Hidden Valley Inn is a beautiful Inn in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. It is up in the pine forest so it was pretty cool when we went there in April. The hiking around the resort is amazing. There are a bunch of waterfalls only people who are staying on the resort can go to. Butterfly Falls is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. The managers and staff are supper friendly and knowledgable. The food and drinks were great too.
Basic and affordable lodging, a nice restaurant, a pretty little river with a tiny waterfall out back, and resident toucans and parrots made this one of my wife & my favorite stays. The basic comforts are a great value for the price. The hostess was very friendly, chatted with us during our meals, arranged our day trip to the local ruins (and woke up early to be sure we'd have breakfast on the morning of our trip). We wish we could have stayed longer.
Quick note: selecting an "appropriate type" from the list above is a bit of a challenge for this property. The rooms are thatch-roof cabins, ours had a private bath (not sure about the others), and there's camping available on the property as well.
Great rustic eco-lodge right outside San Ignacio--about a 10 minute cab ride. The owners, Chena and her son Mark are wonderful hosts---another great thing is they arrange EVERYTHING for you---transfers to/from Belize city; tours to Tikal (you have to use a guide to Tikal, it isn't safe otherwise); tubing; and all your drinks/meals, they just ran a tab on, so you just paid one large bill at the end. They also called a cab driver for the ride into town (it should cost about $25 US total to/from). The lodge is defintely rustic--no a/c or carpet, no television. Also, everything at the hotel pretty much shuts down around 7ish, so make sure to bring games/books for your room. Also bring a flashlight, it gets pretty dark on the grounds.
Mopan river right outide your room, you can hear the little waterfalls all day!
Stayed a few days in this beautifully kept hotel in San Ignacio. The owner and staff were all really friendly, the hotel has a communal kitchen (though why you would need to use it when Hannahs restaurant is right across the road!) and it is spotlessly clean. The best hotel I have stayed in throughout my travels through Mexico, Cuba, Belize and Guatemala. US$24 for a single person (dbl room) with private bathroom.
From what I've heard ... it's probably the cheapest option. I paid BZ$ 20 (which is USD 10) for a private room with shared restrooms.
The rooms are okay ... clean, a regular bed with a fan and one or two windows.
It's perfectly located in the middle of the tiny downtown area, so you'll be close to all the main bars and restaurants, the bus stop and everything around (which is not much!).
If you're coming from Guatelama, you'll love the Caribbean laid-back attitude!
There are several small double bed cabins here as well as a family sized one. Tent camping is also offered. I felt very comfortable staying in one of the cabins, which had a good fan and lights and was well-screened. A little porch out front had chairs to relax in and watch the tropical birds and butterflies flit around. The well organized kitchen area is convenient and handy, and there are a number of books and local artifacts in the open dining area to browse through while eating or lounging. The nature center and butterfly house and farm are a short stroll away, as is the cafe and gift shop. The Trek Stop was my favorite place to stay while I was on the mainland in Belize. It has a relaxed feeling, is very clean, and is quite inexpensive.
There is an emphasis on environmental integrety, featuring solar heated showers and modern composting toilets. The library has books on many nature and environmental topics, and the nature center focuses on conservation and awareness. Self-guided trails also provide lots of information about the plants that are labeled and some of their traditional uses.
Our room was a nice size and clean. It had a private bathroom, tv, double bed. Towels and soap were provided. Breakfast consisted of the basics: cofee/tea, toast, jam, peanut butter.
The guesthouse was within easy walking distance of downtown San Ignacio, but far enough from the noise.
The owners were friendly, the wife served us breakfast, the husband offered to take us on some tours (he said he was licensed).
If I recall correctly, there were also rooms with shared bathroom available at a cheaper price.
Overall we were very satisfied with the guesthouse, it was certainly a good deal for what we paid.
The balcony is really pretty, a nice place to enjoy your breakfast.
The Common Area is also known as 'la champa', a chicle (harvester) term for a shelter. It was the real central gathering area at the Trek Stop where most of the action took place. A large open air but covered seating area with two long tables took up most of the space. This was attached to a small room that housed one of the computers and served as the 'office' for the Trek Stop. Adjacent to this was the kitchen area that contained a freezer, refrigerator, stove, sink & counters, utensils, crockery, pots and pans. If you wanted to buy your own food or prepare meals yourself, this was the place to do it (see Restaurant tips). The wall between the seating area and these two rooms was stacked high with books of all descriptions, but they mostly pertained to information on this part of the world. The owners, John and Judy, are both long time naturalists and they had every conceivable kind of book on birds, animals, insects, flora, Mayan history, geography, all the travel guide books, and so on. I really enjoyed browsing through these in our relaxing moments (perhaps after grabbing a cold Belikin beer from the fridge)! In addition, guests were free to use highspeed computers in the office as well as a laptop on the outside tables (and 3rd computer in the Restaurant area) to browse the internet for no charge for as long as they liked!
One of the beauties of the Trek Stop was the constant stream of travellers passing through or staying for a few days. While there, we met (among others) a backpacker group (6 Canadians, 4 Americans, 1 Aussie, 1 Belgian and 1 Brit) who were finishing off a tour of South and Central America, a group of 7 American guys from Utah, a group of expert American cavers, two sets of young Canadian couples, an older American couple with a young boy and an American couple from Oregon closer to our age. It was great to exchange information on the various tours and experiences as both they and us were trying to decide what to do next. Toward the end of our week, with tours of Xunantunich and Tikal, Mopan River tubing and the Actun Tunichil Muknal sacrificial cave under our belts, we were handing out 'expert' advice left and right!
Our cabin was nothing fancy, but it did the job. It contained one double bed (with a two-inch thick piece of foam on wooden slats for a mattress) and a bunk-bed arrangement that was not made up for sleeping, so we used it to throw our clothes and other things onto. Screened windows with wooden louvers on each side-wall provided a breeze and the building was also partially shaded by the abundant trees on the property. The front door was lockable and the custom was to simply leave your key hanging on the pegs in the 'Common area' office when you left the site.
The roof was made of corrugated tin, and it was fairly high to also allow for better cooling. However, in the few night rain showers we experienced, it made a bit of a racket as the drops struck home. That noise and the less than plush sleeping arrangements brought back fond memories of camping in days gone by, so I was not long drifting off to sleep again! There was also a distant noise from the Western Highway as heavily laden semi-trailer trucks went through their gears as they climbed up the hill from a speed bump located near the Supermarket in San Jose Succotz, but we seem to have survived that too.
What was really unique about this place was that it is very eco-friendly. All the toilets were deep pits (second photo) with a bowl of wood chips sitting inside each one. Once you were finished with your business, a handful of chips was to be thrown down the hatch to help with the decomposition. The toilets worked very well - they were very clean, usually nobody else there at the same time and there was not much in the way of smells either.
A few steps away from the toilets were the concrete shower stalls (third photo) and a sink with a mirror where you could wash your hands, do make-up (don't worry, I didn't) or shave. The showers each had lockable doors, an entry way where you could hang your clothes and a nice big shower area. The water was provided by a rainwater catchment system that fed into a large tank on top of the building, and the water temperature seemed to be warm enough to be comfortable. Because it was a natural catch system, guests were requested to just turn the water on to get wet for lathering up and then again to rinse off. No problems there either. The site also had it's own power generating system to run the lights, appliances and computers.
Oh man, was I ever glad I spotted this place in my research for our trip to Belize! The Trek Stop was a fantastic place to spend a week in Belize, located as it is in the forests of the countryside beside a sleepy little village! The 22 acres of forested grounds are very nicely landscaped, even to the extent of small signs pointing out different types of trees and plants and what their medical and other uses are. This place is run jointly by a laid back long-time American couple, John and Judy, and their Belizian partners - and they really know what they are doing! I would definitely go back there any time.
As described in the books, this really is a back-packers paradise with a choice of tenting (US$5), five small cabins (US$12-20) and three large cabins (US$24-34) with all these using shared shower facilities. In addition, there are two large cabins with private showers/toilets (US$35-60) with the price range in all of the above depending on how many people are staying in each cabin. People in the 'shared facility' cabins use any of the four composting toilets, shower water is provided from rain catchment barrels and these facilites were all very clean and worked extremely well. The Trek Stop has a restaurant serving meals all day long from about 7AM-7 PM, as well as a separate kitchen area where you can prepare your own meals if you feel like it, a 'common area' where guests can sit and mingle, read from the extensive library or use the free internet facilities on three computers! Also on the grounds is a Frisbee 'golf' couse cleared in the jungle and an educational centre describing the history, geology and plant/animal life of Belize. We paid US$25 per night during our one week stay at the Trek Stop. This is how good they were - when we did our overnight trip to Tikal National Park in Guatemala, they let us leave our gear in our cabin for no charge! It does not get much better than that for customer satisfaction.
Hotel was incredibly cheap.. I booked the suite, which was the entire top floor - room with 2 king beds and a huge balcony with a hammock and dining area - and it was only $50 per night (room is pictured). Crazy. Other rooms started at $25.
Hotel is basic, but has everything you need - it is clean, has a coffee maker :), and is safe.
I was a little surprised by the openess of the room - only a few of the windows had blinds, the others were open for all to see in.. however, this is only a problem with the suite.
There was a noisy dog next door which kept barking during the night and one day and building across the road had a huge party with very loud music, which made it impossible to sleep. However, they said this does not happen frequently.
If you are in a rush, do not eat in their restaurant and don't even try asking for variations on what is listed on the menu as they will say yes and then bring out just what was on the menu (i.e. I asked two days in a row, no cheese... still the breakfast came with cheese). They also take forever to make breakfast - the wait was between 30 and 45 min (30min just for a bagel).
So all in all, very cheap, clean, great location...
Top floor has great views of San Ignacio.
I spent 5 days at the Pacz Guesthouse. It is located above Erva's restaurant and has only 5 rooms, 3 with private bath and the other two rooms share a bath. A single room with private bath cost $20US and a single with shared bath was only $12.50US/night.
Ask for a room at the back, it will be much quieter than those at the front. The restaurant downstairs plays music and when that stops, the dogfights begin and not long after the barking subsides....the roosters start crowing right until dawn!! Despite this ruckus, another guest commented that Pacz's location was much more quiet than any accomodations on busy Burn's Ave. I found my room at the back to be very quiet and restful.
I really enjoyed the friendly atomosphere here. The manager lives right next door and is happy to give travel advice or just chat. There is also a common room with cable tv which is a great place to meet fellow travellers. I was also allowed to store my luggage here for 2 days while I travelled over to Guatemala to visit the ruins of Tikal.
In the heart of bustling San Ignacio is Martha's, a hotel and restaurant, both of fine quality. It wasn't the clean and tasty restaurant or the friendly service that impressed me the most, it was the enormous suite on the third level overlooking San Ignacio. Although we were only 2, it could have comfortably housed 6 and at very reasonable prices ($55 USD) per night. The bird's eye view was great, yet offering a relaxing seclusion.
Freindly staff, good food, great views.
Pine ridge Lodge is located on Chiquibul road going to Caracol Archeologic site. The raod is very dirt and bumpy but it is pleasant to drive on. Unfortunately, the forest is largely damaged and only the truncs of many pines are remaining.
The lodge is in this desolated landscape along a small river falling down to the Maca River. What they call Falls is more a stream. The lodge area seems to be in the middle a construction site. The buildings are very dirt and bad furnished.
The cabins are very rustic and not pleasant: ground is in concrete, beds are very old, bathroom status is unacceptable so it is rustic and not clean. They also rent a house in front of the river. It is worst than the cabin. Globally, discovering the site, you can believe it was hit by an hurricane and partially restored.
The restaurant, if we can call that a restaurant, is in a larger cabin. There is only a few table and seats built in wood.
Pictures presented on their website were taken before the forest was damaged. There is no more pines and the lodge stays in the middle of a lunar landscape. Picture of the interior of the cabin shows an enhanced view but reality is must more different.
The price for that kind of accommodation is unacceptable. Some better lodges exists in the surrounding and offer a better quality than here (Five Sister Lodge is a good deal).
Just a minute east of San Ignacio, across the river, is the town of Santa Elena. The two towns are known as the twin cities. In a non-descript neighborhood in Sta. Elena, just off of the Western Highway, is The Aguada Hotel. We found it by inquiring at Eva's (see Must See Activities).
For $30 to $40 USD per night, you get a room with air conditioning and private bath, a pool and a very good restaurant & bar on the premesis. The bartendress makes killer frozen drinks!
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