Copal Tree Lodge is a prime example of agritourism-chic. A remote paradise nestled in the hills above the Caribbean coast of southern Belize, the lodge is alongside a large eco-farm and within a 12,000 acre nature reserve. The stunning spacious detached suites provide privacy and the ability for total relaxation.
The lodge prides itself with offering world-class hospitality, whilst encouraging guests to immerse themselves within the local community through activities involving Belizean cuisine and culture, wildlife tours and fly-fishing.
The farm is seen as the heart of Copal Tree, providing over 70% of the food served at the lodge, and working towards their mission of creating economic stability in Belize through agriculture by employing local workers and ensuring fair pay and good working conditions. Guests are encouraged to explore the gardens, gaining an insight into the ethos of the lodge. There is also a unique jungle funicular tram to take guests to the river from the lodge’s hilltop position.
In the winter 2017, the lodge added to its agronomic expertise by introducing the Copal Tree Distillery. As part of the new initiative, the distillery has begun combining heirloom sugar cane and spices grown on the property to create a premium spirit that will be aged and bottled in the heart of the rainforest. The new craft distillery will utilise high quality inputs and natural rain water to produce Coppalli Rum, available starting in June 2018. Copal Tree Distillery is designed to operate as a zero-impact system, powered by sustainable regenerative biomass and supporting the full-circle conversion of production waste into agricultural inputs. Guests will be able to taste Copal Tree Distillery’s newest rum exports at the lodge’s rum bar, where they can sip and savour a variety of cocktails made from local ingredients.
The Main Lodge in the center of the grounds hosts the Jungle Farm Restaurant (where all meals are served, mainly using produce grown on site and serving local Belizean cuisine), Rum Bar (a relaxing area to unwind with a cocktail and snack in the early evening, or read magazines and play board games during the day), spa, swimming pool, lounge areas and observation decks boasting incredible views of the coast, extensive rain forest and the Maya mountains.
Each of the 16 suites offers complementary wifi and laundry services, and is adorned with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and ceiling fans, bathrobes, hairdryer and safety deposit box. Ridge suites additionally have their own private outdoor bath tubs and access to an exclusive infinity pool and wet bar. There is also one three bedroom villa which is ideal for families or small groups.
Copal Tree Lodge’s jungle surroundings make it a great birdwatching destination, and the available birding tours run by local experts provide great opportunities to see the regions impressive variety of birdlife. The grounds include reliable places to see the ornate hawk eagle, and hummingbirds, Trojans and toucans can also be expected. It’s likely you will also hear the Howler Monkeys calling. Hikes through the jungle could bring you close to various mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and tracks of larger mammals such as jaguars and tapirs are often found. Due to the lodge’s location upon the Caribbean coast, there is also an impressive offering of marine life to be seen. Diving and snorkelling tours on the Belize Barrier Reef provide viewings of tropical fish, rays, eels, turtles and much more. Alternatively, the lodge’s agricultural heart means that guests can visit their chickens and rare breeds of pig!
The available activities largely fall into two different categories: wildlife based or centring around the agritourist ethos. For those interested in the former, there are many different birding walks, or general hikes through the lodge’s nature reserve. Additionally, the marine life of the Belize barrier reef can be experienced via a snorkelling or diving excursion. For the latter, there are ‘farm to table’ tours around the on-site farm, and ‘bean to bar’ or ‘bean to cup’ workshops featuring two famous Belizean products: chocolate and coffee. Alongside these on site activities there are many cultural and culinary excursions to local attractions such as visiting the Rio Blanco waterfalls or Mayan villages and ruins, fly fishing excursions and even zip lining. Whilst these activities are individually priced, complimentary on site activities include use of canoes and kayaks, unguided hikes around the reserve and the use of mountain bikes. Copal Tree Lodge is a family-friendly resort and this is reflected in the presence of several activities tailored for children, such as kids farm tours or river fishing excursions. For those looking for a more relaxing pastime, the onsite spa offers a variety of massage and beauty treatments focused around the use of the local fauna and its medicinal properties. All products used are made locally and primarily derived from the rainforest.
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