Casa De la Iguana

Photos

+15

Description

Map

(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Casa De la Iguana" at Calle Marcos Sanchez Diaz.)

Location/Contact

Address
Calle Marcos Sanchez Diaz, Livingston, グアテマラ
Coordinates
15.820111, -88.752590 (accuracy not guaranteed)
Location
Website
None (if you know the URL of their website, tell us and we'll add it)
Telephone
502 7947 0064
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How is Casa De la Iguana rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
Hostelworld
(29 ratings)
65%
69%
80%
74%
HostelBookers
(14 ratings)
70%
82%
77%
77%
HostelsClub
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Hostels.com
(1 ratings)
80%
80%
80%
77%
Average
72%
77%
79%
76%

Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

 
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.
Alex Larsen
(USA)
2012-11-24

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