Here's a wonderful budget option in a handsome wooden hotel with a terrific Spanish restaurant on the creek bank across a short pedestrian bridge from the park entrance. Each of the four hardwood-finished guest rooms is big enough to sleep a small army and has two double beds. Owner Andrés de Alcalá barbecues meat and fresh fish on an open-air grill and also cooks paella and other Spanish specialties. Stop by for dinner ($$), even if you're not staying here, but order
the paella by 2 pm. Caimans come to the creek bank in search of snacks, and the monkeys and parrots who live in the national park are just yards away, as is the lively center of Cahuita. You'll get a small discount if you pay in cash.