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“A memorable stay....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iguana Crossing

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Iguana Crossing
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Av. Antonio Gil, Puerto Villamil, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“A memorable stay....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

My family and I spent 5 days at this boutique 'home-away-from-home' hotel at magical Isabela Island and we had a great stay.
The hotel's located a few steps away from an amazing beach. One night, we walked to the beach at low tide and discovered many tide-pools. There was a large bird pecking on a few Sally Light-foot crabs and also spotted an octopus, changing into its camou-mode. This was an unique experience, especially for my 10yr old daughter.
There's a nice surf spot along the beach to the right of the hotel. Surfboards can be rented from Casa Rosada a few steps from the hotel. We also rented bicycles from a guy in town and cycled from the hotel, through the National Park to the Wall of Tears each morning. There are iguana's, many Darwin finches and a few land tortoises inside the park - a lovely ride.

The staff - FANTASTIC! Marcia, the manager is an absolute gem. She made every effort to accommodate us - even when we were low on cash (no ATM"s on the island). She can also arrange any tour from the hotel and it's private. Los Tuneles is a must see!
We had an ocean-view room with a balcony, and the room was spacious and very clean. All the rooms have mosquito nets by the doors / windows. The bar / lounge area has a big glass window that overlooks the beach. I also found this was the best place for internet use. The infinity pool / deck area was my favorite place to chill-out when I was at the hotel. There's also a Middle-Eastern, sunken, covered lazy lounge area outside by the pool. The a hot-tub - you need to tell them 2 hours prior use is located on the top floor. The view from there is amazing!
The breakfast buffet was varied and fresh each morning. The menu for lunch, dinners are limited, and a bit pricey. I will say it's good food, but not great. However, my kids loved the milk-shakes and chocolate volcano dessert. We enjoyed cycling to town (5min) and enjoyed great dinners at some other restaurants. I highly recommend staying at this hotel. It's a great place to unwind and totally relax.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms have a balcony and is more spacious. Great views!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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297 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
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English first
Clarksville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
228 helpful votes 228 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We ended up at Iguana Crossing after a change in travel dates caused significant alterations to our plans. We always say things happen for a reason and we are so glad we got the chance to enjoy this beautiful hotel for two nights. We missed out on Ocean view rooms due to the hotel being booked solid and it broke my heart. I just knew I would be longing for an upgrade during our stay, I was wrong.

We were a group of three couples; we had rooms 5, 7 and 14. Rooms 5 and 7 were on the second floor and had king size beds; room 14 was on the first floor and had two double beds. Rooms 14 and 5 were corner rooms so had three large windows and nicer views than room 7. All three rooms were spotless and comfortable. It was pure heaven having air conditioning as it is very hot and humid on Isabela in April. The dining room where you have breakfast and dinner is also air conditioned which we loved.

The hotel has so many places from which to enjoy the ocean views that we did not miss having an ocean view room. The roof top bar area is a beautiful place to watch the sunset and have a cocktail before dinner. We had the whole roof top to ourselves the first night. The second night a family member of the owners had booked the place to celebrate a 50th birthday. In order to not make other guests feel excluded, all were invited to join the festivities. During the afternoon preparations, we were given tastings of the appetizers that would be served at the party. Even though all were delicious, we opted to stick with the dining room for diner and let the party goers have their fun. Dinner was delicious both nights with many options to choose from. We discovered there are two menus, one for visitors who are not guests, which list items a la carte with prices, and one for those who have the room and meal rate. The visitor menu lists several desert choices for an extra fee, we decided they sounded too good to pass up so ordered several to go with the standard offering of the night. It was well worth the splurge.

Laundry here was the cheapest by far charging only $1 an item. We turned in our items in the morning before our excursions and all was ready by time we returned late afternoon.

Yes, the iguanas do cross in front of the hotel every day, photo of their crossing included as part of this review. If you have a volcano view room, you will also see them swimming in the lagoon behind the hotel.

Excursions are plentiful and adventures we had while here were Sierra Negro hike (go the extra distance to Volcan Chico!), the Wall of Tears, Tortoise Breeding Center, flamingo pond, mountain biking (we biked back to the hotel after the Sierra Negro hike , a visit to unique Tintoreras, and snorkeling with reef sharks. One thing we did not do that we wished we had was a visit to Los Tuneles, the pictures we saw of this place looked amazing.

We loved our stay at Iguana Crossing. It was the perfect finale to our Galapagos Islands adventure. The only thing we would have done differently is stayed longer. Do not worry if you are not able to score an Ocean View room, you will still have an amazing time and many opportunities to soak up the sounds of the waves from the pool deck, lounge or roof top bar.

Room Tip: Ocean view definitely! But if they are all booked, don't worry, volcano view is still very nice.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

The hotel is at the edge of town along the ocean front. Lots marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs at the beach. There a large marsh in the back of the hotel.
You can walk along the pristine beach and not seem many other people.

The hotel has a bar with a large window overlooking the ocean. There's also a cistern with drinking water to fill up your water bottles..

We got multiple rooms. All the rooms were nice and had beautiful bathrooms. They use water saving faucets that you have to depress the handle to get water, but yet their shower heads are not the water saving variety. lol

The views from the room facing the marsh were okay, but ocean view rooms were great. They had a balcony so you could sit outside and enjoy the scenery.

No television stations, but they had a DVD player and a DVD library. I'm not sure what kind of interface the television uses, but I did have movies on my tablet.. But why watch television? Best to enjoy the scenery and company.

Free internet connection, but it didn't reach my room very well. The access point is at the front desk next to the bar. Perfect place to read the news and have a drink.
It's a small place so the bartender has multiple positions (e.g. - bell boy). You may have to look for help.

Didn't try the hot tub, but it's normally off so you need to give them advance notice to heat up the water. I rather use the pool since the weather was in the 80's.

The food at the hotel was good. But I'm a foodie, so I wouldn't be eating at the hotel if I stayed here again. The food had a nice presentation, but they tried to be fancy when they should be making it simple using local preparation techniques.

Room Tip: Ocean front rooms are the best. One room had a balcony that faced the ocean and wrapped around the...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sugar Land
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

I would recommend this hotel to anyone. Watching the Iguanas cross the road in the morning and returning at night is priceless. Great bar, Great Views, Great Staff. My only complaint was that the coffee in the morning was luke warm.

Room Tip: Make sure to get an oceanfront room.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

My wife and I spent a whole week at the Iguana Crossing hotel and we had a wonderful experience. The staff was very friendly and helpful, especially the manager, Marcia. While the hotel doesn't have 100% of the amenities that modern, top quality hotels have, it is as close as you will be able to find in the Galapagos. The room was very clean and well maintained. The staff was very willing to assist with any needs that we presented. It is a small hotel (only 14 rooms) so we often got the feeling that we were the only guests there. This generally was a good thing because there was always a great seat by the pool waiting for us. Our only reservation about the hotel was that the food and drink service was really slow. If we were laying by the pool and ordered a beverage, it would take about 15-20 minutes for that drink to be delivered. The same was true with the dinner service. With that said, the food and drinks were delicious we would highly recommend eating at the hotel restaurant at least once. The slow service was probably just a function of the small nature of the hotel and the small number of staff members that are present.

We set up several tours through the hotel that were generally very good. They were private tours, meaning that it was just the guide, my wife, and myself on the tour. This meant that we paid a little extra for the snorkeling, hiking, and kayaking tours, but we also got to do pretty much whatever we wanted. The guide was adequate. He was friendly enough and willing to make whatever slight alterations we wanted, but he seemed to think of the guiding as a job and didn't really seem very interested in doing anything beyond what he felt like he had to.

Specific recommendations regarding the hotel would be to make sure to get a room that is on the ocean side, not the lagoon side. The view is worth it. Also, if you can get a room on the second floor, you will be rewarded with much more privacy than the rooms on the first floor. We were in room #10, which was fantastic.

Before we went on this trip, we debated whether to stay at one location or to travel to many locations either on a cruise ship or with another tour group. We believe that we saw everything that we came to the Galapagos to see (penguins, sea lions, tortoises, rays, sharks, etc.) and do while staying at Iguana Crossing. It was really nice to have a single place that you could stay while doing all the fun tours. We would do it any differently if we were to do it again.

Room Tip: Second floor on the ocean side is definitely the correct way to go.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Anselmo, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

This is a lovely setting and I'm sure I would have given a higher review if we had a ocean view room. We traveled with a very exclusive travel company and I'm sure they must have requested it but a big group was coming in the next day so we had a room on the canal which was not good. Why go to a beachfront property, pay all that money and face the mosquito infested brackish water canal? Uck. I tried to have a good attitude about it and when I asked to be on the oceanside the manager wasn't amenable. I would have even been willing to move over after one night but I didn't push it. So, get a confirmed ocean front room. Also, not sure what the restaurant situation is in town because our meals were included. The food at this hotel is just ok and the dining room is in the back with no view so you might want to explore other options or ask to eat up front or on the pool deck.

Room Tip: Ocean front only!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlisle, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This was a wonderful boutique hotel. Great location on Isabella Island across from the beach with iguanas literally crossing the road all day. Room and private bathroom were both plenty large and immaculately clean. The infinity pool and adjoining outdoor shaded lounging area was a great way to relax between the days activities on and around Isabella and watching the sunset from the rooftop jacuzzi was a great way to end the day (make sure to tell them ahead of time to get it heating up). Not many rooms so neither the pool nor the hot tub were crowded when we used them.

The dining was the best we had in the Galapagos. The staff went out of their way to accommodate us in the dining room and throughout the hotel.

There is no TV programming, which is a blessing, but available for DVDs. We never thought to turn it on. Internet access if needed is in the bar. All the places we stayed in the Galapagos claimed WiFi access, but it actually worked here. The bar had wine, bottled beer, some fruit juices and it appeared that mixed drinks were available but we did not try them.

This hotel had everything we wanted or needed and more. Should have stayed longer. Overall, truly our favorite place we stayed in the Galapagos.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iguana Crossing

Address: Av. Antonio Gil, Puerto Villamil, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Iguana Crossing 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Iguana Crossing is Isabela's newest and most innovative hotel. Its minimalist design and superior service offer guests a privileged experience on this scarcely populated island. Iguana Crossing is located in between Isabela's extensive white sand beaches and directly behind a wildlife-filled lagoon. Iguana Crossing offers an oceanfront swimming pool, Jacuzzi, 12 fully equipped rooms and a master suite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iguana Crossing Hotel Puerto Villamil
Iguana Crossing Galapagos Islands/Isabela, Ecuador

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