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Reviewed March 1, 2010

If you are looking for an off the beaten path non-beach Belize vacation spot, this is it. Cotton Tree is a jungle oasis on the Moho River.

Chris and his staff go above and beyond at all times. Some of our group were vegan/vegetarian/raw, and the lodge brought in an outside vegetarian chef on several days to support their needs. I am not vegetarian, but it was the BEST vegetarian food I'd ever had. (Gomier has a restaurant in town, but that's for another review...).

DO go on the Snake Cay and Blue Creek Cave trips!

Rooms are quite nice. The bed was a bit hard for my tastes. Ceiling fans are welcome for the hot days; blankets in the room for the cool days. Individual propane hot water heaters worked great! Rooms are fully screened, but this is the jungle so there can be an occasional creepy crawly to deal with. It's all just part of the experience.

If you are on the fence about this place, get off and go!

Stayed: February 2010
Thank kirstenpix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 13, 2010

I absolutely loved this place! I liked the story behind its creation (see the site), the relaxed atmosphere, the ethos, the beautiful eco-friendly tree-houses, the laid-back owner Chris and his wonderful staff, the other guests, the picnics, the evening meals, well, everything!

I was in Belize for two weeks, mainly to go diving, but the weekend at Cotton Tree turned out to be the highlight of my holiday. On the Saturday I went to see some Mayan ruins and swim in a waterfall (just me and the guide as no-one else had signed up), and on the Sunday, all the guests had signed up for the Blue Creek cave swimming trip, which was just a stunning experience.

Also went kayaking on the river next to the Lodge, which was incredibly peaceful, and magical.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled solo
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2  Thank Thisnamecantbetaken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 17, 2010

An unexpected opportunity to travel to Belize led to finding the Cotton Tree Lodge and a birding tour with H. Lee Jones, author of the Birds of Belize. The folks at Cotton Tree were most helpful with arranging flights into Punta Gorda and offering insight into what to bring and what the tour included. What a beautiful place! The cabanas were very clean and the beds comfortable, and private bathrooms with hot & cold running water (hot showers were lovely after a long day of hiking!). The entire staff was quite friendly and warm, always ready to accomodate a request. The food was excellent and plentiful, I especially enjoyed the various freshly made soups for the first course at dinner each night. Visiting with the other guests at the communal dinner table is a nice chance to meet new people, and if you are so inclined you can take advantage of the free wi-fi available.
Keep in mind it is in the jungle, the roads are dirt and can get a bit muddy during the rains. They did end up running the generator for a bit while I was there, but I didn't seem to notice any unacceptable noise from it. Bring your insect repellent, I did use mine but the insects weren't bad.
The birding just around the lodge was incredible, including several species of orioles, tanagers, hummingbirds, warblers, honeycreepers and more. 2 trips down the Moho river with Chris allowed for another look at the area as well as birds such as Tiger Herons & Amazon Kingfishers, along with huge iguanas in the overhanging plants and Blue Morph Butterflies.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here, will write up an article or two on the birding and the lodge, and will make a point to return!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank FennecLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 12, 2010

We stayed with two friends (two cabanas) over 2009 Xmas season. This lodge is in a spectacular, largely undeveloped section of Belize. Getting to it is a wonderful adventure -- a multi-stopping puddle-jumber flight, a car or truck ride to the beautiful Moho River, and then a boat ride to the lodge itself. Designed in the style of the local architecture -- raised thatched huts -- Cotton Tree is beautiful and the staff some of the friendliest and most helpful we've come across in Central America. If you go for the all-inclusive pacakge (expensive, but not bad when you factor in all meals and all tours) you pick your next day's adventure before dinner the night before. Our favorite was Blue Creek Cave, a wet cave you swim into, headlamps on. You come across bats, gorgeous formations, and even waterfalls within the cave. Our guide Antonio, who also led us another day into beautiful Tiger Cave, was knowledgeable, friendly, patient (the current was strong in Blue Creek Cave, and we took longer to push our way up the interior river than he did). Antonio, like all the guides, is a local, and we liked feeling some interaction with the community through him.

This lodge is out-of-the-way, and while the staff runs it smoothly, and the beds are comfortable, and the mosquito netting works great, you should go with an open mind. In remote areas, you occasionally run into small inconveniences. For some reason, one of our beds would have several hundred very tiny dead black bugs in it each morning. They didn't bite, but definitely gave a bit of an ick factor. All the other beds were fine. The food is perfectly good, though nothing especially interesting. Our first day there the emergency generator was on, and was extremely loud, but it was fixed the next day and the beautiful silence of the area returned. On the plus side, the people who stay in such places as this tend to be interesting and out-going, and we enjoyed our meals and tours with the other guests immensely. And lazing along beautiful Moho River in the lodge's free kayaks, watching birds and spotting iguanas in trees, is the most perfect end-of-day relaxation you could ask for.

We would highly recommend this place for the at least slightly adventurous, and would not hesitate to return.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank tmbcktt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 11, 2010

didn't have much of an idea what i was in for, but i was thoroughly impressed by the place. raised wooden boardwalks from cabana to cabana, massive cotton tree, thatched roofs, cacao everywhere and friendly locals. when i arrived there was one other couple and a few nites later there were 30+ people staying at the lodge but it didn't feel crowded. great trips organized during the day and nite tends to be a bit mellow (unless there's a wild bunch staying at the lodge and we didn't have any of that). guides and staff were wonderful, especially sandra, antonio and alex. seemed a bit odd to be speaking english in central america, but that's belize for you!

only downside is the roads--lots of dirt, little pavement. but that's also belize for you. can take a while to drive a short distance, but who's really in a rush anyway?

highly recommended--all you do is plan the flights and they pick you up from the airstrip and organize everything else.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank mapattack99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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