We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Stay away from the dorms” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Mar e Iguana

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Save
You added Hostal Mar e Iguana to your Saves list
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 #12 of 24 Bocas Town B&B and Inns
Boston, MA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Stay away from the dorms”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

Overall, this was a great hostel, but if you have to stay in a dorm, there are lots of hostels in the area for the same price that are much nicer. It seemed that the majority of people who stayed here were long-term, therefore the dorm was very smelly and to say its cramped would be an understatement. The room did not feel any bigger than 10ft x 8ft and had six beds and small shelves that were not enough for one person let alone 6. We had no choice but to keep our stuff outside because there was no room to keep it in the room and there was no way to lock up valuables unless we gave them to staff (which they did offer). The dorm was certainly clean, but it smelled so bad that for days later, my clothes still smelled like it. The room was cold, but I had read that here and was prepared and wore my fleece/socks to bed and was alright. The common bathrooms were outdoors and not very clean, I never used the shower because it seemed pretty bad (only stayed one night).

However, the staff were incredibly helpful. I can't say enough good things about them. They were chatty, went out of their way to help you (they helped me book a snorkling tour when I couldn't do it on my own). It was great to chill in the hammocks and there was a very laid back vibe. The beach across the street is nothing that you would want to swim in, but made for a nice few on the deck. The private rooms seemed very nice, so please take this review only if you are thinking about the dorms.

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

80 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    37
    16
    15
    7
    5
See reviews for
4
22
12
1
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
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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"
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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...
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hostal Mar e Iguana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 #12 of 24 B&Bs / Inns in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, HostelWorld, Despegar.com and Odigeo so you can book your Hostal Mar e Iguana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hostal Mar e Iguana Hotel Bocas Town
Hostal Mar e Iguana Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hostal Mar e Iguana, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.