My Recommendations for Guest Houses and Hostels in Belize
This January, 2016, I explored Belize for one whole month, traveling from the southernmost town of Punta Gorda to one of Belize’s most northern towns – Corozal – near the border of Mexico. During that time I traveled on a rather tight backpacker’s budget, staying in hostels, private rooms at small guest houses and in tents.
Prior to visiting Belize, I attempted to research online for inexpensive places to stay in the country. I discovered, to my great surprise and dismay, that it was extremely difficult to get correct, detailed and up-to-date information.
Most places listed in my rather old LP guide didn’t exist any more, didn’t have contact info or had been transformed into expensive, upscale resorts. So when I finally traveled through Belize, at most destinations I had to search around on foot to find decent budget accommodation.
As a result of my experiences, I decided to compile this guide of budget accommodation, detailing my favorite places in Belize, to help other budget travelers interested in visiting this beautiful tropical country in Central America.
I’ve also previously detailed the Costs of Budget Travel in Belize 2016 and written 24 Money Tips for Budget Travel in Belize, where I further explain what kinds of activities budget travelers will and will not be able to join while traveling around Belize.
But this post is all about budget accommodation in Belize. So to get started, here are my overall budget guidelines:
Costs of Budget Accommodation in Belize 2016
* The ongoing exchange rate is $2 BZ = $1 US. Easy!
* For accommodation in Belize, travelers should budget:
$25 BZ / $12.50 US per night for a dorm bed
$50-60 BZ / $25-30 US for a double room for two people
$10-20 BZ / $5-10 US per night per person for camping with your own tent
* My actual costs in January, 2016:
I usually paid $25 BZ / $12.50 US per night for a dorm bed.
Several nights I paid $15 BZ / $7.50 per night to sleep in a tent supplied by the guest house.
Two nights I paid $33 BZ / $17.50 US for a private room.
Two nights I paid $25 BZ for a small private room
My daily avg: $21.72 BZ / $10.86 US
* In most destinations around the country, travelers can find at least one hostel offering $25 BZ beds and $50 BZ private doubles. The only exceptions I found were in Belize City, Belmopan and Corozal Town, where rates are considerably higher.
My Recommended Hostels and Guest Houses
Following are my recommendations for places to stay, starting from southern Belize up through to the border of Yucatan, Mexico. Sadly, I did not take any photos of the places I stayed, so sorry to say I can’t feature any of them.
Further, note that although I didn’t visit every single destination, I did stay at most of most popular places and a few less-frequented spots. Naturally, I can only give personal recommendations for destinations I visited myself. For other places in Belize, I share what I learned from researching and/or talking with locals.
Punta Gorda – When I visited in Jan. 2016, only two cheap guest houses were in operation in Punta Gorda. Both were in fairly bad condition and cost $25-30 BZ per bed per night. I was not favorably impressed. In addition, the town offers nothing interesting to see or do. I skipped Punta Gorda and suggest most other travelers do the same.
There’s one GREAT hostel in Placencia – Anda Da Hows. As of Jan. 2016, it was the only cheap accommodation in Placencia.
Anda Da Hows is located in the central area just off the beach. The American owner has converted the ground floor of her large wooden house into one massive hostel room containing 10 dorm beds. There’s a well-equipped & spacious kitchen, bathrooms & showers, and a small yard with hammocks, chairs and a table where guests often enjoy hanging out. A sandy path leads directly to the beach, just 50 M away.
Cost: $25 BZ per bed per night. If you have a tent, you can camp on their property for $10-15 BZ per night.
Funky DoDo Backpackers is the only well-known hostel/guest house in Hopkins. It’s located right in the town center and costs $22 BZ per night for a bed. They also have private rooms for $50-60 BZ. All beds and rooms can be booked online through their website (note prices on their website are in $US).
The downsides of Funky Do Do, in my opinion, are that it’s a very tiny & cramped place. It also tends to be fully-booked and rather noisy with lots of young travelers and a bar on the premises.
I skipped that scene & stayed at Kismet Inn – a very quirky, quiet place just north of town, owned by a wacky American woman. She rents out rooms and dorm beds in her house on the beach. She has a collection of dilapidated bicycles that you can use for free to get into town and to explore the area.
Cost: $30-35 BZ per bed per night. It was the most expensive place I stayed in Belize, but I liked it because it was so quiet, private and unique.
Palmento Grove is another quiet place on the west edge of town with a large grassy property, stand-alone rooms and one dorm with beds squeezed into a small room. Also about $30 BZ per bed per night.
Hummingbird Guest House Lodge is located at mile 29 on Hummingbird Highway, closer to Belmopan than Dangriga. A quick Google search will bring up their website, but from there it’s very difficult to contact anyone or get more detailed information. Never the less, the lodge is still in operation, at least in early 2016.
They offer a large dorm room and huge kitchen set on a massive, jungl-y property. The Mayan hosts can make meals for you if you order them ahead of time.
A small river flows around the property, where people can swim. There’s also a short hike through jungle to an impressive waterfall. From the lodge it’s easy to reach Blue Hole National Park, just a few km down the road towards Belmopan.
Cost: $28-35 BZ per bed per night.
Dangriga – I didn’t stay in this city. But locals recommended I stay at Val’s Guest House (It now seems to be called D’s Guest House and has many recent excellent reviews on Trip Advisor).
Cost: $25 BZ per bed per night.
San Ignacio – This town has many backpackers charging about $25-35 BZ per bed per night. Instead, I found a very cute little place in a small house with private rooms for $25 per night. It has a well-equipped, though small kitchen, nice laid-back guests and is located in a quiet neighborhood a few blocks from down town.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember its name! But I do remember the location: It’s at the corner of Victoria St and Far W Street or Church St. I found the place by walking around town, so you could do the same. It’s not mentioned on maps or guidebooks, as far as I could discover.
This island has 5-6 backpackers with beds costing about $25-30 BZ per night. The one I most recommend is Bella’s, located across the road from Dirty McNasty’s Backpackers.
Bella’s is a big roomy place with several spacious dorm rooms, a massive kitchen, a few private rooms and lots of laid-back travelers. Guests can also camp on the property with either their own tent or a tent supplied by Bella’s. $15 BZ per night for camping.
Ambergis Caye aka San Pedro – I didn’t visit Ambergis Caye, but I did research guest houses and found several for about $25 BZ per bed per night.
Belize City – I never stayed here either. I did research budget accommodation and found it much more expensive than other places in Belize. Most dorm beds were $35-50 BZ per night when I searched.
Corozal – There’s no really cheap accommodation in Corozal. The cheapest place I could find charged $50-60 BZ per night for a private room. They have no dorm.
I don’t remember the hotel’s name, but it’s located on 4th St a few blocks north of the bus station. On Google maps it’s marked as an unnamed hotel.
So that’s my round-up of hostels and guest houses that I recommend in Belize. I hope this post will help budget travelers plan their trips and keep their pocketbooks in tact. Happy trails!
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