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Best value budget jungle lodge

Toronto, Canada
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47 posts
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Best value budget jungle lodge

Hi folks,

My wife and I are researching options. We're a bit overwhelmed with all we're reading here. Options are: Parrot's nest, Trek, etc.

We're looking for the best value for a "jungle" experience possible for around $75 max / night. Cheaper the better. We would like as true to a jungle as possible. Happy to stay put and enjoy the nature / critters for 4-6 days, with a few excursions such as caves, maybe tubing and mayan ruins.

In your opinion, which is our best option?

Cheers!

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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11,075 posts
327 reviews
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1. Re: Best value budget jungle lodge

Check out Macal River Camp, Chaa Creek's jungly cousin. I believe it's still $55/night per person which includes dinner and breakfast. You can hike and canoe for free and use the facilities (pool, internet, natural history museum, butterfly place) at Chaa Creek. Really awesome.

www.belizecamp.com

I'm a fan of the Trek Stop, too, but it feels wooded, not jungly, and it's near a road so not as secluded. If you're really on a budget it's tough to beat, though.

www.thetrekstop.com

Another great value (but even less jungly) option is the Aguada in Santa Elena, across the bridge from San Ignacio. There's an onsite restaurant and a nice pool and some of the rooms have kitchenettes. Tour places pick up there without adding a fee.

www.aguadabelize.com

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails! flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Toronto, Canada
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47 posts
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2. Re: Best value budget jungle lodge

Thanks hopefulist!

You are most helpful.

Thanks to you, I just called the camp for availability.

My wife is very much interested in seeing some Mayan ruins. From your experience, what do you recommend that is good value? on the Macal site, they have one at some $110 per person. this seems quite steep. Is this the only way to experience the Mayan ruins?

Your recommendation as to which to visit and how would be GREATLY appreciated :)

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
11,075 posts
327 reviews
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3. Re: Best value budget jungle lodge

You can visit the ruins of Xunantunich without a tour or guide - just bus from San Ignacio to San José Succotz (5 miles, maybe?), cross the Mopan river on the hand crank ferry, and hike to the site (~a mile). If you don't want to do the hike (it will be hot), a tour arranged in town would be considerable cheaper than the Chaa Creek version. The Cahal Pech site just up the hill from San Ignacio is easy to visit on your own, too, either walk or taxi. There's a nice small museum there.

The most impressive Maya site nearby (and maybe in the world) is Tikal, about 2 hours away in Guatemala. Tours there will be more - you can arrange a whole tour or just the transport. It's possible as a day trip but it's worth an overnight imo. Other options are Caracol (a day tour) and some smaller sites.

From Macal River Camp you'll need to arrange a shuttle into town; when we were there years ago they let us ride the supply truck a few times without charge.

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails! flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Edited: 27 July 2013, 18:38
Toronto, Canada
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47 posts
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4. Re: Best value budget jungle lodge

Thanks for this. Awesome!

Is it possible to leave from Chaa Creek in the morning of our flight to get to the airport for a 12 noon flight? Or... must we relocate to Belize City the night before? how do you normally do it?

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
11,075 posts
327 reviews
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5. Re: Best value budget jungle lodge

That shouldn't be a problem if you hire a driver and allow a little extra time in case there's a problem on the road for some reason. I don't think I'd try it using buses. Or you could fly from SI to BZE - I haven't done that but have read it's possible now. We usually end up on Caye Caulker so we're closer to the airport.

Edited: 28 July 2013, 01:52
Toronto, Canada
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47 posts
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6. Re: Best value budget jungle lodge

OK... Thanks so much for the info.

7. Re: Best value budget jungle lodge

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