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La Iguana Perdida Hotel
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Reviews (476)
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Reviewed September 1, 2013

The Iguana and I got off on the wrong foot, and did not quite manage to rectify it.

We arrived from San Cristobal in Mexico at about 7pm on a Saturday night, after a 10 hour journey. The hostel was packed and there was a party in full swing with all the men in drag. We were staying in a dorm, as unfortunately they had not bothered to get back to my emails and I was not even sure we had a reservation.

Totally understanding it was Saturday night, we managed to stay awake until 11.30pm, but when we went to the dorm we were unable to use the bathroom to clean our teeth as there were people having sex in there, and the noise was traveling. We were almost unable to use the internet to let our families know that we had arrived safely because they prefer their guests to be social, and there is no internet after 7. Luckily we asked very nicely and we were allowed. I am surprised I did not need a note from my mother.

The next day we went and spoke to them, telling them that we wanted to leave, but they said it is only like that on the weekend, so we decided to give it another chance. I did look around for alternate accommodation, but as a solo traveler, unfortunately this was the best option. They have the market cornered to an extent and they know it.

I did end up staying for 10 days as I had set aside a month for the lake. In this time I was moved 4 times, but I had to chase them down to see what the availability was. Fair enough, this may be attributed to the face that there was a booking of approximately 30 people who arrived a day early as there was confusion with their reservation. I am not sure how many times I inspected my bill, but it was wrong every time. One time by over 200 Euros.

My biggest gripe came at the end. One of my fellow travellers left a note for me, with some money he owed me, trying to arrange to meet in Antigua. I was sent an email with this information, but unfortunately they threw out the note, but the money made it to the tip jar just fine.

I loved the location of this place, the food was fine and it so much fun getting boats everywhere. It was the disorganization and complacency that irked me. The owners (who barely acknowledged me over the 10 days) have become complacent and things are starting to slide.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank Eurotash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

This is a great place for a solo traveler to meet lots of wonderful people! The public boats to Santa Cruz stop running around 6:30, so most of the guests will be at the communal dinner, where everyone can catch up on their days and meet the new arrivals. The food is delicious, and even though Santa Cruz is fairly remote, you definitely won't get bored. There's scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, weaving lessons, Spanish lessons, day trips to all the other towns, and just hanging out with new friends at happy hour and the theme nights (drag night, trivia night, etc). I brought a kindle-full of work to look over on a hammock when I had nothing else to do, and in two weeks I didn't look at it once.

About half the people I met there stayed longer than they had originally planned, which pretty much says it all.

Room Tip: The private room with shared bathroom was fairly cheap, but after seeing the dorms and the great easygoing people staying in them, I'd say that's the way to go.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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Thank lmpenrose
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 September 21, 2013

Thank you so much for your positive review and feedback we really appreciate it and we are very pleased that you had such a great experience whilst staying with us. It was our pleasure to meet you as well and we hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

I was only suppose to stay at the Iguana for two nights and ended up staying for four nights. I had to really push myself to leave this peaceful hotel/hostel. The best parts of La Iguana - family style dinners, meeting interesting travelers, wide age range of guests, friendly staff, Wed open mic (people displayed their musical talents), eating breakfast and watching the indigenous people in Santa Cruz living their daily lives by the dock, lying in the hammocks, staring at the beautiful mountains and volcanoes, safe village, and good village-hotel relations. I paid between 10 to 18 dollars a night for a single room with a shared bathroom. The only reason I did not give La Iguana a 5 was because my room was a little musty and in the evening the shared bathrooms could get a little grimy. However, the Iguana has many different options to fit different budgets and standards (I was being very cheap) - dorms, single rooms with a private baths and bungalows. I feel like this is my Guatemalan home and I am looking forward to returning one day!

Room Tip: I would spend a few dollars more for a single room with a bath or a bungalow with views of the lake/mountains.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank benzy19772016
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 September 21, 2013

Thank you very much for your feedback, we are very glad that on the whole you had a good experience staying with us. I would like to apologise that you found your room musty and the bathrooms, at times, dirty, since then we have made a concerted effort to keep the bathrooms clean and are now using dehumidifiers in rooms in order to combat any dampness and bad smells!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We spent 4 nights here in one of their deluxe rooms called Atitlan. We had our own balcony over looking Lago Atitlan and the surrounding volcanoes. The restaurant shares a similar view and offers fantastic food. They do a great job creating a friendly atmosphere where no wifi is available and if you want you can join other guests in a 3 course dinner served at 7pm. If you're looking for a quieter get away (avoid San Pedro and Panajachel) but still with a bustling atmosphere then this is the place. Staff were ls really helpful

Room Tip: Atitlan room can sleep up to 3 people, great for couple or a small family.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kiran J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Everything about the Iguana fuels my desire to stay forever, and it is a place I will always come back to. Everyone there is incredibly accomodating, and whatever it is you are seeking you will be quickly connected with by some of the friendliest and most helpful staffs I have ever encountered. When I travel, I seek out good people moreso than good places, although with a location like Santa Cruz you have everything you could ask for.

Flo, the new manager, has a warmth that makes it feel like you're arriving home every time you walk through the door. Ollie, the dive instructor, makes everyone he interacts with feel important and appreciated. However the Iguana screens their volunteers, every member of their staff is someone who you are just glad to be around. Special thanks to Tony, Roisin, Chris, Ricardo, Zane, Kate, Ricardo, and Trevor for being a part of my journey. I can't think of a better group of people to have spent my time with or a better place to have done it.

Making the Iguana a part of your adventure is a decision I could not more highly recommend.

Until next time!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank ATWeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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