Most people go to Puerto Lopez to take a trip to Isla de la Plata - we booked the tour through the Itapoa hostel and it was fabulous. We saw all the wildlife we wanted and more, the guides and boat were very good, and there were snacks and lunch to keep us going all day. Very good value at $30 per head.
The hostel itself was fine, but we did have a few issues.
On the positive side, there was a nice little cafe to sit in for breakfast - which is included in the room price and is generous and fresh. The rest of the day the cafe claimed to be open but there was never anyone there when we looked.
The rest of the sitting areas we found a bit gloomy and uncomfortable. This might be partly to do with weather, as we visited during the time when Ecuador's coast is blanketed in clouds, and nothing looks quite so appealing when there's no sunshine.
Our two biggest bugbears were these. 1. The communal kitchen was revolting. We had to steel ourselves to use it. The fridge had not been cleared out for weeks, at least, and was very very dirty, rusty and full of rancid food. The whole place is in serious need of a deep clean. When travelling long term, kitchens are essential for many people, and they should at least have a basic level of hygiene. If hostels are going to provide one, there is no excuse for not cleaning it properly. It was also very dark and gloomy. And, inexplicably, it closed at 8pm - which meant everyone was rushing to cook, eat and wash up by 8.
2. The room prices given on the website are 3 years out of date, which I was told when I emailed to make a reservation. This is just really irritating, and so unnecessary. They know it is wrong, so why has it not been updated? I negotiated a price to somewhere in the middle, but it really would be fairer to everyone to put the correct price on the website, which is nearly double the rate currently stated.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hosteria Itapoa in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador is in the center of Machalilla National Park, and only lies 20 meters (65 feet) from the beach. The hostel set in a charming area surrounded by lush grounds. Our hotel is family run and much of the proceeds fund the Itapoa Reserve Rainforest Project, paying for conservation efforts and programs to protect the rainforest. ... more less
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