We came to Iguana Perdida after a few days at Casa del Mundo in Jaibalito. After reading reviews on TripAdvisor, we had chosen Casa del Mundo for a quiet, relaxing few days and had chosen Iguana Perdida as a more social, loose atmosphere. We found that to be true and much more. We arrived on a Saturday night in time for the BBQ and drag party. What a fun night! Dave, one of the owners, serenaded us on guitar with his friend on drums. That lead into a great dance party. My sister and I were a little concerned that it would feel too much like a college party (we're in our early 30s), but it was very sweet and there were people of all ages dancing and having fun.
Our room was amazing. We stayed in Room Atitlan, one of the more expensive private rooms ($40 for two people) and it was huge and beautifully decorated with a private balcony with gorgeous lake views and a comfortable king sized bed. Although it was close to the main building, we had no issues with noise or any other disturbances. We spent a lovely two nights.
Another thing that we really enjoyed was the Iguana's commitment to connecting their guests with the local culture. You can take Spanish lessons and we chose to take a backstrap weaving class with one of the women who works at the Iguana. We were invited to her house in the village and got to meet her family and learn how to weave on a backstrap loom. It was a great way to learn about the textiles that we were seeing in all of the markets as well as to have an opportunity to spend time in an indigenous village and talk with some indigenous women.
The staff were very helpful and interesting. It seems like there is a lot of turnover since they tend to hire travelers who want to settle down for a while (although they have a steady staff of local women in the kitchen). It made for a fun mix of staff and the managers, Annalise and Kevin, do a great job keeping the atmosphere fun while taking care of guest needs. Deadle and Dave, the owners of the Iguana, were around quite a bit and were very welcoming and accommodating. They have a real commitment to the community and to Lake Atitlan and you can tell by the feeling of the Iguana.
I would highly recommend Iguana Perdida. The fact that you can stay for $5 a night in the shared dorms or for $40 in a private room gives a really fun cross-section of travelers and the iguana does a great job of accommodating them all!
- Also Known As:
- La Iguana Perdida Hotel Guatemala/Lake Atitlan
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the idyllic north shore of Lake Atitlán, Santa Cruz has long been a favorite destination for international tourists, back-packers and locals who want to get away from it all.And for more than fifteen years, La Iguana Perdida has been one of the main reasons for the popularity of this unique oasis, thanks to owners Deedle and Dave. The choice of lodging runs the gamut, from big dormitories, to luxury rooms with a private bath, balcony and lake views, to a rustic cabin. Seven bathrooms are scattered around the spacious property, all with hot water. The climate is perfect for lounging in a hammock or comfortable chair all day. La Iguana Perdida is one of the best places to enjoy the beauty and serenity that Lake Atitlan has to offer.A Yoga session on the deck is a good way to start the day. Next you can go kayaking, or follow shaded trails and paths with picnic spots for along the way. After a day of hiking or kayaking, treat yourself to a wood-fired sauna or a massage. Water Sports, ScubaATI Divers, based at Iguana and with an office in Panajachel, has many options for scuba diving and snorkeling. ATI Divers operates a number of PADI scuba diving courses include certification in high altitude diving as well as other courses for professionals. Lake Atilán is one of the few places on the planet where you can swim amongst huge underwater volcanic formations and petrified trees, and actually feel hot volcanic mud on the lake bottom. Fish, crabs and other marine life add to the color. World Famous BBQ The restaurant offers inexpensive breakfast and lunch. Dinner is a delicious three-course meal with an option for vegetarians. Meat-eaters: don’t miss Saturday night’s all-you-can-eat barbecue, topped off with chocolate brownies. Theme parties, poker games, and other entertainment round out the La Iguana Perdida experience in Santa Cruz, one of Guatemala’s top vacation destinations. ... more less
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