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“Wonderful family vacation in the rainforest” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iguana Lodge

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Iguana Lodge
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Calle a Calle Platanares, Puerto Jimenez 60702, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #5 of 16 hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Wonderful family vacation in the rainforest”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I found Iguana Lodge on tripadvisor as one of the top family lodgings in Costa Rica and I'm glad to report that we're back from what was by far the most amazing family vacation we've had. My boys just turned 3 and 1 and it was a perfect place to experience all the wildlife of the Costa Rican rainforest without having to leave the resort! Obviously we couldn't do lots of tours with the little kids, but we got to see white-face Capucin monkeys, squirrel monkeys and howler monkeys almost every day at the resort, one day they even hung out above the Rancho while we were having breakfast! We saw toucans, macaws and iguanas right from our huge private porch!
Even before we arrived, I was amazed by the customer service provided by Maxine, their reservation person, who basically became my Costa Rica travel agent after the others that I talked to didn't provide the service I had hoped for. She helped us book all our intra-Costa Rica flights and even got Sansa to run a flight for us (not a charter, so regular prices!) on our arrival date so that we wouldn't have an overnight stay in San Jose. She worked with the team to organize a crib and child seat for the table for my one year old, and generally answered all my many many questions very quickly. I had been told by another agent that the Osa was too remote and not a place for little kids, but I'm so glad that Maxine convinced me otherwise.
The staff at the lodge and the restaurant was also amazingly friendly and accommodating, they carried our baby around all the time so that we could eat, attended to every need immediately and were more warm and friendly than at any other hotel we've visited.
I can also echo all the other great things mentioned in other reviews; the food was amazing, and we're very picky and my husband is not a fan of eating pre-selected meals, but he absolutely loved it too. When the dinner selections were too spicy, we were able to get kids meals from the Pearl restaurant at no extra charge. I could go on and on, but let me close with the amazing BBQ dinner we had on the beach on Dec 25 - the food and tables were set right on the sand and a huge bonfire and fire-powered paper balloons made this one of the best Christmases of my life - and the best part is, they do this every week not just on Christmas day!

Room Tip: Note that the casitas are not enclosed rooms with walls, there are slats and window covers but you h...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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226 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

I want to start by giving a little background about myself. I spend about 60++ nights a year in leisure travel so I guess the adage "been there, done that" would sort of apply here. The past 12 months alone I have been in the Yucatan/Quintana Roo/Isla Mujeres/Playa del Carmen/Merida in Mexico for 3 weeks, 8 days in Roatan. 2 week+ in Nicaragua, Corn Island/San Juan Del Sur/Granada, and the one week obligatory shopping trip to Miami of course : ) + weeks @ local beaches here in CR..... BTW, Big Corn in Nicaragua is the place to be, if you ever get the chance, GO THERE NOW, before it becomes another Cayman Islands or Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean. Lobster fishing is still the #1 industry, tourism is only second. Where else can you see this in a Crribbean island (one way airfare from Managua is around $80). Little Corn, you need to walk through the jungle to get to your hotel, from the ferry dock from Big Corn, no electricity, NADA.... Big corn is enough "roughing" it for me, I need the net to work since I'm in e-commerce..... Also where else can you see, snorkeling, NOT scuba, a sunken spanish galleon.... Or that the richest guy in the island is a direct descendant of the pirate Henry Morgan!!!

I have stayed anywhere from the Luxor in Vegas, 2nd biggest hotel in the WORLD (biggest one is the MGM across the street) and @ Kellys Creek in Cahuita, a 4 room boutique hotel. I'm also an Intercontinetal Ambassador (loyalty program for Intercontinental/Holiday Inn/Crowne Plaza hotels) so I know what it means to be treated "right".

I stayed at Iguana Lodge for 3 nights about a week++ or so ago. My daughter who is still in "remission" (she will be considered a cancer survivor in a less than a year, YEAH!!!) from childhood leukemia won a ebay auction, donated by the owners, for a cancer charity. This might make me biased but I will try to be as objective as possible in this review, under the cirscumtances...

I seriously did not know what to expect since I have never been in this part of the country. I have lived in Costa Rica, on and off, since 1979, yes that is correct, 1979. I was 11 years old back then when my family relocated to Costa Rica. I have been, from Barra del Colorado (Nicaraguan border), in the Carribean side, to Manzanillo next to Panama and EVERYWHERE in between. Pacific wise, I have been from the La Cruz/Santa Rosa Nat'l Park beaches to Uvita in the Osa - and EVERYWHERE in between (I'm talking about beaches that most people, haven't even heard of, i.e Coyote, Costa De Oro, Marbella, Cabuyal, Playa Panama, San Juanillo, Penca, Danta/Dantita, Isla Gitana (yes an island in Costa Rica) and of course the known ones like Flamingo/Tamarindo/Golfo de Papagayo/Carillo/Samara/Nosara/Playa Hermosa -Guana&Puntarenas-/Tambor/Montezuma/Junquillal/Conchal/Dominical/Quepos ewww : ) Etc etc. But this is the first time that I have been this far down south in the Pacific.

Ok, getting off topic here : )

Iguana Lodge has something to it.... I still can't put my finger into it but there is definitely "something" to this place.... It could be the deserted beach, the Scarlet Macaws flying around, Spike the resident pet, the wildlife that one can only see in a nat'l park, I really don't know, but it certainly gets a thumbs up from me... 2 thumbs up, and then some....... FYI, we never got to Corcovado Nat'l Park, but I've been to at least 90% of the CR Nat'l parks, except for Isla del Coco and a few others.....

The rooms in the "Perla" are immaculate... Everything you need, except maybe for an aircon (according to my wife), who by the way is the "cruise ship"/5 star type traveler. If you are one of those then maybe this place is not exactly for you, then again, maybe it is......

The staff are AMAZING, they literally go out of their way to make you feel special, remember I am an Intercontinental Ambassador so I know how it is to be treated "right".... Even the minibar staff @ the Inter calls you by name : )

The rooms at the "Pearl" are more than adequate, way above average definitely, VERY luxurious for Puerto Jimenez in fact. The "casitas", we checked out both, are not exactly for everyone. I'm more into rooms that has lockable doors and more privacy but I can certainly understand how some people would definitely LOVE these "casitas", not my cup of tea but that's just me....

The pool, oh the pool.... Imagine watching Jesus Christ Lizards running across the pool, yes above the water, when Spike chases them. Scarlet macaws flying and making noise above you while lazing in the pool... Wow! Flowers galore.... Laurens free yoga lessons was part of the highlight of the trip for my college aged daughters and wife. The food was good/very good, in general, but maybe one should not order "fish" when obviously it is not a very busy season, my fault, should have known better..... To be fair we only had meals @ the restaurant at the "pearl" so I can't judge the included meals when booking the casitas. Included breakfast was ourtstanding BTW,

The beach has been one of the best in CR that I have been to. I'm originally from the Philippines (7,000+ islands) so I know a "good" beach when I see one.... Also I've been to dozens and dozens of beaches in CR. San Juanillo being one of my faves.... No decent hotels though and very few restaurants, but most Guanacaste residents, locals, consider it the best beach in Guana.... Coyote, is also a must-go-to-beach if you are the lonely planet type of traveler....

In closing, if I had to rate this place, from 1 to 10, I'd probably give it an 11, then again I'm biased so why not go and see for yourself. Go ahead and sue me if you don't agree : )

Vladimir, Mardy, etc etc, EXCELLENT people, as they say here in CR, "buena gente".......

Would I go back? YES!!!! YES!!! The 6+ hour drive from San Jose is definitely worth it. The area around Dominical sorts of reminds me of the drive from LA to San Francisco, done that route 4 times, one of my favorite drives in the US.

So what are you waiting for???? Get your @ss down there!!!!... And stay at the Iguana Lodge, I couldn't imagine a more "perfect" place....

Oh, another FYI, they do EVERYTHING for you, tours etc etc, EVERYTHING,...Want a hassle free vacation??? Then, go for it, this is THE PLACE.... Say hi to Vladimir for me if you ever get down there......

Room Tip: I would stay at the "regular" rooms @ the Pearl. instead of the casitas, but as I said bef...
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  • Stayed September 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glorialauren, Owner at Iguana Lodge, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Wow thank you for the incredibly generous review of Iguana Lodge. As you say we have an incredible staff. We are very proud of the people that work here. They are extremely friendly and genuine. They are truly what Costa Rica is about and why people love to come here.

Thanks again and we hope to see you back soon. It only get better!
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Charles Town, West Virginia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

Upon arrival, we were told "Welcome to Paradise." One doesn't normally believe that is true. But in this case without exaggeration, I can say it is. The Osa Peninsula is breathtakingly beautiful. The Iguana Lodge is magically tucked into the jungle next to the most amazing beach. The staff are more like family that live just to make you happy and truly want you to appreciate the natural beauty around you without worry about planning a single thing. Every last detail is arranged for you. The food is fantastic. Seemingly even the weather is within their control, as we went during the rainy season but had abundant sunshine for our adventures and just enough rain to use as an excuse for napping. I've never been to a more peaceful and relaxing yet adventure filled place. They were right, absolute paradise!!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glorialauren, Owner at Iguana Lodge, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
I wish we could control the weather. This rainy season has been mild until yesterday (Oct 24,2012) when we got hit with a whopper... 8 inches of rain in one day! Fortunately those rains are rare and our weather is generally incredibly nice.

Virtually year round empty beaches, great warm weather and abundant wildlife make this a tru paradise. We are really happy you had such a great experience and hope to see you back soon. Thank you.
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Chester, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

My friend and I just returned from spending five beautiful days at the Iguana Lodge. Like others, I selected the Iguana Lodge based on past reviews and am so very glad I did. It's hard to find the words to explain how fond we became of the staff and the entire place. The staff were simply amazing - it was like spending time with close friends. The beach was gorgeous, the weather was perfect (a few rainy afternoons but it IS the rainy season), our room was beautiful, the food was delicious and the entire place has a magic about it. We didn't have to worry about a single thing the entire time we were there and it is one of the best vacations I have ever had. If you want to escape and get lost in a simpler (but comfortable) way of spending time, Iguana Lodge is the place to be.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glorialauren, Manager at Iguana Lodge, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
We are so happy you had a great time at Iguana Lodge. Our staff is awesome and represent the best of Costa Rica. You are right on that staff of Iguana Lodger are like friends. The people that work here are long term employees and are just like family and friends. Out staff has as much fun meeting and talking to guest such as you, as our guest enjoy talking with and getting to know our staff. Isn't this what traveling is all about? Meeting the people and enjoying the country?

Thank you very much for your wonderful review and we hope to see you back here soon!
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New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

A very special hotel with wonderful staff and delicious food!
Fantastic yoga facilities and a beautiful beach and plenty of other activities that the hotel are only too happy to arrange.
Magical...I have been more than once and I am always sad to leave this special place!

Room Tip: If you can stretch your budget to take a casita do, its special.
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We spent 7 days on a yoga retreat at Iguana and all I have to say is, I tearily returned home. Everyone who works here is equivocally so nice, accommodating, and truly cares about making your stay the most enjoyable it can possibly be.

The lodge is located close to Puerto Jimenez (about 15-20 min) and the beach is gorgeous with smooth sand and clear water. The current was a little strong (due to a passing tropical storm) but still manageable.

Every night we dined to exceptional food, served in a candlelit group setting. It wasn't a jungle diet of fruits and rice and beans, we had a wide range of Italian, American, Indian, vegetarian, and local cuisines. Seriously, it was a struggle to not stuff your face every night.

We went boogie boarding, zip lining, and kayaking in addition to practicing yoga twice a day and I haven't laughed, or been as excited to be so physically adventurous since I was a little kid.

My only tiny grievance is that we stayed in an oceanside room above Pearl and the fans just didn't quite get the air moving enough to cool down. My roommate was fine but I'm very hot-natured. Still, for everything else that's great about this place, I'm happy to be a little sweaty.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

I just returned yesterday from a week-long stay at Iguana Lodge, and NOTHING I say here will adequately express the love and attachment I now feel for this place and the people who work there. That said, though, I will try.

First, the setting is idyllic: right on the beach, but also nestled into a lush rainforest jungle filled with howler monkeys, scarlet macaws and, of course, iguanas. And the architecture and layout of the lodge buildings only serve to accentuate all of this beauty, because everything is natural, locally-inspired and eco-friendly but also elegant, refined and completely comfortable.

Second, the owners and staff here are all (without exception, seriously) AMAZING, warm, helpful, funny and smart; they treat their guests like family members, and I have to say that I feel absolutely bereft now that I have left their warm embrace.

Third, the food is just spectacular. I would normally expect to become a little bored with even very good food after a whole week of eating at the same place (especially since I'm a total foodie and I have VERY high standards when it comes to cuisine), but this was not at ALL the case! The menu, flavors and cultural inspirations (Asian, Indian, Italian, South American, BBQ...) change daily, and every single meal offers and incredible variety of choices. The quality of the ingredients is also extraordinary (there is a huge emphasis on locally-grown, organic, naturally- and sustainably-raised meat, eggs, produce and dairy), so that of course enhances the eating experience.

And finally, the Osa Peninsula (where the Iguana Lodge is located) is breathtakingly gorgeous, with lots of really interesting things to see and do (one caveat: this is NOT a place for shopaholics - retail therapy opportunities are pretty few and far between), and the Iguana Lodge community includes lots of wonderful guides and local experts who can really unlock the joy and beauty of this place for visitors.

I've traveled all over the world in the course of my life; I've stayed in lots of great hotels, I've eaten all kinds of fabulous food, I've gotten to know wonderful people along the way, and I've seen some amazing, unforgettable sights, but my week at the Iguana Lodge tops all of those experiences, hands down, and I will carry this place and these people in my heart until I get the chance to go back - which I hope will be very, very soon.

Room Tip: One note: this lodge is in a very remote area, and it
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Iguana Lodge

Address: Calle a Calle Platanares, Puerto Jimenez 60702, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Puerto Jimenez
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iguana Lodge 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Iguana Lodge is the Osa Peninsula's premier beach eco-resort. Established over eleven years ago, Iguana Lodge is founded on the principles of sustainable tourism, personalized service, joy, health, and well-being. Located on the most beautiful beach on the Osa (no kidding), Iguana Lodge is a contemporary, lushly landscaped resort with a 20 meter lap pool and Jacuzzi, two yoga decks and complimentary yoga classes*, a deluxe spa, a fabulous Tico staff, award winning fresh, healthy meals at our two restaurants, our own naturalist, and excellent jungle and ocean adventures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iguana Hotel Puerto Jimenez
Iguana Resort Puerto Jimenez
Iguana Lodge Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez

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