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“Hot and steamy eco-lodge paradise” 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 #3 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Certificate of Excellence
Marin County, CA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Hot and steamy eco-lodge paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014 via mobile

The Iguana Lodge provides a peaceful refuge in a largely undiscovered corner of paradise. The staff and owners are very friendly and provide great service.

This is an Eco-lodge and Puerto Jimenez is hot and humid. There's no air conditioning and the heat can be uncomfortable with no refuge, so if you like your creature comforts this isn't the place for you.

We stayed in a two story casita. Each casita is a 30 second walk from the main dining areas. They are two story with a bedroom on each level and bathroom and toilet on the ground floor. The bedrooms are open except for mosquito net blinds (and retractable blinds to stop rain getting in), privacy is not 100% like in a walled room.

Our first night sleeping in a casita was challenging. Although you're 200 yards from the beach the noise of crashing waves can be fairly loud, or soothing depending on you. There are ceiling fans, but it's still very sticky and hot. Mattresses are not the most comfortable. But this is an Eco-lodge.

Showers had plentiful hot water, water pressure was ok but not great. There was wifi throughout but getting a connection was spotty, they didn't seem to have enough "slots" for guests.

Meals were very good indeed and not too pricey. Breakfasts were included and generally to a very good standard with a broad enough selection on offer that even our fairly food fussy kids didn't go hungry.

We also slept in a Club Room. These are more like conventional hotel rooms above the main dining area of "The Pearl". They again don't have air conditioning, there are fans that provide some minimal extra comfort from the heat. You get proper walls. The Friday night salsa dancing is very loud but thankfully ends around 9pm. Most people turn in early.

Excursions are on the expensive side. Expect a half day excursion for a family of 4 to cost over $200. One gets the impression the place serves a fairly high end clientele based on excursion pricing. You don't need to tip for meals, but it is suggested you pay a 10% gratuity on your room price which is split between the staff.

We highly recommend the dolphin watching boat trip with Josh. He claims a 98% chance of seeing dolphins! we had dolphins repeatedly swim right alongside the small boat. The water was very clear when we were there and the snorkeling was excellent.

We also did the Matapalo nature hike with Sid, the lodge's local naturalist. This involved a 45 minute drive followed by a leisurely 3 hour walk where he would stop and explain things about every 300 yards, the trail was fairly flat so I'd recommend this tour to those looking for an activity that's not too strenuous in the heat where you can see a lot of wildlife.

The only hiccup was midway through our stay we had to change rooms (at their request). We returned exhausted and grimy ready for a shower and change of clothing from the boat trip, but despite being away 6 hours our new room was not ready. This should have been seamless.

The beach had quite a few waves and darker, volcanic sand. The pool was perfect for cooling down and in an idyllic clearing next to a yoga platform that looked like it inspired by Bali.

Overall the Iguana Lodge, Puerto Jimenez is a fantastic place to see somewhere off the beaten track in tropical paradise.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
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278 reviews from our community

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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 (69)
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English first
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

Service is excellent. Professional and accurate.
Nature is one of a kind, views , ocean , forest and wildlife (we been all over the world), we did a short walk one hour drive away with the hotel guide and it was great.
The place is well organized. Resturant , pool and Yoga area are all very good nicely done.
But Know where you are going to - No AC (there are fans)

Stayed June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

I spent a couple of days at Iguana Lodge last week and greatly enjoyed my stay.

Mid June is not high season, so I was the only guest in the Club Room area. Only two couples with children were staying in the Casitas.

My room was in the Club Room building located right on top of the La Perla Restaurant. It had screened windows and a fan, both helped me keep cool in the intense heat. I found the room to be appropriate, clean and with the amenities you would expect of a moderately priced lodge. My only complaint would be the loud music from the restaurant. Not a problem as I spent my days outside, but I would see how it would be bothersome if you want to take a nap.

The location is very nice, right on a long and lovely sandy beach that is perfect for bodysurfing, swimming, wading and walking on late afternoons and early mornings. Like everywhere else in the Osa, the sand is black and gets extremely hot so it is a good idea to bring your water sandals.

The pool is quite large and feels refreshingly cool when you come from the beach. It has a shallow area that is perfect for children or just for sitting around and chilling. A veranda area with lounge chairs is perfect for reading a book or enjoying a quiet moment.

To my taste, the food was mediocre but I was coming from a week at Bosque del Cabo where the meals were top notch. Otherwise, I would say the food is acceptable, with extensive choices and moderate prices. The restaurants close at 8.00pm and the lodge gets very quiet after that.

The early morning is filled with the songs of birds. To my delight, two scarlet macaw pairs kept doing their rounds back and forth around the lodge.

As far as activities, I spent all my time at the beach and pool but the reception can arrange a wide variety of tours right on the spot. Some tours require advance notice such as visits to Corcovado.

Overall, I found Iguana Lodge to be a good place for a stay in PJ. I recommend the lodge for anyone who wants to use PJ as a home base for a trip to the Osa, not just solo travelers and couples but also families with young children because of the safety of the beach (relatively small waves, no riptides, no rocks), pool and grounds. Note the mosquitos can be quite persistent so repellent is a must.

The PJ airport is less than 20 minutes away and a taxi takes you there for only $ 10. This is another convenient point to the lodge.

Room Tip: The casitas are larger and a better choice for families or couples. Clubrooms are nice too, but rath...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glorialauren, Owner at Iguana Lodge, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
HI,

Thanks for visiting. We didn't get a chance to meet you as we were away.

We take our food quite seriously here, and "mediocre" is definitely not a word we often hear about our food - so we followed up - we were fascinated. Who are you, and what did you eat?

Due to the wonders of​ technology, we found ​out how long you stayed and ​what you ate while visiting: interestingly, you only​ spent one night in a Club Room and only ate only one dinner. You chose to dine not in the Iguana Lodge Rancho where our epic food is well known throughout Costa Rica, but at our bar/restaurant, The Pearl of the Osa. Moreover, even though the Pearl's menu is broad and offers many delicious, interesting options such as Grilled Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad or Grilled Fish Tacos with Ginger Marmalade, you ordered the most basic options on the menu: a Costa Rican Chicken Casado and an ice cream sandwich.

Now, Costa Rica is known for a lot of wonderful things, but their food is​n't on that list. Our Casados - as we explain on the menu - are one of the few Costa Rican dishes we off​er. We keep it on our menu because the Pearl is open to the general public, and we often have Ticos (Costa Ricans) eat here. We also have guests who, understandably, want to taste real Costa Rica food​.

However ... ​It is a pity that if you were interested in great food, you ordered such a simple dish, that frankly would have greatly pleased almost any Costa Rican, and disappointed almost any North American with a penchant for great food. Costa Ricans expect from a Casado rice, beans, a small piece of meat, fish or chicken and some overcooked vegies. That is how they like it! Hopefully next time, you will branch out a bit - and I am quite certain that you will duly impressed with our meals at both of our restaurants.

Re mosquitoes, the rains have arrived as it is June, and they were definitely making an appearance in June. (Nothing like the big mozzies found in the northern US and Canada - but a few are present here - no doubt).

Re the music, our youthful staff is always happy to turn down the music​, all you need do is ask!

Again thanks for coming, and taking the time to share with fellow travelers. I am sorry we didn't get to meet you, and find out ahead of time that you love great food.
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

Staying at the Iguana Lodge provided a warm, loving atmosphere where I could relax on my deck and watch wildlife. The howling monkeys are my neighbours and their bark is bigger than their bite. I saw an iguana in the tree outside my door to my cabin. The host gave fresh bananas by the bunch everyday. We had internet access and television. The pool was clean and cool on those hot days. I hit the Caribbean Sea for a swim in the salt and eating locally was a walk away. When I ordered the fish, I got the whole thing and it was well made. The Iguana Lodge provided haircuts at low cost and the ground were always kept clean. Love this place. It cost well within my budget. I would recommend this place to anyone.

Room Tip: cabin one provided lots of room for the whole family
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

Iguana lodge is in a beautiful location. We picked it because it was on the beach. The family who run the property are very nice people and so are their staff. You absolutely have to appreciate that this is an Eco lodge in every sense of the word and you maybe out of your comfort zone as the jungle is around you. Be prepared for early mornings woken by the jungle coming alive and very early nights as the bar shuts. The food was excellent best we had and there are lots of trips to do to see nature which the hotel organises however we found hanging out just at the hotel not that relaxing.... The beach is beautiful but only had 4 deck chairs in the shade and no loungers or umbrellas... The sand is too hot to lay on so if the chairs are full lucks out. The pool area is pretty and has loungers but it's very closed in by th trees and found therefore lots of bugs around. Personally for me the pool was not that inviting, it is Eco and has salination cleaning but just didn't look so clean. The casitas are nice and it is lovely to sit and read and take in the surroundings. The dinners as I said were gorgeous and it was nice to meet people and chat but everything shut down very early so we found ourselves back in our rooms by 8 to 830. On the last night there was a BBQ and everyone was sat round chatting when they asked for last orders at 7.20pm! Also a small thing but we tried to book a massage 2 days on the trott and no was available as the girls was away and the other busy. So depends what you are looking for but for me needs a few tweeks.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

Sorry, this review is a bit late. Jay and I spent 14 wonderful days at Iguana Lodge at the end of April, watching the other guests moan at having to leave after 2 or 3 days. Everyone exclaimed that Iguana Lodge was the highlight of their trip and they wished they had more time. Well, we never regretted for a minute our fortnight at Iguana Lodge.
Lauren and Toby were consummate hosts - catering to our every need, while at the same time becoming friends. What an interesting couple! If you come to Iguana Lodge, do take the time to find out a little about them! And make sure you take at least one of Lauren's yoga classes!
Sidnar, their Naturalist is a gem! So knowledgeable and enthusiastic!
The staff at the lodge were awesome! You could tell that they loved Lauren and Toby and they were not employees but family. Say hi to our angel Gabriel for us! It was great to eat, drink and laugh with the locals on Tuesday and Friday nights.
So what did we do for 14 days? Take long, long walks on the secluded beach, boogie board (the waves are perfect in the morning), go to 1 or 2 yoga classes daily, take wonderful tours, eat incredible meals, walk into town (often with Spike the wonder dog in tow), socialize with the other guests and relax in our lovely suite!
The club rooms are great, and the cabinas are even better. The grounds are so beautiful. There are plenty of almond trees, which attract the Scarlet Macaws. We watched monkeys playing in the trees during our yoga classes - Tracey is an amazing teacher and also runs the spa. Do have one of her massages - you will melt!
Iguana Lodge is paradise, whether for 2 days or 2 weeks. We will definitely be back!

Thanks Lauren and Toby!

Marie and Jay

Room Tip: The club rooms are just fine, but the one corner room over the kitchen can be a bit smelly when the...
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

My husband and I stayed here for 6 nights at the end of March, at the beginning of a 18-day visit to Costa Rica. This was our third trip in a row to Costa Rica, and we have stayed at a number of places, and the Iguana Lodge hit the high notes for everything we were looking for. It was perfect for us. We had an upstairs of one of the casitas. The balcony was large - several comfortable chairs and a great hammock. My DH spent much of his time on that balcony, reading, alternating with the 30-second stroll down to the ocean for quick dips in the beautiful clean Golfo Dulce. I loved the pool area for a bit of shade and socializing, as well as the sitting areas beneath the yoga studio. The yoga was sooo fun! A bit more vigorous than I'm used to (I'm 62) but very inspiring and the space was incredibly beautiful for yoga. OK, the food was incredible - very very high quality, interesting, plentiful, many options on the beautiful buffet each night. The communal table was really fun and we lingered most nights talking -- the lodge was full while we where there (spring break) with lots of families with children/teenagers - all well mannered, fun, and having an absolute blast. Our daughter is in college, so not with us, but we loved seeing these families and the kids making friends. We were there for both the Friday night Salsa Dance Party -- we danced a bit, and Lauren got my quiet husband up to dance with her -- and for the Tuesday night Beach BBQ - that was on our last night so by then we'd made friends and they (Lauren/Toby/staff?) had put us together at the same table - lots of fun. Did I saw the food was amazing? Yes, but it bears repeating. Breakfasts were wonderful as well, as we appreciated the flexibility on breakfast times - DH especially liked that there was wonderful very strong coffee available by 5:30 am. The beach was just beautiful, mostly deserted, waves just large enough to play in, some body surfing. Drinks at the bar were interesting and healthful, even those with spirits - lots of herbs and interesting combos. We did a few half day tours, including mangrove kayaking and boat trip in the Golfo Dulce, but mostly enjoyed just being there.
Cons: just to be honest: 10) no little fridge in the room. The casitas are two-in-one. We had the upper level casita, and mostly our neighbors downstairs were very respectful and quiet, but one group (with said teenagers) were particularly loud, but they were only there 2 nights (and it was the father who was the loudest!). We really liked the view and being in the upper level. As long as you know you don't have the whole thing to yourself. (There is a larger three story casita that is private, but way beyond what we needed.) But this wouldn't in the least stop us from visiting again, and I really hope to do so, next time perhaps with our daughter and friends... I'll let my photos tell the rest of the story. Thank you Lauren, wonderful hostess, artist, yogi, you made it really fun.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iguana Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 19
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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