Enjoy a day trip to Tikal on our October retreat!
As we gear up for our October retreat with Geoffrey Roniger I wanted to share some information about our destination eco-resort – Black Rock Lodge located near San Ignacio Belize. Who better to give the inside scoop than one of the owners? I asked Kelley Johnson Boyd, co-owner of Black Rock Lodge, to share her experience and let us know what makes this place so special?
Question: Are you an owner of Black Rock Lodge and how did that happen in your life?
My husband, Cameron, and I are the owners of Black Rock. We traveled to BRL as guests in January, 2007 from our other eco-lodge in Quintana Roo, Mexico. www.cesiak.org. We were interested in the visiting the Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala and were looking for a lodge in Belize from which cross the border and launch our tour to the Tikal ruins. We found BRL’s website online because it advertised as being 100% off grid and powered by solar and micro-hydro power. We were enthusiastically curious about BRL’s operation and conservation ethos – as Cesiak runs on solar and wind power and we knew how demanding, (and rewarding!), running a lodge off-grid with clean, alternative energy could be. Plus, we were fascinated by BRL’s pristine location and adventure opportunities.
Once we arrived to BRL we fell in love instantly! The location, the views, the food, the staff – all were simply incredible. Giovanni Fernandez, one of the managers at the time, and our Head Tour Manager now, informed us the Lodge was for sale. And although our initial intention was to see Tikal…we wound up beginning the process of figuring out how to purchase BRL as well!
We learned that the synchronicity between Cesiak and BRL was uncanny. They are entirely different topographically and geographically, but they share a dedication to active adventure travel with a minimal environmental footprint and maximum enjoyment of the stunning surroundings and culture.
Question: How does the Lodge interact with the local community?
Black Rock’s staff of 20+ come from local, surrounding communities and we take great pride in supporting these communities through various donation and outreach programs. Examples of organizations that the Lodge supports are:
Belize Audubon Society
Stann Creek Ecumenical College
La Ruta Maya Canoe Race
Belize Defense Force (BDF)
Cayo Tour Guide Association
A Hospital Without Walls
Angel Says Read
Cristo Rey Women’s Group
Hand In Hand
Belize Cycling Association
Question: What’s the best part about a BRL vacation?
Guests have the opportunity to experience a perspective-shifting vacation in one of the most beautiful locations in Belize. Black Rock is not a typical, one-dimensional destination…but rather an experience that strives to offer guests a multi-layered immersion in the environment, culture, and tradition of Belize. In addition, the ecological conservation ethos of the lodge infuses each guest’s stay with the knowledge that we can enjoy Belize’s natural gifts while also conserving and preserving its beauty and resources for future generations.
Thanks for sharing Kelley! Perspective-shifting in a responsible, sustainable way is exactly what Leela Travel is all about.