Tree Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda

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