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“Panama highlight - despite travelling alone with a 4 year old!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tesoro Escondido

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Tesoro Escondido
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Bluff Beach Road | Bluff Beach, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
London
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Panama highlight - despite travelling alone with a 4 year old!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2007

Travelling alone with my 4 year old this was a real find on a 5 week trip. Booked on spec when I decided that Bocas wasn’t going to do it for us this was most definitely a great way to end a holiday and proved perfect for both of us!

Yes, the road is bad – but not that bad and for anyone used to other CA countries it was a doddle so don’t let rumours of bad roads put you off. It's just a bit muddy and pot holey. Although only a few taxis will go that way, being only half an hour from Bocas town travel by taxi pick up truck makes it pretty straightforward - the owners will probably point you in the direction of the lovely Joel who's Spanish/English speaking and who can also help you pick up blocks of ice for the "fridge" - if you can't get hold of him then most cabbies in Bocas know him and will point him in the direction of anyone wanting to go out to Bluff.

And when you’re there? Main house or cabin? Tough decision as all are great. Having had our fill of hotels and keeping the noise down early in the morning we chose the cabina. The views were fantastic and at night sleeping with the sound of the waves was really soothing.

You can cook for yourself if you take a room in the main house or if you take a cabina – we chose for Monique and Adolfo to cook us one main meal a day. If you’ve had enough of the usual Panamanian fare then I’d recommend you do that as although the menu is small it's absolutely delicious. The homemade meatballs in wine or the chicken in fresh coconut were fantastic, extremely reasonable and I wish I'd asked for the recipes...

If you want to relax then this is a great place … Although Monique (the owner) filled us in on what was available – horseback riding close by, surfing etc, we didn’t do anything – and it didn’t matter. If we made it to the little cove by early afternoon then that was a miracle! The 4 year old was happy swinging in a hammock, feeding the chickens, watching spiders and counting the geckos. (To tell the truth, so was I!) The little cove, 2 mins walk away, has rock pools that are better than my London neighbour’s tropical fish tank and we saw all sorts of fish and even eels and with shade too it was great for children. Playa Bluff is BIG and EMPTY! A minor down if you have small children is that the sea is not the Caribbean swimming pool. There are waves and you can surf (we did see some body boarding going on one day) but I’d describe them as pussycat waves as they’re soft and so not too scarey if you’re a bit wimpish like me. They actually proved a good way to gently introduce my little boy to waves and the idea of the sea being more than a big bath.

Monique, the owner, was absolutely great, she knows her way around Panama and the way things work and so is a great source of information! She’s a biologist by "trade" and so everything gets to live. (There are a amazing family of sloths who take afternoon tea in the trees 3 yards from the balcony).

To sum it up - it’s not in the guidebooks, it takes a little bit of effort to get there but that’s what helps makes it special – you won’t be overrun by people living their holiday by the Lonely Planet (nothing against it of course, as I do of course have a copy myself).

GO!!!

  • Liked — Location simplicity natural - not even thinking about locking the door!
  • Disliked — Nothing - I didn't even discover you could lock the door of the cabina until the morning I left which made me realise that in almost a week I hadn't even thought about security & safety!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    214
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (48)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
wisconsin
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2007

I was leading a group of teenagers on a two week mission trip in Panama. Our last few days were spent in Bocas at Tesoro Escondido and
we definately saved the best for last. It easily accomodated our group of 21 and it was absolutely beautiful. The owner, Monique met us at the local airport...in the rain....arranged for three taxis to haul our group and even drove several of us in her vehicle to buy groceries.

The ecolodge-style setting is located on a bluff overlooking the ocean and there are miles of beaches to explore. Very natural, very relaxing and very warm & friendly.

We stayed two nights and certainly wanted to stay longer but our schedule did not allow it.

Monique, as mentioned earlier, was a wonderful hostess and arranged for taxis, snorkeling tours, information, etc. Could not recommend it more!!

Oh yea, the road....It was rough but I loved it. It added to the mystique and adventure of our trip. The icing on the cake.

  • Liked — location, view
  • Stayed June 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2007

The exceptional beauty of this property made up for the all but impassable road Monique is a fanastic hostess, providing everything we needed, including three meals a day at very reasonable prices , she is a great chef along with the help of Adolfo her helper who also attends to all your needs. This place is great, but maybe not for everybody, you have to be in touch with nature and conservation minded.

  • Liked — Fanastic Views and Solitude
  • Disliked — The road, 6 miles took 30 minutes but ensures the solitude
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2007

By far the best part of my 8 day Bocas trip. Very secluded and private, easily accessible, very affordable, great food, great snorkeling right on your own private beach, attentive service. I look forward to returning.

  • Liked — price, surroundings, food
  • Disliked — not very far from a garbage dump
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2007

Tesoro Escondido is truly Isla Colon's hidden treasure. My husband and I told our taxi driver that we wanted to stay near Playa Bluff. We had no idea what to expect since we hadn't made any reservations. We were pleasently greeted by the owner (a wonderful Swiss woman) who was not expecting us. She explained that there were multiple options ranging from a room in the main house to a private cabina. We asked to see one of the cabinas. The view off the private balcony was absolutely stunning. The most gorgeous private cove with golden sand, turquoise water and lush jungle. We knew immediately that the cabina was the place for us to stay. Tesoro Escondido is eco-friendly, run on solar power. There is no AC or TV so bring a good book and enjoy the Caribbean breeze from your balcony or the beach. You are supposed to bring your own food & water but if you are lucky the owner might cook you one of her healthy and tasty meals. Playa Bluff is a short walk down the road. It is one of the most amazing beaches...golden sand stretches on for miles, the jungle comes right up to the sand and it is totally empty. You will most likely be the only visitor on the beach. If you are looking for a relaxing, romantic getaway far from the complexities of the modern world this is your spot. There is nothing fancy about it except the surroundings. Some of the most beautiful in the world. The adventurous traveler will love this place.

Stayed March 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, OR
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2007

This is a great place, now it does take a certain adventourous type to enjoy it, but if that sounds like you ,defintley go there. Although this is not your 5 star type of place, it defintley rates 5 stars on a lot of levels. The rooms and cabins are rustic but have so much style and charm. The view and beaches are as good as they get. The owners are wonderful people, caring, very, very fair on prices of both rooms and food, water etc... We were lucky enough to be there while a "guest chef" was working. She made wonderful meals and unbelivable prices. Every nite we ate together family style. Usually this isn't for me because I'm not overly social, but all the other guests, and people working their were so interesting and so much fun, we really, really, enjoyed it. The road major sucks. But don't let this scare you off, it is worth the trip. Be sure to let Monique, Eddy, and Larry if he is there, know you read this from Chris & Steve, Jan. 2007
P.S. Be sure to walk down and check out Teresa at Chica Margaritas, just down the road a bit. You can have a cold drink, some food, rent surfing stuff, and maybe play with Teresa's baby monkey or two adorable dogs. Oops almost forgot Jack, the attack cat.

Stayed January 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2006

we just returned from a two-month trip in central america, and the one week in Bocas del Toro was the highlight of our trip. If we had not pre-booked and pre-paid the rest of our lodging, we would have stayed there another couple of weeks.
First, the web site, although very nice, does not do the place justice. The main houses and two cabinas are on this small cliff, with gorgeous views and sounds of the ocean below. We were just steps away from this small, secluded beach, and then just 5 minutes from Bluff Beach, maybe less, where we had miles of white sand beach all to ourselves.
Over e-mails, we had been warned about the road, so we came prepared for it,. We were given the phone number of the 3 taxis that would make the trip. Since we were arriving by boat, from the town of Changuinola, we did not know exactly at what time we would arrive, otherwise, the owner would have arranged for a taxi to meet us. It took us a few calls, as we first only got voice mail, but finally we connected with "Florentino", who brought us to the grocery store and the ice place. Although his english was very imited, he was the sweetest and made sure we knew we could call anytime for a pick up at Bluff. As an aside, yes, the road IS very bad.
Edi, the hotel manager, welcomed us, and the next day took us to see turtle laying eggs one night, and the site of these ancient animals arriving on the beach was a once in a lifetime experience for us that we will never forget.
Edi also organized two barbecues at beach for us, each with lamb and his secial pinneaple wine. He just spoiled us all around.
The owner, Monique, was very nice, and went our of her way to buy things in town for us, let us use her laptop for e-mails, and share with us tid bits about travels in the part we were going to see next. Having been all over the world, she was quite interesting to talk to.
The week went by before we knew it, and we were all in shock that we had to leave. By the time we pulled out of the drive way, we felt we were leaving people we had known our own life. It is a place so simple and yet so special at the same time.
If you want to get away from the noise of town, meet some very nice people, relax, and take some awsome walks on the beach, Tesoro Esondido is the right place for you.

  • Liked — the view and proximity to beach
  • Disliked — no complaints
  • Tips/Secrets — buy food items that do not need refridgeration. If you buy sodas/beer by the case in town it is very cheap!
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tesoro Escondido

Address: Bluff Beach Road | Bluff Beach, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rustic and charming facility with stunning beach front location. 6 rooms in main house and 3 cabinas, all with private bathrooms and kitchens. 2 small beaches are on either side of the property. Bluff Beach located 1 minute away. Within walking distance to La Curba and Dumper surf breaks. Paunch surf break is 15 minutes away. 4 miles from Bocas town. Free wireless internet in main house. Delicious prepared food available on site. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tesoro Escondido Hotel Bocas Town
Tesoro Escondido Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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