5 mi (8 km) north of Punta Gorda, Big Hill Farm Rd., Machaca Hill, Punta Gorda, Toledo, Belize
New owners have moved this former fishing lodge far up the scale of luxury, renovating the main lodge, adding a gorgeous spa, and redoing the cottages. The lodge is set on a high hill above the Rio Grande River—you can ride a tram car to the bottom, where dinner is sometimes served by lamplight. The hilltop setting offers awesome views of the jungle and, in the distance, the Gulf of Honduras. Howler monkeys troop by regularly. After a day exploring the Toledo rain forest, dive into the swimming pool, then sup on fish and fresh vegetables from the lodge's organic farm. Tables on the restaurant's veranda offer the best views. The spacious renovated cottages have vaulted ceilings, tile floors, new baths, and screened decks overlooking the jungle, although oddly the exteriors and blue metal roofs still look the way they did when this was a fishing camp. A fleet of custom-outfitted Toyota Land Cruisers take guests on safari-like soft-adventure trips and tours in the Laughing Falcon Reserve, a 12,000-acre private nature reserve, and elsewhere in Toledo. The lodge is developing an agritourism component, with experts brought in to present programs on chocolate, rum, coffee, and jam and jellies.
- Great views of jungle and the distant sea from hilltop location
- incredible spa
- the top lodge option near PG
- Very pricey and, some would say, overpriced
- food, drink, and service not yet up to the prices charged
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