English Français Español Italiano Deutsch 日本語 Português

Casa de la Iguana

Check all of the
booking sites at once!
 
Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
Livingston is the kind of place that looks like it has been hit by one too many tropical storms and the rundown feel of Casa de la Iguana perfectly suits this atmosphere. The facilities and rooms are completely adequate for a couple of nights but the friendly staff and owner definitely make the place.

The Location

From the dock take the first left and once you cross the second bridge Casa Iguana is on the right. It's probably a fifteen-minute walk and is quite easy to miss because it is behind another house. Keep your eye out for the sign on the right just as you cross the second bridge. People will probably meet you at the dock and try to convince you that you need a guide but it is really not necessary -- they normally get commission or a tip for bringing you there.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms and dorms are all in double story wooden buildings. They are fine as the rooms go, although the dorms are a little cramped. There are fans, thank goodness, but you might want a mosquito net as some of the rooms are open between the roof and the walls. The rooms and bathrooms are clean, although the drains do smell quite a bit. Most of the bathrooms have cold showers but there is one hot one by the bar if you need it.

Common Spaces

The common area revolves around the bar, which is also the restaurant. There are quite a few tables and a couple of couches but it is quite small. There's a book exchange and Wi-Fi and they cook a good communal dinner every night -- there is no kitchen available for guests.

Summary

Casa Iguana fits the Livingston atmosphere and may be a bit rough around the edges but it isn't a bad place to stay at all -- it definitely will appeal to some travelers more than others.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
June 2010

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Casa de la Iguana rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
73%
50%
90%
70%
80%
80%
Hostels.com  
77%
80%
80%
80%
80%
60%
HostelBookers  
78%
72%
92%
84%
80%
72%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
76%
67%
87%
78%
80%
71%
Casa de la Iguana Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Be warned Casa de la Iguana, currently run by a brit, is said to be a rustic, budget accommodating, and pleasant place to stay; having a boisterous social bar scene and attractive cabanas, with overflow camping space and hammocks. This is not the case. When we arrived we were directed to the camping area which was under two inches of water, we told them that this wasn't going to work for us and we were taken to one of the dorm rooms, a clean and acceptable for normal dorm accommodation. We said we would take it and they asked us to settle in and then come to the front desk to check in. Upon doing so we were told that it's their policy to take and hold passports as collateral for room, food, and drinks. We said no and left to get our bags explaining that we never leave our passports with anyone for any reason. As we gathered our stuff the owner came into the room to try and persuade us that this deposit was completely safe, normal and typical for hostels in Latin America. "Most places will ask you for this" he said. In 40 years of combined travel experience ranging from all of the countries in Central America and nearly half of those in South America we have never been asked for a passport deposit. He claimed this was common because people run out on their tabs. Later as I talked to a number of people who live in Livingston I discovered the reason he asked for such hefty collateral. He uses the boisterous social bar scene to run up bar tabs once you are to drunk to remember how many drinks you purchased. This was confirmed by someone who worked there for nearly a year. His job was nothing more than to bartend and add drinks to tabs. "The rooms are cheap" he said "but when you get up in the morning your tab is 300 Q or more". Even if you are one of the few that remembers how many drinks you bought you have no leverage to argue because they hold your passport and will not return it until you pay in full. As if this wasn't damning enough this ex-employee reported a number of rape accusations and other disturbing circumstances. These actions have stirred up ire in the business community and steps have been take to try and remove him, so far unsuccessful, although there is some talk that he wants to sell the establishment and move on. "All the other business work together and a community" said the ex-employee, "Casa de la Iguana runs a cut throat business and does not attend meeting of local businesses to discuss ideas to better their community". This separation creates a buffer between themselves and possible retribution for their immoral action. Content to destroy the trust of good people the owners of Casa de la Iguanas continue to take advantage of tourists who hope to find a friendly, safe place, to have good social fun. Without new management I would not recommend these accommodations to anyone.  , USA ()

Have you visited this Hostel? Rate it and post your review here.