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Black Rock Lodge
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Reviewed February 2, 2014

I have never experienced anything like this place before. After a two plus hour drive we arrived at the resort nestled on the side of a hill overlooking the river. Folks be prepared for rough roads, thank goodness we hired a driver guide from Black Rock to pick us up, worth every dime. Our cottage overlooked the river and we entered to find fresh flowers on the bed, table and in the bathroom, a nice touch fitting the locale. It was dark however since we were in the forest so not a lot of natural light. We arrived after a week of sun on and island so it was a bit of a transition, if I had to do it over again I would have started at Black Rock and then gone to the beach, just my
personal preference. The open air dining room overlooks the river as well, plus the lush jungle and hillsides. They have expensive Swarovski scopes on tripods and the guides and staff train them on the birds and reptiles in the area for a first hand look. We saw a large orange and black iguana and white hawk thanks to their sharp eyes. They can even hold your iPhone to the scope eye piece and get you a close up picture. Now get this. Every morning they put out fresh fruit for the birds and we saw the whole gamut of Toucans, Woodpeckers and a dozen other highly colorful jungle birds that were simple stunning. You can get up close to them for pictures and if you are a birder, you will be in 6th heaven. I brought my heavy binoculars and really glad I did! They offer many side trips and we took them to the Mayan Ruins, a river paddle, botanical garden, butterfly farm (with incredible hummingbirds as well) and cave canoe trip. All were well worth the money. Here is a major tip: the trips are only as good as the guides naturally, we lucked out and got an outstanding one right from the get go Anastacio Bol. He proved to be a veritable factotum of all things Belize from the ruins to birds to nature to culture, he endlessly regaled us with his stories and taught us many many things about the land, its people and nature. This guy knows his stuff, is super friendly and gave us more than our moneys worth all four days he guided us. Personally I would not use any other guide but Anastacio while there. The trips are pricy so do your homework to make sure you do the things you are most interested in, for example there are several Mayan ruins trips that do differ. The food was good, we ate breakfast there but never lunches since we toured every day. Dinners are a fixed price and fixed menu with a meat and vegetarian option, all really tasty and large portions. Also you sit with a different group every night so get to meet people from all over the world. The only reason I did not give Black Rock a 5 star was the meal service, seemed slow and a bit strange i.e. they gave us dinner rolls but no plate, they brought a family style dinner salad ten minutes before the dinner itself but no way to eat it and no salad plate. In the future they plan on offering more traditional Belize food options as well, we were disappointed there were not more for us. Other tips, there is a bird watching tower behind the property, a good climb to the top but well worth it. They offer a night nature trip, one group saw a boa! Bring bug repellant for your stay there and tours, you will need it. We got these neat moist toilettes from Avon that really worked well but smelled a bit much! This place is safe but being in the jungle there are tarantulas, fire ants and other things lurking, ask the staff and be aware and you will do fine. In fact the staff were great and always a source of help and info on all kinds of things, use them. Finally you are in a humid climate, our clothes never really dried out, bring light cottons and things that dry easily and sturdy sandals for walking and tours. Also sun block of course. This is an exotic, beautiful jungle location and experience to create memories and pictures you will treasure all your life. I highly recommend it. Oh one final thing. Keep in mind you are in a small country with limited medical facilities and Black Rock is remote so if you have a medical condition or issues, take that into account in your planning.

Room Tip: Cottages and views differ across the property and the noise from the rapids (they call a waterfall) is loud at night and may bother your sleep. Ask in advance to understand the pros and cons of each cabin location.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank ProMetalSales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

We just finished up leading a retreat at Black Rock Lodge, and I have to say, I am so so SO impressed by everything about this place. The staff is absolutely phenomenal- some of the best service we have ever received. They did a great job catering to our group and are so flexible, helpful, and just HAPPY. There are so many great options for things to do and experience, and the rooms are great! Definitely stay here.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Kate M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Every year I bring a group of college students to tour Belize and learning about the best practices od eco-tourism. Black Rock Lodge is always on the itinerary and consistently is the highlight of the trip for the students. The location may be a little out of the way, but having breakfast with toucans and howler monkeys near by makes up for the extra driving! The food is amazing and the views are spectacular, but what really brings the experience together is the staff. They go above and beyond to make sure that everyone has a great time. Some of the staff even knew all of the students names before out first dinner!

Because of the educational aspect, our group has some special requests and Black Rock made sure to meet those requests and even beyond if possible. I highly recommend Black Rock for groups or individuals looking for a nice jungle paradise. Make sure and schedule at least one day of just exploring the area around the lodge. You wont regret it.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Laura F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

My wife was nervous about staying in an ecolodge after previous experiences in Costa Rica and Peru, so we only booked two nights at Black Rock. BIG MISTAKE! We could have stayed a week. The staff and tour guides are amazing. Tours with Elvis were educational and fun. We biked, tubed, hiked, canoed, and just relaxed with the local wildlife. Bird watching was amazing over meals with other guests. I really can't say enough good things about the place. Only consideration for travelers is the location and distance from other activities. If you're planning on visiting caves or ruins you should consider the travel time from Black Rock to our destination. It may eat a whole day and you'll want as much time at Black Rock as you can get.

Room Tip: There's no bad room, just be ready to sleep with a few insects and the noise of the jungle. We had one night of heavy winds and rain and some large seeds / branches / whatever fell on our metal roof. It was VERY loud when it happened, but that's part of being in the jungle.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kayo617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

I was blown away with the magic I felt when we first entered our bungalow at Black Rock. The room was spacious, with slatted windows filling three of the four walls, allowing the breeze to flow through but strategically situated so we had complete privacy. Our front porch overlooked the river and the famous black cliffs on the other side. Peter and Petra were extremely accommodating and helpful, going above and beyond to meet our needs. The food was absolutely fabulous. It's just hard to describe how beautiful this place is. You just need to go there. I may decide to retire in bungalow number 10. :)

Room Tip: Highly recommend cabins 10 and 11. Private and spacious.
Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Kathy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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