Friday, November 13, 2015

Places to Visit - Belcampo Belize Lodge

Vacation is many things to many people. Some like to travel to faraway places, some like to stay in place and enjoy themselves in the company of family and friends (What is fondly called staycation), some like to take on adventures and adrenaline pumping activities and some plainly don't have the time to even think about vacations :(. My most favorite kind of vacation is sit in my cozy rocking chair, watching TV or reading a book and cooking and enjoying some tasty foods without having to keep a schedule. A vacation like this is of course also easy on the wallet.

When cold weather hits I dream of India and its warm weather and feel slightly sad for having moved to a cold country and the only way to overcome this is to think of warmer places close to home. Just like the trip to Costa Rica which was perfect. We visited Tiskita Jungle Lodge which was perhaps the highlight of our trip. Nestled in a rain forest far away from transportation and in a place called Pavones in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and very sparsely populated. The family lodge is run by a couple and their son. With no conveniences of modern living namely TV, cell coverage, a spotty internet connection and nothing much to do but enjoy the sights and sounds of the rain forest, and almost home cooking. Don't get me wrong you are not under any discomfort whatsoever, just breath taking scenery all around. We woke up, strolled the tropical fruit garden, went to the black sanded beach and watched some sloths on the trees and lazed around. The 3 days we stayed there came to an end pretty quickly but there are families who visit every year and stay for a week or more. I had read forget where though about Tiskita Lodge about 8 or 9 years ago and we were finally able to visit last year. The tropical fruit garden was what caught my attention first but in reality the tropical fruit garden while great to look at was nothing to write home about during the winter months but the rest of the place completely mesmerized us. The kids like the beach and the sand and this place had it all.

Vacations which require standing in line a lot and having schedules to keep is not appealing to me - read Disney kind of vacations. I wouldn't call those trips vacations because when we get back, want another couple of days to recover. The most relaxing vacations besides staying at home of course, is not having a schedule, lazing around and doing things only if you feel like it.

I decided to write this series, because just like stay-cations, writing about a place that I would like to visit is even cheaper than actually visiting the place :) Brilliant wouldn't you say ;)?. This will also serve as my wish list. Perhaps there will come a time when I can update the post to say if reality lived up to my imagination.

The Travel Section of the Washington Post is something I scan through, occasionally I come across an article about a place that I want to drop everything and go book a ticket to. The chances of that happening is very remote, so the next best thing is to write about it. The trips to these places might not happen right away but will happen hopefully in my life time ;)

Belcampo Belize Lodge
Recently I read about the Belcampo Belize Lodge and it is a place I would visit in a heart beat. Apparently the Caribbean Sea is only a boat ride away close by for snorkeling or diving, and on site us an organic farm, food prepared for the guests with the produce, what more can one want? If you are into fly fishing this place apparently this is the place to go. The original article from the Washington Post here.

Situated on a hilltop above the Caribbean coast in a 11,000 acre jungle reserve Belcampo Lodge is about 5 miles from the fishing village of Punta Gorda in Southern Belize close to the Guatemalan Border. It is a place for what is called agritourism and sits in a jungle and with an organic farm right there.

Picture Courtesy: Orvis

Renamed from Machaca Hill to Belcampo Lodge the place seems just perfect if you want to just relax or want to throw in some activities. Snorkeling, visit to the mayan ruins, birding and kayaking are all part of the deal.

I for one am ready any place which has organic farm or a tropical orchard, I was sold from the minute I read organic farm and then it only kept getting better - with snorkeling and birding I am completely hooked now. Trip Advisor gives it 5 stars if you are into that sort of thing. There are some who will not consider booking/buying anything without checking these ratings and I have one of those at home.

Picture Courtesy: Luxury Latin America

Things to Remember: Do your research!
The time we visited Tiskita Jungle Lodge we did not plan or research the surrounding areas and only realized later that the Panama Canal was about 10 kms away. The place does not have transportation and if we had known ahead of time we could have arranged for a taxi or rented bikes and set out. So do your research of the nearby areas that you can visit.

Share your stories:
If any of you readers have been to this place, do share your stories. Or if you are planning to visit the place would love to hear about that too.

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