Both DuPlooyâ€™s Jungle Resort and the nearby Lodge at Chaa Creek — two of the original eco-lodges in the Cayo region — have always walked the walk when it comes to green and sustainable practices. On my latest visit to the area, it was heartening to find this commitment as strong as ever.
Case in point: duPlooyâ€™s new solar panels, pictured above with proud owner Judy duPlooy, now provides all of the resort’s power. Judy says the monthly payments on her renewable energy system are already less than her previous diesel costs.
Other lodges built on the banks of the Macal River have equally impressive off-the-grid solutions to running a high-end backcountry resort. Black Rock River Lodge, for example, located 5 miles upstream, gets 80 percent of its power from a high-pressure natural spring/hydro system, and the rest from solar. Mystic River Lodge (right across the river from duPlooy’s) was designed with its own natural waste treatment system, and with enormous attention paid to producing its own organic food (vegetables, fruit, poultry, and more) and having minimal impact on the land. Just downstream, Table Rock Lodge also produces their own electricity and supplies the majority of its water needs with purified rainwater.
But you’ll have to go and see for yourself — each of these places mentioned is an excellent place to stay and each is utterly unique on its own gorgeous stretch of Macal River and surrounding forest.