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Hotels

It is hard to define what makes a place a good place to stay. Some of the most enjoyable places we have stayed in have been really cheap, such as El Retiro Lodge in Guatemala. Others have been very expensive, such as Luna Lodge in the Osa peninsula in Costa Rica. For us, its a combination of character, nice owners. comfort, location and price. All these combined form a nebulous “bang-for-the-buck” factor, which is an indication of how much we enjoy the place.

     • North America           • Central America           • South America     

 


Hotels in Central America

desert-inn

Desert Inn, Catavina, Baja [Mexico].

Literally the only game in town. Catavina is in the middle of nowhere. With beautiful, spacious rooms, the Inn is in the middle of amazing desert scenery.

 
panchan

Margarita & Ed’s, El Panchan, Chiapas [Mexico].

The lure of El Panchan is hard to describe. A New Agey community close to the ruins of Palenque, it is set in a beautiful jungle setting, it offers cabanas, restaurants, body piercings, massages. You are surrounded by birds, trees, insects and howler monkeys. Margarita is the lone non family hotel owner, the rest of the land belongs to the Moises family. Hers is the only hotel with A/C.

 
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Flycatcher Inn, Santa Elena, Yucatan [Mexico].

Flyctcher Inn is lovely B&B close to Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc. Run by a former jewelery store owner from Portland, Oregon, its rooms are decorated in wrought iron and have nice touches of the local art. Surrounded by trees on a 20 acre plot of land, you can see and hear birds, butterflies and insects. The only reason we couldn’t stay longer was the lack of internet.

 
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El Retiro, Lanquin, [Guatemala]. (Map this!)

One of the best low cost options. Bunk beds or cabins with shared baths (a couple of on-suite baths are available but we didn’t stay there). The simple but beautifully appointed cabins are made of bamboo and have thatched roofs, lamps and a mosquito net. No fans, but the you can take a dip in the river which flows by the campgrounds. On site is an excellent vegetarian restaurant.

 
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Posada La Merced, Antigua [Guatemala]. (Map this!)

A really special place, specially if you have been traveling for a long time. The fully equipped community kitchen presents an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and hear their stories. The rooms around the central courtyard have dining tables outside and we had many a memorable candlelight dinner there. We really enjoyed the mini community that built up there.

 
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Jade Seahorse, Utila [Honduras]. (Map this!)

An artist’s crazy dream. An eclectic and surreal bar and garden, very comfortable rooms in artistc cabins, you have to see it to believe it. The only downside is that it is in Utila, full of heat, mosquitoes and sandflies. However, there is wonderful snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs.

 
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Luna Lodge, Osa Peninsula [Costa Rica]. (Map this!)

A beautiful and tranquil place, about ten minutes drive from Corcovado National Park in the Osa peninsula. Beautifully appointed cabins and a great place to observe birds and wildlife. You can escape the heat and humidity (there are no fans) by plunging in one of two waterfalls on the property. Great walks around the lodge itself. They often host yoga retreats. You really are at one with nature here, so be prepared to find insects in your room.

 
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Canopy Tower, Gamboa [Panama]. (Map this!)

The rooms are nice but not beautiful, food is ok, water is shut off at 10pm. So why go there? Because this lodge is really cool. A former US radar installation set in the protected rainforest around Panama Canal. From its rooftop, you can observe sloth, monkeys, toucans and ships passing through the Canal. From your room, even more bird life. The guides are superb. A truly unique place.