Discover The Best Ecotourism in Belize
Let us be your guide to the culture, warmth, and beauty of southern Belize. We are a jungle eco-resort situated on 100 acres along the banks of the Moho River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. Explore the rainforest, rivers, reefs, and ruins and immerse yourself in local life and forge new relationships. Our tours take you chocolate making with a Mayan cacao farmer and his family, swimming through wet caves to an underground waterfall, and exploring ruins of the ancient Maya. We will show you the real Belize.
Activities available at the lodge include birding, kayaking, swimming, medicinal plant walks, yoga, massage or simply relaxing in a hammock and enjoying our incredible farm-to-table foods in a jungle paradise. We are only eight miles from the Caribbean – close enough to enjoy snorkeling, diving, or fishing on one of our day trips.
Starters very basic lacking in flavour. Main courses excellent. Fish cooked to perfection. Full of flavour very well seasoned. Desserts lacking in choice. Not very seasonal.Had apple cake nice but you would make just as nice at home. Served with a very poor quality vanilla ice cream. Poor choice of wines.
My stay at Cotton Tree Lodge was a short but packed 4 memorable days. This farm to table eco-lodge is ideally situated between two Mayan villages on the Moho River. It's remote and the flora and fauna are stunning. Aside from the monster-sized Cotton Tree, the grounds are covered with mango, cashew, cacao and citrus trees. I stayed one of the Garden Vista rooms. It was spacious and comfortable and a joy every evening to listen to the cacophony of critters outside before sleep and upon waking. The lodge also maintains a large organic garden from the lodge's dining room from where it sources their delicious local fare. Everything else is procured within a 10 miles radius. Consequently, the food is fresh and flavorful. It was hard to choose only four days of activities because the lodge offers so many wonderful excursions. There is definitely something for everyone. Caving, snorkeling, kayaking, visiting Mayan ruins, bird watching, etc. They even offer a night jungle survival course. Choosing a culinary-focused itinerary for my stay, I made tortillas with the local expert Mrs. Bo, grinding the corn in the process. I learned how to make made a Mayan cacao drink with locals starting with roasting the cacao beans. A medicinal jungle walk with a local bush doctor was another highlight, and a locally made liqueur tasting. The lodge offers a free 10-minute massage for all tired arrivals. The super friendly bartender creates a... My stay at Cotton Tree Lodge was a short but packed 4 memorable days.
This farm to table eco-lodge is ideally situated between two Mayan villages on the Moho River. It's remote and the flora and fauna are stunning. Aside from the monster-sized Cotton Tree, the grounds are covered with mango, cashew, cacao and citrus trees. I stayed one of the Garden Vista rooms. It was spacious and comfortable and a joy every evening to listen to the cacophony of critters outside before sleep and upon waking.
The lodge also maintains a large organic garden from the lodge's dining room from where it sources their delicious local fare. Everything else is procured within a 10 miles radius. Consequently, the food is fresh and flavorful.
It was hard to choose only four days of activities because the lodge offers so many wonderful excursions. There is definitely something for everyone. Caving, snorkeling, kayaking, visiting Mayan ruins, bird watching, etc. They even offer a night jungle survival course.
Choosing a culinary-focused itinerary for my stay, I made tortillas with the local expert Mrs. Bo, grinding the corn in the process. I learned how to make made a Mayan cacao drink with locals starting with roasting the cacao beans. A medicinal jungle walk with a local bush doctor was another highlight, and a locally made liqueur tasting.
The lodge offers a free 10-minute massage for all tired arrivals. The super friendly bartender creates a drink special every evening for happy hour. After snagging the recipe, I already have recreated Frozen Chocolate Coladas at home.
If you go, bring school supplies to give to the local children. The lodge will make sure they are distributed properly. More
The drive to Cotton Tree Lodge is long and down a dusty road. However, once you enter the property is is just gorgeous. The central building is beautiful and the cabanas are large and beautifully rustic.
There is 24 hour power, great showers and plentiful bottled water.
The staff really try to make your stay a happy one and honestly, all you have to do is walk into the grounds, the jungle and the river and you will be in a Tarzan and Jane fantasy.
The food is plentiful and good and the bonus of local rum, beer and fot drinks was welcome.
Enjoy your visit!
I just returned home from an incredible 5-night stay at Cotton Tree Lodge. To give you an idea of what type of traveler I am, I'm 29 and I enjoy learning about new cultures, trying new things, and filling my travel days with adventure. While I consider myself adventurous, this was my first experience at an eco-lodge. I was skeptical and a little hesitant when I first arrived, but by the end of my stay, I felt like I found a new home away from home. I like to break down my reviews by category so here goes: Getting there: You have a couple of options to get to Punta Gorda but I would highly suggest flying using either Maya Island Air or Tropic Air. Cotton Tree Lodge can book your flights for you or you can do it yourself. CTL will pick you up at the PG airport for $55, just provide your flights to them. As others have mentioned, the road to CTL is bumpy, but to me, it was all in the adventure and added to just how secluded the lodge is. I don't have any issues with car sickness but if you do I would suggest taking some sort of motion sickness medication ahead of time. Room: We had a deluxe cabana on the Moho River with two queen beds. The room was spacious and had a beautiful view of the river from the balcony. I... I just returned home from an incredible 5-night stay at Cotton Tree Lodge. To give you an idea of what type of traveler I am, I'm 29 and I enjoy learning about new cultures, trying new things, and filling my travel days with adventure. While I consider myself adventurous, this was my first experience at an eco-lodge. I was skeptical and a little hesitant when I first arrived, but by the end of my stay, I felt like I found a new home away from home.
I like to break down my reviews by category so here goes:
You have a couple of options to get to Punta Gorda but I would highly suggest flying using either Maya Island Air or Tropic Air. Cotton Tree Lodge can book your flights for you or you can do it yourself. CTL will pick you up at the PG airport for $55, just provide your flights to them. As others have mentioned, the road to CTL is bumpy, but to me, it was all in the adventure and added to just how secluded the lodge is. I don't have any issues with car sickness but if you do I would suggest taking some sort of motion sickness medication ahead of time.
We had a deluxe cabana on the Moho River with two queen beds. The room was spacious and had a beautiful view of the river from the balcony. I loved that there were two hammocks on the balcony and my friend and I enjoyed relaxing out there before dinner when the sun was setting. The bathroom was great with a single sink, shower, and toilet. There is hot water if you need it, but I took cold showers every day because most of our activities were out in the hot sun all day. I don't remember seeing any reviews mention this, but absolutely no paper can go down the toilet since it is a composting system so you will have to get used to throwing all of your toilet paper away (it becomes a habit after the first day). There is a room refresh every day. They will provide filtered water to you in your room in a large jug every day.
Cotton Tree Lodge looks straight out of a painting. It is unbelievably beautiful and I only wish the photos I took could have captured just how amazing this place was. There is an organic garden where they grow all of their produce. There's also a farm where they have goats, chickens, and pigs. We even got to see the goat get milked one morning! That was such a treat. One of my favorite things was waking up around sunrise and taking in the beautiful morning light while walking along the raised pathways. The air was cooler, sometimes the howler monkeys were howling, and the peacefulness of the property was something I wish I could have bottled up and brought home with me.
Since CTL is so remote, every meal you eat will be at the lodge unless you do an excursion like Placencia beach day or Punta Gorda market. There were a couple of meals that I didn't fully enjoy, but overall the food was outstanding. I especially loved breakfast! There was always some sort of baked good like cornbread or pancakes. I ate vegetarian the whole time and CTL did a great job of accommodating. In fact, there were several guests with different dietary restrictions and nothing was too complex for them to handle. So if you're worried about your dietary restrictions, don't be! We loved their drink options and didn't think the prices were bad at all. Most of the drinks of the day were $5 USD.
Placencia Beach Day - This was our first excursion of the trip and it was so fun! First, we drove about 40 minutes to the Hokey Pokey water taxi. We had to pay $5 cash per person each way for the taxi. The water taxi was a 15-minute scenic ride to Placencia. Once in Placencia, the beach was straight across the street from the water taxi. We didn't know this ahead of time but thankfully one of the people with us had been and showed us where to go. Placencia is a very small beach town, so once you get your bearings, it's very easy to get around without a map. We spent most of our day at Barefoot Beach Bar. They had delicious (and cheap) drinks with great food. There were also lounge chairs in the sand by the water which were nice to relax in.
Blue Creek Cave - This was one of my favorite excursions. I was a little nervous to go swimming in a dark cave, but our guide Pop was great and I never felt unsafe. I think the most challenging thing about this excursion was the hike to get to the cave but even that wasn't too bad. The water was a little chilly when we first got in but it was extremely refreshing after being in the heat. You will want to make sure you bring water shoes (like tevas) for this. They will provide a life jacket, headlamp, and a helmet. Lunch was included in this excursion and we ate at the entrance to the trail after hiking back from the cave.
Tortilla making with Mrs. Bo - You MUST do this. Mrs. Bo is a treasure and I wish I didn't live so far from her. She made me feel like I was one of her own (she has 10 children and 12 grandchildren!). There were 3 of us who went to make tortillas with her and we had the best time. She showed us the process from start to finish and it was fascinating. I wish we could have spent more time with her learning more about the Mayan culture. I will remember that day forever! We had the option of either driving back to the lodge or kayaking. We decided to kayak and it was really fun! Just be aware, it is a long journey. We only took an hour because we were kayaking constantly with no break. It usually takes 1.5 hours. It poured on us halfway through the trip so we had some extra motivation (although it was a welcome break from the heat).
Snorkeling at Snake Caye - My absolute favorite thing we did the entire trip! We didn't think we would get to do this because the weather wasn't cooperating, but the stars aligned and on our last full day at the lodge we got to go. We started the day at the Cotton Tree Lodge dock where Pop took us by boat straight from the lodge, down the Moho River, to the ocean. We were on the river for about 30 minutes and on the ocean for 45 minutes to an hour. The ocean was a little choppy which made for a bumpy ride. I'm not sure if that's the norm, but if it is I wouldn't recommend this to anyone with back or neck issues. If you even think you might get seasick, make sure you take Dramamine before you step foot on the boat. The snorkeling was beautiful although it did look like the poor coral is struggling. We saw all sorts of fish and sea life. It was amazing. After snorkeling, we went to an uninhabited island to have lunch. I couldn't believe how beautiful this island was. Perfectly white sands and crystal-clear water. It couldn't have been any better. Pop's son even shimmied up a tree and got us some fresh coconuts! It was paradise.
Things to do at the lodge:
- Massage: We both got 30-minute massages (plus the 10 free minutes that are complimentary). Blanca, the massage therapist, was incredible. I left the spa feeling recharged and relaxed. The spa is so beautiful too.
- Yoga: While there wasn't a yoga instructor there while we were there, they did tell us we could use the yoga studio any time we wanted. We didn't use it, but for those that enjoy self-guided yoga, this is a huge plus.
- Swim or relax by the dock: We loved grabbing a drink in the afternoon and sitting by the dock. It's so beautiful and you can usually see fish swimming just below the water.
I think this is something everyone wonders about before going to an eco-lodge in the middle of the jungle. Fear not, the bugs are not that bad. Yes, you will probably encounter one or two in your cabana but it will not be a constant battle. If you absolutely cannot handle getting a bug out of your cabana, do not feel ashamed in asking the staff for help. They are more than willing to help you! Our first night we had an issue with ants. We were the lucky cabana the ants chose for the evening. They tried to spray but it didn't really work. The staff did not miss a beat, we were moved to another cabana and didn't have any more issues. I was so amazed by the staff and their commitment to customer service. As for mosquitos, they are definitely around the property so bring plenty of bug spray. I bought mosquito wipes to cut down on the number of liquids I brought with me and I wish I just sprung for the tried and true deet spray. Although, mosquitos just love me. The wipes worked for me in Southeast Asia and Costa Rica but I guess they were no match for the Belizean jungle. We never noticed any mosquitos inside our cabana, just make sure you keep your doors closed.
- Tuck your mosquito net under your mattress before you go to dinner. The little flying pesky bugs seem to be most prevalent at night so if you can get your mosquito net tucked before the sun goes down, you'll be gnat free for bedtime!
- Make sure you bring at least one water bottle with you on your trip. I brought two collapsible water bottles and used them every day. While they provide filtered water, they do not have small bottles to take on excursions. Having a small bottle (or 2) to bring with you will be very helpful.
- Bring a small backpack to take on excursions.
- At night if you get a little overheated, grab a washcloth, get it damp, and go back to bed with your stand fan blowing on you. The wet washcloth will bring down your body temp. The air was comfortable most nights but there was one night that seemed to be much hotter than the rest.
- Bring a waterproof camera! There are so many activities that involve water. I was so happy I brought my GoPro along.
Cotton Tree Lodge is an incredible place and you are sure to have an amazing time if you go there. You will meet such interesting people and make new friends. The staff are all so kind and treat you like family. I can only hope I can go back to Cotton Tree Lodge one day. It was a life changing experience and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go! Thank you, CTL for such a wonderful experience! More
Incredible jungle destination. If you want to be off the beaten-track, and stay at an eco-friendly lodge, this is the place! The grounds, screened-in cabanas—everything--is well-kept. I loved falling asleep among the jungle sounds right next to the winding Moho River – the howler monkeys did give me a start at first! Great location to experience the culture of this wonderful country as well as the natural beauty. I suggest a day trip to the Blue Creek Cave. The staff is wonderful, especially the chef. They feature an organic garden to foster farm-to-table and procure other necessities locally. If you want to slow down, and truly connect with the people, place and culture or Belize, you will have a hard time finding a better spot. Cotton Tree Lodge is worth the little bit of extra effort that it takes to arrive here.
My daughter (age 11) and I had a wonderful time at Cotton Tree and the surrounding area. We got the all inclusive package for the week, and it was great to not have to worry about figuring out food for the day or planning activities. The food is delicious, and the organic farm it comes from is so impressive. We also loved having meals with the other guests of all ages and sharing each others’ adventures of the day. It made the whole experience a lot more fun to get to know fellow adventurers.
The staff is so kind and accommodating, and they create a real atmosphere of comfort. They are fun to get to know and extremely knowledgeable about the Mayan people, the animals and plants, and what the Toledo district has to offer.
I definitely recommend doing the tours and activities if you are seeking more than relaxation (and it’s very relaxing there!) We loved the garden tour, the sunset cruise, and the nighttime jungle hike right there on the property. My daughter was scared on the night hike, but she stuck it out and was glad to have done it. Hanging out at the Moho River with other guests was really enjoyable , and the rope swing for the kids is a real treat. I highly recommend Eladio’s chocolate farm experience to learn both about Mayan culture and the traditional way of growing the plants and making chocolate. The Tiger Cave was also really a great outing, but be prepared for lots of rock scrambles. The swim in the beautiful Blue Pool near the cave is a must! The Nim Li Punit ruins are extremely interesting, and I learned tons from our guide Nate. We went river tubing after the ruins tour, but the river was pretty slow when we were there which was a bit disappointing for my daughter. It was beautiful, but if you want a bit of a faster float, ask how the river is moving in advance. We pretty much enjoyed all the tours- the others we did were the market day in Punta Gorda, the Lubantuun ruins with a trip to San Antonio afterwards to jump from a cliff into a huge swimming hole. Our guides Nate and Manuel were superb.
I’m sure there are less expensive places in Belize, but for us it was well worth it.
I don't know how this lodge is 1 of 28 value for money places in PG. We found it very expensive. The setting is beautiful, in the jungle, on the Moho River; and when we saw our cabana, I told my husband I never want to leave. Great set up.
But everything else is very expensive. You're a captive audience there, because you can't go anywhere if you don't have your own vehicle. Meals are expensive: 56 Belizean for dinner, $50 for a 90-min sunset board ride on the river, no drinks included. $100/person (USD) to go to the market day in Punta Gorda, half hour away. Etc etc. We prepaid our cabana, but after five days our remaining costs were over $1,000, and we were careful to only eat every other meal. It doesn't have to be this way, and I think they could reduce their prices by 25 percent. With these prices, I do hope they pay their staff more than the going rate for local salaries.
However, having written the above, it is a beautiful place, and if money isn't an obstacle, I recommend Cotton Tree Lodge. We slept great, amongst the night noises of howler monkeys, insects, birds, etc.
If you're looking for the perfect way to truly experience the Belizean Jungle, this is it! Sleeping in gorgeous bungalows (cabanas) that allow you to hear all the sounds of the jungle and so beautifully designed and well kept! The grounds are beautiful and incredibly well kept as well. The food they serve is all farm to table (literally, the organic garden is located on the property and they even produce their own chocolate!) The meals change daily and are always delicious. It truly is the perfect place to relax and unwind and just listen to the sounds of the jungle! In the evenings when we would return from exploring we would relax on the balcony in the hammock or sit on a blanket by the main lodge and just stare up at the stars. The staff members are all wonderful and really show great care in making sure you have the perfect stay! At the time we went they were not offering yoga classes in the mornings but one of the staff members offered to lead yoga for us which was amazing! They offer many tours that you can book through the property or transportation to the nearby town of Punta Gorda. We rented our own car so we could explore at our leisure but spent a lot of time just relaxing at the resort! They have adventure walks and survival walks that are led throughout the grounds. You can rent kayaks or bikes, or take a sunset river cruise. There really is something for everyone here in this beautiful Belizean Jungle Sanctuary!
Cotton Tree Lodge is a great pick for anyone for a jungle immersion. Lots of wildlife, beautiful views, and lots of great activities (jungle survival tour, organic gardening, Garifuna drumming, etc.). I loved the rope swing! The staff was very friendly and accommodating. I would highly recommend this lodge.
This resort honestly had so much to do it was hard to fit everything in within the two day we were there! The rooms were spacious and comfortable and the food was absolutely amazing! Trying barracuda was a life changing experience in the best possible way! Venturing through the organic garden was such a treat and I loved learning about their methods. Relaxing by the beautiful/peaceful river was just what we all needed after a day of venturing in the jungle!
Free Roundtrip Flights!
Free roundtrip flights between Belize International and Punta Gorda Airports for the guests staying 4 nights or longer and purchasing our All Inclusive Package directly on our website. May not be combined with any other discounts or promotions, 2 people per room maximum. Please use code FREEAIR when you book.
Free Nanny Service!
Free nanny services for guests purchasing our All Inclusive Package directly on our website. May not be combined with any other discounts or promotions.Use code: FREENANNY at booking.