When given the opportunity to stay in a jungle lodge in the middle of the actual jungle, does one really have the freedom to say no?

Well technically, the answer is, yes. You can technically say ‘no’. But my question to you is why would you?

{full disclosure, the image above was sourced from http://www.lowerdoverbelize.com}

Before arriving in Belize, I decided I wanted to spend half of my time in the lush, green, jungle, and the rest of my visit relaxing on the islands. When doing my research, I quickly settled on San Ignacio to cover my ‘jungle requirement’. I mean, it wasn’t hard to do so once I found Lower Dover Hostel. And no, I am not sponsored to write this.

Lower Dover Hostel is rated the number one hostel in Belize and has a ‘5 Star’ rating on Trip Adviser {for good reason}. And it’s not only because of the on-site organic winery guys…

A private room on-site with private bathroom included.


You really cannot beat the price of this accommodation. I paid less than $15 USD for a bunk bed in a shared lodge. The shared cabanas have their own toilet, but communal outdoor showers {which were actually lovely}. Private cabanas include private bathrooms and air conditioners.

You have the option of paying for a home-made meal at both breakfast {$6 USD} and dinner {$13 USD}. Sure, they are a bit overpriced in comparison to the cost of meals elsewhere in Belize, but the food is delicious, and you get to join the rest of the lodgers around the table each night {yay for socializing}.

A section of the jungle walk you can take around the entire property.


Do I really need to explain this one? You are in the middle of the bloody jungle. BAM. How much more of a hands-on experience do you need? To be fair, Lower Dover Hostel is not technically located in San Ignacio {see prior point: it’s in the middle of the jungle}. You will be calling Unitedville, Cayo, Belize home should you choose to stay at Lover Dover. There is a bus stop at the end of the road and it’s a simple process to catch a bus to San Ignacio. The bus ride will take you about 20 minutes. You can also shell out for a taxi if you plan to stay out after dark {which will run you about $20 USD}.


Now here is the real selling point. There are so many things to see and do solely within the property. I instantly began exploring the property upon arrival {after checking in}. The private property stretches for two miles. There are plenty of well maintained jungle trails, but if you choose to travel them alone, Maddy {the property owner} will insist you bring along one of the nine friendly dogs on-site. Don’t be surprised if you see howler monkeys and an array of tropical birds during your stroll. I must say, I felt very comfortable with my four-legged companion beside me.

Another highlight at Lower Dover is it’s local {and private} swimming hole. It can get pretty damn hot and humid in Belize, so dipping into the water on the river surrounding the property is a God-send.

As mentioned before, there is an on-site winery on the property. The owners make their own wine, which is available for purchase at the main office. I can personally recommend it! There are also cold, cheap, local  beers and juices available for purchase on the property {since it is a bit out of the way in terms of shops}.

And finally, Lower Dover is home to ancient ruins! That’s right, you can follow the Mayan Ruin trail which will lead you to 15+ plazas and multiple unexcavated structures, right there on the property.


Aka Maddy. Maddy, the property owner, was a delight. From the moment I checked in to the property, I felt safe and well-taken care of. Maddy provides you with such a warm welcome, and her hospitality continues throughout your entire stay. Many people refer to her as ‘mom’ because that’s exactly how she acts towards you. From booking local tours to simply getting around Belize, Maddy has you covered. She provided me with plenty of restaurant recommendations, dropped me off at the bus stop to venture into San Ignacio {though it’s only a ten minute walk}, and allowed me to use her phone as often as I would like to secure my excursions. I would book again solely because of her, though clearly I was obsessed with my entire jungle lodge experience.

I could have spent weeks at Lower Dover napping in hammocks, ‘hunting’ for tarantulas at night, sharing beers with fellow travelers, showering under the stars, and exploring the grounds. It was such a hidden gem within the dense jungle. To book your accommodation, you can click here.

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