Nearshore Americas

Titanic Hero’s Eco-Resort in Belize Aims to ‘Heal the Island’

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is building a luxurious eco-resort on a tiny island off the Caribbean coast of Belize. DiCaprio, who in recent years has become an environmentalist and green speaker, wants to demonstrate how the hospitality industry can prosper by reviving the ecology rather than destroying it.

Sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is said to be home to the world’s most biodiverse marine life. Significantly, it was the cradle of Mayan civilization. Here lie the temples that tell the tale of Mayans. With secret beaches and Mayan ruins, Belize offers one of the most beautiful Caribbean escapes for tourists.

The island in question is called Blackadore Caye, which DiCaprio purchased with Jeff Gram in 2005 for $1.75 million.  The actor, according to reports, fell in love with the Caribbean country after he stayed at Gram’s luxury resort, Cayo Espanto, in 2004.

New York City-based Delos has reportedly agreed to develop the resort, while architectural firm Jason F McLennan has designed the blueprint of the project.

The resort will have about 68 villas, infinity swimming pools and sunset views for its wealthy guests. After the guests watch the sunset and frolic in the pool, they can turn on special lighting that induces sleep.

There will also be spa services and fine dining restaurants. The special feature of the resort will be its solar-paneled airstrip, which will generate additional electricity. It will also include private pools with direct access to beaches.

Reports say DiCaprio also has plans to build a small runway for private aircrafts. That means the resort will cater to wealthy clients and possibly several famous friends of DiCaprio.

Blackadore Caye is currently fighting for survival due to overfishing, erosion and deforestation. The resort will however transform it completely, restoring it back to its former glory. His goal is to heal the island.

The Hollywood actor has told the New York Times that he would replant the island’s unique marine grass to support the manatee population and replant mangrove trees to replace the invasive species that have moved into the area. “A team of researchers will monitor the resort’s impact on its surroundings.”

The New York Times also reports that Deepak Chopra will “spearhead a program focused on health and anti-aging” at the resort.

Thanks to his newfound love for greenery and wildlife, DiCaprio has been named UN Messanger for Peace. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calls him a “new voice for climate advocacy.”

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It seems the actor is of the belief that he can strengthen the environment by employing natural resources such as water, sun and wind, and ensuring that the resort has zero negative impact.

DiCaprio is the second popular Hollywood actor to be lured by the Caribbean. Last year, Robert De Niro announced plans to develop a luxury resort on the island of Barbuda.

If everything goes according to plan, the resort will open in 2018.  A nearby island Ambergris Caye is already popular with foreign vacationers.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

1 comment

  • Well, I’m delighted to see someone wanting to build an ecologically friendly resort. About 16 years ago I built, as far as I know, the only ecologically responsible house in Belize—-a 2,000 square foot Rammed Earth home. The wall are 18 inches thick and we used only 23 bags of cement to build the house. On the hottest days in Belize our house is 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside ambient temperature. We have four ceiling fans and our house is more comfortable than any house with AC.

    Everyone who looks at my house thinks it’s pure cement because we have left the exterior walls natural—-the interior wall have been plastered and the walls look like any modern house. The building
    cost is about one third the cost of cement-block house of similar quality—-and still Belizeans, Ex-Pats, and others prefer to build with cement-block. I don’t understand how people think.

    André Lopez