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“Coolest hostel in Bocas del Toro!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Mar e Iguana

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Hostal Mar e Iguana
Playa Ismito - Bocas Town - Isla Colon | Frente a la entrada de la playa el Istmito, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 06-100, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 22 Bocas Town B&B and Inns
Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Coolest hostel in Bocas del Toro!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

After a pretty bad experience at another lodging, my boyfriend and I were eager to cut our holiday short and return to our home in Costa Rica. We decided to spend one night at Mar e Iguana and take the bus the next morning, but after meeting the staff, chilling in the Tower hammocks and finally feeling the Island vibe, we ended up staying for 5 days! The private room was exactly what we were looking for, no-frills but comfortable and with its own bathroom and patio complete with hammocks. The best part was the amazing art work all over the hostel, and the two story chill-out tower with the killer ocean view. We spent most of our time up there. Ricardo and the other bartenders were really friendly and helpful, telling us where the best beaches were for snorkelling and fishing (my boyfriend brought his spear gun) and places to get authentic Caribbean food around the island. Cuba, the rasta man, even offered us his surfboard to borrow for the day. We loved the location of the hostel, away from the noise and traffic of Bocas Town, but only a dollar cab ride away. By staying in this part of town we were walking distance to some beautiful beaches, fun waves and amazing marine life. If you're planning to spend any time on this island, then we highly recommend you check out Mar e Iguana !!

Room Tip: "Don't miss the Thursday night BBQ & Live Music"
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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73 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami Beach, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

I enjoyed my time in Mar e Iguana Hostel and would happy go back. The room with the balcony was great, kitchen very well equiped. It has a garden and the porch with hommocks relaxig and confortable. The hostel definitely has a Caribbean flavor.

The staff are friendly and helpful and provide good information about the area. The bar is open all day with great music.

The hostel is in a good location not far away from town and in front of the beach, supermarkets and restaurants are very close. They also rent bikes which is the best way to get around the island.

I look forward to returning some time in the future and would definitly recomen this hostel to anyone visiting Bocas del Toro

  • 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.
Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

The good:
The beach view terrace was a good place to relax. Dorms were priced right at the usual 10 bucks a night. Kitchen was reasonably clean. Good little bar on site, with some great happy hour prices.

The bad:
Not the cleanest dorms in the area. The AC was freezing cold, as your only option was on or off. Only one thin sheet to sleep with. This place had the smallest fridge I have ever seen in a hostel. It was one of the tiny Red Bull ones that are usually on the counters of stores. 2 of the burners on the stove did not work, and the oven barely got hot. The bartender constantly pushed tours on us.

Bottom line:
This location was an OK backpackers option. There are, without a doubt, better options in Bocas Town. If I were going to come to Bocas del Toro again, I wouldn't stay in Bocas Town for more than a night anyways

Room Tip: Spend the extra on a private if you are traveling with a companion. At least you can control the AC...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012 via mobile

The Good
-kitchen well equipped
-staff friendly
-bar happy hour
-close to a few eateries
-tropical gardens
-chill out tower

The Bad
-super tiny fridge like 1ft x 1ft
-cramped rooms poorly designed
-don't trust Rasta bar guy he's keen to rip you off
-millions of mozzies in rooms (not their fault)
-no hot water (prob don't need anyway it's hot)
-way too much loud reggae

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

The double rooms are small, except for one. The bathrooms don't have hot water, neither soap. There is no room service and they could use more hangers in the room, because the weather is usually damp and clothes take long to dry. The shared kitchen is well-equipped, but there is no food provided by the hostel, and the refrigerator is tiny. The kitchen closes at 9p.m, and that means you have to finish up everything before that time.
The good things are the amazing high-deck with hammocks to chill and the bar/reception area, except for when the music is too loud (music starts at 8a.m.). You can rent bikes at the hostel for 5 dollars per day. The location is good, because it's not in the middle of the town, it's by the sea, a more pleasant area. And the cabs to town are really cheap (0.60 dollars per person), and you can wal to town in 15 minutes.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

I stayed here because its close to the surf spots. They let me use their bike to ride around town. I put my tent under the gazebo for 5 bucks. They had a sweet party in the evening. The food was great, I danced with south american ladies all night!!! I recommend this place...

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Shenzhen, China
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

The place is a laid back hostel with happy hr in the evening. They have a porch with hammocks where you can relax or check your email...just watch for the feisty mosquitoes! We rented a double room with our own bathroom. The room was clean but the mattress is not very comfy and the mosquito net was not placed correctly and it bother both of us while sleeping. There is no hot water on the shower but you might not need it in Bocas Town :)
The place is right before the entrance of Feria del Mar and it has a little beach in front but it is a little far from the center of the town, about a 15 minute walk. It is an ok place if you just need a place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hostal Mar e Iguana

Address: Playa Ismito - Bocas Town - Isla Colon | Frente a la entrada de la playa el Istmito, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 06-100, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hostel Mar e Iguana and the Irie Lion bar is the perfect place to relax when you travel to Bocas del Toro. Sitting beside the Caribbean Sea just minutes from Bocas Town.Mar e Iguana has access to all of the activities this area offers, but it enjoys the serenity that makes Bocas Panama unique.Your key to comfort in Bocas del Toro...Specializing in relaxation and having great rates, the hostel has a wide range of features. Guests can get help scheduling tours, surf lessons, massages and other activities. Visitors here can also enjoy the nightlife of Bocas Town, with bars and restaurants only minutes away. For those who are more interested in enjoying nature, the sound of the waves has a calming effect, especially when heard from the hostels comfortable hammocks.Rooms at Hostel Mar e Iguana are also very comfortable and provide features you would expect in a resort, such as air conditioning, private bathrooms and free Wi-Fi.The Irie Lion Bar & Restaurant provides great drinks and special food every days, plus you can enjoy live reggae music every thursday.... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostal Mar e Iguana Hotel Bocas Town
Hostal Mar e Iguana Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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