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  • Belcove Hotel (Belize City; tel. 227-3054; www.belcove.com): This budget hotel is set on the banks of Haulover Creek, just a block from the Swing Bridge and the heart of downtown Belize City. The old wooden building is in funky shape, but the river-view balconies are one of my favorite spots in all of Belize to sit and read a book, or watch the sporadic action on the river and streets below.
  • Ruby's (Ambergris Caye; tel. 226-2063; www.ambergriscaye.com/rubys): Located right on the waterfront in the center of San Pedro, most of the rooms here overlook the ocean, and the best ones come with a balcony. This is one of the older and more historic hotels on the island, and you just can't do much better on Ambergris Caye for this price.
  • De Real Macaw (Caye Caulker; tel. 226-0459; www.derealmacaw.biz): This small compound on Front Street in Caye Caulker is a great bargain. The hotel is close to all the action, and the rooms are clean, cool, and comfortable. Plenty of trees strung with hammocks make this a great place for a well-deserved tropical siesta.
  • Tree Tops Guest House (Caye Caulker; tel. 226-0240; www.treetopsbelize.com): While the best rooms here actually fall into the moderately priced category (and are some of the best rooms on Caye Caulker), the whole place offers such good value for your money that it's getting a listing in this category. The budget rooms here continue to set the standard on Caye Caulker, and the service is friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive.
  • Tipple Tree Beya (Hopkins Village; tel./fax 520-7006; http://tippletree.net): There are just five simple rooms at this friendly hostel-like option at the southern end of Hopkins Village. However, if the rooms are full, you can also camp. The hotel sits on a lovely section of beach, and is within easy walking distance of the small Garífuna village of Hopkins.
  • Jungle Jeanie's by the Sea (Hopkins Village; tel. 523-7047; www.junglebythesea.com): Located at the southern end of this small traditional Garífuna fishing village, the individual wooden cabins are just steps from the ocean on a beautiful patch of beach.
  • Tradewinds (Placencia; tel. 523-3122; www.placencia.com): Set on a curving spit of sand at the southern edge of Placencia, the individual cabins here are so close to the water's edge that I worry it's only a matter of time before the ocean reclaims them. But if you get here soon enough and land one of them, you'll likely never want to leave. Each has a private front porch strung with a hammock, where you can swing and listen to the lapping waves.
  • Mirador Hotel (Corozal Town; tel. tel. 442-0189; www.mirador.bz): While the large concrete building is a bit imposing and lacking in warmth, you can't beat the view or location of this new downtown hotel. And the price is pretty right as well.
  • Midas Tropical Resort (San Ignacio, Cayo District; tel. 824-3172; www.midasbelize.com): Sure you can stay in San Ignacio for a little less, but this collection of cottages and cabins is just a half-mile or so from downtown, right on the banks of the Macal River. You can also camp here. The whole thing has the feel of an isolated nature lodge, at a fraction of the cost.
  • Hotel Santana (Flores, Petén, Guatemala; tel./fax 502/7867-5123 or 7867-5193; www.santanapeten.com): This lakefront hotel is the best budget choice on the island of Flores. In fact, it might just be the best hotel on the island itself, regardless of price.
  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.