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“Lovely, lovely, lovely” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dad Ibe Lodge

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Dad Ibe Lodge
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Ailigandi - Achutupu | Kuna Yala, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
london
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Lovely, lovely, lovely”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2011

Two nights is the perfect length of stay at this place.

There is virtually nothing to do. And this is the beauty of it.

I was picked up by the staff and taken to the island which contains only three huts.

I swam and read and did little else.

One morning we had a trip to one of the Kuna islands to look at their town. I was afraid that it would be the usual parade for the tourists, but it felt like a genuine experience and the kids were so adorable...

Food is, of course, basic. Even the water for the bathrooms has to be brought to the island on a little boat. Expect everything to be basic. That is the beauty of it.

Staff are genuinely some of the nicest people I met on my travels in Panama.

Be warned that it's so remote, that you will be unlikely to have a signal on your phone...

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2010 via mobile

In contrast to some who have posted here, This was my first visit to the very beautiful Kuna Yala Area and definitley not my last.  We loved, we took 2 cabains to our family and we payed U$ 85.00 per night (family of 6). Don't expect luxury!!!!:) We stayed 3 days which was the perfect amount; two days would have been too little, longer would have been too long to be so isolated and restricted in my opinion. I'd highly recommend it. There's also a nice little beach on the island where you stay
We stayed in 2 Huts, our room was clean and nice,rustic not luxury very nice.. .The food is also very good, even though its mainly seafood. The price include three meals a day which were very nice, tours, kuna taxes. The Food Mostly consist of Seafood ( we loved)  and everyday we saw Kuna fishermen coming in their small wooden boat to bring their catch, which later became our dinner, so we knew it was fresh. You can get some beer and wine with food as well for extra price. The staff there were all Kuna, and they were so attentive to our needs. 

 Overall our experience was relaxing and cant wait to go back. We had a very relaxing stay in the lodge, the huts are very basic but comfortable .The staff is very friendly and helpful! , If you are looking for a quiet place to go, this is the perfect one. The Kuna Staff is great and very friendly.

We couldn't stop taking pictures of the place! It is NOT a
 LUXURY resort but it has everything you need to feel comfortable including your own shower, beds, and plenty of spaces to read with nice views.... ! The rooms are very clean and decent  You will learn a ton and have a great time! Can't say enough good things!

We really enjoyed talking to Kuna people and learning their culture.

  • Stayed November 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Laguna Niguel, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2010

This review is diffcult to write given how kind the staff is at Dad Ibe. However, we payed over $200 per night for what amounts to a camping experience. We had no running water in our sink and the toilet worked only infrequently. The meals were very redundant. You better enjoy shrimp and seafood because there is nothing else. Further, the water surrounding the island is not clear or clean as trash dotted the shoreline. The snorkeling equipment provided was broken and old, yet there was nothing to see in the murky water anyway. There is absolutely nothing to do, so if you enjoy lying in a hammock reading, this could be your place - but beware, there is only electricity from 6-10 PM at night. The one highlight was the trip to the village at nearby Ailigandi island to see real Kuna life. Sorry to say but I would stay elsewhere. The beaches in San Blas are just not very nice. Next time I will try Las Perlas on the Pacific side.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Denver, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2010

My wife and I stayed here for three nights on our honeymoon, and it is a fantastic Lodge.

The rooms were clean and comfortable. The staff was courteous, friendly and very catering to their guest.....!!!
We were pleased with the cleanliness of the room and common areas. We were definetely pleased with the service.

I've stayed at amazing hotels around the world and I've always done a more than good job at researching well where I'm going to go. Great surroundings, a fantastic beach and excellent home-made food all combined with stunning indigenous life.

Dad Ibe Lodge at Kuna Yala Area is a must do at some point in your life! The staff is amazing. We want to say thank you to all of them, Osiris, Sam, Mario , and the rest of you!! . We had a wonderful view of the sea from our bungalow, and what a great bungalow it was!! .
It was heard to leave but we are very glad to have been! We will return!

If you read the many reviews, you'll find a few folks who had some issues with Dad Ibe Lodge. In short, the Lodge is not necessarily for everyone since certain amenities (phones, WiFi and cell phone access, air conditioning, television, music, etc.) are notably absent. However, if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience (and can live without the vagaries of civilization for a few days), you should absolutely consider Dad Ibe Lodge.


TThe staff are uniformly helpful, engaging, and generous with their time. .

Of course, one important reason to visit Dad Ibe Lodge (at least for us) was to visit Kuna Indians Country . For us, the trip was worth every penny, and we will definitely return to Dad Ibe Lodge one day.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Virginia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2010

We almost went to another lodge but at the last minute I chose this one. I feared we might feel too isolated but it was just wonderful and here are my top three reasons why. 1. On Dad Ibe, there were NO biting insects. We did not need insect repellent. We saw only 4-5 insects of any sort. 2. I didn't realize that there is wonderful snorkeling right off the Dad Ibe beach! Even if we didn't go anywhere else for an excursion, we could swim out in that clear, warm water and see so many beautiful fish and sea creatures. 3. It was an amazing cultural experience to meet the Kuna staff especially our guide and friend Sam. It was amazing to spend time in Kuna Yala and relax with the pace of life there. People are so friendly and have great sense of humor. Their history is so interesting and I feel fortunate that they are so welcoming to tourists -- just not too many tourists. We visited the town of Aligandí where Sam is from and we felt very comfortable and welcomed there. I bought several beautifully done molas at their shop and we got the bead bracelets wound onto our arms.

For another excursion, we went by boat to a beach where there is more great snorkeling in the crystal clear water. It was by the mouth of a river so we could swim in salt water then go over a small gravel beach to swim in fresh water. We were going to go to do some hiking on land but it was way too muddy. So we stayed on the island --and snorkeled. We also swam across to a nearby island. There were some sand fleas there, and a lot of trash, but also a lot of interesting bits of coral to collect.

On the Dad Ibe itself, the rooms are rustic but comfortable. BRING: A mask and snorkel! You can rent fins from them or bring your own. (I also borrowed a life vest since I'm not a very good snorkeler). We were glad to have some snacks with us as well as a flashlight and headlamp. I think 3-4 days there would be just right. It was all I hoped for and much more. We already long to go back.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2010

We planned our trip quite quickly and I didn't get to do a lot of research. I just read the reviews here on Tripadvisor.We went with an open mind and not a lot of expectation, ready to experience whatever.

Amazing. Fantastic. Awesome. Unforgettable. These are only some of the superlatives that I could use to describe my husband's & my 4 day stay here. The owner daughter (Osiris) took really good care of us. Her English is very good while her knowledge about kuna culture and traditions. It's run by a KunaFamily.
Leaving the Allbrook Airport to fly to Mamitupu (Osiris & Joel ) owner daughter where there to greet us which was nice. They were friendly and asked if we had any questions.

There was a group of 6 who was there most of the time with us, and my husband & I were the only guests for a day, before 4 more guests arrived on the day we left. .

Everything you read here is true. Unbelievable but true. I won't repeat how great Osiris & Sammy (Kuna Guide) are.

Forget about hot water and A/C and say Hello to some real back-to-nature living that still holds most of the creature comforts of "modern life" in a place that is (and feels) quite far away from the nearest large city.

We went to Ailigandi Community, River, Forest and some islands.
One of the highlights of our trip was going to an Indian village to buy crafts.

.The service was impeccable The food was impeccable - Braulina, the cook, is outstanding, and I'm pretty sure we gained weight from scarfing down his extremely yummy meals! All food is prepared with purified water ( Bottle of water) so if you're like me & have a weak stomach, you have absolutely no worries. The ´package includes Tours, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner , and you can buy beer ($2), other mixed drinks & soda at the bar, and pay upon check-out.

The rooms are spacious & clean & we were given fresh towels every day. The lodge provides towels & soap, but be sure to bring your own shampoo, as it is not provided. I thought the cold showers were going to be a problem, but they were not, and actually felt refreshing on warmer days! We never had any bugs in our room. Electricity is obtained via a generator and you can use this to charge camera batteries each day. I would recommend bringing a headlamp and ear plugs. It is really quite nice that they are able to welcome tourists like they are family

Dad Ibe Lodge is a small place (3 Bungalows total) and about 4 years old. Because they are small, I think that is why they are able to make each guest's stay unique and memorable.Bring a couple of books as there is not much to do after dinner.

I would highly recommend Dad Ibe Lodge to anyone, without hesitation.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Panama City, Panama
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

We had the BEST time at Dad Ibe! All of the staff were amazing.I am a Peace Corps volunteer living in Panama, so i decide to visit Kuna Yala Islands with some friends !!
It was so nice to go into the community. We really appreciated Sam taking us around the village so that we could see the school, the hospital, and talk with different people. The kids were so cute :) I am so appreciative of this experience, and I feel like I learned a lot about the Kuna Yala community. We also enjoyed the delicious food. And of course, we enjoyed the beauty of the islands! What a beautiful and relaxing place!
Sam & Osiris are wonderful with their local knowledge, charm, and hospitalitly, we could have not asked for better service. We found the rooms to be clean and comfortable. We enjoyed relaxing in the hammocks.
The Lodge itself is very comfortable, not 5 star but then it doesnt profess to be.

I would recomend this Lodge to anyone wanting a memorable and inspiring trip into the Kuna Indians Paradise!

It was a great experience. We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed their hospitality!

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dad Ibe Lodge

Address: Ailigandi - Achutupu | Kuna Yala, Panama
Location: Panama > Guna Yala Region > San Blas Islands
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 Specialty Lodging in San Blas Islands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dad Ibe Lodge is located in a private island. Owned and operated by a Kuna Indigenous Family. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dad Ibe Hotel San Blas Islands

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