Managed by Muy’Ono Hospitality, Copal Tree Lodge is built on lands that dates back to the Classic Maya period — around 600 AD — when the Maya people used the Rio Grande river as an important transportation route to the sea.
In the 1860’s Confederates from Alabama and Texas settled in the region to produce cane, cattle and rum. Ms. Marie Louise Young, a Confederate descendant born in Belize and our own Captain Jackie Young’s grandmother, eventually bought the “Big Hill” property and farmed cattle and 80-acres of cane. She produced aged and argicole rum and started a distillery called “Rocky Run Rum” on the property until the 1970s. The original cane press can be seen in the center of our Farm Center. In 2001 the property was sold to the owners of El Pescador in San Pedro and construction began on El Pescador South, a new fly fishing lodge.
In 2005, Todd Robinson purchased the fishing lodge and renamed it Machaca Hill Lodge.
During this time, the simple rustic fishing lodge underwent extensive improvements, transforming the lodge into a luxury resort with a variety of new river and inland adventures. As an avid marine conservationist, Todd became involved in the region by aiding in the purchase of more than 45,000 acres of rainforest together with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). In 2009, Belcampo CEO Anya Fernald partnered with Robinson to produce Belcampo’s keystone organic crops of cane, cacao, coffee and vanilla, and provide lodge visitors with agritourism programs that share and study these exotic ingredients at their origin.
In only a few short years Copal Tree Lodge, formerly Belcampo Belize, has grown from pioneering ideas of sustainable food production and agritourism to an award-winning, world-class destination welcoming discerning travelers from around the globe.