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Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge

Address: 5 miles north of Punta Gorda

Neighborhood: Southern Toledo District

City: Punta Gorda

Phone: 011-501-722-0050

Website: www.machacahill.com

Expert Review

A lush retreat in the middle of a private 12,000-acre reserve, home to howler monkeys, plenty of bird-watching opportunities, and a forested canopy, Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge is fresh off an extensive renovation (completed November 2009) that included room upgrades, a new spa, and the addition of an organic farm. Though previously a fishing lodge, the property first opened in its current form in 2007. It operates on an all-inclusive concept, with no extra fees for meals or guides, although non-inclusive rates with activities priced à la carte are also available. Each of the resort's 12 lodge suites have screened-in porches with jungle views, luxury bed linens, Wi-Fi, and spacious bathrooms. Guides take you anywhere you want, whether it's fly fishing, shopping at the local farmers market, or on a boat ride to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve (via the Rio Grande River's access point on the property). In addition to providing globally inspired breakfast, lunch (usually packed to-go for excursions), and dinner (items like chicken with mango salsa or local fish encrusted with organic herbs), executive chef Ken Gundu sets out a spread of cakes, breads, and cookies each afternoon. A full bar and wine list is available. The lodge's on-site organic garden (which even grows coffee plants) teaches local children how to cultivate food from seed, and much of it is provided to the community, as well as the Machaca Hill menu (cacao beans for chocolate mousse and fruits for fresh-squeezed juices). Guests of all ages can also tour the garden and other local farms. In March 2009, the spa, with one treatment room and a relaxation patio, opened inside a structure constructed from locally harvested woods, with a thatched-leaf roof.

Tags: luxury | all-inclusive

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