Managed by Muy’Ono Hospitality, Copal Tree Lodge is built on lands that dates back to the classic maya period

In only a few short years Copal Tree Lodge 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.

Our Story

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.

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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 travellers from around the globe.

 

The Adventure Begins

Arriving at the Belize International Airport

Belize International Airport is a small airport that provides excellent signage to help travellers get through customs and transfer to your in-country flight to Punta Gorda. At the point of entry, a passport and proof of return or onward ticket are required. There is a $40 USD departure tax that must be paid at the airport prior to leaving the country, however please check with your airline as this may be included in your international ticket. Tropic Air flights do not include the taxes and these will need to be paid on departure.

Transferring to the Punta Gorda Airstrip, your final destination

You will take a breathtaking 1 hour flight down the coast of Belize with a couple of short stops along the way. Punta Gorda is the last stop in southern Belize and getting here is part of the adventure!

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As you land, one of our guides will be waiting to pick you up in our open air Land Cruiser. In only 15 minutes you’ll be pulling up to Copal Tree Lodge. Transportation from the Punta Gorda Airstrip is included in the Farm-to-Table Package.

Average Travel Times to Belize City, Belize

Average travel times table

Committed to Conservation

From the preservation of an intact 12,000 acre nature reserve to the implementation of daily practices that reduce the Lodges’ carbon footprint, Copal Tree Lodge is committed to conservation and local economic development.

  • Roughly 70% of the food we serve in our restaurant is organically produced on our farm.
  • We use sustainable, line caught fish and seasonal seafood purchased directly from local day boat fishermen.
  • We are helping to save Belize’s indigenous cuisine and the heirloom crops that define it by growing native crops on our 3,000-acre organic farm.
  • We are building a global marketplace for Belizean made products through our chocolate, coffee and rum productions right here at Copal Tree Lodge
  • We make furniture and building materials on site from our own wild fall or sustainably harvested wood.
  • We plant thousands of trees each year as part of an extensive agroforestry program that also supports local wildlife.

Supporting the Local Community

We’re committed to supporting the local community. Join us in helping the amazing people of Belize. Pack a few extra items for school children, match our nightly charitable contribution, or ask us about offering a 5-night stay at Copal Tree Lodge in your next charity auction!

Pack for a Purpose

We are proud members of Pack For A Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community. If you save just a bit of space in your suitcase to bring supplies, you can improve the lives of local children and families. HERE is a list of items Punta Gorda Hospital Children’s Ward is in need of.

$5 for Every Reservation, Every Night

Copal Tree Lodge donates $5 BZD for every occupied room night to a worthy community program, school, or non-profit organization in need of financial assistance. Each month we select a different beneficiary organization. We invite you to match the resort’s donation upon check-out. Check out this month’s charity HERE!

Charity Auctions

Copal Tree Lodge offers a 5 night stay to select charity auctions. The auction may choose to purchase the Farm-to-Table, All Inclusive package or make it a requirement of the winner. This trip has sold well above value at several events. You can sell up to three packages at the same auction. Please inquire for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best season to visit Copal Tree Lodge?

Belize’s dry season is between February and May. When it does rain, it is usually in mild, short intervals. June through December is our wet season. The most frequent rainfall usually happens in June or early July often followed by a break in late July or August known as the "little dry."

Are you close to the beach?

Copal Tree Lodge is only a 10 minute drive from the seaside town of Punta Gorda. If you choose to join one of our guided snorkelling or fishing trips, you may visit a caye or the sandy flats. Our river, cayes and the shores of the Port of Honduras are primarily comprised of intact mangroves, an important habitat for marine life.

What should I pack?

Along with cool, light clothing, a swimsuit, sun hat, sunglasses and sandals, be sure to bring some light long pants, a long sleeved shirt and closed toed shoes for hiking the property and to avoid bug bites. Copal Tree Lodge has a very relaxed atmosphere, but some guests like to dress up a little for evening cocktails and dinner. Our Fly and Gift shop sells both natural and deet repellent, fishing flies, some select clothing and locally made gifts. A recommended packing list will be provided upon booking.

Do you have Internet?

Complimentary wireless Internet service is available all throughout our lodge and in each suite. Although it is generally a reliable service, it can be affected by adverse weather conditions.

Do you reccommend vaccinations?

Malaria and Dengue fever are rare but present in Belize. Most visitors to Belize choose not to receive vaccinations but the choice is yours. Consult the CDC website for more information.

Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?

No matter what your dietary restrictions are, you will be able to freely enjoy the food at Copal Tree Lodge. Our garden to table philosophy emphasizes fresh vegetables and tropical fruit, cold pressed coconut oil, fresh, wild, line caught seafood, and our own naturally raised pastured meat and eggs. We use minimal dairy and it is easy to avoid gluten or substitute hand-made corn tortillas for flour tortillas. Just let us know your dietary needs when you book and we will be happy to accommodate.

Are you close to a town and nearby restaurants?

Copal Tree Lodge is located approximately 6 miles (10km) from Punta Gorda, a town of approximately 3,000 people. There are a couple of simple restaurants that we recommend but most of our guests choose to eat meals at the Lodge. Our Punta Gorda Market Tour takes guests into town and we can also arrange a transfer taxi for $15 USD one way.

Are you close to Mayan temples?

We are very close to the Mayan ruins of Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit and offer regularly scheduled guided tours to both.

Is Copal Tree Lodge suitable for children?

At Copal Tree Lodge we value adults and children alike. Copal Tree Lodge welcomes children of all ages and we strive to provide a number of activities that are fun, safe and educational. We can customize an itinerary for families looking to travel to Copal Tree Lodge.

Can you accommodate groups?

Absolutely! Copal Tree Lodge is perfect for groups of all kinds. Contact our reservations department (reservations@copaltreelodge.com) for a quote and to explore the many options.

Can you accommodate destination weddings?

Definitely. Copal Tree Lodge is the perfect property for a destination wedding. Contact our reservations department (reservations@copaltreelodge.com) for more information.

What kind of wildlife will I see?

With a 12,000 acre nature reserve across the river and 1,000 acres on-site, Copal Tree Lodge is teeming with wildlife. Commonly seen are Howler Monkeys, Agute, Coatamundi, Turtles, Crocodiles, Tarantulas, Iguanas and more than 100 different birds including the famous Toucan.

What activities are there at Copal Tree Lodge?

Copal Tree Lodge has a wide selection of Activities and Workshops to choose from.

Is the fly fishing appropriate for a beginner?

Southern Belize is one of the best places in the world to catch a permit on a fly rod, but it generally takes some skill, luck and ideally the right weather. Even if you don’t catch a permit, you can still enjoy a day on the water practicing your cast with one of the regions expert guides. Learn more about our flyfishing guides. We can also arrange a day of spin casting on the river or in the Gulf for snook, barracuda, jacks, or even a little Belizean style “hand lining.” If you catch a fish that is not prohibited, our chef will happily cook it for you!

Do you have loaner rods?

Yes we do! We stock complimentary Orvis rods, flies and lines for tarpon, bonefish and permit in 8 weight and 10 weight for both right and left handed anglers.

What security measures are in place at Copal Tree Lodge?

At Copal Tree Lodge, your safety is our top priority. We have 24 hour security at the front entrance of our property. Between the hours of 6pm and 6am, we have security staff on foot and vehicle who patrol the entire property. All visitors are obliged to sign in and out at our front gate and no visitor may wander the grounds without being accompanied by a senior staff member. Visitors are prohibited on the the property after hours. Belcampo has 24 hour access to on-site trained first aid responders in case of any emergency. Each suite is equipped with a safe for your personal belongings.

Do I need to be worried about the Zika Virus?

Belize has a minimal Zika exposure risk. Pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant are encouraged to take extra precautions when traveling to countries that do have cases of Zika Virus. We recommend the use of a good mosquito repellent and wearing light weight long sleeved shirts and pants for extra protection.

Do you offer travel insurance?

While Copal Tree Lodge does not sell travel insurance, it is recommended that you protect your investment through a reputable travel insurance company. Your credit card company will have the best recommendation for you of who to choose. We recommend doing research when selecting a provider to ensure that all aspects of your travel are comprehensively covered.

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