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“A Bocas Gem.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tierra Verde

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Tierra Verde
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Carenero Island, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
New York, New York, United States
1 review
“A Bocas Gem.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

If you're in for a relaxing getaway and desire top class surf, this is the place. Cookie and Ivan are great hosts. Honest, straightforward and always available to help make your stay as good as possible. We had 5 days of terrific surf, fantastic food and great laughs. The hotel is convenient to all things in Bocas...while giving you a remote island feel. Water taxis are the way in Bocas and help make it such a unique gem in the Caribbean. I take a lot of surf trips around the world and this one goes into the Top 3. Hoping to get back sooner then later.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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75 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    42
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    9
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5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

If you are the irritatingly boorish ex-pat type who has no qualms about approaching diners in restaurants to berate them for taking too long to finish their meal, then PLEASE AVOID staying at Hotel Tierra Verde. But if your idea of a great vacation is staying at a charmingly rustic local establishment that is considerably better than a hostel and consciously less than a cheesy all-inclusive resort then you may have found the one. If all you need is some sun (& a little rain, too), surf & beach and maybe a Ron Abuelo & pineapple at your side, then this is the place for you. Staying at Hotel Tierra Verde has the added benefits of getting to hang out with smokingly hot, surf-minded Brazilians, Dutch, Americans and other world travelers who care less about what you do for a living and more about whether you can spin a good yarn or just chill in a hammock for hours on end without a care in the world. If you are lucky, the proprietors, Cookie & Ivan will fill you in on the secret surf spots, inform you which nights are ladies' night at Aqua or The Iguana and let you drop their names at any number of restaurants in town. Would we go back? In a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Alexandria, Virginia, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

spent 5 days here over christmas holiday and had an amazing experience. it's on a more chill island away from the noise and craziness of other islands. the owners are brothers and are hooked into all the action from where to surf, how to get a boat, where to go out, and pretty much anything else you may want to do while staying at this amazing island paradise.

they are also located a short walk to bibi's which has the freshest seafood, amazing service and chill patio on the water.

i cannot say enough good things about the owners, the place, location, and overall vibe.

oh - we also enjoyed hanging out with pretty much every single person that stayed with us. great community vibe.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Great hosts, Cookie and Ivan can help you with literally anything you need and are there to hang out with the guests and make it a very friendly place. The hotel's location is perfect, close to everything and yet an ideal distance from the throngs. Everything we wanted and more. Also a really good price compared to everything else we saw and heard about it 10 days of exploring the islands from this hotel. Furthermore, we were there when the lady Karla below was there and couldn't agree less with her petty tirade about everything - this is the tropics so there's going to be some rain and bugs and it's a very lively town so there's going to be some people smoking and having fun, get over it precious or stay inside your Hilton room at the airport!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Myers, Florida
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We checked in with no problem, staff is not very friendly. One of the two brothers who own this place is not very friendly and seems a little neurotic. They offer breakfast included with hotel stay, but only a tiny cup of fruit (pineapple or papaya), coffee, white bread with jelly or butter (very limited not like a buffet). Hotel was relatively clean, beds were full instead of queen, my husband’s feet were hitting the footboard, not very long bed I would say. No mold smell. AC worked. Hotel is remote from Bocas downtown. Frankly I would skip staying in this hotel.. There is nothing to do in this island except getting eaten alive by mosquitoes or chitres/sand flees. You are better off getting on a water taxi boat for USD$1 and going surfing or visiting the other restaurants in this island. Stay in the main island and avoid getting eaten alive by bugs. Locals avoid this island they told us b/c of the uncontrollable bugs. There is no roads, just mud and sand so you get bitten a lot.
The upstairs people walk barefoot and make all kinds of noise and slamming doors and downstairs is like a train station. Can’t nap or sleep late. No hot water worked for any of the guests none of the days we were there and they did not seem to care much about it, maybe b/c is it hard to bring everything to the island and they don’t want to run out of gas who knows. The time we went it was cold, damp and raining all the time! So a hot shower was needed. So cold showers are not appealing with rain and dampness in the island. While we were there it either: rained all day, rained sporadically but it was never a dry day. The sun came up a little bit but not enough.
Would this be my favorite destination or coming here in the near future...NO....too much rain, damp. frankly it seems like it is not in the Caribbean sea it appears like New England weather. We were told that is rains all the time in Bocas and it is normal, umbrellas sell like hot bread. Temperatures dropped. A must bring: bug repellent, rain coat, umbrella. I rather go to the Caribbean islands than this place. The smoking nightclubs are a pain too you choke on smoke and they don't seem to adhere to the no smoking in indoors law. They collect rain water in this hotel so you must bring bottled water if you don’t want to drink rain water with larvae in it. We sat in the living room/sitting area and got eaten alive by more sand flees.
This island has: Cosmic Crab Café, which is just OK, Bibi’s on the Beach restaurant (which offers complementary sand flee bug repellent) because is many bugs that bite you in the legs and they take 45 minutes to prepare your order (yes slow but good, so don’t come hungry) the Parrot which we never saw a single soul in it. Aqua Lounge the big nightclub/hostal in town (Caranero island) offers night music on Wednesday & Saturday. Free drinks for ladies until 12. Too many people tapping you in the shoulder trying to sell you ‘stuff’ and smoky as hell!

Room Tip: skip this hotel and stay in the main island.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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ilyaPanama, Owner at Tierra Verde, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
It seems like you trip to bocas was not a good experience as you found something negative about every establishment you went to. Sorry but we cannot control the weather as we are not god. About the hot water we do apoligize but every other room had hot water. Looking back at all the other comments it seems like no one else mentions a hot water problem.

Now you mention an unfriendly staff, I beg to differ on that opinion. We go over and beyond for our clients and try to meet any needs that they need, again look at the other comments of our past clients and how they praise us as good host. People usually get unfriendly when you try to stiff them on their bill.

It seems like you what you where expecting as a whole from bocas del toro was more like Saint Trope or a 4 star luxury but i forgot they do not take pensionado or retirement benefits from a 42 year old.

I am the owner of Hotel Tierra Verde and manager of hotel Tierra Verde and stand by my comments, as other guests in the hotel where offended by your attitude towards the whole staff and had a sense of relief as you checked out of the hotel


Regards
Cookie Evans
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

A group of 4 families, with a total of 15 people, traveled to Bocas del Toro in June 2012 and stayed at Hotel Tierra Verde. First of all the location is perfect! It is on Isla Caranero which is right next to the big island. It is literally close enough to swim to, but far enough away to get a true island feeling. It was just a 5 minute boat ride to Bocas.

The owners took great care of us securing transportation and excursions both day and night. The rooms were comfortable, clean, cool. We began each morning with coffee and fruit under the bohio out in front. We ended each day sitting on the dock relaxing and enjoying the view. We were lucky enough to time our trip when a surf swell came in. The owners were very helpful pointing us in the directions of the best surf spots.

We hit the typical tourist spots but were also pointed towards more local spots. We snorkeled, hiked, surfed, went kayaking and enjoyed dining and beverages. Perfect vacation! Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hermosa Beach, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Tierra Verde was exactly what I was looking for on my solo adventure to Panama/Costa Rica last January. I flew into Panama for NYE and spent 3 days with a friend of a friend. I told my friend I was on my way to Bocas del Toro, after a quick stop in David. She told me of a her friend Cookie, who owns Tierra Verde. It was a long journey on multiple buses to get there from Panama City, but so relaxing once I finally made it.

Bocas is a unique archipelago of small islands, where you commute back and forth by way of $1-2 water taxis. Carenero Island is very short hop of the main island of Colon. It's nice to be away from the madness across the water in this beautiful bed & breakfast, but still be close enough to the action if you so desire.

Cookie provided me a good size one bedroom with private bath for a very reasonable price, which included a nice continental breakfast in the morning. He provided terrific tips on where to go and when, and even came out for an evening on his night off. I also met two Brazilian brothers who were staying there for two weeks enjoying the terrific waves around the various islands, as well as an older gentleman who was staying at Tierra Verde for an extended period as he built his own private residence just around the corner. Only downside of Bocas was the sand flies, mean little suckers that pack a big punch around the ankles. Wear your bug spray.

I personally enjoyed visiting the various islands and renting a bike on Colon for a nice long cruise, even right along the beach at one point. Great waves, three toed sloths, and plenty of flora and fauna. Tierra Verde was the perfect location for everything.

Room Tip: I was on the first floor, which was fine. But the upper floors do have balconies, which would be coo...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Tierra Verde

Address: Carenero Island, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Carenero Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Carenero Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel located into a lush, tropical setting, and carribean ocean to view. Each room comes with Ac, Cable Tv, hot water and wifi. A stretch of beach and restaurants are in walking distance from the hotel. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tierra Verde Hotel Bocas Del Toro Province
Tierra Verde Panama/Carenero Island, Bocas Del Toro

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