This deluxe jungle lodge represents the finest accommodations of any of southern Belize’s hard-core permit destinations, and has some of the best facilities for non-anglers and eco-tourists as well.

The southern region of Belize around the sleepy town of Punta Gorda remains relatively un-impacted by tourism. It’s just far enough away from Belize City and the resorts of Ambergris Cay in the north to remain largely unexplored, and, more importantly, its waters are seldom fished. The result is some of the best permit fishing in this small Caribbean country.

The lodge is located on the Rio Grande, a short boat ride down river to the nearly endless flats of Belize. Most anglers visit the lodge for the world-class permit fishing; however, the area around Copal Tree Lodge (formerly known as Belcampo) also has populations of bonefish, tarpon, and snook. The focus here is definitely on permit, but for those anglers wanting some variety there are opportunities close by for all of these major flats species.

Copal Tree Lodge maintains a top-shelf fishing program, while also offering perfect combinations for families and couples looking to combine an angling holiday with non-angling eco-tourism activities. The main lodge is spacious and inviting, and is perfectly complimented by the 12 luxury cabanas. Each cabana features air conditioning, a private bathroom, California king or two queen beds, and a large deck built out over the jungle canopy. In addition, the lodge features a spa, pool, mountain bikes, hiking trails, kayaks, and canoes.

For non-anglers, eco tours can easily be arranged including trips to nearby Indian villages, Mayan ruin excursions, guided outings on the Rio Grande, snorkeling, manatee watching, even cave tubing and more. In addition, there are some excellent on-site activities at the lodge, including biking, canoeing, bird watching, kayaking, nature hikes, chocolate-making, and touring the farms and gardens. The setting of the lodge and its surrounding grounds and vistas are beautiful, and the food, service, accommodations, and amenities rank among the best in Belize.

The fishing in and around Punta Gorda is focused almost completely on permit, though at Copal Tree Lodge there is some access to schools of bonefish, as well as juvenile tarpon and snook. Permit fishing is not for everyone, but for those anglers searching for one of the best regions on earth to hunt these finicky fish on the flats, there is nowhere better than southern Belize. Most fishing days in this area will result in seeing hundreds of permit in a day, sometimes in large schools and sometimes tailing as singles and pairs in very shallow water. A great day of permit fishing is usually experiencing a dozen or so legitimate shots a day. If you’re really lucky, you might even hook one of these extremely challenging fish!

There are hundreds of prime permit flats in the area around Punta Gorda, most less than thirty minutes from town. Belcampo is about a 15 minute boat ride downriver to Punta Gorda, making the closest flats about 20 minutes away and the furthest flats about 45 minutes away.

In addition to the great permit fishing, there are some great venues nearby for diversity of species including bonefish, tarpon, and snook. The outer reef islands (called the Sapodilla Cayes) offer reliable opportunities for bonefish, and can be well worth the longer boat ride (over an hour) to reach these shallow flats. Bonefish here average 2-3 pounds, while 4-5 pound bonefish are landed regularly. The river systems, including the Rio Grande itself upon which Copal Tree Lodge sits, offer additional opportunities to fish for snook, large jacks, and juvenile tarpon from 10-50 pounds. This jungle fishing can be a great diversion from the flats, and offers an outstanding “backup” option when big winds can pummel the open seas.

Anglers fishing with Copal Tree Lodge are catered to by the famous Garbutt brothers and their staff of experienced native Belizean guides, using comfortable 23′ super-pangas with casting decks and poling platforms. These boats are at home all up and down the Yucatan and Belize coastal waters. They are very comfortable in deep waters and just as at-home in shallow flats. The fishing at Copal Tree Lodge is usually a combination of poling the deeper flats and wading the shallower coral and turtle grass flats.

The Fly Shop Travel Image

Reservations & Rates

Double Occupancy Angling Packages (two people per boat and room)

Jungle Suite:

June 1 - December 20
• 7 nights/6 day package is $3,675.00 USD per person
• 6 nights/5 day package is $3,175.00 USD per person
• 5 nights/4 day package is $2,650.00 USD per person
• 4 nights/3 day package is $2,150.00 USD per person


January 5 - May 31
• 7 nights/6 day package is $4,375.00 USD per person
• 6 nights/5 day package is $3,750.00 USD per person
• 5 nights/4 day package is $3,150.00 USD per person
• 4 nights/3 day package is $2,525.00 USD per person


Canopy Suite:

June 1 - December 20
• 7 nights/6 day package is $4,350.00 USD per person
• 6 nights/5 day package is $3,725.00 USD per person
• 5 nights/4 day package is $3,125.00 USD per person
• 4 nights/3 day package is $2,525.00 USD per person


January 5 - May 31
• 7 nights/6 day package is $5,150.00 USD per person
• 6 nights/5 day package is $4,425.00 USD per person
• 5 nights/4 day package is $3,700.00 USD per person
• 4 nights/3 day package is $2,850.00 USD per person

*Single Occupancy, Non-Angler rates and Family Packages also available upon request

Your angling package at Copal Tree Lodge includes the respective number of nights' accommodation in selected suite category, respective number of full day fly fishing with a professional guide, all meals and afternoon snacks, and beverages including local spirits and beer. Round trip land transfers flights from Punta Gorda Airstrip to the lodge, and complimentary use of the gym and self-guided activities: kayaks, mountain bikes and hiking trails, laundry service, taxes and service charge.

Not included in your Copal Tree Lodge package are Round Trip flights from Belize International or Belize Municipal to Punta Gorda, guided tours and activities, Spa treatments, gift shop purchases, fishing guide gratuities, fly fishing equipment, tackle, and flies.

The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.

Travel Guard Insurance

The Fly Shop Travel Image

Seasons at Copal Tree Lodge

Punta Gorda is known by the locals as the "Permit Capital of the World," and with good reason. Permit abound in these waters, and are ever-present (though not always willing) throughout the year, providing year round fishing opportunities at Belcampo.

The most popular months are from February through May, mostly

because this is a time when most people living in colder climates get "cabin fever" and are ready to do some warm weather fishing! While these are great times for fishing the flats in southern Belize, there's really no "bad" time of year to search these flats for the elusive permit.

The Fly Shop Travel Image

Getting to Copal Tree Lodge

Copal Tree Lodge is easy to get to. You will want to fly to Belize City (regular connecting flights from Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta), then connect via the small commuter airline, Tropic Air, to Punta Gorda. Tropic Air has a small fleet of new, safe and comfortable 14 seat Cessna Caravans. You will take a breathtaking one hour flight down the coast of Belize with a couple of short stops along the way. Punta Gorda is the last stop in southern Belize and getting here is part of the adventure! As you

land, one of the Copal Tree guides will be waiting to pick you up in their custom open-air Land Cruiser. In only 10 minutes, you'll be pulling up to the lodge! The Tropic Air Flight is included in the trip packages.

The Fly Shop Travel Image

Lodging at Copal Tree Lodge

Copal Tree Lodge has 16 private suites offering the best in luxury and comfort. Nearly every detail is a testament to Belize's natural beauty and craftsmanship, from the woodwork to the tiles to the artwork. Everything is sourced from local artisans. Whether you're relaxing on one of the canopy beds or lounging on your own private veranda, you will experience the magic of the jungle within the comfort of your room.

Each deluxe room features the following amenities: private veranda, in-room sitting area, crisp air-dried bedding, spacious bathroom with private walk-in shower, private entrance, air conditioning, complimentary laundry services, ceiling fans, in-room safes, small fridges (upon request), bathrobes, hair dryer, umbrellas, and complimentary wifi.

Jungle Suites:
Nestled amidst lush tropical foliage, lies the Jungle Suites. These spacious rooms, with either two queen beds or one king bed, tall ceilings and full-length windows afford an airy retreat. Situated just a short walk from the Main Lodge, you are never too far from the action. Each room features either two double beds or a king bed.

Ridge Suites:
Copal Tree Lodge features four new Ridge suites offer stunning views from the Maya Mountains to the Caribbean Sea. Each 750 sq. ft. suite with a California king bed provides a private screened porch, outdoor soaking tubs, and access to a 40’ salt water infinity pool and spacious decks.

Family Villa (3 Bedroom):
The three bedroom Family Villa provides a wonderful retreat for your group or family to experience the luxury of the lodge with all the comforts of home with sweeping views of the jungle. Guests at the Villa enjoy an en-suite king bedroom with its own private screened in porch and 2 smaller queen bedrooms with a shared bathroom. The Family Villa includes a central lounge and full kitchen, which opens up onto a private luxurious porch.

The Belcampo Story and the Farm at Copal Tree:
The land surrounding Copal Tree Lodge dates back to the Classic Maya period – around 600 AD – when the Maya people used the Rio Grande river as an important transportation route to the sea. In the 1860’s Confederates from Alabama and Texas settled in the region to produce cane, cattle, and rum. Ms. Marie Louise Young, a Confederate descendent born in Belize, eventually bought the “Big Hill” property and farmed cattle and 80 acres of sugar cane. She produced aged rum and started a distillery called “Rocky Run Rum” on the property until the 1970s. The original cane press can still be seen in the center of the Copal Tree Farm Center. In 2001 the property was sold to the owners of El Pescador in San Pedro and construction began on El Pescador South, a new fly fishing lodge.

In 2005, Todd Robinson purchased the fishing lodge and renamed it Machaca Hill Lodge. During this time, the simple rustic fishing lodge underwent extensive improvements, transforming the lodge into a luxury resort with a variety of new river and inland adventures. As an avid marine conservationist, Todd became involved in the region by aiding in the purchase of more than 45,000 acres of rainforest together with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). In 2009, Belcampo CEO Anya Fernald partnered with Robinson to produce Belcampo’s keystone organic crops of cane, cacao, coffee, and vanilla, and provide the lodge visitors with agritourism programs that share and study these exotic ingredients at their origin. In 2018, they changed the name again, to Copal Tree Lodge.

Today, Copal Tree produces on-site more than 70% of the food we serve to Lodge guests. With extensive gardens, tropical fruit trees, and livestock, our day-to-day food production is a hive of activity year round. Join the farm staff for a vist to our egg mobile. Be entertained by the feasting, playful pigs. Visit the Cocktail Garden where they grow limes, coconut and pitaya. Explore the Flavor Garden to see, taste and smell the diverse range of tropical flavors that can be custom blended during their one day chocolate courses.

From Farm to Table:
Delicious, authentic food is at the core of the Copal Tree Lodge experience. Belizean cuisine is culturally complex like the Belizeans themselves, with influences from the Maya, East Indian, Creole, Mexican and Garifuna Cultures. Copal Tree offers a real experience of Belize flavors to guests, based almost exclusively on ingredients from their own farm.

Copal Tree chefs only use local, humanely raised meats. They raise our own hogs and pastured poultry, and butcher and cure their own meats, including breakfast sausage and bacon that is smoked over cinnamon and allspice cuttings. We only use sustainable seafood, supporting small scale, local day boat fishermen and strictly adhere to seasonal fishery openings. We serve all the lion fish we can get, because it is an invasive species and the act of eating it protects the Belize Great Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, from species and habitat loss. They only use wild shrimp, or shrimp from a well-researched, land locked sustainable shrimp farm, Cardelli Farm in Placencia.

The Fly Shop Travel Image

Fishing at Copal Tree Lodge

The fishing in and around Punta Gorda is focused almost completely on permit, though at Copal Tree Lodge there is some access to schools of bonefish, as well as juvenile tarpon and snook. Permit fishing is not for everyone, but for those anglers searching for one of the best regions on earth to hunt these finicky fish on the flats, there is nowhere better than southern Belize.

Most fishing days in this area will result in seeing hundreds of permit in a day, sometimes in large schools and sometimes tailing as singles and pairs in very shallow water. A great day of permit fishing is usually experiencing a dozen or so legitimate shots a day. If you’re really lucky, you might even hook one of these extremely challenging fish!

There are hundreds of prime permit flats in the area around Punta Gorda, most less than thirty minutes from town. Copal Tree is about a 15 minute boat ride downriver to Punta Gorda, making the closest flats about 20 minutes away and the furthest flats about 45 minutes away.

In addition to the great permit fishing, there are some great venues nearby for diversity of species including bonefish, tarpon, and snook. The outer reef islands (called the Sapodilla Cayes) offer reliable opportunities for bonefish, and can be well worth the longer boat ride (about an hour) to reach these shallow flats. Bonefish here average 2-3 pounds, while 4-5 pound bonefish are landed regularly. The river systems, including the Rio Grande itself upon which Copal Tree Lodge sits, offer additional opportunities to fish for snook, large jacks, and juvenile tarpon from 10-50 pounds. This jungle fishing can be a great diversion from the flats, and offers an outstanding “backup” option when big winds can pummel the open seas.

Anglers fishing with Copal Tree are catered to by the famous Garbutt brothers and their staff of experienced native Belizean guides, using comfortable 23’ super-pangas with casting decks and poling platforms. These boats are at home all up and down the Yucatan and Belize coastal waters. They are very comfortable in deep waters and just as at-home in shallow flats. The fishing at Copal Tree is usually a combination of poling the deeper flats and wading the shallower coral and turtle grass flats.

What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?

• The waters around Copal Tree are well-known as the “Permit Capital of the World”. For those anglers searching for one of the best regions on earth to hunt these finicky fish on the flats, there is nowhere better than southern Belize. Most days in this area will result in seeing dozens of permit in a day, sometimes in large schools and sometimes tailing as singles and pairs in very shallow water. If you’re really lucky, you might even hook one of these extremely challenging fish!

• The famous Garbutt Brothers and their personally trained team of local Belizean guides are recognized as perhaps the most permit-savvy guides in all of Belize. They grew up fishing these waters, and know every nook and cranny of the many flats and lagoons. This intimate knowledge and vast range of experience means more opportunities at finding, and hooking, the elusive permit.

• The area around Copal Tree also has large populations of bonefish, tarpon, and snook. The focus here is definitely on permit, but for those anglers wanting some variety there are opportunities close by for all of these major flats species.

• This deluxe jungle lodge represents the finest accommodations of any of southern Belize’s hard-core permit destinations. Copal Tree features private suites offering the best in luxury and comfort. Nearly every detail is a testament to Belize’s natural beauty and craftsmanship, from the woodwork to the tiles to the artwork. Everything is sourced from local artisans. Whether you’re relaxing on one of the canopy beds or lounging on your own private veranda, you will experience the magic of the jungle within the comfort of your room.

• Copal Tree is a farm-to-table operation. Over 70% of the food served is produced right there. Delicious, authentic food is at the core of the Copal Tree experience, and guests enjoy a real experience of Belize flavors, based almost exclusively on ingredients from their own farm.

• Copal Tree offers ideal combinations for families and couples looking to combine an angling holiday with non-angling eco-tourism activities. The lodge features a spa and several pools, and there are some excellent on-site activities at the lodge, including biking, canoeing, bird watching, kayaking, nature hikes, chocolate-making, and touring the farms and gardens. Eco tours can easily be arranged including trips to nearby Indian villages, Mayan ruin excursions, guided outings on the Rio Grande, snorkeling, manatee watching, even cave tubing and more. Both anglers and non-anglers alike will love the entire Copal Tree experience.

Additional Photos


The Fly Shop Images
The Fly Shop Images
The Fly Shop Images
The Fly Shop Images
The Fly Shop Images
The Fly Shop Images
The Fly Shop Images
The Fly Shop Images

Making Reservations to Copal Tree Lodge

To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week, or email us at travel@theflyshop.com anytime. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.