The Cayo District Hotels

In the Cayo you have two very different choices in accommodations: jungle lodges and regular hotels. Jungle lodges, regardless of price or amenities, offer a close-to-nature experience, typically next to a river or in a remote mountain setting. Many lodges house their guests in thatch cabanas patterned after traditional Mayan houses. At the top end, lodges such as Blancaneaux Lodge and The Lodge

at Chaa Creek deliver a truly deluxe experience, with designer toiletries, imported mattresses, and decor that wouldn't be out of place in Architectural Digest. At the other end, some budget lodges have outdoor bathrooms and thin foam mattresses. In between are a number of mid-level lodges providing an off-the-beaten-path experience at moderate prices.

Whereas the district's lodges are back-a-bush (a Belizean expression for "out in the jungle"), the Cayo's hotels are in towns or along the Western Highway. The area's least expensive hotels are clustered in downtown San Ignacio, one of the backpacker centers of Belize. Hotels in and around Belmopan are a little more expensive because they cater to people in the capital on government business. Whether hotel or jungle lodge, most properties in the Cayo are small, typically run by the owners.

Generally, inexpensive hotels and lodges maintain the same rate year-round, though some may discount a little in the off-season (generally mid-April to early December). More expensive places have off-season rates 20% to 40% less than high season.

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