Sustainable Accommodations Surrounded by Lush Jungle
When Chris Crowell and Jeff Pzena opened Cotton Tree Lodge in 2007, they set out to create a “magical place where visitors could get in touch with the land, the people, and themselves.” Connecting with the land is easy: the resort’s sustainable, solar-powered cabanas blend in almost seamlessly with the jungle. You’ll have a chance to learn from the people of Belize during visits to local villages. And if you're looking to relax and enjoy the scenery, you can head out to the hammock on your own private balcony or participate in an instructed yoga session which is offered twice daily.
Hailed by O, The Oprah Magazine and the New York Times for its sustainable design, Cotton Tree Lodge occupies 100 densely forested acres in southern Belize. Elevated boardwalks connect thatch-roof cabanas propped up on stilts near the banks of the Moho River. Your stay includes accommodations in a garden-vista room, where you can relax on a hammock or admire the jungle views from a private balcony.
Chefs prepare the daily breakfast from freshly grown fruits and vegetables harvested from the resort’s organic garden, which is run by Sustainable Harvest International. The nonprofit group supports local farmers throughout Central America and takes Cotton Tree’s guests on daylong service projects. In the past, volunteer groups have planted organic gardens at schools and built stoves designed to conserve wood.
Belize's Toledo District: Hidden Caves and Mayan Ruins amid Unspoiled Jungles
Located on Central America's eastern coast, just south of Mexico, Belize is covered with tropical jungles and fringed by Caribbean beaches. Cotton Tree Lodge is surrounded by the forest, but if you travel about 15 miles, you can find Punta Gorda, the capital of the district. It's a seaport where you can choose a snorkeling or kayaking excursion provided by a hired guide. You can see more of Belize's extraordinary landscape during a scenic boat ride to or from Punta Gorda Airstrip. Travel to the country's cayes for even more amazing views; they're just an hour away by boat.
Another way to experience the land is by joining one of Cotton Tree's guided tours (one is included in the package). The resort schedules up to three excursions each day to destinations such as nearby villages, Mayan ruins, and caves. On the resort’s chocolate tour, you’ll get to learn how cacao is grown, how to make your own batch of chocolate, and how to eat it without using silverware.