Punta Gorda, Belize

Copal Tree Lodge

Punta Gorda, Belize

Copal Tree Lodge

Why We Like It

This operation offers excellent permit fishing and quick access to some of the most productive flats in the Caribbean. Anglers can expect double-digit shots at fish on most days, with the average sickle-tail weighing between 10 and 20 pounds. The cabins and suites are immersed in a lush jungle setting surrounded by countless colorful bird species and serenading howler monkeys. Angling and non-angling opportunities abound, giving this visit incredible all-around value.

Season

Year Round

Species

Bonefish, Permit, Snook, Tarpon

Accomodations

Luxury jungle cabins and suites

Occupancy

16 Anglers

Lodge Features & Amenities

Amazing Food

Bespoke Package

Conventional Options

Corporate Friendly

Couples Friendly

Diehard Approved

Family Friendly

Fly Shop Onsite

Luxury

Non-Angler Friendly

Rental Equipment

Scuba Program

Wi-Fi

The Copal Tree Lodge Experience

Wake up in paradise and grab your gear, ‘cause we’re going permit fishing. If this sounds like your mantra, look no further. Copal Tree Lodge is a luxurious eco-resort that sits on an 80-acre property right on the Rio Grande River. Located a short drive from Punta Gorda, the lodge provides access to two of the world’s best permit fisheries—the Port of Honduras Marine Reserve and the Sapodilla Cayes.

The lodge features a fly shop; spa; riverside boathouse loaded with kayaks, canoes, and motorized pontoon boats; a jungle gondola; rum distillery; and 5-star restaurant that utilizes Copal Tree’s on-site eco farm for all produce and meat. Copal Tree Lodge creates an ideal base of operation for anglers who enjoy a little luxury with their fishing. It’s also great for nature enthusiasts and couples who require plenty of non-angling activities along with fishing.
To call the lodge “unique” would be an understatement. Purchased by Todd Robinson in 2005, and after a total reimagining, the operation transformed from a simple, rustic space into a luxury fishing lodge and retreat. In a few short years, Copal Tree Lodge, formerly Belcampo Belize, has grown from pioneering ideas of sustainable food production and agri-tourism to an award-winning, world-class destination welcoming discerning travelers from around the globe. As one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, Copal Tree offers a luxurious look at the culture and cuisine of beautiful Belize in a pristine jungle setting.

Copal Tree’s guides are all highly knowledgeable locals of southern Belize and will customize each day’s itinerary to your fishing preference and style. They’re extremely patient, professional, and understand that this is your trip. Each morning, you take a 10-minute ride from Copal to the local docks where you’ll meet your guide and head out for a day of hunting permit.

The main flats, part of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, are a 20-minute boat ride from the dock and consist of coral-covered pancake bars, endless seagrass beds, and small mangrove cays. On windy days angler can take refuge in “The Lagoon”—a massive mangrove-lined inlet filled with banks, cuts, creeks, and basins. The lagoon is very protected from the wind and home to strong populations of bonefish and permit and sometimes tarpon and snook, making it a perfect spot to fish during less than desirable weather conditions. If you’re a true permit fanatic or aspire to be one, bring a handful of floating crab patterns. It’s not uncommon to see large permit inhale stranded crabs floating on the surface.

For anglers willing to put in the extra effort, an hour’s ride from the launch lies the jewel of Punta Gorda: the Sapodilla Cayes. This cluster of white sand islands is home to miles of seagrass beds, countless reefs, drop-offs, and coral flats—ideal permit habitat.

Boats and Equipment
Copal Tree Lodge offers limited rental gear as well an on-site fly shop stocked with flies, leaders, tippet, and fly lines. We recommend that you come prepared and bring your own equipment along with a strong selection of crab flies, including Bauer and Camo crabs. You’ll fish out of panga style boats that have been customized for fly fishing. Each panga features a casting platform, poling tower, rod holders, center console station, and cooler for drinks.

Upon arrival at Copal Tree Lodge, you will be greeted by friendly staff and a fresh juice drink with the option to add on-site distilled Copalli Rum. The main lodge area has a downstairs bar and lounge that overlooks the rainforest canopy. Upstairs you’ll find a cozy dining area where the chef crafts local Belizean ingredients into some of the most delicious and freshest food in Belize. Each day there is a new menu with options for everyone. The lodging consists of 12 jungle suites and four upgraded canopy suites. Canopy suites have a single king bed and use of a private infinity pool, a thatch-covered bar, and a private bartender. Jungle suites have either a single king bed or double queen beds. All rooms are appointed with their own screened-in porch and hammocks so guests can luxuriate in the sounds, smells, and sights of the jungle. After a bright sunny day chasing permit on the flats, the soothing nighttime jungle noises promise peaceful rest.

Cuisine
Copal Tree serves gourmet cuisine featuring Belizean, Creole, and American dishes crafted from fresh ingredients, most of which are grown on the resort property. The on-site farm produces 70% of the food served to guests, showcasing a truly unique farm-to-table dining experience. If it’s not made at the lodge, food served at the Garden Table is sourced directly from other high-quality local producers.

The lodge also features an open and fully stocked bar. Drinks at the Rum Bar are crafted with the same approach in mind, utilizing fresh-squeezed juices, coconuts, limes, exotic fruits, and fresh herbs. The eco-resort is located within a 12,000-acre nature reserve and produces cacao that becomes chocolate in a small onsite factory. There’s also an onsite rum distillery where craft distillers commercially produce their delicious Copalli Rum. This elixir finds its way into many delightful cocktails in the lodge bar, but make sure to try the watermelon smash.

At Copal Tree, fly fishing is not the only activity to keep guests entertained. The jungle that surrounds the lodge offers amazing adventures. You can hike through the foothills of the Maya Mountains, tour the nearby jungle farm, kayak down the Rio Grande, or breathe the day away at the Yoga Palapa. Various cultural day trips can be set up to experience ancient Mayan ruins or spend the day cave tubing and zip-lining in the Belizean rainforest. The adventures are as stunning as they are endless.

Copal Tree Lodge also offers birding tours and guided jungle hikes where you can learn about the biodiversity of the rainforest from a local guide. Or you take a tour of the rum distillery, a coffee cupping class, or participate in the customer-favorite “Bean to Bar” chocolate making class. If relaxation is calling your name, you can simply lounge by the pool or enjoy the amenities of the full-service spa. It is truly is an adventure in luxury.

Getting to Copal Tree Lodge is easy. We suggest flying into Belize International Airport (BZE) then catching a commuter flight to Punta Gorda. The domestic flight takes 45 minutes and offers amazing views of Belize’s agriculture, jungles, and mountains. Upon arriving in Punta Gorda, a representative from Copal Tree Lodge will pick you up and take you 15 minutes up the road into the jungle where the lodge is located.

All U.S. citizens are required to carry a valid passport that does not expire within six months of the trip dates. Citizens of the U.S., the British Commonwealth, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the European Union are not required to have visas. All children 18 years or younger accompanied by only one parent or legal guardian must have a notarized letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to travel. Single parents need notarized documentation of divorce or a spousal death certificate. Unaccompanied minors require a notarized letter of consent signed by both parents.

Arrival and Departure
It is best to arrive in Belize before 2:30 p.m. to connect to Punta Gorda. GFFI can arrange your connecting flights via Tropic Air. Round-trip flights from Belize International Airport to Punta Gorda are not included in your trip package, but GFFI will be happy to help arrange these for you. If you also wish to arrange private air charters, GFFI can help with that too.

All trips are customizable and can be arranged according to your schedule. However, permit being permit, each day you spend on the water will increase your odds of success. In addition, the lodge’s non-angling activities are worth pursuing if you wish to take a day or two away from the water or have a spouse and/or children traveling with you. Guests typically spend four or more nights during their visit.

All prices in U.S. Dollars per person, based on double occupancy
4 Nights/3 Days Fishing
January 7 to May 31
Jungle: $2,700
Canopy: $3,025

June 1 to December 20
Jungle: $2,300
Canopy: $2,700

5 Nights/4 Days Fishing
January 7 to May 31
Jungle: $3,375
Canopy: $4,025

June 1 to December 20
Jungle: $2,875
Canopy: $3,375

6 Nights/5 Days Fishing
Jan 7 to May 31
Jungle: $4,075
Canopy: $4,700

June 1 to December 20
Jungle: $3,500
Canopy: $4,075

7 Nights/6 Days Fishing
January 7 to May 31
Jungle: $4,635
Canopy: $5,500

June 1 to December 20
Jungle: $4,000
Canopy: $4,635

FISHING PACKAGE RATES INCLUDE:
All-inclusive package: all meals, snacks, and beverages, including local spirits and beer
Respective number of nights accommodation in selected room type
Respective number of full day fly fishing with a professional guide
Round-trip land transfers from Punta Gorda Airstrip to the lodge
Complimentary use of our gym and self-guided activities: kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and farm tours
Taxes and service charges

NOT INCLUDED
Airfare to BZE
Domestic flights within Belize
Gratuities for guides and staff
Airport departure taxes
Belizean fishing license

Bookings are confirmed with a 50% deposit, made no later than seven days after booking a trip. Balance must be received no later than 90 days prior to the first day of the trip. Notification of cancellation must be received 90 days prior to the first day of the trip in order to receive partial or full credit for an alternate date. All payments are final and nonrefundable, with the exception of a medical or family emergency, deemed reasonable at GFFI’s discretion.

Booking a trip or making a deposit represents that the client accepts all terms and conditions. GFFI’s terms are in addition to any terms and conditions of each individual lodge that GFFI represents. Please read those terms carefully—lodge terms, which may differ from GFFI’s terms, supersede any agreements between GFFI and a client.

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