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“Luxury off the beaten path”
Review of Belcampo Lodge

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Belcampo Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Punta Gorda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 28, 2014

We just had an amazing 4 night stay at Belcampo. The staff was extremely attentive, the food superb, and the excursions well thought out and memorable. We especially enjoyed our day spent with Vincent, visiting a Mayan ruin, having lunch at his home (prepared by his wife), and swimming in Blue Creek Cave. On another day, we visited a spice farm, had a Belizean lunch at Coleman's, and met a local producer of cacao. The staff were mainly local residents and were delightful to talk with. We highly recommend this place to food lovers and adventurers alike.

Room Tip: We stayed in Jungle Suite 1, very private. The ridge top suites, which were not yet available when w...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank mata_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 - 141 of 259 reviews

Reviewed May 21, 2014

I’ve been back from vacation for almost a week but have procrastinated writing this review because in my head (and heart) I’m still at Belcampo Lodge! I haven’t taken a proper vacation in many years but being in Belize, specifically at Belcampo Lodge, erased all my tension and stress and made me realize the importance of stepping away to recharge and renew myself. The hardest thing I had to do while I was there was decide what cocktail I wanted or what I wanted to eat for dinner! At first I was a little annoyed that the internet was only available in the lobby but after a day or two, it made me stop trying to check emails (work and personal) and facebook and texts and really just focus on the beautiful scenery in front of my face and talk to other guests! Thanks to not having a television, I read more books in one week than I have all year!

The staff is amazing! Everyone is so friendly, not “this is my job so I have to be friendly” but genuinely, sincerely friendly. Desmond picked us up from the air strip an gave us a mini tour on the drive up to the lodge, pointing out local plants and giving us a brief history of the Punta Gorda area of Belize. Mark, Nestor, Dwayne, Alicia, Kelly, Melita, Ducky (with his delicious cocktails), Elvina, Brandon (who made the most amazing lunch for our Snorkel with a Chef day trip), Polo, Shirleymae (who arranged travel from the Belize Airport and made sure our stay was amazing), Jack (who took us out snorkeling) and last but not least, Chef Renée (who made the most flavorful, creative and delicious food that really showcased the farm to table aspect of Belcampo). I know I’m leaving people off my list but that doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate every single thing they did!

The main lodge is beautiful! It’s a two-story, open-air structure with a lobby/bar on the first level and dining on the second level. The second story has best view on the property. You almost feel like you’re in a tree house. You can look out at the water in the distance and watch birds and monkeys in the tree tops! The property features 16 individual luxury cabin-type suites with a surprising glass wall in the shower overlooking the jungle and four newer suites on the upper side of the property. The cabins really were designed for maximum enjoyment of the scenery. Who needs TV when there are Howler Monkeys right outside the enclosed sunroom? They start vocalizing early in the morning and in the evening — nothing that will keep you awake. I was surprised that they were as big and as loud as they are! It was definitely an experience I will never forget! There are two pools, a spa, walking trails and an exercise room. You can go on a tour of the Belcampo Farm with Elon where you will learn about the locally grown herbs, spices, vegetables, fruits and cacao. The land just seems to go on forever!

You’re in the jungle but you can get to the water via a boat trip up the river and into the Gulf of Honduras for snorkeling, diving and fishing -- I caught a scary looking Barracuda that Chef Renee cooked as part of our dinner that night! Bring plenty of bug spray and don’t forget to use it! Even with the bug spray, I came home covered with bites and a heat rash but I don’t care. It was a great trip! It was like summer camp...with cocktails!

Thank you to everyone at Belcampo Lodge. It was just what I needed!

-Myrna

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Myrna E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014

I know this isn't a typical tripadvisor review, but I can't think of a better way to describe our experience so here goes...

44 days ago, my little sister killed herself. 17 days before my wedding. 27 days ago, I somehow managed to put my feet on the ground and walked down the aisle to marry my Wesley, surrounded by everyone we loved, and it couldn't have been a more perfect day. In the days following the whirlwind of the wedding, when I found myself alone with my thoughts, I broke all over again. Every day. Every single day I felt a little more broken and a little more fragile and a little more angry and a little more lost.

10 days ago we left for our honeymoon in Belize, and as excited I was to just get out of here for a little bit to clear my head, I was a little bit nervous. I didn't know how I was going to flit off to paradise knowing I'd come home to a world without my sister in it. And then we arrived at Belcampo Belize, and met the staff there, and I felt like I was at home in the company of people I'd known my whole life.

I've traveled a lot in my life, and I've been fortunate to see a lot of exotic places and we've stayed at some amazing hotels. But I don't really know if I have the words to describe Belcampo. Not only are the surroundings incredible - 13,000 virtually undisturbed acres in the middle of a jungle - but the people there are some of the most genuine, caring, interesting, thoughtful people I've ever met. There was no surface, fake, small talk. Every single staff member went out of their way to actually TALK to us, and ask about our lives, and let us into theirs. It's like a little melting pot of people there - from Belizean locals, to people from the US, to Canadians, an intern from Italy, pretty much someone from every part of the map. And their hearts are all the same.

Our experience there left us both refreshed, amazed, and inspired. It was a huge wakeup call to see how everyone in Belize greets each other with a warm smile & a wave - and I mean everyone - and it's so genuine. Here, in the hustle & bustle of our lives in little Wilmington and beyond, it's a rare thing to strike up a conversation with a stranger. It's even more rare to actually have a genuine, meaningful conversation with someone you just met. And every single person we came into contact with there made that effort. The locals in Punta Gorda live very simple lives compared to ours. A lot of them are of Mayan descent, and they build their houses with their own hands with the help of their families, friends, and people from their village. Everything is very family oriented and everyone helps each other, no questions asked and no judgments made. And the staff at Belcampo is no exception to that rule.

One of the common questions we were asked was how many siblings we each had - at first I tried to deflect the question by answering for Wes, but family is so important there that the next question was "and you?" A couple times I was left speechless, not knowing what to say. Here at home, I'd probably just say I have a younger sister and leave it at that because strangers don't necessarily want to see your raw grief out in the open. There, looking in to the eyes of these people and seeing their compassion, I found the strength to say the words out loud. "I had a younger sister, she passed away a few weeks before our wedding." And every single time I was greeted with immediate tears and hugs. These people might not have all the material things we all place so much importance on here, but they are more than rich in family and friends. It was so incredibly humbling and moving that I can't even do it justice with words.

As for activities and things to do or see - we tried to do pretty much everything. Vince, one of the Belcampo guides, took us to see the Mayan ruins at Lubaantun before taking us to his traditional Mayan house for a lunch cooked by his wife. We then went on to the Blue Creek caves, where we swam a mile through the caves to reach a waterfall, which was probably one of the most incredible things we've ever done. The culinary tour was amazing and very informative also, as was the farm tour with Elan on Belcampo's grounds. We did the sunset cruise with Jack, whose grandmother used to own all the land Belcampo now sits on, so you really can't find anyone more knowledgeable about the area. He also took us snorkeling for a half day, and was with us for the "snorkeling with the chef" experience, which was one of our favorite days. Chef Brandon cooked us a delicious lunch on the boat, and Desmond showed us a bunch of different plants and wildlife on the trip down the river out to the ocean. The food at Belcampo is delicious - the chef (Renee) managed to outdo herself every single night. Our favorite nights were Tuesdays when they do traditional Belizean family style dinner. Shirleymae, the assistant GM, greeted us with a huge smile and a hug when we got there and made sure we were taken care of for our stay. Dwayne, Ducky, Chan, Vince, Desmond, Renee, Brandon,Tim, Alicia, Nestor, Elvina, Alberta, Enrico, Kelly, Sebastien, Mark, and I'm sure I'm missing a few - every single person bent over backwards to make us feel at home. My husband even participated in their staff sports day on one of our last days there and had the time of his life playing soccer & volleyball with all of them.

I'm not entirely sure the staff at Belcampo knows just how much they did for me while we were there - not just with their service during our stay but with their smiles, and hugs, and talks, and hearts. I came back with a renewed sense of what's really important, and it's not what kind of car you drive or how big your house is or what purse you carry. It's how you treat the people in your life - whether you met them yesterday or you've known them since birth. I feel like we left there with a whole new family.

Belcampo isn't just a little slice of heaven in the middle of the jungle. The people we met there managed to renew our faith in humanity right when we needed it the most. Needless to say we're already planning our trip back.

Room Tip: We stayed in room #1 and we loved it - very secluded and private.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank MunchieM23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2014

I own a major beach resort in Belize and simply needed a break. Where could I go that was unique, offered exceptional service and food and provided an amazing setting and accommodations? I decided to visit the wildly spoken about Belcampo resort and I believe I hit a home run! WOW! What a hidden treasure. In one day I paddled up a pristine river in a kayak and spotted Toucans, road a Mountain Bike on some jungle trails while Howler Monkeys howled nearby, learned how to make chocolate from scratch (and enjoyed amazing chocolate), toured an organic produce farm, enjoyed a cold beer from the infinity pool overlooking the jungle/river/ caribbean sea (while Howler monkeys swung in the trees), took a sunset cruise up the river and enjoyed new friends and an amazing dinner. All I can say is to not miss this place! Thanks Belcampo!

Room Tip: the 4 new suites on the very top offer immediate access to the infinity edged pool where monkeys han...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled solo
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5  Thank BMannsfeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2014

We had a great time at Bel Campos. We were treated like royalty by a very attentive staff. We feel that we now have some new friends in Belize. I am a retired NYPD cop and my wife Lisa is a executive for a Fortune 100 company. We have not had so much fun in such a long time. We went zip–lining at the Big Falls Extreme Adventure. Andrew and his Nephew Lee showed us a good time. It was so much fun - it was insane!

We learned fly fishing, bottom fishing and trawling. We both caught fish. I caught my first fish ever at 56 years old and it was a 15 lbs barracuda. I was very happy about that. Lisa caught a yellow tail and snapper. And many other fish too small to keep. We cruised so far out in the Caribbean Sea ~ it was an experience for this NY'er. But Oliver our fishing guide was very knowledgeable and personable and showed us how to fish. Being in all that deep water with Oliver was exhilarating. We can not swim but we still had so much fun fishing with Oliver. He made us feel safe.

At Bel Campos - Chan was the best, he showed us around explaining nature, Mayan Culture and sharing his personal heritage and things learned from his Mayan grandparents in terms of different Mayan tribes, sports, edible plants, medicinal plants, wild life and Mayan history and ancient technologies. We also met Ducky and his warm smile, Tim and Mark. They made us feel at home when we sat to have our meals. And Renee (Chef Renee) prepared our catch and if we were back here in the United States we would say that her dinner earned 5 stars. We do plan on going back. Maybe even retiring in or near the Toledo district.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Clyde K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2014

Just returned from 4 days at this amazing property. I only wish we had more time as there are so many things to do. The staff was the friendliest I have encountered anywhere and the food was amazing. We stayed in the Ridge view suites and we had incredible views of both the sunrise and sunset. I highly recommend the snorkel with the chef and the cave swim. This is a place that one could return to year after year.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Sflorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2014

We enjoyed Belcampo so much last year that we returned this year. The staff is genuine, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and personable. We would return just to see them again.

The meals are farm to table, among the freshest and best we have eaten anywhere. The fly fishing is world class. The sunset evening cruise on the river is peaceful and beautiful. We recommend the day trips to local Mayan ruins and swimming in the cave, among other options.

Need we say more? We could, but we would rather start planning our return trip to Belcampo!

Room Tip: Rooms are well appointed, a/c, with a great screen porch overlooking the jungle.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Yurtling
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 District > Punta Gorda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Punta Gorda
Price Range: $322 - $744 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Belcampo Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Agritourism-chic in Punta Gorda: a Jungle Lodge, organic farm and a 12,000-acre nature reserve. Set in the verdant hills above the Caribbean coast of southern Belize in the town of Punta Gorda. From our dock you can embark on our tranquil cruises on the jungle reaches of the Rio Grande, or our guided snorkeling and fishing adventures on the Caribbean Sea. Nim Li Punit and many other attractions are located nearby. At the heart of Belcampo Belize is the Main Lodge with our Jungle Farm Restaurant, the Rum Bar, the Jungle Spa, lounge areas, a swimming pool, and observation decks that open to stunning vistas of the coast, the Maya Mountains and a seemingly endless pristine rainforest. Our 16 individual, spacious suites are well appointed with plush beds, screened fresh-air verandas, and spa-style bathrooms with floor to ceiling tropical rainforest views. Belcampo Belize has 16 private suites offering the best in luxury and comfort. A testament to Belize's natural beauty and craftsmanship, nearly every detail, from the woodwork to the tiles to the artwork, is sourced from local artisans. If you're relaxing on one of the canopy beds or lounging on your own private veranda, you will experience the magic of the jungle within the comfort of your room. Enjoy a drink in our Rum Room with ingredients sourced from our own Cocktail Garden. Meals (including complimentary breakfast daily) are served in our Jungle Farm restaurant. We produce on-site more than 70% of the food we serve to Lodge guests. With extensive gardens, tropical fruit trees, and livestock, our day-to-day food production is a hive of activity year round. Optional tours available are: •Snorkeling •Scuba diving •Fly fishing •Birding •Cultural tours ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belcampo Hotel Punta Gorda
Belcampo Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda

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