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BELIZE CACAO ADVENTURE February 17-24, 2023

Journey with Enna to learn about our cacao grown in Belize. You will get to eat fresh cacao fruit right out of the pod, share a meal with a Mayan family, and explore the lush jungle of Belize's southernmost district of Toledo. We will visit cacao farms where you may meet farmers and learn how cacao is harvested, fermented, and processed, from tree to bar. Toledo is the least developed region in the country, with pristine jungle forests, many rare bird species and other creatures, and vibrant culture. Three of our days will be adventurous learning days planned by Enna. The other days are reserved for your choice of adventure, rest, and local exploration.

a typical day

Rise and shine: Awake to the sound of howler monkeys and birds, and realize that you are indeed waking up in the jungle. Walk to breakfast on the raised boardwalk - enjoy the lush gardens on the way. Breakfast includes farm-fresh eggs, bacon, vegetables and fresh fruit, and other treats such as fresh handmade tortillas or pancakes. Coffee, hot chocolate, tea and fresh-squeezed juice are flowing.

Head out for our day's adventure: Join our group for a van ride to our day's destination. The bumpy road is a long drive (30+ minutes) but you'll be entertained by the scenery and conversation with our guides.

Learn and experience:Spend the morning learning about cacao and Belizean culture. We'll enjoy a lunch packed by Cotton Tree Lodge, then explore a bit more before heading back to the lodge. If there's a swimming hole on the way, you can bet we'll make a stop on the way back.

Relax: Upon return to the lodge, enjoy a dip in the river or a kayak paddle, rest in a hammock, or walk deeper into the jungle to see if you can spot the resident howler monkeys.

Dinner: Treat yourself to a cocktail (with or without alcholol), and catch up with your fellow guests at the lodge. At 5 pm the kitchen staff will provide appetizers, and it's always a fun surprise to see what they've made. Dinner is served at 5:30. The lodge maintains a large garden which produces leafy greens, coco yam, cabbage, callaloo, tomato, cucumber, sweet potatoes, and much more. Wild harvested edible plants from the rainforest such as jippi jappa, cohune cabbage (heart of palm), fresh fish, and many other interesting foods will be incorporated into our meals.

Rest up for the next day:You'll probably find that you are ready for bed by the time night falls: our days are busy! The open screened walls and windows of your room allow you to go to sleep (or be woken by) the sounds of the jungle.

Rates

ENNA CHOCOLATEtrip registration fee, $300 per person

AND

COTTON TREE LODGE all-inclusive rate with your choice of accommodations:

Garden Vista Room - single $1,920.15 / double $2,959.85 

Garden View Cabana - single $2,782.80 / double $3,822.50

Riverside Cabana - single $3,174.15 / double $4,215.80

WHAT IS INCLUDED:The Cotton Tree Lodge group rate is inclusive of meals, lodging, ground transportation, in-country flights between Belize City Airport and Punta Gorda on our arrival and departure days, and a daily adventure either planned by Enna or offered by Cotton Tree Lodge. Also included is base gratuity for CTL staff, though many of us choose to add to this at the end of our trip.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Travel to and from Belize, alcoholic beverages, tips for non-CTL staff. Most Cotton Tree Lodge adventures are included, but the following have an additional fee: ocean fishing, snorkeling, Moho River fishing, massage therapy.

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More Details

From our home base at Cotton Tree Lodge, you can participate in a variety of interesting and immersive adventures and experiences. You may explore archaeological sites, remote caves (with hidden swimming holes), learning about wild medicinal plants, and birding.

The kitchen staff provide delicious meals, and are able to accommodate special dietary needs.

Cotton Tree Lodge is our home away from home. Your lodging options include screened in open-air cabanas (riverside or garden), and Guest Rooms. Cabanas and Guest Rooms all have private bathrooms.

Cell phone reception is minimal to nonexistent at Cotton Tree Lodge. The main lodge building has wi-fi suitable for sending emails and text messaging. The wifi can be frustratingly slow for other uses such as streaming, downloading, or using the internet. Unless you have to manage more extensive email or writing, we recommend leaving the laptop at home and give yourself a break from the digital world. "What's App" is an app for smartphones that can be used to make phone calls over wifi - many find this to be more stable than cellular data to make calls and send messages while connected to a wifi network, such as at the lodge.

Cotton Tree Lodge will arrange all in-country transportation, including our flight from Belize City Airport (BZE) to Punta Gorda. Important to note: the roads in this part of Belize are bumpy. Our day trips usually involve van rides of up to an hour, often over dirt roads.

One of the most impactful elements of our trip is learning how people live in Belize. During our daily activities you will observe and learn about some of the challenges faced by these communities (for example: adequate infrastructure such as roads and internet access). If you are inspired to contribute to the community in any way, we encourage you to discuss specific needs with our hosts at Cotton Tree Lodge. 

If you wish to bring items to donate to local communities, these items are much appreciated and always needed:

wireless-compatible chromebook devices (in like-new operating condition with charging cords), books (especially children's books), art supplies, notebooks, soccer balls plus their hand-held inflation tools (pack the balls deflated).


Cotton Tree Lodge will distribute any donated items for us.

Insect repellent & sun protection

Basic first aid kit (bandaids, pain treatment such as ibuprofen, insect bite ointment), prescriptions

Binoculars, camera,sketchbook or notebook, art supplies

Casual clothing that is suitable for hot, humid, and occasionally rainy climate, light sweater or jacket

Swimsuit, water shoes (for wading), sandals or other casual daily footwear, closed toed hiking shoes or sneakers (CTL provides rubber boots for jungle and farm walks)

US currency is accepted widely: we suggest a range of $1, 5, 10, 20 dollar bills. Torn, ripped, or old bills may not be accepted.

passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the last date of your international travel

Belize is a gorgeous country! You will see beautiful forests, ocean, and wildlife. You will also witness environmental degradation from trash and other impacts. Please consider this as you pack: try to avoid bringing plastics, packing material, and other items that will be left behind and eventually become trash.

Guests are responsible for making their own international travel arrangements to and from Belize. The airport code for Belize is BZE. We recommend a US to BZE flight schedule that arrives at BZE no later than 3 pm on 2/17/2023, in order to be able to catch the local flight to Punta Gorda.

We highly recommend travel insurance that will cover the full cost of the trip in case you must cancel your plans.

tourism map of Belize

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.

- Amelia Earhart

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