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“Beautiful home base from which to visit this spectacular area!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Iguana Mar y Sol

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Casa Iguana Mar y Sol
Barrio Playa de Oro, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 17 San Cristobal B&B and Inns
Alberta
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
175 helpful votes 175 helpful votes
“Beautiful home base from which to visit this spectacular area!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

We had a wonderful three day stay at this beautiful “home away from home”. It provided the perfect base from which we could get oriented and explore the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (“PBM”) and the San Cristobal area, prior to our land-based Galapagos tour commencing. Designed by Patricia and constructed by craftsman Luis, Casa Iguana is a work of art. Each suite is well-equipped, spotlessly clean, and impeccably maintained, and with a small fridge to keep beverages cold. There are balconies on each level and a roof-top terrace – any of which provide an amazing setting to enjoy a cold beer and appreciate a view of the sun setting over the harbor. There is an area at the side where you can rinse out your snorkel gear and hang up to dry, and a roof-top terrace where clothing can be hung to sun-dry as well. There is wireless internet, but with limited range and only accessible in the main floor common area.

This is a great place for quiet and respectful travelers - those who are looking for somewhere to stay up late drinking and partying should go elsewhere. Each morning a simple but tasty breakfast is served in the kitchen area, with coffee (from their own small plantation in the highlands), juice, fruit, and the day’s special. One morning it might be a hearty slab of delicious home-baked banana bread, another day an omelet.

PBM is a great location to spend a few days getting oriented on your own, and resolve any jet lag, prior to commencing any formal Galapagos tour. PBM is much smaller, quieter, and less touristy than Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island. At Casa Iguana you are well-located to explore the PBM area on foot. Within minutes you reach the waterfront and can head along it into town, passing the many restaurants, shops, and seals along the way. Or you can head out of town the other way, and walk to beaches, the park orientation center and its great displays, and onwards on good trails to the viewpoint of Tijeretas Hill, Darwin’s statue, and several beaches and coves where you can swim and snorkel.

While on San Cristobal, also take the opportunity to visit the La Loberia bay on your own - is a short inexpensive taxi-ride from PBM town just past the airport, and a great place to snorkel on your own with sea lions, sea turtles, etc - not to be missed! The drop-off point is a dead-end parking area, from there the bay is a 15-20 minute walk along an interesting beach trail. Arrange with your taxi driver to return later to pick you up at specific time (I suggest you need 3-4 hours to adequately enjoy the spot), note the taxi truck number so you return with the right guy, and pay at end of round trip.

PBM is a bustling town with a variety of activities. Casa Iguana itself is very quiet, but sound carries well throughout the bay area. The sound of early morning crowing roosters, barking seals, occasional barking dogs at night, boat engines in the harbor, local construction, and music in the community are all a fact of life, regardless of where you stay. Savvy experienced travelers who like to sleep soundly carry ear plugs in their travel kit as a standard matter of course, and it would be prudent to do so as well when here.

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Safe travels!!

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reston, Virginia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

My wife and I made a quick trip to Ecuador and wanted to spend a few days in the Galapagos Islands before heading to Panama to visit family. After doing a lot of research we decided to stay at Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol based upon the great TripAdvisor reviews. I booked the reservation with Patricia and as we were corresponding I explained to her that we only had a few days in San Cristobal and asked about things to do. Patricia was so great in providing me with information and recommendations on things to do. She was so nice and was always so willing to answer my questions and provide additional information.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Luis. Patricia did tell me in advance that she would not be there during our stay, but that we would be in great hands with Luis, and she was right! He greeted us with a big smile and welcome and spent a lot of time showing us around and talking with us about the island, the house, etc. The house itself is beautiful. Patricia designed it and Luis built it, and he also did all of the wood working, which is very beautiful to see. At the time of our stay, we were the only ones there and Luis made us feel like we were part of the family. We had great conversations with him during breakfast, as well as when we would see him throughout the day. Each time we came back from our daily adventures, he was there to welcome us home with a big smile and asked how our day was. At the end of each day, we would come back and spend some time upstairs on the roof top patio, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the island.

Knowing that we only had limited time in San Cristobal, Patricia and Luis made arrangements for us to spend a day with a guide by the name of Manuel. I highly recommend you ask for Manuel if you want to enjoy a great day on the island. He picked us up in the morning and he took us all around the island. We drove around a lot, walked around the highlands and then walked around by the ocean and on the rocks. He took us to see tortugas, iguanas and blue footed boobies. He is such a nice guy. We had a lot of fun with him and felt like we've known him for a long time. It was the same with Luis. We felt like we knew him for a long time as well. To give you a good example of the great service we received, Luis called Manuel during the day to see how my wife and I were doing and if we were enjoying our tour. I thought that was such a nice thing for him to do. The next evening we were walking around town and we saw Manuel and he greeted us like we were old friends.

Our room at Casa Iguana was very nice! The bed was very comfortable and the room was super clean. The a/c works very well and kept the room really cool at night, which made for great sleeping. In the morning there was always a nice breeze, so we shut off the a/c, opened the shutters and enjoyed the breeze. We looked forward to breakfast each morning because the food and conversation were great. We had a lot of fun talking and laughing with Luis during our breakfast.

We only stayed for 3 nights, but I will tell you when we left on Wednesday morning, it was difficult to say goodbye to Luis because he did make us feel like family. My wife and I both felt sad to leave.

If you are going to the Galapagos Islands, I would highly recommend spending a few days on San Cristobal and staying with Luis and Patricia. The island is a special place and taking the time to really see the beauty of the island is well worth it. We were so glad we decided not to do a cruise and spend a few days on the island instead. The locals are very friendly and welcoming.

The only downside of our stay was that we did not meet Patricia in person as she experienced some travel delays in getting back to Ecuador.

We will certainly go back to the Galapagos Islands again and our first stop will be at Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol.

Thank you Patricia and Luis for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed April 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We stayed one night at the Casa Iguana Mar y Sol prior to a 7-night cruise, but regretted not staying at least a couple nights more. After our $1 taxi ride from the airport (gratuities added in for the bags, of course :) we were met at the front gate by Luis, the owner. Luis doesn't speak much English, but with my rusty Spanish, and his warmth and hospitality, we managed just fine! Luis gathered up our luggage and took us to our our rooms (there were 4 of us). He went over all of the details of the rooms, explaining how everything works. The rooms were VERY spacious and comfortable, CLEAN, nicely decorated, plenty of hot water in the shower, and bottled water provided in the fridge. Luis gave us a very good restaurant recommendation, and off we went to grab some lunch, and introduce ourselves to the hundreds of sea lions that were all hanging out on the beach. From the B&B, you just hang a right from the gate, and in 2 blocks, you're at the beach. You take a left and there is a boardwalk with all kinds of restaurants and shops. On the way back, we stopped and purchased some momentos, and some nice, cold, beverages. When we got back to the B&B, Luis was making furniture; Luis has made most of the furniture at the B&B, and has done many hand carvings; very unique and beautiful. We stopped and admired his handy work, and then when we were discussing a fruit tree in his yard, he went and got a ladder, and picked fruit for us to taste. Now, if that's not customer service, I don't know what is! Taking our purchased goody bag, we made our way up to the roof top of the B&B where there are tables and chairs. We opened up some cold ones, and enjoyed looking out into the harbor, and watched the sunset. What an AMAZING VIEW!!! The next morning, Luis had our breakfast made as per our requested time. He made the most incredible "egg tortilla" breakfast; it was absolutely delicious! I asked for the recipe! Then he gave us directions to go to the Darwin Museum; about a 15 minute walk, take a left outside the gate, take a left at the road, go all the way to the end of the road, past the N.C. Research Center. After we got back from the museum, Luis called a taxi service to come and collect us at the B&B, and instructed him on where to take us to meet our cruise. In summary, we really didn't feel like we were staying at a B&B. We felt like we were honored guests. I highly recommend!

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013 via mobile

On our tour of the galapagos, Casa iguana mar y sol stood out as the nicest place we stayed. The location was fantastic, a 3 minute walk along the waterfront to the ferry wharf. The rooms were cool, quiet and comfortable with perfect a/c and a roof fan for the cooler nights. Breakfast was substantial and entertaining with the delightful Luis as host. All in I wish we had stayed longer here. As a side note, Luis is the kindest most enchanting host who made us feel thoroughly welcome and at home (especially with his impression of Los lobos!)

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

Luis was an amazing host from the second our taxi rolled around to dump our bags mud tour until the second we left. We only wish we had longer to stay here & enjoy Luis welcoming smile & the best breakfast since we left Sydney! The room was the best we've had from the comfy bed to the exquisitly handcrafted window shutters. Patricia & Luis have thought of every detail down to a normal bar of soap & bottle of Pantene in the shower! Luis homegrown coffee was the perfect morning pick me up! Thanks Luis & Patricia you'll be high in our memories of the Galapagos.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We spent 3 nights at the Casa Iguana and liked it more and more the longer we stayed. Luis and Patricia the owners, were very accommodating and super-friendly. Patricia baked a cake and gave us some afternoon tea and even offered to wash some clothes for us, so nice! We had the smallest room (I think) but it was spacious, clean and very comfortable. Nice breakfast and good wifi, though it only works in the main living area. The deck upstairs was really nice for having a drink in the sunset.
The only negatives were that we were a bit surprised that our bed was not made each morning and the floor on the deck upstairs was quite dirty (we realized when we got up to do some yoga in the morning).

Room Tip: All the rooms seemed to be very nice. The bigger rooms had a some sofas and sort of a lounge area...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
spiralstaircase, Owner at Casa Iguana Mar y Sol, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
We value so much our guests who travel from so far at great expense to visit our island. When our guests are out of their room for an adventure, we tidy the beds and clean the bathrooms., Sometimes this is in the afternoon. Being good stewards of the scant water supply on our desert island, we have long adopted the policy of bed linen changing 2 times per week. I wish I had communicated this norm better to you. Since San Cristobal is windy enough to support wind-generated electric energy , it has also the negative effect of covering all surfaces with lava dust at a maddenly constant rate ! I am sorry you had a lava-dusty experience on the tile terrace surface. Dirty it was not, irritatingly lava dusty, certainly. In this case I wish I had pre cleaned your area of exercise prior to an unpleasant experience, Thank you very much for coming to our home, and the comments which will help me better advise future clients.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at the Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol for one night. When we arrived we were met by our gracious hosts, Luis and Patricia. The main salon was well appointed and very clean, as was the room we stayed in. Overall the facilites were at higher than typical standards for the area. The room we had (the smallest available) was large with a large and comfortable bed and a private bathroom with a large shower. The room had a fridge which was stocked with cold bottles of water.Large windows allowed for a wonderful cross breeze which blew in off of the ocean.

The home was well cared for and our hosts clearly took a lot of effort to maintain it. On the uppermost floor there is a lovely veranda, offering a spectacular vista of sunsets over the harbour. Patricia speaks both Spanish and English and was able to give us good information for our stay in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. We were suffering a bit of gastro upset and Patricia offered us some meds to help us out and both she and Luis went above and beyond to make our short stay a pleasant one. The breakfast (included in the cost of the room) was home cooked and very nice, with pancakes and sausages, juice and coffee. The coffee served is home grown on property belonging to the owners and they roast it and serve it to their guests.

I wholeheartedly recommend this lovely home with a beautiful view of the harbour, conveniently located close to everything, far enough away though to offer some relief from the inevitable harbour sounds.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 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 3
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 17 B&Bs / Inns in San Cristobal
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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