Monique is lovely, and as others have said, she has a wonderful place: relaxing, beautiful, calm, friendly, welcoming - everything you need in a getaway. The staff follow Monique's lead and are also helpful and kind. We don't surf and we loved it here - despite the rain! Monique's husband is very entertaining, too, if he happens to be there when you stay. This place is perfect if you want somewhere to unwind, enjoy nature, and feel at ease.
We stayed in the Dolphin cabina, which does have a wonderful view. It's private, nestled in the trees, with lots of bird life to watch and wonderful sunsets/sunrises. The waves are still loud, so if you can't handle that kind of noise, this isn't for you! The cabina is rustic, for sure, but has everything you need, including electrical outlets. The little kitchen has utensils, dishes, pots, gas stove; the bathroom a small shower (cold water!), toilet, and sink. The porch and front door have screens, but we did notice the doors have warped with time and weather so don't fully seal. Be sure to have lots of insect repellent - and a citronella candle might be a good idea if you want to spend evenings on the porch. Also, because of the climate, we found everything stayed a bit damp - so be prepared for that, especially if you're there during the rainy time. My only complaint is that the bed is not very comfortable: I rolled towards the middle, and anytime my husband moved, the whole bed moved and made noise.
We decided not to bring as much food as we had planned, however did buy some items in town (bread, jam, peanut butter, pasta, beer) which was more expensive than other places in Panama, but certainly not as much as in North America. I'd recommend buying in town rather on the mainland and having to lug more things through Almirante, water taxi, etc. There are a handful of stores in Bocas Town, walkable from where you get off the water taxi. Breakfast at Tesoro Escondido is $5.00, with a few choices. We found the breakfast, while good, to be a bit sparse (e.g.: no sides come with it). We do recommend the banana pancakes - and the view from the eating area in the morning is gorgeous. Lunch is $6.50, and dinner between $10-$13, depending what you order. We had dinner once which was good, but based on what you get at the restaurant, it's definitely cost-effective to make your own dinner. Lots of drinks available (probably better to go with beer rather than the wine), as well as baked sweet items (e.g.: banana bread). Their chocolate comes direct from a cacao plantation, so try the chocolate ice-cream if you can, it's delicious!
Lots of lovely happy dogs around, and a variety of people seemed to be staying. It's a very comfortable environment. If you don't surf, there aren't any swimming beaches nearby, although Playa Bluff is stunning to walk. We decided to walk to La Piscina, a good 1.5-2 hours each way, so that we could swim: through treed areas, stream runoffs, open stretches, and mud holes (because of all the rain at the time). We felt it was worth it because we really wanted to swim, and it is a pretty spot, but definitely a way to go for a small swimming area. I'd recommend taking a lunch with you and spending a few hours.
Because of the distance to get here, and the relative isolation, I'd recommend at least 3 nights - and that's bare minimum! We stayed 3 nights and it really doesn't feel like enough to get settled and fully appreciate the place.
Tips on getting there:
Taxis for us were $10 each way. The road is fairly washed away in parts, and you definitely need a 4-wheel drive, so I wouldn't recommend taking your rental car.
There are two water-taxi companies: one that is beside the police station in Bocas Town, and the other I think called Bocas Water Marine. We used both, and preferred the first one beside the police station - it's a nicer waiting area, feels a bit more or a better-run operation. Both are $4 each person, one way. There are no signs for the water taxis in Almirante. The water taxis are about the 4th or 5th right turn before you get to the end of the main stretch towards the car ferry dock in Almirante. The fire station is at the end of the road - if you're here, you've gone too far (turn around and take your 4th or 5th left). You'll see lots of cars in parking lots, and young kids yelling to ask if you want to go to Bocas. They'll help with your bags, etc., for a couple of dollars. There are a few parking lot options, and if these are full (we could have left our car and they would have moved some others around, but we would have had to leave the keys which we didn't feel comfortable with), you can drive down to the fire station and they will keep your car for the same price - $3/day. This is what we did. It's a 10-15 minute walk to the water taxi from the fire station, so drop off bags with someone to watch them at the water taxi then go and park the car.
The turtle cabina is private, sits below the main "house" nestled in trees, and is just ab...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.