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“I've been there, I came back and I would again.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa de la Iguana

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Casa de la Iguana
barrio marco sanchez dias, Livingston, Rio Dulce, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Granada, Nicaragua
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“I've been there, I came back and I would again.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

I've been two times in Livingston and I totally enjoyed my stay in Casa de la Iguana, actually the hostel was the reason for the second visit. Casa de la Iguana and Livingston with it diverse culture seemed to be the right spot to take a little break from buzzing around the world.

Great food for appropriate prices, affordable even if you're on a budget (2 hours happy hour help aswel to save some Quetzales without missing out on some fun at the bar). I really enjoyed the ambiente and the arrangement of the hostel with a little jungle vibe and the staff helps a lot to make you feel comfortable.
Hot showers, skype capable Wifi and hammocks in addition to a good book exchange were exactly what I was looking for.

About Livingston:
It's completely different to the rest of Guatemala. Latinos, Maya and Garifuna buzzing around, all in their own way. And what I can recommend is the trip to the Maya community of Plan Grande Tatin. The myth about the Maya is what got me to Guatemala, but there I got the first impression what it means to be Maya - today. If you're interested in cultural diversity don't miss out on that, gives you a glance on something that is normally hidden off the road.

People complaining about the location and what comes along with it just should read and have a look at the area, it's not a western suburb. If you need to get on a boat to reach a place you shouldn't expect all concrete parking lots and fancy living areas. Welcome to the caribbean.
(And it's by far not as bad as people tell. Compared to some places in Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua this was totally ok)

I enjoyed it, I came back and I would again if I'll return to Livingston.
Thanks guys! Great job!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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156 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Stayed three nights at the iguana and enjoyed my time there. The owner, Rusty, is really friendly and very helpful as are the rest of the staff (mostly backpackers working for board and lodging). Dorm and bathrooms are kept pretty clean and there are plenty of hammocks around the place to relax. The place is literally in the jungle so crabs and insects are abundant but thats to be expected. The wifi was probably the best I've had all trip so a good opportunity to skype home. The communal area is a great place to talk to people and the happy hour/family dinners/quiz's etc all help to facilitate interaction. Only negative is a small one but the happy hour is given the hard sell every night and the staff are perhaps a little pushy with drink sales and getting you to do shots at the bar. But its a party hostel. This is the place to be if you want to meet other travellers and have some fun in the evening.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Smithers, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

We enjoyed our 1 night stay at Casa de la Iguana very much. Rusty the owner was so helpful, he booked our next hotel for us and also our boat trip up the river for the next day. We loved the common area they have for meals and late night games. The dinner and breakfast were both excellent and the pub quiz was lots of fun and got everyone interacting with one another. The only negative comment I have is that if you want to go to bed early, you might be out of luck as they partying can go pretty late.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
New Mexico
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I've been staying at Casa de la Iguana for over two weeks now and absolutely love it! The staff is unbeatable as they are always helpful and ready to have a good time. Despite what some un-creative minds might think, there is plenty to do in Livingston. The hostel is very helpful at setting up day tours which include everything from waterfalls, to caves, mayan cultural tours and events in town. I recently went on their Mayan Adventure tour. This tour included a trip into the jungle where we were able to visit a Mayan comminuty, see their homes, visit a near-by sacred cave (where we also experienced a Mayan cleansing ceremony) and eat lunch in the village. I have spent many years in Guatemala and never have I been on a tour like this. I was enlighted to another side of Guatemala, Mayan culture and the way Mayans live today (plus was able to enjoy georgeous Guatemala's natural landscapes). If you are around Rio Dulce, Puerto Barrios or in Livingston, I would recomend Casa de la Iguana for a great time with cool places and fun people!

Room Tip: I really enjoyed the fact that there were numerous rooms to choose from. You can have anything from...
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Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

I've now stayed at Casa de la Iguana three times, and wouldn't stay anywhere else in Livingston. You're bound to have a rad time, even in low season, as the staff are always up for some shenanigans. I've seen so many different staff here as they tend to be backpackers stopping here to work for a month or two but they've always been fun, friendly, and helpful. The owner Rusty is a character definitely worth meeting.
There are plenty of hammocks to chill out in, surprisingly efficient internet, cheap happy hour, awesome food, and what I consider a gorgeous property. The dorms and bathrooms are always clean. The private cabanas are beautiful.
People do need to understand that: 1. The jungle is literally Casa Iguana's backyard, so insects happen, and 2. It is a party hostel. It's far more common that a wild night of skinny dipping and drunken rafter dancing will be your experience here rather than a quiet, cozy night reading in your room. But I have met plenty of people here who were on the quieter side and thoroughly enjoyed their stay here as well.
If you're a fun, open minded person who wants to experience the really unique culture of Livingston, Casa de la Iguana is totally for you.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

The town itself does not worth the boat fee to it!!! 250q per person for a round trip to see nothing... Don't really understand the big fuss about livingston. Regarding the hostel it self - Iguana is in a middle of a swamp... No kidding, SWAMP. Actually beside the nice personals the place itself is really not that good. Me and my husband arrived to our honeymoon and I strongly suggest that couples won't go there. With the right kind of backpackers I'm sure that is a nice atmosphere, however there is nothing you can do when your whole room is FULL with spider webs, crabs and all kind of insects.
Do yourself a favor - if you are honeymooners, avoide this hostel and Livingstone at all!

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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Rustylucky, Owner at Casa de la Iguana, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
It is apparent that your honeymoon should not be spent in the jungle. There are animals in the jungle. It is also wet. There are stereotypes of certain nationalities travelling which I don't adhere to but even people from those countries are aware of them. You arrived moaning, left moaning and didn't open your eyes to see any beauty in between. You just wrote off a whole island with a unique culture. I can accept criticism when it is justified but this is a poor review by someone backpacking who really shouldn't be. Thankyou for saying there are nice staff here. I know they worked really hard on it.
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Birmingham, Alabama
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

I stayed at the Iguana in mid July. I had only planned on staying one night as a stopping point before going to the Bay Islands, and I ended up staying for over two weeks. Livingston is a wonderful little town full of culture, wonderful locals, delicious food, and of course...Casa de la Iguana. Days are nice and relaxing, you can watch TV (until 6), go on a half day tour to the beach or waterfall, go for a swim in the lake, play cards, or read book in a hammock. Nights are a blast. The AMAZING staff at the Iguana are always around the common area whether they are working or not, dinners are always family style, and the happiest hours are "happy hour"! Don't underestimate the Iguana or Livigston, at least stay a full 2 days to meet the locals, staff, and see the Livigson/Rio Dulce area!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa de la Iguana

Address: barrio marco sanchez dias, Livingston, Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Izabal Department > Rio Dulce > Livingston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Livingston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de la Iguana is a friendly fun hostel for world travellers. It is set in a jungle garden with hammock areas. It has a bar restaurant with family style dinners and a lively happy hour. There is fantastic free wifi to keep in contact with friends and family. For the lazy days we have a television area with cable and dvds as well as an international book exchange. We also arrange tours to Belize, La Ceiba, Siete Altares, Playa blanca and Rio Dulce on our pontoon boat Reggae on the River. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa De La Iguana Hotel Livingston
Casa De La Iguana Guatemala/Livingston

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