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).
- 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