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“Total relaxation in beautiful surroundings” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Yandup Island Lodge

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Yandup Island Lodge
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3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Playon Chico | Kuna Yala, 0838, Panama   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Oslo, Norway
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Total relaxation in beautiful surroundings”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

This is first of all the perfect place to lower your shoulders, and completely relax in beautiful surroundings.

The lodging is very basic. If luxury is your thing, you should probably go somewhere else, but the charm of having only a thin wooden floor between you and the sea, and the evening breeze through the walls is part of the whole packet. Waves under the roof is the best lullaby in the world :-)

The seafood is absolutely lovely, and even tho you can order other food than the food that is included in the price, we never felt any need to do so. One of the days we even got langustinos (mini lobster) for dinner! Others have complained about there not being enough food, but we never experienced that problem.

Included were also two excursions every day if you wanted to go. One was to one of the many "postcard" islands nearby, and one of a more cultural/educational nature. The explanation on these trips were only in spanish tho, and if you don't speak spanish, you might, like us, have to ask some of the other guests to translate for you.

The area is stunningly beautiful, and it is also good to see that the Kuna indians have kept their culture quite good
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We were there for 3 days, but would love to stay a couple of days more if we come back (and I'm quite sure we will sometime in the future)

Room Tip: Ask for one of the cabins above the water.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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307 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (59)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2011

What can I say about this place except that I was able to spend three days in paradise at Yandup Lodge. My friend and I stayed here for three nights at one of the over water cabins. We would go to sleep and wake up to the sound of the waves. Spent plenty of time lounging in the hammocks, falling asleep in them while reading several times. The cabins are clean, and the only "visitor" we had was a tiny gecko; there were no mosquitoes that I saw on the island. Although we still utilized the mosquito net on the bed just in case. However, the experience wouldn't be complete if it weren't for the hospitality of the Kuna people who work at the lodge. They were so nice and accomodating that all of the guests fell in love with them. When I passed on dessert because it was papaya, they brought me out a plate of pineapple instead. When I inquired if it was possible to have coconut water, they brought me a coconut with a straw! The tours they arranged for us were amazing. Two/three different beaches for snorkeling in the morning, and then a different afternoon excursion in the afternoon (mangroves, the Kuna community, and the Kuna cemetory). We also dined on fresh fish, crabs (we saw the live crabs coming in the boat in the morning), lobsters, and octopus. The perfect picture setting, fresh food, and amazing hospitality of the Kuna made this stay unbelievable.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2011

My girlfriend and I spent 6 nights on Yandup in June 2011. This is an amazing place that we will never forget. All the reviews below are true. We were treated as if we were family and felt as if we were. We stayed in an over ocean hut which was beautiful. The beds were comfortable, there is a ceiling fan and they also gave us two floor fans which come in handy at night. The food was very good and always fresh and the portions were enough for your average American. Breakfast is served between 7-9, lunch at 1 and dinner at 630. On our first day they asked everyone about allergies, dislikes and who is a vegetarian. During our week, there were anywhere from 8-15 total people staying on the island. Mostly couples but some families and groups of friends too. Knowing Spanish helps but is not necessary as some of the staff speaks very limited English. The owner's son is fluent but he was only on the island for half our stay. We went on all the excursions. There are two daily at 10 and at 4. The morning excursion is normally to another island for relaxing in the sun and snorkeling. The evening excursion was to the village, the cemetery, the farm, or the mangroves. The trip to the village is definitely the best excursion. As far as souvenirs at the village however, the Mola and all the jewelry is much cheaper by the Kuna who have tables set up in Panama City. In San Blas the average price of a Mola was $25, it was around $15 in the city. We asked the owner if my girlfriend and I could go on a private excursion. We were brought on a 4 hour hike through the jungle to a waterfall where we spent some time swimming.

The island is rustic. There are solar panels on one end of the island but even with that one night after a cloudy day there was no electricity. We also did not have running water for nearly a day and at certain times, such as after an excursion, you could be sure to have nothing but a slow drip coming from the faucet. For the price we paid, $100 per person per night, we were upset about the water and the electricity. What also annoyed us and other travelers was that when we went the day without water, free water bottles were NOT distributed by the owners and there was no formal apology.

My biggest concern about traveling here were the bugs. They really weren't that bad. The beds have mosquito nets which seemed to keep all insects out but the occasional Gecko still made it into the bed. One night after dinner we turned on the light and found 3 large roaches on the floor. We immediately notified the staff who came and killed them. We asked to have our room sprayed but there was no spray on the island. The room was fumigated the following afternoon and we never saw another insect in our hut. The insects and lizzards are expected as the huts are open aired and they are not a sign of dirtiness. The huts were very clean and well maintained.

I absolutely recommend staying on Yandup to any adventurist traveler who wants to go to San Blas. There were several people who came from Yandup after being unhappy at other lodges in the islands. The islands are beautiful, the hotel is well maintained and the staff is amazing. Our favorite staff members were Dommy, Emmey, Ruby and Malbi. We cant wait to return!

Room Tip: Bring pants for some of the excursions!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2011

After reading other reviews we have decided to take the plunge and spent 2 nights on the island. the guest team headed by Lucio were more than courteous and gave us the feeling we were their only guests.

If you are looking to break away from civilization, this is the place to visit. out teenager kids were all complaints prior to getting there (no internet/radio/tv), ask them what was the best part of our 7 days trip - Yandup!

  • Stayed April 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2011

We stayed at Yandup Lodge for 3 nights and it was, by far, the best part of our trip to Panama. The staff, location, food, accommodation, and experience were more we could have ever imagined.

We stayed in one of the "over-the-water" huts and were very happy with our choice. We were there for 3 nights, which was the perfect amount. Two nights would have been too short, but a fourth would have had us repeating some of the tours.

The staff at Yandup was absolutely incredible. They even surprised my wife and I with a private beach dinner for our honeymoon. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

I would highly recommend staying at the Yandup Lodge.

  • Stayed April 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2011

I'dont say this for many places, but this was really like how paradise should be! Very nice people working there, they wil do everything they in order to make your stay as good as possible. The place itself is as good as the service I just mentioned. I really recommend Yandup, but please don't do the same mistake as me, stay at least 3 nights! And fly there with aeroperlas, not air panama ;-)

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2011

I stayed one night at the Yandup Lodge in a cabana over the water. The cabana was very spacious and cool with lots of breezes from the ocean. The room was clean with hot showers, electricity and clean linens. The huge balcony had beautiful views of the ocean and the nearby islands. There was no TV or airconditioning, but these were not needed because it is cool at night and it so peaceful and beautiful and relaxing to read or lounge in the balcony or the beach.

The staff was very nice and professional. The food was okay, but defintiely not bad. Meals were sufficient. The owner was also a very friendly nice older man and interesting to talk to.

I enjoyed visiting the indigenous village in Playon Chico island. The snorkeling on the beach at Yandup was also good. I would recommend this hotel and stay there again. The people are very pleasant and provide good service.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yandup Island Lodge

Address: Playon Chico | Kuna Yala, 0838, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Guna Yala Region > San Blas Islands
Amenities:
Beach Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 19 Specialty Lodging in San Blas Islands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Yandup Island Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yandup Island Lodge is the perfect getaway in the Caribbean of the Kuna Indians, in the San Blas Archipelago. Perfect place to relax in a hammock, enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves and birds. In this private island with coconut palms, surrounded by coral reefs and a small beach you will be treated as kings and queens in one of our six lovely and comfortable cabins in front of the sea. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yandup Island Hotel San Blas Islands

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