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“THE place to stay: beautiful, comfortable, hospitable” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Iguana Mar y Sol

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Casa Iguana Mar y Sol
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Barrio Playa de Oro, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 20 San Cristobal B&B and Inns
Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“THE place to stay: beautiful, comfortable, hospitable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

Don't be put off because it's not on the harbor walk (Malecon). This is where you want to be. Luis Mendoza built it all himself! And carved all the wooden shutters, doors, beds, etc., laid the tile on the stairs and in the bathroom. This place is just gorgeous. That would be sufficient, but then you have Luis, himself, an engaging, charming man who's a great cook! His breakfasts, at the granite breakfast bar (yes, that he built!) were superb. Coffee from his own finca, omelets with whatever filling you can thing of, french toast, fresh juice. What a find!

Room Tip: Our room was Frigata and had a small sitting area, but I think any would be fine.
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pensacola, Florida, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

Beautifully crafted B&B, demonstrating gorgeous craftsmanship on the handmade doors/windows and other woodwork by one of the hosts at the Casa Iguana, Luiz. VERY clean, great views, and within a nice walking distance to town, but far enough not to have to endure town noise. Our host was very accomodating, sweet and helpful. Absolutely would recommend, and I will plan to stay here again in the future. Really enjoyed our very relaxing stay. Thanks!

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room with windows on each side of the hotel so you get a nice breeze through th...
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

I was travelling by myself on my first trip to the Galápagos, and Patricia, the owner of Casa Iguana Mar y Sol, provided a great deal of help and guidance from my very first email exchange with her.

The rooms at Casa Iguana are spacious and very clean with beds (and bed linens) that are extremely comfortable. Breakfast was delicious and included both local fresh fruit and homemade French toast. [Such amenities should not be taken for granted in the Galapagos!]

The house is a 3 minute walk from the center of town and has a beautiful view over the harbor. of San Cristóbal.

In short, Patricia and Luis are wonderful hosts of a terrific B&B.

I would recommend this place to anyone.

Room Tip: All rooms are good.
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  • Stayed April 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

We just came back from a vacation in Galapagos. We were first on a cruise for 5 days (see my review of Queen of Galapagos) then stayed in San Cristobal for another 5 days. I had looked at the reviews from previous guests and decided to stay in this B&B which corresponded to our criteria. Well we were not wrong because it's a great place ! The house itself is very well thought and the hosts are great people. We were welcomed by Patricia who greeted us in their house and gave us the basics. In the first day I asked if I could wash my clothes and she kindly offered to wash them with her washing machine, which was great. Then we met Luis the builder of the house and owner. He's a very kind person and was always watchful to see if we needed something. The room (we stayed in the Fregata room with two double queen beds, we were graciously "upgraded" to a bigger room) was very comfortable with a big bathroom and all the necessities. I share a thought with another reviewer... we slept like babies! I don't know if it is because on the cruise we slept less or because of the activities in San Cristobal but we slept 10 hours every night just to be woken by the thought of another great day in the island started with a great breakfast prepared by Luis. We definitively recommend this place and wish we could go back and bring back some friends next time !

  • Stayed April 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2012

Great small inn with a very personal touch. Luis is very friendly and accomodating. He rewards your attempts to try and speak Spanish and was a pleasure to deal with. The rooms are clean and well appointed. The Hotel is close to the interprative center and only a 2 minute walk to the "downtown" waterfront restaurants and shops. Beautiful views of the bay from most rooms as well. Would definitely stay there again and recommend it to friends

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2012

We stayed Casa Iguana Mar y Sol for 3 nights 04-07 March. We arrived at a tiny but chaotic airport of San Cristobal. We supposed to go to our B&B by taxi. People everywhere, where is the taxi stand? Taxis don't look like taxi, people just get on to the back of small truck and leave....We asked a gentleman with lots of luggage, how can we get taxi? Then somehow he found a taxi for us, pushed us into the seat, put our suitcases to the back and that is how we arrived at Casa Iguana. People are very kind and friendly. I speak a bit of Spanish and that really helped.

We were greeted by Patricia and Luis. We emailed and booked accommodation 6 months in advance. In February, I emailed her again and paid the accommodation with PayPal. Also I told her what we wanted to do while our stay in San Cristobal Island. We have 2 full days so highland excursion for one day and Kicker Rock snorkelling for another. Also asked her to book and buy the speedboat for Puerto Ayora leaving 07 March. During our stay in Ecuador, we packed the things to do and we had no flexibility to change the schedule. So all our plans had to be well organised and well executed. Email correspondence between Patricia was smooth and from the beginning she was very helpful. We appreciate Patricia to help us plan our stay, find and book excursions for us.

As soon as we arrived, we were taken to our room, 2nd floor corner room. The smallest room of all (we chose to stay in the smallest room) but everything we needed was there. As already mentioned here by everyone, house was built by Luis, specially crafted and very unique. Our room was clean, cosy and has a beautifully built bath room. Plenty of bottles of water were supplied by the owner in our fridge.

We discussed our plans with Patricia to finalise what kind of tickets to purchase. After our discussion, she booked, paid and got tickets everything for us and all we did was pay her back. Everything went as planned with the help of Patricia.

As she heard that we couldn't wait to go snorkelling, she decided to take us to the beach called "La Loberia" that afternoon. Taxi took us, Patricia and another guy who was staying in the B&B to La Loberia where we saw our first Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas and lots of birds. Water was colder but underwater was amazing. It was our first snorkelling in Galapagos and turned out to be the best of all the snorkelling we did in Galapagos. We saw huge giant eagle ray in the very shallow water just 10 meters from the beach. We followed it for a long time and took lots of photos. We never expected to see such a big ray, the experience we will never forget. Patricia was just sitting on the beach looking after our things. She kindly used her time to bring us here so that we could have a good time. She genuinely looked after us so well and seems she enjoys if her guests are happy.

For the next two days we did highland excursion and Isla Lobo/Kicker Rock snorkelling as planned and we enjoyed both days.

Then we left for Puerto Ayora and then back to Quito for our Andes tour. We did 5 snorkelling while in Galapagos. After Andes tour, we came back to Galapagos again to do our 8 days cruise with Celebrity Xpedition. We did more snorkelling in several islands.

Since we left San Cristobal, my husband and I always talked about our first snorkelling experience at La Loberia. During the cruise, although snorkelling was nice we couldn't forget La Loberia. We talked about it all the time. When the Xpedition stopped at San Cristobal, instead of visiting Interpretation Centre and shopping, we decided to do snorkelling by ourselves at La Loberia. We arrived at the public pier at 7.15am by Xpedition zodiac. We knew exactly what to do. Took a taxi, put our snorkelling gear at the back and we went back to La Loberia. We asked the driver to come back 2 hours later that is what we did when we first visited here with Patricia. We were at La Loberia from 7.30 in the morning. Nobody was there. The beach was just for us. As soon as we went in, we found a big turtle resting at the shallow water. Then we saw more and more turtles, maybe we saw 10. 10 turtles just for 2 people! Wow! Words cannot describe how happy we were! Then we saw a giant eagle ray again. Underwater early in the morning was serene and packed with small whiter colored fish as if there was an undersea carpet. When turtles or eagle ray swim by, these millions of fish give way to them and the scenery was amazing! We had a fantastic time again at La Loberia. We could change our clothes at the beach as there was still nobody there. What a wonderful time we had! It was sad when the time came we had to leave.

Thank you Patricia and Luis for letting us share your beautiful house, looking after us and doing everything for us to make our stay so memorable. We enjoyed our time and conversation with you. Also thank you Patricia for taking us to La Loberia. That is without doubt the best snorkelling spot for us in Galapagos. Even after having done lots of snorkelling with the cruise, nowhere could beat the underwater world of La Loberia. We wish we could stay longer and enjoy more of this beautiful island of San Cristobal. We will never forget Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol, La Loberia and San Cristobal Island.

Hiroko & David

  • Stayed March 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2012

This hotel was a great choice for me during my island hopping holiday on the Galapagos. From the first contact with Patricia, the owner, via email, I felt so comfortable in dealing with her and looked forward to staying at her hotel. I paid using PayPal which was a super convenience.

Upon arrival, I certainly was NOT disappointed. They make you feel at home and make sure you have everything you need. The rooms and the common areas are super clean. The bed was extremely comfortable. My suite was fantastic - I stayed in the Flamingo Suite. Luis made superb breakfasts and was a lot of fun. There is free wifi in the common area (living room) which worked really well. So bring your laptop. Luis even carried my luggage up to my room - very nice! I borrowed some snorkel fins from the hotel as well and they provided beach towels for us too. Patricia was extremely helpful in helping to organize places to go and places to eat. Super service. They made my last stop on the Galapagos something I will never forget!

The hot water in the shower was great with good water pressure. Bottles of water were made available to me in the fridge in my room. The A/C worked really well and there were ceiling fans too.

I highly recommend this property....I will stay here again for sure when I return to the Galapagos!!!

Thank you Patricia & Luis

Room Tip: All rooms are good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Iguana Mar y Sol

Address: Barrio Playa de Oro, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > San Cristobal
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in San Cristobal
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Casa Iguana Mar y Sol Hotel San Cristobal
Casa Iguana Mar y Sol San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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