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“Friendly & Beautiful. A+”

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La Iguana Perdida Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Charming & romantic private cabin with big windows at incredible budget price!
Changed out old mattress for great one....great customer service
Fabulous family-style dinners
Great owner- very impressed with his warmth, knowledge of Guatemala, friendly nature, and professionality. Friendly & very helpful staff.
Top location next to dock. Comfy homey restaurant & chill areas
Stunning views of one of the world's most breathtaking lakes.
Old rustic fire-burning-fueled sauna.
Beautiful hiking trails a couple steps away.
Exotic colorful butterflies and hummingbirds abounded. This is a charming hostal with prices to fit anyone's budget, from backpacker ($4 dorms) & private bungalows with lake views for those with a larger budget.
We had a great experince staying here.

Room Tip: Just ask to see the different dorns and rooms available and decide which one you like the best.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hostel_FunkyMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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313 - 319 of 462 reviews

Reviewed May 24, 2012

Depending on what type of travel you are doing, La Iguana is a good place for a respite from the city. I suggest taking the boat in the morning as the water while we were there was beautiful and clear then and quite rough during the rainy afternoons.

All of the staff were quite friendly, offering assistance when I got ill, and suggestions of activities and invitations to join in for movies prior.

I enjoy family-style dining as I enjoy getting to know my fellow travelers. The first room I had was a full bed and quite comfy. The second room had two twins and foam mattresses. That bed was not as comfy but livable. We paid extra for private rooms and locks on the door. The bathrooms are communal for the choices we made. There are what I understand are quite nice new rooms that are all inclusive. We opted for cheaper and got a good deal.

I highly recommend the massage - worth EVERY penny. It's a steal at US prices but my Peace Corps Volunteer friend thought it quite expensive. It's obviously a matter of perspective.

I also highly recommend taking a tuk tuk (it is a VERY steep climb, especially if you are out of shape and not used to the altitude - at least that's what I'm saying) up into town to meet Tomasa and have her take you to her home to learn some backstrap weaving. The folks at La Iguana can set it up for you. It was outstanding. I was horrible, simply horrible, but the family welcomed us, laughed with us and helped us each make a colorful belt. They only speak Spanish, I believe, but you can probably enjoy it without language as well.

If you are interested in purchasing any guipil, there is a shop just a few steps up the hill where you can buy it the cheapest of anywhere we found. Anywhere. Awesome! Beautiful! Gently used but more than worth the price.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank rubyslipperlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Tucked away outside Santa Cruz, one of the smaller towns on the lake, La Iguana Perdida is a must for all those real backpackers weary from many months on the road. The powerful lakeside view of two volcanoes is an inspiring way to begin each morning, accompanied by some home-style breakfast favorites (piggy sandiwches are a must). Between the culinary talents of the local ladies in the kitchen as well as arguably Guatemala's most comfortable sofa, one feels very much at home over a cup of tea and the morning papers.

The open-air dorm style is something I have not yet experienced on the road. Being woken up by a cool breeze and the sight of natural greenery, abundant in the hostel complex, is a refreshing idea. Maybe you'd like to let a few of the more intrepid adventurers string a hammock, should they prefer a seafarer's cradle to a mattress.

La Iguana is host to not only travelers passing through as well as a few volunteers and a small community of longer term residents at the lake. This provides for quite a diverse crowd around the hostel and I was never short of good conversation, as well as being made to feel extremely welcome by the staff.

The evening meals were a particular highlight, a locally inspired set menu at a reasonable price (considering other options are limited in Santa Cruz). It is categorically the best hostel meal I've enjoyed since stumbling across a Michelin star chef in Northern Colombia in 2010. Attentive service, a well stocked bar, but most importantly a joint affair between the whole hostel, which always set the evening's conversation off to a great start.

I particularly appreciated Dave & Deedle's decision to create a wifi free zone. Much like the communal dinners, it creates an atmosphere conducive to meeting others, rarely found in many contemporary hostels.

I would recommend La Iguana to those who will appreciate the thought and creative inspiration which has gone into the hostel experience. My sincere thanks go to all the staff who ensured that my time on the lake was second to none. Good Luck

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank jftuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laiguana, Manager at La Iguana Perdida Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2012

Thank you kindly for your lovely review! Not only is it highly complementary, it's also beautifully written, we're all very glad you enjoyed your stay with us.

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Reviewed May 10, 2012

me and my partner arrived at this hostel just over a week ago, we were shown to our beds in a dorm, this was an outside dorm right at the back like a cabin we both thought this was kinda cool way of living untill we realised there were no electricity, the sewers woke you up every morning with the disgusting smell, on the island there is nothing, the cabin has no door, no security, very cold and noisy at night,dogs barkings,drunks shouting from the bar, the showers are outside and not hot, the good things are the food very nice altho you only have 1 choice of starter,dinner and desert, if you dont like it, you go without, or if you just want one part of the meal you have to pay the full price for it all, which i dont agree with, and the wifi.. there is none, you have to pay to use a computer...!! on the plus side, the place is very well set out and some nice staff, but even tho its a very cheap place to stay, they will makesure they get the money off you in other ways.... the food and drinks are not really cheap,overall we both wouldnt recomend it unless its for a short stay!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank sammy1234_E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laiguana, Manager at La Iguana Perdida Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2012

I'm very sorry that you had issues with our hotel while you were here. I wish we could have spoken about these things while you were staying with us so we had an opportunity to improve anything we could. As you seemed to like our staff, it surprises me that you didn't speak to us directly. However is seems that there were several things our staff over looked when checking you in which we do of course take full responsibility for, such as the safe we have that can store your valuables given that you were in an open air dorm and how to work the electric showers which do have hot water but have a knack to them. For this I do appologise.

I am sorry that our communal dinner style didn't work for you. We do have a set price for the whole meal but have exceptions depending on what you're after. We have an option of just soup or soup and salad for a reduced rate, however we do not change the price if someone wants to only have the main course. The reason behind this is that we serve the meal buffet style and the option to return for seconds if often the case. Therefore people opting only to have the main would have the opportunity to eat as much as those having the whole meal but doing it at a reduced price which we don't see as fair to the other customers. I'm sorry if the reason behind our price structure wasn't explained you, I hope you asked us when you were here.

Our choice not to have wifi at the Iguana is an ideological one. We have observed in other hostels where wifi is present that people have a tendency to sit on their computers and not talk to each other which isn't the sort of vibe we want at the Iguana. We believe that one of the best parts of traveling is meeting and talking to other travelers which seems to happen less when people can hide in a technological bubble as much as they would at home. I hope this makes sense.

Once again I wish we had have been able to improve your stay. Your comments would have been most welcome, because unfortunately there's little we can do for you once you're gone.

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Reviewed May 7, 2012

We recently stayed here for 5 nights with our 1 year old son. We had a great time and felt so welcomed by the owners (Deedle and Dave), the staff, and even other locals who would drop in. We stayed in a deluxe room, and for the price it was fantastic, a huge room with a king bed and a single, private bathroom, funky decor, and a big balcony with a hammock and a view over the lake. The room was clean and bright and relaxing.

The common areas were also great, with a TV/DVD room, couches overlooking the lake and a reasonably priced restaurant where we ate a lot of our meals! Especially the family style dinners they offer every night, these are fun and good value. They were accommodating and let us settle our son in a nearby room so we could enjoy dinner with other adults!

For our son, there were fish, turtles, frogs, dogs and lots of people keen to play with him, so he was in heaven. We were able to relax here much more than elsewhere on our travels and it was an easy boat ride to other places on the lake. Do try the weaving classes in the local villages, you will probably be bad at it but they will finish it off for you and its a great experience. It was probably fortunate that we had to catch a bus to meet our flight out of Guatemala, or we may have ended up staying at lot longer here!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Shelley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laiguana, Manager at La Iguana Perdida Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2012

Thank you very much for your kind review. It's always lovely to hear when people have an enjoyable time with us. We certainly hope to see you again in the future!

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Reviewed May 6, 2012

The views are amazing and there are different spots where you can just sit and relax. We were in a simple room with no electricity, as we wanted to avoid the noise of the restaurant/bar area. They had an issue with their sewage system... so it stunk quite a bit at times...
Yoga class by the lake is a plus!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Virginie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2012

We heard great things about La Iguana Perdida, which is why we chose it as our station on Lake Atitlan. Upon arrival, the restaurant and common areas are very clean, bright, and welcoming. Unfortunately, the accommodations are the opposite. Our private room smelled moldy and damp, like we were in a sewage plant. The towels provided on the back of the door looked like they'd been dragged through a swamp before being hung on our door. The pillows were disgusting. Needless to say, we did not sleep, or touch anything. We slept wrapped in our pashmina scarves and all our belongings smelled when we left. Bad bad experience and would never recommend it. The only plus was GREAT staff.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LRTfromBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Iguana Perdida Hotel

Address: On the Waterfront, Santa Cruz La Laguna 07014, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Santa Cruz La Laguna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Cruz La Laguna
Price Range: $11 - $25 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the idyllic and less-visited north shore of Lake Atitlan, Santa Cruz is an indigenous Kaqchikel village with around two thousand local inhabitants. This quiet village has long been a favorite destination for those in the know who want to get away from it all, and La Iguana Perdida is proud to have been active in the community here since we opened the doors in 1996. We’ve been an “eco-hotel” since before the term became popular, converted to solar in the last few years, and we’ve always been active in the environmental movement on Atitlan. The choice of lodging at the Iguana runs the gamut, from the original wood construction consisting of spacious dormitories, private rooms with shared bath and a rustic cabana, to the more modern side of the hotel with luxury rooms with private bath, balcony and lake views. Shared bathroom facilities are scattered around the spacious property tucked behind the bouganvillas and banana trees. Our restaurant serves delicious breakfasts and lunches from 8am until 3pm daily and family-style feasts every night at 7pm often followed by activities like open-mic and trivia. All meals are prepared by the lovely local Mayan staff, and vegetarian, gluten free and other dietary restrictions are always available upon request. The climate (warm in the sun and cool in the shade) is perfect for whatever level of activity you’re seeking, even if it’s lounging in a hammock with a good book all day. Located right on the waterfront, La Iguana Perdida is one of the best places to enjoy the beauty and serenity that Lake Atitlan has to offer. Start the day with a yoga class on the patio overlooking the lake with the volcanos framed in the distance then go for a kayak or follow shaded trails and paths along the shoreline for a dip in the magical waters of Atitlan. After a day of hiking or kayaking, fire up our traditional Mayan sauna or treat yourself to a massage with one of our experienced practitioners. There’s no reason to be bored even on a rainy day with our pool table, dartboard, book exchange and TV room at your disposal, and if you’d like to immerse yourself more in the local community we can organise backstrap weaving classes in a local home or one-on-one Spanish classes. We have a computer room available free of charge if you need to get online, but we don’t offer Wi-Fi (WHAT!?) as we like to keep the vibe more about great conversations, board games, acoustic guitars and sunsets rather than posting selfies and status updates. If water sports is your bag, we are home to ATI Divers, the only scuba operation on Lake Atitlan since 1996. Enjoy a fun dive or take the four-day PADI Open Water Course and become a certified diver. Atitlan is a collapsed volcanic caldera with massive volcanic rock formations, fish, crabs and even volcanic hot-spots you can plunge your hands into. One of the few spots in the world where you can get the high-altitude specialty certification without freezing! We’re open to travellers of all ages, and with over twenty years in business we hope we can find a way to make your visit to Lake Atilan a memorable one. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Iguana Perdida Hotel Guatemala/Lake Atitlan

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