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“Elegant comfort & iguanas!”
Review of Iguana Crossing

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Iguana Crossing
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Puerto Villamil
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Elegant comfort & iguanas!”
Reviewed 29 January 2014

My daughter and I shared a room here as part of a ROW tour so were not really aware of the price of the room and meals. We had a first floor room overlooking the pool, and loved our view of the beach across the road. The AC was hard to control so we ended up turning it off at night and just enjoyed the sound of the ocean and the fresh air through the large balcony sliding door. It was hot but we were used to the heat by then. Everything was impeccably clean at the hotel, and fresh purified water was provided in our room every day. The breakfast buffet had lots of choices for vegetarians and omnivores alike, with a small omelet station, fresh tropical juices and fruits, interesting local specialties, etc. Lots of delicious fish choices at dinner, too.

The location of the hotel is wonderful because you can watch iguanas crossing the road from the front steps or lobby. The beach (and lots more iguanas) is just a few steps away. It's an easy walk into the small town if you want to try other restaurants or shop for a few necessities. And the bar has an amazing view of the ocean and sunset.

My only complaint was that there was only one place provided to dry wet swimsuits, wetsuits, and snorkel gear: a line in the shower. None of our stuff ever dried there, and we were asked not to leave anything on the balcony to dry (we did anyway overnight when we figured no one would see it.)

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing the ocean. The lagoon on the other side has a persistent sulphur odor is no...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank rattlebrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
West Lafayette, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
507 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

We are 64-year-old experienced travelers exploring the Galapagos for the first time. We stayed in Iguana Crossing's Master Suite for four nights and were very pleased. The room was large and clean, the daily service was very good, and everyone was pleasant to work with. When we had questions about day trips that we had arranged through another party, the staff at iguana Crossing helped by making phone calls on our behalf, no questions asked.

Our room included a buffet breakfast, which was more than adequate. We ate an excellent dinner at the hotel one evening and had it delivered to our room. Our entrees were $15 apiece and our deserts were $5 each, so, with tax, the meal came to about $48. Two other evenings, we chose to eat two doors down at the Booby Trap for leas than $20. Just recently opened, the BT is owned by a native of the Galapagos and her husband from Ohio. They have a nightly menu, but, if you want anything else, just let them know earlier in the day and it will be fixed and waiting for you. Wonderful people and a great alternative to more expensive hotel food.

There were three issues that we had with our suite: #1: There were no screens for our sliding doors. Our room captured some great breezes off of the ocean, but we were afraid to leave our doors open at night for fear of what might come in (after all, this is the Galapagos). #2: The suite had two AC units that were essentially right over the top of the bed. While the units worked great, their position pushed cold air directly onto the bed at night, which proved to be uncomfortable. #3 Their windows over the sink had no glazing or curtains to protect privacy. We ended up hanging a towel over the lower half of the windows.

These small issues aside, the quality and location of the Iguana Crossing makes for a very suitable accommodation for those looking for quality and comfort on Isabela.

Room Tip: The Master Suite is located separate from the other rooms, and it has a private balcony with an unfe...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank IN_Travelers47906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2014

We are just back from family Christmas at Iguana Crossing- for us the perfect hotel with our teen aged daughters. . Its intimate and the staff makes sure all needs are well taken care of including being very solicitous when one daughter felt ill one day. The physical layout is stunning with pool and deck overlooking the beach out front and hot tub on the roof. We spent 4 days and would have been very very happy with 8-or 18!

We found the land based Galapagos trip perfect for our family- snorkeling at Tintorenas and the amazing Tuneles with Pablo's guides from the Scuba Galapagos dive shop( arranged through the net) was wonderful- seeing the mating rituals of the aquatic iguanas, spotting penguins, white tipped sharks, blue footed boobies, swimming with massive sea turtles and rays amid volanic spendor - Yes! . Riding bikes to Wall of Tears was strenuous and fun to stop at all the little pull offs and see land turtles and other beasts.

Food was very good , stick with the fresh fish- awesome!- breakfast all you could ask for- nice chilled wines at night- perfect location right on the little road from town, could walk next door and have dinner at the Booby Trap which was great,(must book in advance) or have sunset drinks at the little bar at the hostel down the road on the beach with the kids playing volleyball and fun tunes - and the bar at the hotel was great, sitting in the front overlooking the ocean with a cold drink answering some emails on decent internet in the A/C in the late afternoon was rather lovely!

Neat little town, totally safe for our daughters to wander any time day or night- super nice people and - if you can do it- splurge and get the Master Suite- its AMAZING- killer huge room, beautiful walls of glass overlooking beaches, great balcony-

We arranged all our pickups and transfers through Pia , who books for the hotel and this came in handy as we are independent travelers - everything was seamless,(met at airport, bus to ferry to car to speedboat) they even held the speedboat for us on the way over when we were late (* super nice because only one each afternoon- ) and when we left on the little plane to Baltra the manager of the hotel took us in his truck and made sure we got on which was huge because of the aggressive large man from Germany and his family who thought they had the whole plane booked and were telling us we had no tickets! Thank you to all the staff at Iguana Crossing for a truly lovely Christmas-( and a great Christmas Eve Feast) Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Room Tip: Grab the master suite- just do it it! Also book the little plane to and from Baltra many months in a...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ramblingman50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2014

We really enjoyed our stay here. The hotel is beautiful and the location can't be beat. Waking up to see iguanas crossing the road ...from bed! Priceless.

However, I don't feel the place deserves 5 stars considering the price tag. We were there over New Years. Apparently the entire island takes Jan 1 off, except of course for the hotels' staffs which were obviously forced to work. Let's just say the service was severely lacking. I watched the used, wet pool towels and the dirty glasses accumulate on the pool deck all day. The staff was hanging around the lobby gossiping and nobody made a move to do anything to clean up until it was full dark. The thing is, the following day wasn't much better. The manager looks like a very diligent worker, but I think his staff needs some training.

I see no reason to stay here if you don't get an ocean view. The back rooms look out over a brackish water pond and have no balconies -- and it sort of smelled a bit swamp-like back there. ick.
The hotel is 2 stories high, so if you want any privacy, you need to request the top floor. Otherwise your balcony will be adjacent to the pool deck and everyone can see in your room. Also, keep in mind the balconies are all different sizes. I mean REALLY different. The rooms on the end have a huge wrap around with a chaise lounge included -- I assume these are the junior suites. The next 2 rooms (including ours, room #10), have decent sized balconies with 2 chairs and a small table, and plenty of room to dry wet dive gear. The next one over (towards the lobby) is only big enough for 1 chair, and the next has no balcony at all and the bed is right next to the window. Request accordingly!

We didn't eat in the restaurant and I'm not sure why anyone would want to. It was just a dining room with a few tables. White tablecloths and tacky plastic flower arrangements everywhere. There are so many great places to eat in town, and The BoobyTrap is only 2 doors down. I don't get it.

We booked this back in March and there was some sort of "misunderstanding" about our bed types. I was promised a queen but instead given 2 doubles.
Other than that the entire booking process was handled in an excellent fashion by Pia. We booked directly with the hotel, and Pia handled everything including our flight there and our speedboat back to SC.

All in all we both really loved Isabela. I mean REALLY loved it. 4 days was not nearly enough to explore, and we have unfinished sightseeing to do! We're already planning a trip back for next year. Next time, sorry, but we won't be coughing up 300 bucks to stay here.
I don't need the glitz -- not at that price.

Room Tip: balconies are different sizes and some not even big enough for 2 people to sit out -- 2 of the rooms...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chavalaSantaFe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2013

My wife and I just spent four nights here last week, and we absolutely loved it. It's a beautiful, new hotel with a perfect location and great amenities. We had room 4, a junior suite with an ocean view. The room was excellent. Others have complained about the water saving showers, but don't be put off. They're nice big showers with rainfaill style heads and great water pressure and warmth. On the wall, there's a button that works on a spring. You set the water temp desired, then hit the button. Water flows for about 8 seconds. Essentially the water is off while you soap up, or apply shampoo etc., then you hit the button and rinse off. If that's a big deal, holding the button with one hand will keep the water running. Seriously, it's not an issue.

We ate at the hotel several times and always had good meals. Service could be a bit slow, but it was the low season so we were the only people dining for just about every meal. In our opinion, Isabela has the best restaurants in the Galapagos, so you'll have plenty of additional options too.

The hotel is essentially the starting point for the walks to the Wall of Tears (pro-tip: take a bike and try to avoid the full sun), the Flamingos and the Tortoise Breeding Centre. The beach in front of the hotel is really nice too.

The hotel has a nice, smallish pool with a really comfortable shaded couch area for relaxing (our favourite place!). The rooftop jacuzzi was really great at night (but 'book' it at least two hours ahead of time so they can heat it up for you).

The staff was super friendly and helpful. They arranged tours for us (and even came with us to the tour centre to make sure everything went smooth), and they even managed sending one of our big bags on an earlier flight off Isabela (the inter-island planes have a fairly strict baggage restriction of 20 lbs per person, incl. carry on).

If you are going to Isabela, this is the best place to stay. Here are a few tips I think will help you make the most of your time:

- Take bikes to the wall of tears, or a driven tour if you can't make the 5K ride. It's up hill most of the way out and can be quite warm too. Check the tire pressure in the bikes before you go too.

- Don't miss the Tortoise Breeding Centre, it's free and an easy 25 min walk, with Flamingos and other cool things along the way.

- The hotel food is good, but check out the Booby Trap a few doors down too. It's outstanding and quite reasonable.

- The Sierra Negra hike ($60 through the front desk) is a big hike (16k, roundtrip), but well worth it. You may not get to see the big crater if it's cloudy/foggy (50/50 shot, I understand), but Volcan Chico alone is worth it.

- Las Tintoreras ($50) and Los Tuneles ($90) are both fun snorkel spots with some very interesting above water things to see as well. Both recommended.

- Bring CASH with you!! The hotel will accept credit cards (even for tours), but everything else is cash-only and Isabela doesn't have an ATM. You've been warned!!

Puerto Villamil is a special place, so different from the bigger towns in the Galapagos. We loved it, and thought four nights was just perfect.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are best, but the 'Volcano View' rooms aren't as bad as some others wou...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malmo, Sweden
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We spent 3 nights here on our honeymoon. The pool is lovely and roof top jacuzzi was great after being out snorkling. Order a drink before going up! Low season so there were only 2 other couples staying so Not much atmosphere because of this. . Staff were helpful and on our 1st night we sat in the front bar area or dinner and had a complimentary glass of wine which was lovely! Tips- ask for a sea view room. We had a room at the back which was fine but view and balcony at the front would have been much nicer

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JennyAreskoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport Beach, California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013 via mobile

We stayed in room 8 which had an oceanfront balcony and a king side bed. Service is wonderful. We had no issues with the shower timer since it had great water pressure. Had a few insects (ants) probably from mangrove trees but housekeeping took care of them right away. Breakfast buffet was good. Dinner was great. Blackberry daiquiri and mojitos, and chocolate cake were scrumptious. The salt lake did not bother us, we enjoyed watching the iguanas cross the road from the beach to get there. We even saw a few flamingos in there. We will definitely be back.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Tgeraten10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iguana Crossing

Property: Iguana Crossing
Address: Av. Antonio Gil, Puerto Villamil 200250, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Region: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Isabela > Puerto Villamil
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Villamil
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Villamil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Iguana Crossing 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Iguana Crossing is Isabela's newest and most innovative hotel. Its minimalist design and superior service offer guests a privileged experience on this scarcely populated island. Iguana Crossing is located in between Isabela's extensive white sand beaches and directly behind a wildlife-filled lagoon. Iguana Crossing offers an oceanfront swimming pool, Jacuzzi, 12 fully equipped rooms and a master suite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iguana Crossing Hotel Puerto Villamil
Iguana Crossing Galapagos Islands/Isabela - Puerto Villamil

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