My Airbnb Mistake and Personal Hell in Oaxaca, Mexico


This was not only the worst experience I have ever had with Airbnb, it was the worst experience I have had in Mexico. I will let the facts speak for themselves.

I booked a night with Airbnb on October 1st. The host offered me a discounted rate if I paid him in cash. This was my biggest mistake. On top of the the payment I made online, I paid 7,000 Mexican pesos (373.00 USD) in cash to stay in the center of Oaxaca between October 2nd and October 22nd. The main problem was the place was and is infested with bugs.

Beginning from the first night there were multiple fire ants, mosquitos, cockroaches (or cockroach-looking bugs) and small, black flea-like bugs. I was bitten by bugs each night I spent at the place. The second and third day I bought various bug sprays, bug traps, and tape to seal off the windows in an attempt to prevent the bugs from entering the bathroom and bedroom. I also bought anti-itch creams and lotions for the various red marks and bites I had on my body. I could not sleep because of the constant bug bites. The last night of my stay I killed up to 100 ants with Raid spray in the bathroom.

After eight days of trying to fix the problem, I informed the host that I wanted to leave, and that I wanted a refund for the days left that I had already paid for. I really should have asked for a full refund, but I just wanted to get the money back for the days I was going not going to stay there and leave. He got upset, demanded I send him the photos, and was disagreeable. I filed a report with Airbnb. He sent his cousin to check the room and she agreed there was a bug problem. I sent him various text messages and he did not respond.

After 24 hours, his cousin came again and said that I would receive my refund at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, October 10th. The host was two and half hours late. He arrived at 1:30 PM. He demanded I give him my passport. I let him take a photo of it. He asked to see the bite marks. I told him I sent them to him and he didn’t even check my messages to realize that I sent them to him. He tried to make the excuse or false reasoning that fire ants cannot leave bite marks, despite the fact that I sent him an article about it. Regardless of that point, a place infested with ants and cockroaches is not a suitable place for a person to stay, whether or not those insects bite people and leave marks.

He refused to refund the 3,000 pesos he owed me and offered me 500 pesos (the equivalent of one night, as the room is listed on Airbnb). He tried to rationalize it by stating that he lost money by cancelling other room requests, a statement that cannot be verified, is inexcusable, and does not address the fact that he was operating a place infested with a variety of bugs. I explained to him several times what was written above and he refused to refund me the money. He went on and on about how he loaned me a microwave and insulted the character of tourists from the United States.

In this situation, what is a person to do? I refused the 500 pesos because it was truly an insult, handed him the keys, and I left to get a taxi. I left the room and bathroom as they were, with no damage or alterations. I regret not paying through Airbnb for all of the nights, but I write this a warning to any visitor to Oaxaca to not stay at any place associated with this host. I have sent the administrators of this website several videos of the fire ants in the rooms. This recently happened and I am waiting on a response from Airbnb’s resolution center. I hope they take the proper actions against this injustice. At the moment, my review does not even appear on the same page of the listing.

I am including four video clips ( ordered in importance) of the bugs found in the AIr BNB I paid for in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Sorry to read you had such a bad experience
    I stayed a few month ago in a wonderful Airbnb ( obviously not the same as yours)

    You should really never exange money in cash, fully or partially no matter, once someone ask/offer this is a red flag and a place you should avoid and report.

  2. You’re a liar, I can not see your negative review, so you just want to make a bad move to him ..I’m sorry that there are people like you

  3. The rental link you provided in your comments, is it the one where you stayed? Why don’t I see your negative review there if it is?

  4. David,

    I’m sorry to hear you had such a dreadful experience.

    This host flouted Airbnb’s term and conditions by requesting you pay him in cash. Cannot for the life of me understand how his listing remains on the Airbnb website as they must know he tried to cheat the company. Bizarre.

  5. I don’t understand how you believe that Airbnb is responsible. Had you not paid outside of Airbnb; they would have rehomed you.

    • Perhaps it is the nature of this website, so I will clarify the main purpose of my post. I mainly find the host at fault and responsible. The main purpose of my post is to advise and warn any reader to not stay at a location operated by this person. I found this host on Air BNB and partially paid for the room through Air BNB. So no, the point of me posting this was not to lead a charge against Air BNB but to publicly document a person who has several rentals on Air BNB and one of them definitely has a bug infestation that is not mentioned on his Air BNB posting. That rental can be found here:

  6. Actually I didn’t. I paid partially through Air BNB and was not refunded that money. Second, the owner of the place advertised it through Air BNB and HE went against the Air BNB agreements of offering me a discounted rate if I paid in cash. We are both at fault on that count, I am not the SOLE person responsible, it was an exchange between two people. Third, Angela, what kind of morality do you have as a person to maliciously say that you hoped I “…enjoyed the aftermath of your bites :).” You wish a regular person to be bitten by bugs and have to go see a doctor for no other reason than that person paid for a room in cash instead of online. Do you work for Air BNB or are you simply lack empathy for other people? If you were in a conversation with someone in real life and related this story to you, would you callously tell them “ hoped you enjoyed the aftermath of your bug bites and scarring?” Or do find it easier to be malevolent while hiding behind a comments page.

  7. Well, you paid outside Airbnb so you’re the sole person responsible…… Hope you learned your lesson and enjoyed the aftermath of your bites:)

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