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“Que bueno!”
Review of Casa De La Iguana

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Casa De La Iguana
Reviewed October 24, 2012

I've now stayed at Casa de la Iguana three times, and wouldn't stay anywhere else in Livingston. You're bound to have a rad time, even in low season, as the staff are always up for some shenanigans. I've seen so many different staff here as they tend to be backpackers stopping here to work for a month or two but they've always been fun, friendly, and helpful. The owner Rusty is a character definitely worth meeting.
There are plenty of hammocks to chill out in, surprisingly efficient internet, cheap happy hour, awesome food, and what I consider a gorgeous property. The dorms and bathrooms are always clean. The private cabanas are beautiful.
People do need to understand that: 1. The jungle is literally Casa Iguana's backyard, so insects happen, and 2. It is a party hostel. It's far more common that a wild night of skinny dipping and drunken rafter dancing will be your experience here rather than a quiet, cozy night reading in your room. But I have met plenty of people here who were on the quieter side and thoroughly enjoyed their stay here as well.
If you're a fun, open minded person who wants to experience the really unique culture of Livingston, Casa de la Iguana is totally for you.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank L-penner88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 - 172 of 267 reviews

Reviewed October 3, 2012

The town itself does not worth the boat fee to it!!! 250q per person for a round trip to see nothing... Don't really understand the big fuss about livingston. Regarding the hostel it self - Iguana is in a middle of a swamp... No kidding, SWAMP. Actually beside the nice personals the place itself is really not that good. Me and my husband arrived to our honeymoon and I strongly suggest that couples won't go there. With the right kind of backpackers I'm sure that is a nice atmosphere, however there is nothing you can do when your whole room is FULL with spider webs, crabs and all kind of insects.
Do yourself a favor - if you are honeymooners, avoide this hostel and Livingstone at all!

Room Tip: There aren't any.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tom S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rustylucky, Owner at Casa De La Iguana, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2012

It is apparent that your honeymoon should not be spent in the jungle. There are animals in the jungle. It is also wet. There are stereotypes of certain nationalities travelling which I don't adhere to but even people from those countries are aware of them. You arrived moaning, left moaning and didn't open your eyes to see any beauty in between. You just wrote off a whole island with a unique culture. I can accept criticism when it is justified but this is a poor review by someone backpacking who really shouldn't be. Thankyou for saying there are nice staff here. I know they worked really hard on it.

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Reviewed July 28, 2012

I stayed at the Iguana in mid July. I had only planned on staying one night as a stopping point before going to the Bay Islands, and I ended up staying for over two weeks. Livingston is a wonderful little town full of culture, wonderful locals, delicious food, and of course...Casa de la Iguana. Days are nice and relaxing, you can watch TV (until 6), go on a half day tour to the beach or waterfall, go for a swim in the lake, play cards, or read book in a hammock. Nights are a blast. The AMAZING staff at the Iguana are always around the common area whether they are working or not, dinners are always family style, and the happiest hours are "happy hour"! Don't underestimate the Iguana or Livigston, at least stay a full 2 days to meet the locals, staff, and see the Livigson/Rio Dulce area!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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2  Thank BrittDens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

If you want to drink and party well into the night then this is the hostel for you. The staff are always pushing drinking games and will keep the bar open as long as people are drinking. If you want a quiet place in the evenings then this is probably not the place for you.

The breakfast and lunch menu is on the small side but everything I had was excellent and delicious. Dinner is family-style (everyone sits down together, with a single meat or vegetarian option) and a great way to meet other travellers.

Rooms are rustic, expect a few bugs. Wifi was amazingly fast but they cut it off at 9pm every night (to get you off FB and drinking more). The place could definitely be improved with its own waterfront site, ie if they expanded across the road, as it does get very humid there, so being able to sit by the water (and continue to run up your drinks tab!) would be a huge plus. Note: sand flies are really bad there, or were when I was there at least. not sure about other times of the year.

If you stay at Iguana expect shenanigans!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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Thank travla67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

We didn't actually stay at Iguana, but everyone told us to go there for drinks and a good time. They weren't wrong. We had a blast. the best thing was that the people who work there are so nice that they immediately make you feel like part of their family. We even had dinner all together, family-like.

I recommend it if you're backpacking and want to be where the life of the party is or if you want to stay at a more chill place and go somewhere fun for drinks, this is it.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank andreagarcia07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2012

I always enjoy a stay at this hostel when I´m in Livingston- for me it is just a great place to chill out and party and there are always plenty of opportunities to do both! Great happy hour in the bar with 10Q drinks, great family style dinners and a very relaxed atmosphere- you can pretty much do whatever you like (chances are it will involve alcohol in some way)- if you want to dance on the roof rafters in the bar or hang from them upside down while chugging a beer, you can! If you want to play stip poker in the middle of the afternoon, you can! Or, if you just want to go out and check out the unique town of Livingston before returning to relax with the rest of the guests then that is no problem either.

Main points- great food, great atmosphere, cool owner, cheap bar, free wifi and hot shower available (if you really want one in Livingston!)- all these make La Iguana a great place to stay.

To be somewhat impartial (and it is hard because I love this place and the owner, Rusty, is a really sound guy)- As you can probably tell from the plethora of mixed reviews on here, this place won't appeal to everybody! Purely because of this (with a heavy heart) I didn't give the hostel 5 stars. You need to be open minded and tollerant of others doing pretty much whatever they want and accept that there will be parties going on until 4am. The staff are sometimes a mixed bag (they are usually backpackers and change frequently) but in general they are very helpful and fun people and Rusty is usually on hand to answer any questions you have. There are an annoying group of local hustlers who try to poach guests at the dock and sell all manner of drugs (I should point out that the hostel doesn't encourage them to do this and you can ignore just ignore them). Also, bear in mind that the wifi goes off at 9pm at night.

One more tip- if you are going to party like crazy here, make sure you drink plenty of water too because, trust me, you just don't notice how much ice cold beer you are drinking while sweating in the 40 degree heat!

All in all, one of my favourite places to stay and I'll hopefully be back soon!

Room Tip: If you don't feel like partying then get a room away from the bar (or just follow my strategy an...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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Thank PotterNo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2012 via mobile

This has been my favourite hostel for about 4 years now. The staff, food and drinks are all excellent. Although things can get loud I wouldn't say it was excessive and things usually quieten down before too late. If you opt for a room they are as cool as you expect them to be but if you opt for a hammock head my warning. They have the usual bugs but they seem to have an excessive sand fly population in Livingston. So if you stay in a hammock you will have to battle with staying semi protected under a sheet and boiling alive or staying cool but being eaten alive by creepy crawlers. Repellant won't help. Trust me. And keep an eye when sitting eating and drinking because the sand flys will ruin your feet. We had a problem with money when we stayed as theres only one cash machine in town and it doesn't like most cards. We couldn't pay our bill but the owner was very patient and helpful. Gave us the time to sort things out. If you are in Livingston and want a laugh there is only one hostel to stay in. I will return one day and thank them in person.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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1  Thank Tmpfry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa De La Iguana

Address: Barrio Marco, Sanchez Dias | Izabal, Livingston, Rio Dulce 18002, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Izabal Department > Rio Dulce > Livingston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Livingston
Price Range: $14 - $19 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de la Iguana is a fabulously famous party hostel for fun and friendly happy travellers. It is set in a jungle garden with awesome wooden cabins and dormitories all unique and worth the extra Q for a good nights sleep. We may not be the cheapest in Livingston but we pride ourselves on having handmade lockers in each dorm, comfortable beds, spacious private rooms, superb wifi for Skyping and calls home, great social staff and fantastic fun most evenings, especially when a lively Happy Hour involved. There is fantastic free wifi. the best in Livingston actually, as well as an international book exchange. We also arrange tours to Belize, La Ceiba, Siete Altares, Playa Blanca and Rio Dulce and recently added, our own very exciting Tiger Cave trip and Fishing (eat what you catch). Spanish Lessons available too. We have a great reputation for our parties but it happens when we have a great bunch of people too! Come see us soon, meet other like-minded free spirits. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa De La Iguana Hotel Livingston
Casa De La Iguana Guatemala/Livingston

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