9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

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What we talk about in this article

Are you travelling to the Rio Dulce area in Guatemala? Great choice! Rio Dulce is one of these destinations in Guatemala that you really can’t skip. It’s a mix of local life and pure nature. If you follow the river from Rio Dulce, through El Golfete and El Canyon, you will definitely be in for a treat once you reach the ocean on the other end!

But, where to stay in Rio Dulce and which are the best Rio Dulce hostels to book in advance? We will tell you all about it in this article!

Where to stay in Rio Dulce?

For accommodation options, there’s just so much choice. From boutique hotels in Rio Dulce, to budget hostels in town and river lodges in the jungle.

We recommend splitting your stay over multiple places. We spent a few days in Rio Dulce town, as this was easy to explore Lago Izabal, Finca Paraïso and the Castillo de San Felipe. After that, we moved to a river finca, which took us deep into the Guatemalan jungle: an adventure for sure!

PS. We wrote an article about all the cool things you can do in the Rio Dulce region. Make sure to read it.

Lodges and Hostels near Rio Dulce town

Rio Dulce town is not the most idyllic place you’ve ever seen. But don’t let the first sight scare you right away. There’s more to this place than meets the eye in the first few minutes. 

The main disadvantage when arriving in this town is that the main road, bustling with very heavy traffic, is very much there when you arrive. We immediately felt as if trucks would run over our toes.

So, don’t select a hotel of hostel right in this road, but rather choose accommodation within walking distance to the town, but still n the idyllic side of the river!

In any case, Rio Dulce town is a good hub to explore the area. So, we listed some of the very best places in this area here.

Tortugal Boutique River Lodge is Boutique River Lodge, located within the vicinity of the town itself. The style of this hostel is rustic with a laid-back vibe that encourages relaxation. It’s perfect for those seeking a peaceful getaway from their daily routine.

I stayed in this lodge a while ago and it offers everything you need during your stay. The place offers amazing views over the water and it’s just idyllic from the first morning light until late at night when the charming lights come on!

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

The rooms at Tortugal Boutique River Lodge vary in size and price range, but they all feature mosquito nets on the windows, ceiling fans, and private balconies with hammocks and chairs. The hostel also has a restaurant and bar on-site, which offers guests the opportunity to try local cuisine and drinks. Additionally, there are common spaces like an outdoor terrace, garden, and picnic area for mingling with other travelers.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Usually, guests at Tortugal Boutique River Lodge love the spacious rooms with beautiful wooden buildings and private balconies overlooking the water. The hostel’s stunning location also makes it a perfect spot for water activities like swimming, boating, and canoeing. Moreover, guests appreciate the excellent service, food, and the hostel’s pets (dogs and cat) that give this place a homely feel.

Address

Between the Bridge and Castillo San Felipe on Shore of the Rio Dulce

Price range

Mid-Range to High-End

Location

Near village, on the river

Happiness

Superb

Tortugal Boutique River Lodge - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

Tortugal Boutique River Lodge offers a peaceful retreat near town with a rustic vibe, stunning water views, and rooms with essential amenities. Facilities include an on-site restaurant, bar, outdoor terrace, garden, and picnic area for dining and socializing.

Tortugal Lodge on Booking Tortugal Lodge on Agoda
9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges
View over Lago Izabal from Tortugal River Lodge, one of the best hostels in Rio Dulce

Hostal Blood Moon is a convenient and laid-back hostel located in Rio Dulce town, away from the busy main street, but still within convenient walking distance to all the interesting locations. The hostel has a cozy and chill atmosphere with wooden interiors, featuring a beautiful and spacious kitchen area. There’s free WiFi, so it’s a valid choice for a long term stay within a decent budget range. The friendly host, Flor, makes it a great place to relax after exploring the surroundings.

I stayed in this lodge a while ago and it offers everything you need during your stay. The place offers amazing views over the water and it’s just idyllic from the first morning light until late at night when the charming lights come on!

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

The hostel offers a variety of room options, ranging from two bunk beds to a single bed and a double bed. All rooms have tea and coffee makers to ensure guests can enjoy a hot drink at any time. Additionally, the property has free private parking available on site along with a non-smoking environment. The diverse and well-maintained common spaces include clean bathrooms, a beautiful lounge area, and an outdoor terrace with hammocks, perfect for lounging on and soaking up the sun.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Travellers love the hostel’s beautiful and airy space, comfortable beds, and clean facilities. They also appreciate how accommodating the host is, making sure their visit is a pleasure from check-in to check-out. Overall, Hostal Blood Moon is a great budget-friendly option in Rio Dulce for travelers seeking a relaxing atmosphere and friendly ambiance.

Address

Rio Dulce, barrio centro de salud o calle iglesia Católica

Price range

Budget-Friendly

Location

In Rio Dulce Town

Happiness

Very Good

Hostal Blood Moon - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

Hostal Blood Moon in Rio Dulce offers a laid-back atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle, featuring cozy wooden interiors, free WiFi, and a spacious kitchen. It's ideal for long stays with its budget-friendly prices and friendly host.

Check prices on Booking Check prices on Agoda

Hotel Real del Rio is situated on the far end of the bridge in Rio Dulce. It offers a comfortable, hotel stay with modern amenities. The style is straightforward yet stylish, with a relaxed and friendly vibe throughout the property. Guests can enjoy a peaceful stay with easy access to local attractions.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

The accommodation offers a variety of room types at reasonable prices, including single, double, and triple rooms with modern amenities such as bathroom, TV, and air conditioning. Moreover, this place has a beautiful pool which you will be very happy with on a regular hot day! There’s also a restaurant that offers delicious local food.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Travellers are happy about the cleanliness of the rooms, the comfortable beds, and the excellent value for the price. They also appreciate the location next to the river, with easy access to restaurants and local attractions. The hostel’s eco-friendly practices, such as reducing single-use plastics and using energy-efficient lighting, are also highly appreciated.

Address

El Relleno Rio Dulce Izabal, 18002 Rio Dulce

Price range

Mid-Range

Location

In Rio Dulce Town

Happiness

Good

Hotel Real del Rio - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

Hotel Real del Rio, situated at the far end of the bridge in Rio Dulce, provides a comfortable and stylish stay with modern amenities. It features a beautiful pool, a restaurant with delicious local cuisine, and offers a relaxed atmosphere with easy access to local attractions.

Check prices on Booking Check prices on Agoda

Bruno's Hostel - Budget-friendly hostel in Rio Dulce Town

We’ll have to make this story short, as there are no links and not too many pictures for this hostel. You would not expect a hostel to be completely off the radar in this era, but Bruno’s place is. It’s located right across the street from the bus stop, so it’s a convenient place to spend, especially if you arrive late.

So, We stayed at Bruno’s. The hostel has shared dorms for a very good price, but the place is a little worn down. It has an excellent location of you want to take a day or two to explore Rio Dulce and the area around Lago Izabal, without breaking the bank.

Cool things about this place: there’s an on site restaurant, belonging to the River Lancho place, where all the sailboats gather. From the restaurant, you can walk in between the boats. This is also the place where to river lancha’s arriver, in case you want to move on to a river finca or travel to Livingston.

No links, no images, but these are the coordinates on Google.

Backpackers Hostel & Restaurant - River lodge under the bridge

Another budget friendly option that is not on the radar: Backpackers Hostel & Restaurant. This hostel is located at / under the bridge. You will see it when you walk on the bridge and you can reach it when you walk over the bridge and then down on the left side. 

The hostel has large dorm rooms for a very reasonable price. 

This hostel is also the accommodation option for volunteers who work in the Rio Dulce area, so chances are good that you might meet a few interesting fellow travellers and spend a lot longer than intended.

The Very Best River Lodges and Jungle Lodges

There are quite a few river lodges and hostels on the Rio Dulce River and on the smaller rivers that meander into the dense jungle. And they also vary quite a bit. Some of these jungle lodges on the Rio Dulce are luxurious palaces with everything you might ever need, while other places are really back to basic. We enjoyed a few nights in a back-to-basic jungle lodge and rediscovered our fear for crawly things. So, beware of be aware… You’re in the jungle!

These are some of the most popular Rio dulce river lodges!

Boatique Hotel and Marina is situated in a serene location far enough from the town to give a peaceful feeling. The hostel style is modern, with an atmosphere of relaxation, seclusion and accessibility. You can take advantage of the free scheduled boat shuttle service to and from town, which is a nice extra you might otherwise need to pay for. 

If you’re a digital nomad, this place is a great choice as they offer unlimited high-speed internet access in a jungle location like this.  Aside from that, you can also relax in the pool or hammocks, and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Boatique Hotel and Marina offers various room types to choose from, and the price range is suitable for anyone. There are also paddle board rentals and other onsite amenities. If you’re feeling tired, get a relaxing massage therapy or manicure treatment from one of their two therapists. There’s no communal kitchen, but you can enjoy the delicious food prepared in the on-site restaurant.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Travellers are super thrilled about Boatique Hotel and Marina’s stunning location, the various different activities, and the relaxed atmosphere. They appreciate the peace and quiet while being able to take pleasure in the natural beauty of the area.

Address

Guatemala Creek Leon, 18022 Rio Dulce

Price range

Mid-Range

Location

Side River / Jungle

Happiness

Superb

Boatique Hotel and Marina - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

Boatique Hotel and Marina provides a tranquil, modern stay in a serene spot away from town, featuring a free boat shuttle, unlimited high-speed internet ideal for digital nomads, and relaxing amenities like a pool and hammocks. You can do activities like paddle boarding, massages, manicures, and tasty meals at the on-site restaurant.

Boatique on Booking Boatique on Hostelworld

Casa Perico River Lodge is located in the the jungle around the Rio Dulce river in Guatemala. This hostel offers a laid-back and relaxing atmosphere where guests are invited to unwind and soak up the beauty and wildness of their surroundings. The hostel has a rustic and traditional feel, with simple but comfortable decor, making it the perfect spot for those looking for a true Guatemalan experience.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

The lodge offers a variety of room types to cater to different budgets, including private rooms and dormitories. Prices are reasonable, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers. Common areas include a restaurant, bar, and outdoor seating areas where guests can relax and mingle with fellow travelers. The hostel also features non-smoking rooms, room service, and family rooms for the convenience of its guests.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Backpackers particularly rave about the location of Hotel Casa Perico, which is rated highly by recent guests. They also appreciate the hostel’s fast and helpful responses to any questions or concerns they may have. Overall, Hotel Casa Perico is a great choice for travelers looking for affordable accommodation in a relaxed and authentic Guatemalan setting.

Address

Rio Dulce, Izabal, Guatemala

Price range

Budget-Friendly

Location

Jungle / River

Happiness

Fabulous

Casa Perico River Lodge - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

Casa Perico River Lodge in Guatemala offers serene jungle stays by the Rio Dulce, blending rustic charm with a laid-back atmosphere. It accommodates all budgets with private and dormitory options, featuring amenities such as a restaurant, bar, and family-friendly accommodations for an authentic experience.

Check Prices on Booking Check Prices on Agoda

El Hotelito Perdido is situated on the banks of Rio Dulce, providing guests with a magical atmosphere surrounded by the raw jungle. The hostel has a laid-back and communal vibe that appeals to couples and travelers looking to connect with like-minded individuals. The property is well maintained, with thoughtful facilities that make your stay comfortable and sustainable.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

The rooms at El Hotelito Perdido are cozy and come in different sizes to suit different budgets. Guests can choose from private or shared rooms, all of which are equipped with comfy beds and necessary room amenities. The price range is reasonable, making it a great option for budget travellers. The common spaces include a games room, outdoor terrace, and garden, where guests can relax, socialize, and take part in activities such as cooking classes, local culture tours, and hiking.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Travellers all fall in love with this lodge and it is super popular. Everyone adores the superb breakfast and food at the on-site restaurant and bar. The hostel’s location is highly rated by recent guests and provides a unique experience with its communal and private spaces. Additionally, the helpful staff and sustainable efforts also attract positive reviews from visitors.

Address

Rio Dulce, Livingston, Guatemala

Price range

Budget-Friendly

Location

River / Jungle

Happiness

Superb

El Hotelito Perdido - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

El Hotelito Perdido, located on Rio Dulce's banks, provides a magical jungle experience with a laid-back vibe perfect for couples and solo travellers. It features common areas for relaxation and activities like cooking classes, cultural tours, and hiking, fostering a communal atmosphere.

Check prices on Booking Check prices on Agoda

Located along the Rio Dulce river banks, Palmeras del Río hostel offers a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere with its beautiful views of Rio Dulce. The hostel boasts a cozy and rustic style, perfect for those who seek an authentic stay in Guatemala. This hostel, formerly named Round House Hostal, now has new owners and had a new start.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Palmeras del Río offers a variety of rooms, from private bungalows to shared dorms, with prices ranging from affordable to mid-range. The hostel also provides essential amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, and a sun terrace where guests can bask in the stunning scenery.

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges

Guests particularly rave about the family dinners offered by the hostel and the friendly staff. They appreciate the intimate and peaceful ambiance made possible by the limited number of guests. Palmeras del Río is a perfect spot for those looking for a retreat away from the noise and bustle of the city.

Address

Rio Dulce, Livingston, Guatemala

Price range

Mid-Range

Location

River / Jungle

Happiness

Superb

Palmeras del Río HOTEL - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

Palmeras del Río, formerly Round House Hostal, is a rustic hostel on the Rio Dulce river banks in Guatemala, offering everything from private bungalows to shared dorms. With amenities like free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, and a sun terrace, it's an ideal choice for an authentic stay at affordable prices.

Check prices on Booking Check prices on Agoda

Staying in Livingston Guatemala

If you’ve already discovered the things to see and do around Rio Dulce town, and you’ve spent some time in the jungle near the river, then Livingston is the next destination to visit. 

You can do this in a day trip, but chances are good that you will fall in love with this place. The Caribbean looks and feel, the laid back vibe, and the reggea music are plenty to keep many a traveller hooked for a few days or weeks.

Because Livingston truly is a destination on its own, we created a separate guide for it.

Read all about the things to do in Livingston and find the very best hostels in Livingston Guatemala.

How to choose your accommodation in Rio Dulce?

Now that you’re aware about the different options for lodging in the Rio Dulce area… how to choose the right one for you? Let us help you by answering a few question that might still be in the back of your head!

Town hostel vs river lodge

So, you have a few hotels and hostels in town, often skipped by travellers with a schedule. If you have plenty of time, we recommend visiting these as well. We enjoyed our stay in Rio Dulce town a lot as it gave us the opportunity to easily visit El Castillo de Felipe and the hot springs of Finca Paraïso. 

So, if time is not an issue, here’s the perfect Rio Dulce itinerary for about a week (or longer):

First, spend a night or 2, maybe 3 in the village, like the Blood Moon Hostel. Explore the surrounding sights and enjoy a meal in the various small local restaurants on the main street.

Then, get a lancha to one of the river lodges near town, like Tortugal River Lodge, where you have a nice view over Lago Izabal. Seriously, you won’t regret this!

After that, book one of the lodges in the jungle, like BoatiqueHotelito Perdido, or Casa Perico.

Lastly, move on to Livingston on a day trip or to spend a few nights to relax on the white sandy beaches.

Boutique hostel or back to basics?

Well, this is really a personal thing. We would be in doubt as well at this time. 

We did the back to basics thing, with a stay in the very cheap and rustic Bruno’s Hostel in town. We also spend a night in the beautiful Tortugal Lodge, which was just a magical experience. After that, we visited one of the more rustic river lodges and met quite a few jungle creatures. As we’re both not too keen on those, we needed a few litres of rum to get us to sleep well!

So maybe, I would go for a more boutique type of style now. But as I said, this is so personal.

I guess I wouldn’t doubt about a stay in the Tortugal Lodge, which has been the most stunning after all. 

In any case, it is an unforgettable experience to spend a few nights in a cabin in the Guatemalan jungle and I’m so happy that we did it. I wouldn’t want to trade this fabulous experience for any luxury hotel ever!

Room types

As is the case for hostels all over Guatemala, it’s also the case for lodges in the Guatemalan jungle. You get to choose between private accommodation or dorm beds. This selection depends on your travel style, your budget, and your travel companion.

Of course, spending the night in a shared room with other travellers might be a secure and safe option for your jungle stay. If you’re travelling with your partner, there’s nothing more romantic than a jungle lodge overlooking the river and a glass of wine in the evening.

Trips and tours

This one is important on the river.

Check out if your hostel offers a few tours and trips you want to do. Most lodges have someone they can call to get you on a lancha, either to Rio Dulce or Livingston. The lancha boats are all quite similar.

The main difference is the fact if the hostel will pick you up for free in Rio Dulce or if you need to find a way to get to the lodge. This is something you should probably know before you get to the town in the first place.

Educate yourself about public and private transportation options within Guatemala! Believe me, you’ll be happy to know all this before you go!

Guest reviews

Always check recent guest reviews! 

Hostel ownership and other things can change pretty fast. So, right before you hit that ‘book this hotel’ button, quickly go through recent reviews to make sure travellers are still happy nowadays!

Wifi and cellular reception

If you need internet, like, to do your digital nomad job, then you must check wifi availibility well. Keep in mind that the area around Rio Dulce is a region of jungle, where there might be less or no cellular reception. 

So, if you need to work or upload stuff to the web, make sure that the hotel of lodge offers great internet!

What else is there to see and do in the area?

You must be wondering, what is there to see and do in this area? According to the things you want to see, you can better select the perfect accommodation, right? 

There’s actually quite a few things which we found entertaining and fun. We wrote a guide about the fun and amazing things to do in the Rio Dulce area.

Livingston is also quite beautiful and even though most backpackers choose to go there to relax, there’s also a few cool things in to do in Livingston.

This entire area is perfect to add to your backpacking trip through Guatemala. I’d suggest to add it to your Guatemala itinerary!

Conclusion - Most amazing Rio Dulce hostels and lodges

We really hope that you find the perfect accommodation for your trip to this part of Guatemala. Selecting the right lodge is the start of a great experience. But I’m pretty sure that your lodging is in this list with the most amzing lodges and hostels in Rio Dulce.

Have a great time!

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9 amazing Rio Dulce Hostels and River Lodges
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