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“Super-friendly owners, very cozy room, good breakfasts, internet access from lounge”

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Casa Iguana Mar y Sol
Ranked #3 of 25 San Cristobal B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
288 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Super-friendly owners, very cozy room, good breakfasts, internet access from lounge”
Reviewed November 2, 2013

We would definitely stay here again, and based on everything we saw on the island while we were there (6 nights), this seems to be the highest quality, private operation in town. Worth the extra money we paid to stay there compared to some of the cheaper options in town, and they even gave us a slight discount since we stayed longer than expected.

Great location (really VERY happy we stayed here and not at the casa blanca or one of the hotels right on the waterfront, where it smelled terribly of sea lion poop)! Short walk to everything in town, and extremely convenient for getting to the beaches, taking hikes, etc.

Good breakfast varying daily (french toast, pancakes or omelettes with juices, excellent homemade coffee and fresh papaya from their own trees).

Clean (room cleaned properly on a daily basis, fresh towels whenever we requested them, clean kitchen and common areas).

Good service! Patricia and Luis are extremely nice owners who stay out of your way when you're busy, and who are also very sociable when you want tips, ideas and advice. Even though we weren't able to speak Spanish, we found our own unwritten language with Luis, and when we left, we felt like we were leaving friends behind. I even left him my brand new, treasured, 1914 style, Chicago cubs, baseball hat.

Comfortable bed & pillows. Good bathroom with nice shampoo.

The only small area where we struggled minorly was the shower. It's a bit of a challenge getting used to the system, which is common across the island. Ask for advice so you can work it out right from the start, and if for any reason it's not working, don't hesitate to talk to the owners. They'll help if needed.

Wireless is only accessible in the common areas (living room and kitchen). It would have been nice to have access from the room and rooftop terrace, but heck. When you are in such an amazing, exotic location, who wants to spend that much time using the internet anyway? The upper terrace is just awesome for winding down with a beer and watching the sunset at the end of the day.

When we go back to the Galapagos islands - and we will after this amazing trip - we will definitely stay with Luis and Patricia again. I rarely give places a 5 star rating, but for the price we paid and the overall levels of service and homeyness there, they deserve it. Keep doing what you're doing, Luis and Patricia. We appreciated your welcome for a wonderful week visiting my niece during her study abroad program.

Room Tip: The difference between the cheapest room and most expensive room is significant. If you want the fu...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wanderfool44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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141 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2013

We (my two teen age daughters, my wife and myself) did a Galapagos Island hopping excursion is August 2013 and our first stop was on San Cristobal Island. We stayed for 3 nights with Luis for 3 nights at the Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol. We enjoyed every second we stayed there and were so pleased at how Luis took care of my girls and me. We loved his morning breakfasts with his hand picked, fresh roasted coffee. In short, we love the Casa Iguana!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank JoeF1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2013

We had a great time at Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol! Patrice and Luis were so friendly and helpful. We arrived earlier than we expected, way before check in time. We figured we would just ask if they could keep our bags and we would go find some where in town to eat breakfast. Instead they invited us for breakfast and got us to our room right away! The hotel is beautiful, and our room was very comfortable. I loved having a hair dryer and nice shampoo! We enjoyed relaxing with some beers (a lot cheaper at the hotel) and watching the beautiful sunset from the hotel balcony every night. Luis cooks a wonderful breakfast every morning. You will be so happy if you choose to stay here!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Lobo room which is perfect for a couple.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GOMOtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spiralstaircase, Owner at Casa Iguana Mar y Sol, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
When guests come to stay with us.....we don't know if you are a multi-millionaire or just a hard working person who has saved for 10 years to visit Galapagos, and stay with us. It doesn't matter. EVERYONE who stays here is a VIP. Thanks for the fantastic photos. When those "pink bananas" were going to be a little too ripe.....I baked a 10 # banana nut bread....using 16 bananas........so they arrived early..... HOUSTON we can handle it....we DON"T have a problem. Patricia and Luis
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Punta Gorda,FL
Level Contributor
37 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

My wife andI just spent 8 days at the Casa Iguana.
It was incredible. Patricia and Luis are the most amazing hosts you could ever ask for. They made us feel like royalty. Always tending to every possible need. All of the rooms are beautiful with very comfortable beds. The breakfast Luis made every morning was spectacular Fresh fruit and juice squeezed fresh every day by hand. They even make their own organic coffee. All is grown and picked from their own farm which we got to visit. The refrigerator was always fully stocked with cold beer.
The Galapagos Islands are Spectacular and staying here was a real treat. We truly enjoyed our entire stay and made a couple really great friends, Paticia and Luis.
If you are lucky enough to get a room, You will have the time of your life. They are in such high demand that they are usually sold out. We cannot say enough great things about these amazing people and their beautiful establishment. This amazing place was all designed and built from the ground up by Luis and Patricia. Even the cabinets and some of the furniture were all hand made by Luis. It has a beautiful Santa Fe style that really just says Relax! Watch the sunset each night from the rooftop patio.
If you have any desire to go to one of the most beautiful places in the world. You need to go stay with Patricia and Luis at the Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol in San Cristobal. You we be glad you did.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are equally beautiful. The Honeymoon suite is amazing. All of the rooms have a grea...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Norm W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spiralstaircase, Owner at Casa Iguana Mar y Sol, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Luis and I have been blessed to have received the nicest people from all over the world. When we have nice guests, I think there could be none nicer, but the next guests to come are nicer still. That being said......THIS couple and their traveling companion were the FUNNIEST we have ever had.......so funny, that frequently we could barely breathe from laughing so hard.....so funny....as in I would pay good money to see their comedy act, should they ever decide to take it on the road. Good thing they only stayed 8 days. Sincerely, Patricia
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Union City, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Patricia and Luis made us feel at home immeditely the minute we arrived. They even offered us their top room w/o additional cost but we did not take it. When we asked for a downtown laundry place and they offered to do it for free even though we insisted on paying. The beer is cheaper than the grocery downtown. Breakfast was fresh, different eveyday, and at anytime we arranged with them ahead of time. Papaya from their garden, coffee from their plantation, what else one can ask for.
Thank you for your great hospitality.
Ninh, Tammy, Dan, Chris, and Brittany

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank NinhDzoan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
84 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 274 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2013

We had a wonderful three day stay at this beautiful “home away from home”. It provided the perfect base from which we could get oriented and explore the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (“PBM”) and the San Cristobal area, prior to our land-based Galapagos tour commencing. Designed by Patricia and constructed by craftsman Luis, Casa Iguana is a work of art. Each suite is well-equipped, spotlessly clean, and impeccably maintained, and with a small fridge to keep beverages cold. There are balconies on each level and a roof-top terrace – any of which provide an amazing setting to enjoy a cold beer and appreciate a view of the sun setting over the harbor. There is an area at the side where you can rinse out your snorkel gear and hang up to dry, and a roof-top terrace where clothing can be hung to sun-dry as well. There is wireless internet, but with limited range and only accessible in the main floor common area.

This is a great place for quiet and respectful travelers - those who are looking for somewhere to stay up late drinking and partying should go elsewhere. Each morning a simple but tasty breakfast is served in the kitchen area, with coffee (from their own small plantation in the highlands), juice, fruit, and the day’s special. One morning it might be a hearty slab of delicious home-baked banana bread, another day an omelet.

PBM is a great location to spend a few days getting oriented on your own, and resolve any jet lag, prior to commencing any formal Galapagos tour. PBM is much smaller, quieter, and less touristy than Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island. At Casa Iguana you are well-located to explore the PBM area on foot. Within minutes you reach the waterfront and can head along it into town, passing the many restaurants, shops, and seals along the way. Or you can head out of town the other way, and walk to beaches, the park orientation center and its great displays, and onwards on good trails to the viewpoint of Tijeretas Hill, Darwin’s statue, and several beaches and coves where you can swim and snorkel.

While on San Cristobal, also take the opportunity to visit the La Loberia bay on your own - is a short inexpensive taxi-ride from PBM town just past the airport, and a great place to snorkel on your own with sea lions, sea turtles, etc - not to be missed! The drop-off point is a dead-end parking area, from there the bay is a 15-20 minute walk along an interesting beach trail. Arrange with your taxi driver to return later to pick you up at specific time (I suggest you need 3-4 hours to adequately enjoy the spot), note the taxi truck number so you return with the right guy, and pay at end of round trip.

PBM is a bustling town with a variety of activities. Casa Iguana itself is very quiet, but sound carries well throughout the bay area. The sound of early morning crowing roosters, barking seals, occasional barking dogs at night, boat engines in the harbor, local construction, and music in the community are all a fact of life, regardless of where you stay. Savvy experienced travelers who like to sleep soundly carry ear plugs in their travel kit as a standard matter of course, and it would be prudent to do so as well when here.

If this review was informative kindly click on Helpful Yes link at top.

Safe travels!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Western_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013

My wife and I made a quick trip to Ecuador and wanted to spend a few days in the Galapagos Islands before heading to Panama to visit family. After doing a lot of research we decided to stay at Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol based upon the great TripAdvisor reviews. I booked the reservation with Patricia and as we were corresponding I explained to her that we only had a few days in San Cristobal and asked about things to do. Patricia was so great in providing me with information and recommendations on things to do. She was so nice and was always so willing to answer my questions and provide additional information.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Luis. Patricia did tell me in advance that she would not be there during our stay, but that we would be in great hands with Luis, and she was right! He greeted us with a big smile and welcome and spent a lot of time showing us around and talking with us about the island, the house, etc. The house itself is beautiful. Patricia designed it and Luis built it, and he also did all of the wood working, which is very beautiful to see. At the time of our stay, we were the only ones there and Luis made us feel like we were part of the family. We had great conversations with him during breakfast, as well as when we would see him throughout the day. Each time we came back from our daily adventures, he was there to welcome us home with a big smile and asked how our day was. At the end of each day, we would come back and spend some time upstairs on the roof top patio, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the island.

Knowing that we only had limited time in San Cristobal, Patricia and Luis made arrangements for us to spend a day with a guide by the name of Manuel. I highly recommend you ask for Manuel if you want to enjoy a great day on the island. He picked us up in the morning and he took us all around the island. We drove around a lot, walked around the highlands and then walked around by the ocean and on the rocks. He took us to see tortugas, iguanas and blue footed boobies. He is such a nice guy. We had a lot of fun with him and felt like we've known him for a long time. It was the same with Luis. We felt like we knew him for a long time as well. To give you a good example of the great service we received, Luis called Manuel during the day to see how my wife and I were doing and if we were enjoying our tour. I thought that was such a nice thing for him to do. The next evening we were walking around town and we saw Manuel and he greeted us like we were old friends.

Our room at Casa Iguana was very nice! The bed was very comfortable and the room was super clean. The a/c works very well and kept the room really cool at night, which made for great sleeping. In the morning there was always a nice breeze, so we shut off the a/c, opened the shutters and enjoyed the breeze. We looked forward to breakfast each morning because the food and conversation were great. We had a lot of fun talking and laughing with Luis during our breakfast.

We only stayed for 3 nights, but I will tell you when we left on Wednesday morning, it was difficult to say goodbye to Luis because he did make us feel like family. My wife and I both felt sad to leave.

If you are going to the Galapagos Islands, I would highly recommend spending a few days on San Cristobal and staying with Luis and Patricia. The island is a special place and taking the time to really see the beauty of the island is well worth it. We were so glad we decided not to do a cruise and spend a few days on the island instead. The locals are very friendly and welcoming.

The only downside of our stay was that we did not meet Patricia in person as she experienced some travel delays in getting back to Ecuador.

We will certainly go back to the Galapagos Islands again and our first stop will be at Casa Iguana Mar Y Sol.

Thank you Patricia and Luis for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank estrnmountain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Iguana Mar y Sol

Property: Casa Iguana Mar y Sol
Address: Barrio Playa de Oro, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > San Cristobal
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in San Cristobal
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Casa Iguana Mar y Sol Hotel San Cristobal
Casa Iguana Mar y Sol San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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