Five Central American hideaways
Whether you seek a tropical beach hut or a jungle lodge, go wild at one of these rustic retreats.
Saturday 21 March 2009
Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Access to this jungle lodge is by raft ride along the Pacuare River, which runs from the central highlands to the Caribbean coast. The lodge's thatched bungalows border a reserve of rainforest, home to the diverse wildlife of Costa Rica, including sloths and howler monkeys. The emphasis is on low-impact tourism, but as well as community tours, there are four-poster beds, spa treatments and gourmet meals.
Pacuare Lodge, Siquirres, Limon, Costa Rica (00 506 225 3939; junglelodgeco starica.com). Double rooms start at US$476 (£340), full board with transfers.
Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Close to the surf-haven of San Juan del Sur, Morgan's Rock opens on to a near-deserted beach on Nicaragua's wild Pacific coast. The lodge is part of a conservation and reforestation project where more than one million trees have been planted in the last decade. The estate also has a dairy farm, free-range livestock and organic fruit farm, much of which is used in the kitchen.
Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Eco Lodge, San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua (00 505 670 7676; morgansrock.com). Doubles start at $438 (£313), full board with activities.
Casa Palopo, Guatemala
This villa clings to the shores of Lake Atitlán, dramatically ringed by three volcanoes. Inside, the rooms are a vivid assortment of cobalt blue, ochre and terracotta, decked out with oversized wooden furniture and quirky pieces of art. A shady terrace provides absorbing lake views.
Casa Palopó, Santa Catarina Palopó, Sololá, Guatemala (00 502 5773 7777; casa palopo.com). Doubles start at $185 (£132), room only.
Turtle Inn, Belize
Turtle Inn is on the southern coast of Belize, where white sand and warm teal sea come as standard. The "rustic luxury" ethos translates as plump sofas, carved wood panels, riotous displays of exotic flowers and a waterside spa. As well as the coastal distractions, there are Mayan sites, a jaguar reserve and wildlife tours.
Turtle Inn, near Placencia, Stann Creek District, Belize (00 501 523 3244; blancaneaux.com). Doubles start at $339 (£242), including breakfast.
Palmetto Bay Plantation, Honduras
The Bay Island of Roatán isn't short of accommodation but the Palmetto Bay Plantation stands out for its laid-back, tropical chic ambience. Set against a pristine, secluded bay of white sand, it comprises individual hardwood bungalows with large separate living spaces, sliding doors to let in the sea breeze and hammocks on the wraparound decks. For the active there is diving aplenty, as well as hiking, yoga and weekly beach parties.
Palmetto Bay Plantation, Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras (00 504 9991 0811;palmettobayplantation.com). Villas sleeping four start at $174 (£124), room only.
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