Leonardo DiCaprio’s luxury eco-resort project on Belize island stalled for years after protests

Published on June 23, 2021

After buying Belizean isle Blackadore Caye in 2005 for $1.75M, Leonardo DiCaprio had planned to ‘change the world’ by building a luxury eco-resort scheduled to open in 2018.

However, protests and backlash from Belize locals and fishermen have effectively stalled the 46-year-old Oscar winner’s ambitious plans for the 104-acre, 2.2 mile-long sandbar.

Protesters took offense to Leonardo’s idea of 116 floating villas built on a platform supported by pylons with artificial reefs, which would ‘destroy the fish breeding grounds.’

Environmentalist: After buying Belizean isle Blackadore Caye in 2005 for $1.75M, Leonardo DiCaprio had planned to 'change the world' by building a luxury eco-resort scheduled to open in 2018 (pictured in 2020)

Environmentalist: After buying Belizean isle Blackadore Caye in 2005 for $1.75M, Leonardo DiCaprio had planned to ‘change the world’ by building a luxury eco-resort scheduled to open in 2018 (pictured in 2020)

Groups like Defend Blackadore Caye and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust organized campaigns against the resort with reported $5M-$15M ‘living homes,’ research station, residents club, and an anti-aging center.

‘For DiCaprio to label this plan as environmentally conscious is just a sales pitch,’ tour company operator Rebecca Arceo told The Sun on Tuesday.

‘He’s a complete hypocrite in my opinion. Fly fishing is a huge deal in Belize for the tourism industry. To call his plan green is totally disgusting.’

The climate change activist envisioned building the ‘greenest luxury development ever,’ which would restore ‘the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it.’

'Do the right thing': However, protests and backlash from Belize locals and fishermen have effectively stalled the 46-year-old Oscar winner's ambitious plans for the 104-acre, 2.2 mile-long sandbar (pictured in 2018)

‘Do the right thing’: However, protests and backlash from Belize locals and fishermen have effectively stalled the 46-year-old Oscar winner’s ambitious plans for the 104-acre, 2.2 mile-long sandbar (pictured in 2018)

Concept design: Protesters took offense to Leonardo's idea of 116 floating villas built on a platform supported by pylons with artificial reefs, which would 'destroy the fish breeding grounds'

Concept design: Protesters took offense to Leonardo’s idea of 116 floating villas built on a platform supported by pylons with artificial reefs, which would ‘destroy the fish breeding grounds’

Stalled: Groups like Defend Blackadore Caye and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust organized campaigns against the resort with reported $5M-$15M 'living homes,' research station, residents club, and an anti-aging center

Stalled: Groups like Defend Blackadore Caye and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust organized campaigns against the resort with reported $5M-$15M ‘living homes,’ research station, residents club, and an anti-aging center

Leonardo’s development team allegedly promised the Belizean government that his resort would amass $10M in annual revenue and create 400 new jobs.

The Sun acquired recent aerial shots of Blackadore Caye, located behind the world’s second largest barrier reef, which revealed only sparse trees and wooden shacks.

‘There’s been a lot of public pressure on him,’ an activist told the outlet.

Tour company operator Rebecca Arceo told The Sun: 'For DiCaprio to label this plan as environmentally conscious is just a sales pitch. He's a complete hypocrite in my opinion. Fly fishing is a huge deal in Belize for the tourism industry. To call his plan green is totally disgusting'

Tour company operator Rebecca Arceo told The Sun: ‘For DiCaprio to label this plan as environmentally conscious is just a sales pitch. He’s a complete hypocrite in my opinion. Fly fishing is a huge deal in Belize for the tourism industry. To call his plan green is totally disgusting’

'View of the Gaia Welcome Plaza': The climate change activist envisioned building the 'greenest luxury development ever,' which would restore 'the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it'

‘View of the Gaia Welcome Plaza’: The climate change activist envisioned building the ‘greenest luxury development ever,’ which would restore ‘the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it’

Abandoned? The Sun acquired recent aerial shots of Blackadore Caye, located behind the world's second largest barrier reef, which revealed only sparse trees and wooden shacks

Abandoned? The Sun acquired recent aerial shots of Blackadore Caye, located behind the world’s second largest barrier reef, which revealed only sparse trees and wooden shacks

‘People were bristling. They got really bent out of shape by the notion that he was going to “heal” us by building an over-the-top resort for rich people.’

Audiences can next catch DiCaprio as low-level astronomer Dr. Randall Mindy in Adam McKay’s asteroid disaster comedy Don’t Look Up, which premieres later this year on Netflix.

Don’t Look Up also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Cate Blanchett, Chris Evans, Tyler Perry, and more.

Premieres later this year on Netflix! Audiences can next catch Leonardo as low-level astronomer Dr. Randall Mindy in Adam McKay's asteroid disaster comedy Don't Look Up

Premieres later this year on Netflix! Audiences can next catch Leonardo as low-level astronomer Dr. Randall Mindy in Adam McKay’s asteroid disaster comedy Don’t Look Up