Frequently Asked Questions
A Unique Jungle Experience
- Where is Belize?
Belize is located on the eastern coast of Central America bordering the Caribbean Sea to the east, Mexico to the north, and Guatemala to the west and south. It's a 2 hour flight from Miami or Houston. Please see our Getting Here section for more information.
- What is the weather like in Belize?
Temperatures in Belize range from 50°F to 95°F with an annual mean of 79°F. We recommend checking the weather for Punta Gorda, Belize before your departure and structuring your packing accordingly. March to May is considered the dry season, but it's wise to pack light rain gear no matter when you travel.
- Is the lodge near a town?
The lodge is about 15 miles (by either road or river) from Punta Gorda, a town of 5,000 people. The small Mayan villages of Santa Anna and San Felipe each with 350 inhabitants are just a few miles a way. Still, when you are at Cotton Tree Lodge you are immersed in the jungle and we make sure that all your needs are met right on the property.
- How do I get to and from the lodge?
For guests who select the all-inclusive package, transfers are included between Punta Gorda and Cotton Tree Lodge. You will be met by our staff upon arrival at the Punta Gorda airport and taken via boat up the Moho River to our lodge. Our daily excursions include transportation in our van or boat. Guests who select the room-only option can arrange transfers from Punta Gorda through Cotton Tree's reservation office for an additional charge, or arrange their own transfers via taxi or rental car. See ourDomestic Travel page for more information.
- Can I reach Cotton Tree by bus?
James Bus line runs a daily route from Belize City to Punta Gorda, via Belmopan, Dangriga, and Independence. Please see our Domestic Travel page for more information.
- Can I drive to Cotton Tree?
Sometimes larger groups, or groups who will be traveling extensively around Belize before or after visiting us, prefer to drive to here. Car rental is possible throughout Belize, but there are no one-way rentals. You must return the car to the agency you rented it from. Please see our Domestic Travel page for driving directions.
- What health precautions should I take?
Vaccinations or medical clearances are not required. Your doctor may recommend taking anti-malarial pills. A good bottle of bug spray (with deet) goes a long way in aiding your comfort and warding off insects. You will also find that good walking shoes are a tremendous asset. You might want to check out the Center for Disease Control website and visit your local travel clinic before departing for the most updated advice.
- What will I be eating?
Our restaurant serves Belizean favorites as well as our chef's own creative cuisine. We'll give you the opportunity to try traditional dishes like rice and beans with stewed chicken, cabbage salad, coconut rice, fry jacks, and of course plenty of fresh fruit and seafood. Each meal we will also offer cuisine geared toward the American palette, with house specialties similar to what you might find at your favorite bistro.
- What if I have a special diet?
We are happy to accommodate your dietary needs and routinely provide vegetarian options. Let us know beforehand of any dietary restrictions and our chefs will plan appropriately. We can also help you store special foods that you may need to bring with you.
- How long do you recommend I stay at the lodge to get the "full" experience?
The average length of stay for our guests is about one week. Consider three nights a good minimum to settle in and have time to enjoy the grounds and some of our guided trips.
- Is the river by the lodge a good place to swim?
The Moho River is a great place to swim. The water is clean, the current is gentle, and there are rarely any boats going by. Try out the rope swing, the water's 25 feet deep!
- Is there cell phone service at the lodge?
Unfortunately there is very spotty international call service available in our area. The only Belizean cell phone provider that has fairly reliable service here is Smartphone. We do sell phone cards that you can use to make phone calls from the telephone in our gift shop. You can receive calls for free on this phone.
- Is there electricity at night?
We are off-the-grid and electricity is provided by a series of solar panels, batteries, and a generator. You will have reliable electricity 24-hours, but there might an occasional brown-out as we switch from one source of power to another. Electricity is 110V and if you are coming from the United States no special adaptors are required. For the sake of the environment we try to minimize the amount of electricity used, and we discourage the use of items such as hair-dryers and curling irons.
- Are there toiletries in the cabanas?
Cotton Tree Lodge provides complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and soap in all guest rooms, though you are encouraged to bring your own.
- What should I bring to Belize?
Bring what you would wear in a sunny warm climate (casual wear, hat, sunglasses) and in addition bring:
- One good pair of walking shoes (preferably hiking boots), a pair of sandals or light shoes for around the lodge
- Water shoes/sport sandals are great for Blue Creek Cave exploration At least two lightweight long sleeved shirts and one sweatshirt or fleece
- At least two lightweight long pants
- A light rain jacket
- Sunscreen and insect repellent (those containing DEET seem to work the best)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- A reusable water bottle. Refill it with the purified water provided in all cabanas and the main lodge
- Extra film or memory for your camera and extra batteries or charger
- US $35 per person (cash) for the airport exit tax