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“Relaxation”
Review of Casa Iguana

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Casa Iguana
Reviewed August 2, 2009

Looking to get away from everything? This is the place. Getting there was an adventure as missed the official panga boat trip to get to Little Corn Island (our plane was late). Ended hiring someone who took us across the ocean in his little boat - an exhilarating and thrilling experience (potentially a stupid decision). Upon arriving at Casa Iguana, we were shown to our cabin with a front porch facing the ocean with hammocks and chairs, own private bathrooms, outdoor shower and comfy bed with mosquito net. The grounds at Casa Iguana were beautifully kept, and the meals were amazing. The chef was trained at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) ..... we unexpectedly enjoyed a new delicious cake every night. The staff were over the top helpful and friendly. Very communal and friendly lodgings - where we played games, drank Flor de Cana (Nicaraguan rum - awesome, delicious stuff) and hung out in the evenings. Day time was spent on the beach, swimming, laying around, reading in hammocks and exploring the island. The island is small (no roads - pure jungle).

We loved it and are considering going back. Great meals were had at Casa Iguana (as mentioned above) Habana Libre, Carlitos and Peace Love Farm (an adventure to get to on the other side of the island).

Thanks to the staff at Casa Iguana .

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank BobBrier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 23, 2009

We were met at the dock by staff, and our luggage was carted for us. Once at the resort, we sat down on the ocean front resort deck with the manager (and the drink of the week). She went over services and answered questions. Then showed us to our cabanna. We could not have asked for a better experience. The views are fantastic, the food is the best on the island (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We even liked our outdoor shower. The water is stored in a tank above the shower so it is warm - wouldn't want it hot anyway.

Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Lucky0ne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2009

Casa Iguana is great. eat there. sleep there. buy the hibiscus jam.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2009

This is one of the nicest places to stay on the island. The location is superb. The restaurant is outstanding. The affiliated dive shop is well-equipped and staffed with experienced personnel.

Having said that, my only recommendations are as follows: Per the avisos, take pristine bank notes (dollars, etc.). Any bills with wrinkles or tears are shunned by the vendors on the Corn Islands. Credit cards are accepted at some place, with a service charge.

By the way, the entry fee at the panga dock is three Cordobas, not three USD. The guy at the gate is an entrepreneur. I admire his business acumen.

Also, it might be a good idea to make your own flight arrangements between Managua and Big Corn Island. La Costena is a reputable airline, and I've flown with much worse in Central America. I recommend contacting them directly, if possible, rather than entrusting your connections with Casa Iguana. The most important thing to remember is to have your return voucher in your possession when you are departing Big Corn Island. Otherwise, La Costena will charge you an additional fare to return to Managua. In my case, they were equitable about refunding my extra charges.

Nicaragua is beautiful. The Corn Islands are special. Pura vida!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled solo
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3  Thank rummy53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2009

Nice location and "casitas", clean and with excellent view. Meals were very good. Little privacy inside casita (as no curtains) - I hope no one saw me naked... Staff were the downside. Kept playing noisy drunken games through the night and kept me awake- but hey, they wanted some fun, I can live with that. There is something not right in the interaction with staff - at no moment I felt like a welcome guest. It seems they are doing everyone a great favour by letting people stay there. They also have some rules about meal times, choice of meals etc, which does not fit with the image they wanted to pass with the silly 10 reasons not to stay there they give in their website. A very nice looking Orwellian gringo summer camp.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Palhacito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2009

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Casa Iguana in late March. While it is the most expensive option on Little Corn, we feel it was worth the extra expense for what you get in terms of accommodations, convenience, and security.

Our room was really cute, very comfortable, and more than adequately met our needs. We had a platform bed that stood at window height so we could lie there and stare straight out at the palms and the sea-- beautiful! There was also a futon, which meant it could comfortably sleep as many as four people. The back deck was complete with two chairs, a hammock, and a view to rival any other in the Caribbean. The shower was, indeed, outdoors and unheated, but the sun warmed the tank and I found it to be fully enjoyable (and I'm not usually that type). It was so hot out anyway, a luke-warm shower was truly refreshing. Of course, our room did have some "amenities" included, free of charge, that were maybe not so ideal. We saw several giant roaches and some little lizard friends on our walls, but they were harmless...just kind of icky. I only mention it because I realize some people would not be able to handle being that up close and personal with nature, but considering you're in the middle of a jungle, it's to be expected. One thing I was surprised by was the lack of mosquitoes. I honestly expected to be eaten alive, but I think the wind on that side of the island helped to keep them at bay.

We were admittedly a little put off by the service during our stay, at times, but found it to be satisfactory overall. There were occasions, for example, when we went to the bar and were ignored by gossipy employees to the point where we gave up on getting a drink. But other times, the staff could not have been more accommodating. I suppose it can be chalked up to human nature, and sometimes they just felt more hospitable than other times. I can't really fault Casa Iguana for this anyway, because the service we experienced everywhere on the island was typically slow and perhaps not so friendly as one might be accustomed to in the United States, but it was just something you had to roll with. Maybe it just seemed offensive at Casa Iguana because many of their staff are American, so their behavior couldn't be attributed to a cultural thing.

Something Casa Iguana really has going for it is its location. It's far enough off the "main drag" for it to feel completely secluded and wild (just what we were looking for), but not so far that you feel cut off from the rest of the island. In contrast, at one point we took a walk along the beach up to Derek's and Ensuenos. While it wasn't that far and we aren't thaaat lazy, we were thankful we didn't have to make that trek every time we wanted to grab a mojito down at Habana Libre. Furthermore, we got lost on the way back while cutting across the island on a series of little paths. We wound up in an area of sketchy little huts that made us a bit nervous, and while I'm sure we would have been fine, we erred on the side of caution and retreated to the beach. This is worthy of note only because I never felt scared on the grounds of Casa Iguana, or anywhere else on the island, for that matter. Overall I think it's pretty safe, but it's good to be aware.

I guess I could sum it up by saying that we were so impressed by Casa Iguana that the day we arrived, we arranged to stay two extra nights--forgoing our stay on Big Corn, as we weren't very thrilled by it during our brief wait for the panga. No, we didn't get 5-star accommodations here, but then, that's not what we were expecting. What we did get was a clean and comfortable room in a gorgeous setting that was without all the frills of a resort (and all the annoyances of one, too!). If that's your ideal vacation, I can't recommend Little Corn Island and Casa Iguana enough.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jenna55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2009

... which can be either good or bad. If you like cheery American staff, lots of conversation and minding each other's business: go here! The locals of Little Corn hate this place and want to encourage tourists to stay at locally run accommodations (but don't expect much friendlyness there) which I can imagine of course.

Casa Iguana is -to my opinion- a bit overpriced, but has a lovely public room with a bar, book exchange, magazines, comfy chairs, board games and a great view over Little Corn Island's beach. The food is very good (especially breakfast) but like the cottages, a but overpriced...

Try to reach Casa Iguana from the beach side, not via the forest, as the guard dogs are not that keen on visitors. (Which is pretty strange when you're running a hostel...) Overall we had a good stay here, but for a more local experience you should walk along the beach a bit further.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank hapopstap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Iguana

Address: East Side, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region > Corn Islands > Little Corn Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Little Corn Island
Price Range: $20 - $105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caribbean as it used to be: An island, a culture, and a way of life that hasn't yet felt the impact of the 20th century. Opening its doors in 1994, CI became Nicaragua's first eco-lodge. Relax on its 40 acre reserve and explore its secret coves, jungle and farm. Whether or not you are a guest at Casa Iguana, we invite you to join us for our famous breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy cocktails and lounging in our lodge to take in the best view on the island and meet interesting people! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Iguana Hotel Little Corn Island
Casa Iguana Little Corn Island, Nicaragua - Corn Islands

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