Case de la Iguana is relatively new in town. It's clean, and the dorm beds are comfy and cheap. I didn't check the private cabanas but I'm sure they're nice as well. The place has a bar and breakfast in the morning as well as a set dinner in the evenings, a book exchange, loads of movies to watch on the TV as well as cable, and has a nice communal area.
Now, it sounds great, and it can be. But keep this in mind if you're planning on staying there: everything is on a tab, so you don't pay until you leave. Great, right? Yup, except for the fact that the owner and his employees (two at last count) are INCREDIBLY PUSHY in getting you to buy drinks, food, and the two tours they offer.
I understand that running a hostel ain't the most lucrative business, but it seriously ruined the vibe for me to constantly be asked if I wanted another drink, if I was ready to order breakfast, if I was going on the jungle tour (which really, you can do all of on your own), if I was going to take shots at the bar, if I was going to play a drinking game.... all of this is to make money, which is of course important for the owner, but LORD. We had to stay away a lot of the days/nights because we were so frustrated with the "hey, you ready for a beer????"
The owner, Rusty, is very informative and likeable, but as of right now his two employees--pleasant as they are--are somewhat culturally insensitive. We happened to be at a restaurant with them one night, owned by a local, and they proceeded to make fun of the decor and building materials of the place. As if the impoverished residents could help it. Geez.
However, the prices at Casa are VERY reasonable (couples can pay only 20Q a night each if sharing a dorm bed) and it's a good place to meet people. Just try to avoid the bar in the evenings if you want to save your cash. And learn to say "No, I'm fine."
Bar, food, book exchange, TV/movies, tours, hot shower
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