There are few places you can venture these days that offer complete disconnect. Disconnect from technology, responsibilities, deadlines, and every day anxieties. A place where you can almost imagine the journeys of a lost time – when adventures were had without live updates on social media or the overwhelming pressure to still respond to work emails. Cotton Tree Lodge, with its six-mile dirt road welcome and wifi-less atmosphere, allows you to travel the way it was first intended: free.
When we first arrived at Cotton Tree Lodge we could already feel it: our smiles got a little wider and our shoulders a little less tense. We were immediately greeted with a festive cocktail and taken on a tour of the ethereal grounds. Over the course of the next week we fell in love with not one, but every, aspect of the resort – from the place to the people, and everything in between.
Each bungalow at Cotton Tree Lodge feels more like a work of art than just a place to sleep. Adorned with native rugs and pillows, tall ceilings and thatched roofs, the homes are an oasis of their own. The hammocks on our porch quickly became our favorite place to unwind and relax into an afternoon nap or good book (side note: I read an entire book while on this trip. Like, for fun!? That’s a win worth celebrating all on it’s own. Thank you, Cotton Tree).
Each bungalow can be found privately spaced out along the winding wooden foot path. Oh, and make sure to snag one along the river – it’s a sight you’ll never grow tired of waking to.
The wild sounds of the jungle quickly became our new norm, a welcomed break from the all-too familiar sound of the t.v. or obnoxious Insta story. We woke each day to the rhythmic sounds of the cicadas and morning birds and dozed off each night to the rustling feet of iguanas and the haunting screams of the howler monkeys. Each new and unfamiliar sound created a sense of connectedness to the jungle and reminded us of its aliveness. How often we forget to just listen, in the bustling chaos of our every day lives.
I could go on and on about the unparalleled serenity of the Moho River. Time seems to stop when standing on its shores, whether you’re cooling off in its wake or simply admiring the hazy sunset from the sidelines. We took a dip in the river multiple times each day and, before we knew it, it had become our home base for the trip. From unwinding with a must-try Chocolate Coolada to letting loose off the rope swing, the Moho River is iconic to any visit to Belize.
The Food and Family Dinners
Too often we travel to a new place without ever getting to know the people whom we’re crossing paths with each day. The nightly family-style dinners at the Lodge quickly transform the space from just another resort to a place of friendship. We’d gather around the large table, each night, recounting the adventures of our days and laughing at one another’s travel mishaps.
Oh, and did I mention the food?! Each meal’s ingredients are locally sourced and largely grown right there in the Lodge’s garden – talk about farm to table! Each four-course meal incorporates favorite Belizean flavors and leaves you wanting more (not because you’re still hungry, but because it’s that good…).
Cotton Tree Lodge brings all the adventure you could want right to your fingertips, offering tours from traditional tortilla making to cave exploring, and chocolate farm touring to relaxing beach days.
We chose to join the adventures to Blue Creek Wet Cave, Lubaantan and Rio Blanco Waterfall, and Snake Cayes. Along the tours we encountered everything from swimming under a waterfall in a pitch-black cave (definitely a first), cliff jumping from 25ft, roaming the grounds of ancient mayan Ruins, and getting up close and personal with nurse sharks. Additionally, we rented kayaks from the lodge and spent a whole day cruising up the river where we were lucky enough to spot toucans! Adventuring all day, relaxing all evening – what more could you want?
There is something to be said about a place, when upon leaving, you hug all the staff members because you feel like you’re saying goodbye to old friends. By the end of our trip, we felt such a genuine connection and love for the people of Cotton Tree Lodge that it made saying goodbye bittersweet. We were so grateful to have spent a restorative week in such a beautiful country with even more beautiful people, yet we felt nostalgic for the experience before it was even over.
Cotton Tree Lodge becomes home and the people become family, effortlessly. Something tells me that that’s just the Belizean way. For that, we’ll be back – #betterbelizeit.
Still on the fence about saying yes to a trip you deserve and a bungalow with your name on it? Take a closer look at our week-long adventure at the Lodge here and start planning where you’ll go next.
KEEP BELIEVING. KEEP EXPLORING. AND, KEEP RELENTLESSLY TELLING THE UNIVERSE ALL IT IS YOU PLAN TO DO.