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.