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Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

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New York City, New...
posts: 10
reviews: 6
Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

Hello, I am planning to go to Panama next month. Based on the excellent reviews about La Coralina, we are planning to stay there...has anyone stayed in the Ocean Suite - is this better than the Garden Suite? Also, I've read a lot about the chitras and horrendous bug infestations of nearby beaches, etc. Was this an issue at La Coralina? (I get eaten alive by bugs everywhere, so I'm hoping this is not a major problem). Also we are in Panama six nights only and I'm wondering whether 3 nights is enough in Bocas or whether 4 is better. Lastly, does the town virtually close down on Sundays - ie. tours dont operate, shops/bars closed, etc


posts: 107
reviews: 101
11. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

If the locks is your goal, but short on time, get sunset dinner reservations on the balcony of Miraflores Restaurant, or attend their Sunday Brunch. Great way to view the locks as well. The food isn't spectacular, but the view of the large ships are private yatchs going through make it spectacular! Enjoy Panama and Bocas del Toro!

New York City, New...
posts: 10
reviews: 6
12. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

Thanks all! FOr those who have been to Bocas/Panama City - is there anything out of the ordinary that should be added to my packing list? (I already received some tips like special bug sprays for the mosquitos, chitras, etc.) Do we need to take special footwear for the terrain at either location?

New York City, New...
posts: 10
reviews: 6
13. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

Also, for those who stayed at La coralina's Ocean Suite...I just read terrible reviews recently posted on tripadvisor about the hotel! Im very nervous...someone said they got bed bug bites...this is my nightmare come true. Has anyone experienced this??? Please let me know asap. Also, her website advertises direct TV in the rooms...but some have said they had no tv. Please let me know.


posts: 3
14. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

After have stayed a full week at La Coralina with my husband and 2 sons, I just had to reply to the two slanderous posts by UpperCrust/Israel and gyutrust/NY.

First of all, I have never, ever, met a more gracious host than Stacey at La Coralina. She will bend over backward to make your stay as great as possible. As soon as I read the 2 negative posts I knew something was fishy. The fact that one of the men complained that Stacey didn't make a call to book a boat tour, lead me to believe that she had some really obnoxious guests that she was not about to inflict on the good folks of Bocas who she has connections with. The guy's complaints were not only ridiculous but mostly incorrect. La Coralina is not in the middle of farm fields but on a beach road lined with other vacation homes. We never had any problems with bugs other than what you would expect being on the water in the rain forest. The walk to the beach is beautiful and yes, you do have to pass a dump but hey, this is Bocas, not Cancun. Plus,the dump is small and will take you all of 30 seconds to walk past it. Lastly, and what I found to be the most ridiculous complaint was about the noisy ocean waves keeping his "poor" wife up at night. Forgive me if I laugh, but that says it all about the type of visitor Stacey was dealing with. What did the guy want, for Stacey to silent the ocean so his wife could sleep? Please folks, don't take those negative posts seriously.In my opinion, they are little more than exaggerated lies.

chicago, illinois
posts: 11
reviews: 3
15. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

Yes, i agree with the above poster. Those bad apple reviewers were really rude to the other guests, tried to "dine and sleep and dash" and had to be taken to the police!

We just returned from La Coralina and it was awesome! There is no direct TV in the room, but there is one in the comfortable lounge/lobby area, and honestly, you'll probably be able to watch it by yourself... during my stay no one even bothered! Granted, I'm from chicago and feel like tv should be saved for brutal weather...

I stayed in the Garden Suite, and did not get a single bug bite. The sheets were very soft, and it was one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in. The room was adorable.

Keep in mind that, this is not a resort! If you want a more sterile environment, this might not be for you. i don't think one can even expect that in bocas quite yet... La Coralina is off the beaten path, it has panache, it is cozy, extremely charming, and everyone working there is fantastic. (if stacey and katie and edgar are reading this, we miss you!)

And, it was just such a chill place to hang out, either during a rainy evening or a lazy morning. The food was great, the banana daquiris were perfect, and they even packed us a cooler of beer for the beach!

We had a wonderful time and would definitely return.

posts: 2
reviews: 2
16. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

My wife and I stayed at La Corallina a couple of weeks ago in the Garden Suite. It adjoins the Ocean Suite. There were no bug infestations...no problems!

posts: 3
reviews: 9
17. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

"this is Bocas, not Cancun" - that really says it all.

Bocas is a dump and not cheap enough in my opinion to justify it - and cheap dumps don't really excite me either - maybe back in college I would have liked it, if it were really cheap - but even then, not at some isolated place like La Coralina. There are much better ways to spend your time and money in Panama, and if you want to do the Caribbean, save up and do it right.

We just got back from 3 weeks in Panama, traveling from PC to Volcan and back. Bocas / La Coralina was the low point - some people obviously enjoy it, but their WEB site is completely misleading; transportation was a real PITA for our group of six. And verify with them about their "free shuttles" - our friends were charged for "taxi" even though we were there for 3 days and they only went into town on two days.

The Garden room is a converted garage - as their WEB site does indicate - sitting at ground level, it is damp, leaks during a strong rain, and doesn't share the nicer views and refreshing breeze of the upstairs rooms in the main building. Our room that we booked was "unavailable" so we were "upgraded" to the garden room. Ugh!

Just do your research before you go to Bocas and make sure it is your type of place. Like I said, some people like it, so it must fit some niche that I don't get.

As for bugs, I bought some 3M Ultrathon repellent from REI to take along and might have gotten 2 or three bites during the entire trip and I never really piled it on. Our friends had stuff like consumer grade OFF made for cities in England - they did not fair as well. Get something serious made for the jungle or deep woods and you should be fine.

Panama City traffic has become a nightmare. This was my fourth trip in the last 12 years and the city doesn't seem to have a good transport plan; getting around is not for novices - my Wife is from their and can deal with it, but otherwise I recommend cabs or personal guides (or tours groups if you must). Allow plenty of time to do anything - a short run to the store, if you cannot walk, could take an hour. Nothing involving a car in Panama City will be quick.

That said, Panama is a great place to visit - I miss the fresh mangoes, bananas, and pineapples, the tortillas, plantains and yuca, the fresh seafood and mountain trout - not to mention the very cheap liqour - Scotch lovers stock up - best deals anywhere I have been; ironically about 60% of what it runs in Scotland.

New York City, New...
posts: 10
reviews: 6
18. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

ATL, I totally agree with you 100%. Bocas and La coralina were the pits. We hated it and decided to leave early (see my review of La Coralina) - we didn't get our money back, so this really was the biggest waste of time and money...Panama was great, but I'll never head back to Bocas.

19. Re: Bocas in Feb - La Coralina

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