Sitting in a cozy hammock on the patio of your private cabana on the top of a gorgeous hillside overlooking the ocean, sipping a fruity cocktail and observing the lush, perfectly manicured grounds of Hacienda Del Toro, you finally realize what tropical living is all about. The resort is picture perfect; from the romantic white four-point bed hangings to the horses gracefully feeding on the hillsides in the fading light of the sunset, every sight that meets your eye is startling in it's perfection.
The owner, Neil, and his son, Dylan, picked us up in town and gave us a quick fifteen minute, scenic ride to San Cristobal Island. The ride itself is a wonderful experience, affording beautiful views of Boacas town, San Cristobal Island, and Dolphin Bay. As we pulled up to the dock of Hacienda Del Toro, I was awed by the gorgeous landscaping and perfectly maintained buildings; a true gem standing out from the rest of the area. The trees and bushes looked like something you would see on a postcard, made even more impressive by the untamed jungle growing just outside the bounds of the Hacienda property.
A golf cart was waiting to whisk us up the hill to our private cabana. I was charmed by the beautiful bed hangings, simple wicker furniture, and cerulean blue hammock on the patio overlooking the water. The room was simple, with a genuine tropical feel. If you want to truly relax and unwind, reconnect with the ones you love, and enjoy the tropics without the constant distractions of phones, computers, and televisions, you've come to the right place. Free WiFi is included with your room, and is available in your room, by the pool, or at the restaurant and bar at the clubhouse if you absolutely need your internet fix. There is a television at the bar, but who wants to watch TV with such stunning vistas and activities to catch your attention instead?
The food is great. BeBe, the woman of the house, made sure our meals were prepared with love and attention to detail. Each dish was fresh, and reflected a satisfying blend of American and Panamanian fare and ingredients. The burgers were the best we've ever had in Panama. They even provided us with a scrumptious chocolate cake in honor of Valentine's day! Neil and Dylan took turns tending bar, and took excellent care of us. Any simple request was instantly attended to, and we were made to feel like welcome members of the family.
We took full advantage of all the many activities available. We took a two person kayak on a little day trip to tour the famous Dolphin Bay. We were lucky enough to see a dolphin during our stay, and plenty of local birds, fish, and butterflies. Hummingbirds entertained us with their antics during our meals at the clubhouse, and we made friends with the families' three dogs. I am an avid horseback rider, and was able to canter up and down the hillsides to my hearts content while my companion took a more leisurely horseback ride along the trails. We stopped to pick fruit from the many fruit trees growing right alongside the paths.
The pool, a rare commodity in Panama and especially in these islands, was perfection. We took in the sun on the deck and floated in the water, sipping a cocktail while enjoying the panoramic views from the top of the mountain. Being able to see the ocean and the jungle while floating in a pool-chair; pure bliss!
Whether you want to just relax by the pool and take in the views or participate in the many outdoor activities, your stay at Hacienda Del Toro will be relaxing, enjoyable, and will assuredly help you to appreciate all of the many simple joys of life.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.