How Much Are Iguanas? Total Cost of Owning Explained

Green iguanas are one of the most popular reptiles to own in your house. Many pet owners are left baffled when it comes to the price of this scaly creature. This article will provide you with a complete price breakdown of how much are iguanas for.

Iguanas can cost anything between $50-$10,000, depending on the rarity of your iguana. The price range mostly depends upon various factors such as age, color, and rarity. Green hatchlings generally cost less, whereas a multicolored iguana can cost you a fortune.

Type of IguanaPrice RangeAvailable At
Green Iguana$20 to $150Green Iguana
Red Iguana$150 to $500Red Iguana
Blue Iguana$700 to $1,500Blue Iguana
Rhino Iguana$600 to $2,500Rhino Iguana
Spiny-tailed Iguana$100 to $300Spiny-tailed Iguana
Chuckwalla Iguana$250 to $500Chuckwalla Iguana
Desert Iguana$50 to $150Desert Iguana
Cuban Iguana$800 to $1,500Cuban Iguana
Galapagos Iguana$5,000 to $10,000
Fiji Iguana$2,500 to $5,000Fiji Iguana

The cost of purchasing an iguana can depend on various factors such as its age, size, location, and appearance. Green iguanas are one of the most affordable options in the market. However, a Galapagos or a Fiji iguana can cost you a fortune to buy.

You should also consider the ongoing cost of owning an iguana, such as the enclosure, heat and UV lighting, food, and veterinary care. These costs can quickly add up, as a large pet will require more space and specialized care. The cost of a good terrarium for your iguana can be anything around $300-$1000, and monthly expenses on food can even exceed $50. Ensure you can afford all of these additional costs before making the final decision.

Editor’s Note
Adopting an iguana will always be more affordable than purchasing a new one from the market. However, it is essential to conduct thorough research on the organization or breeder you are adopting your iguana from. 

If you are looking for an affordable option to house an iguana adopting might be the way to go. Adoption rates depend on the species you want to house and range around $50-$500 and mostly come along with the enclosure. You should also note that iguanas may or may not come along with the necessary care equipment. Always discuss the terms of adoption and the list of supplies before making the final transaction to the organization or the person you are adopting your iguana from.

Total Cost of Owning an Iguana

how much are iguanas

Owning an Iguana as a pet is every reptile owner’s dream. As we all know, iguanas can be pricy, but you should also be aware of the additional cost of setting up your iguana’s habitat before making the final purchase. Here is the total cost of owning an iguana, including its one-time cost and recurring maintenance expenses.

One-time Costs

iguana enclosure setup

The first factor to consider before housing an iguana is the initial one-time costs. These are the initial costs you will have to pay while setting up your iguanas enclosure. The first expense that comes to our mind while purchasing an iguana is the cost of the enclosure.  You need an enclosure at least 6 feet long, 6 feet tall, and 3 feet tall to house an iguana. Pre-made terrariums generally cost around $400-$500 in the market, while a custom-built can cost anything around $500-$2000. 

Iguanas also require UV lighting to thrive. UVB lighting will cost you nearly $50-$60, you will also need a basking light which can cost you around $15. Iguanas are cold-blooded and require a heating lamp to maintain their body temperature. A heating lamp costs around $15 and is an essential part of the enclosure. You also require a substrate at the bottom of the tank, which can cost you around $10. 

Editor’s Note
You can also use old newspapers or coconut coir as a substrate for your iguana’s enclosure.

A dish bowl is also required to serve food for your iguana. You will also need separate bowls for water to maintain proper hygiene inside the tank. These bowls can cost $5-$10 and are easily available in reptile stores. Iguanas also need hiding spaces and decorations to climb on.

You can buy branches, branches, and other decorations for around $50. In some regions, you also need a license to house an iguana these cost around $25-$100. And finally, iguanas themselves can cost anything between $50-$10,000. This highly depends on the appearance and rarity of the species.

Maintenance Cost

iguana and its food plate with fruits and vegetable

Now that we know about the one-time cost of owning an iguana, let’s look at the money required for the maintenance of your iguana. These are the additional costs that you will have to bear to keep your iguana happy and healthy. The first reoccurring cost will be the food for your iguana’s diet. Iguanas are herbivorous and need a diet that is high in fiber content and low in protein. You will need fresh fruits and vegetables, which can cost you around $20 per month. 

Iguanas also require additional supplements to get all the essential vitamins and minerals. These supplements can round about $10 per month. You will also need to spend additional money on veterinarian care which can cost you around $100-$150 per month. This cost depends on various factors, such as the location of your vet and the health issue you are visiting for.

You will also need to purchase cleaning equipment such as paper towels, disinfectants, and gloves to provide a healthy environment for your iguana. This equipment can cost you around $20 per month.

The lighting inside the tank will also drain off a lot of electricity which can charge approximately $10 each month. There is an additional cost for repairing equipment such as heat lamps and light bulbs. This cost can build up over time and depends on the quality of equipment you are purchasing.

Total Cost

orange iguana on log

Taking all the costs combined, owning an iguana can get a bit expensive. The total cost rounds up between $1500-$4000. Although, these costs vary depending on the type of iguana you purchase, as they all have different care requirements. You should also keep in mind that iguanas live over 20 years, and the maintenance cost will continue till that point.

Factors That Affect the Cost of an Iguana

iguanas in different colors

The price of an iguana depends on various factors such as its age, appearance, location, size, and species. For example if we consider buying a Fiji Iguana, it will cost around thousands of dollars to obtain it as pet as it is considered one of the rarest species. Different species of iguana can affect heavily on the total cost of housing your iguana. A green hatchling will cost less than a rare Galapagos iguana. You might have also noticed that younger iguanas are relatively cheaper than adult iguanas.

This is due to the additional cost required in the care of a young hatchling. Younger iguanas also have a higher chance of infections and need additional care.

Health is another primary concern that impacts the overall cost of your iguana. A healthy iguana with no parasitic infections or health problems will cost more than an iguana with health issues. The breeder can also drive up the cost of your iguana immensely. A high-quality breeder will charge you more than a less reputable breeder. The size of your iguana also affects the cost of housing an iguana. A larger iguana will require a bigger tank than a smaller one.


How much does a young iguana cost?

Young iguanas can cost you around $20-$50. They will be relatively cheaper than adults due to the additional care they require. The cost of the iguana also varies on factors such as the appearance and species of your iguana.

What does an iguana eat?

Iguanas are herbivorous, unlike many other reptiles. They consume a diet consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables. In their natural habitat, they might also consume insects, lizards, small birds, and other animals to survive in the wild.

Final Thoughts

The price of owning an iguana depends on many factors, such as its age, size, appearance, and species. You should also be aware of the total cost of owning an iguana, as they require additional supplies and equipment to thrive. Make sure you conduct good research on the type of iguana you are purchasing, as all species have a specific care requirement.

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