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“Glamping beachfront” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Palmar Tent Lodge

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Palmar Tent Lodge
Red Frog Beach on Isla Bastimentos | Bocas Del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
Privates from $55, Dorms $15!
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Glamping beachfront”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Let me manage your expectations, our entire time glamping we were covered in a fine layer of sand that just wouldn't wash off with the rainwater showers - sound like something you are up for? Then get to Palmar immediately. We stayed 3 nights and enjoyed every minute, the tent camp is on lovely Red Frog Beach and yes we did see the frogs on our walk to Wizard Beach next door. Amazing world class beaches. Palmar is very chill and the volunteers and guests are very friendly. We relaxed in hammocks and the beach chairs and took yoga every day. Our private tents were as nice as could be expected in a rainforest, just be prepared for heat and humidity (note that my hair never dried). Only downside and this applies to all Bocas and Bastimentos is the sand fleas, coconut oil doesn't stop them, if you are coming, load up on garlic pills. Assuming you are coming with the right attitude this place is paradise.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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238 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

This place is run by volunteers. Most of then love the job, 'run' for you and are friendly. Because the zipper of our tent was broken they upgraded us to a better tent and give us a free beer. Next to the fact that they took our problem serious and immediately undertook action.
Every night you can sign up for dinner. And allthough it's good food we found it expensive. But happy hour every day!
There is no wifi but a 5 minute walk along the beach you'll find a restaurant with wifi, food and drinks.
The lodge is beautiful situated at the beach. Al lot of things to do and they rent stuff (surfboard etc) for a good price. Snorkels are for free.
The tent itself is spacious, good bed, mosquitonets, locker and towel.
There's 1 shower and 2 toilets. Too bad that wasn't always clean, out of toiletpaper and for days the same wet towel. We loved it here but it's a bit overprized. But who is complaining if you are in paradise.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

I stayed at Palmar back in March on a Visa run from Costa Rica and absolutely LOVED it. I have been traveling through South America for the past few months and continue thinking how I wish there were more hostels around like this. It really is something to find such a place at such an inexpensive price.

Me and my two friends stayed in one of the dorm tents. The rooms were clean with beautiful painting on the floors. Big lockers and comfy beds. Literally walking 100 m and you are at the beautiful Red Frog beach. The common area is comfy and nice and easy for meeting and talking with people. There is a kitchen which I always love especially as there isn't much of anything else nearby on the island. There are rental SUP boards, kayaks, boogy boards, snorkel gear plus some others. It's a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the sun and I highly recommend hiking down to Wizzzard beach as we found ourselves alone the entire stretch and had a private beach. But dont take valuables.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
323 reviews 323 reviews
89 hotel reviews
Reviews in 112 cities Reviews in 112 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights, we stayed in a private tent with our own shower. The tents are spacious enough with a trunk safe, mozzie net and lights. There was a slight damp feeling in the tent, but it was due to rain. The shower water is stored in a black bag and must be used sparingly due to the fact it's rain water it was a bit of a struggle sometimes. The toilets I found were clean but did occasionally run out of loo roll. You can hear the sounds of the jungle and the sea every night which was nice. The staff were friendly and helpful enough there is a slight laid back attitude but maybe that's eco living in the jungle. Army ants sometimes raid the place and you are better off avoiding the bar until they clear as they can give you a bite! The beach is nice and we also liked taking a boat to basimentos town and having a walk round and lunch at roots. We ate dinner at the lodge both nights the pizza, salad and chicken rice were tasty as were the margaritas! the yoga class is also great. This place seemed to have a lot of backpackers, we have been there and done that and were on a holiday, so it was just for the experience. If you love nature and love the whole eco vibe,.you will like this place.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Boca Chica, Panama
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Amazing stop in Panama- really felt like we were in the jungle and wildlife watching was so much easier and better than expected - lovely food, staff and atmosphere - staff were also very helpful suggesting other places to visit.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

Woke up every morning thinking how lucky I was to be in such a beautiful place. I loved the rainforest themed rainwater showers. Very friendly staff and laid back atmosphere. The food was amazing and the common area was a great time. I felt like a beach bum and it was the most enjoyable place I'd ever stayed.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

My vacation certainly would not have been the incredible getaway that it was if I had not discovered Palmar. I stayed a week in Bocas and a week in Bastimentos. The week in Bastimentos was definitely more my speed for vacation. Palmar’s proximity to the gorgeous beaches there was a huge draw, and the jungle was fascinating to explore. There is plenty to do at the tent lodge – a beautiful reef for those who like to snorkel (it was the off-season for surfing when I went and the water was very calm), kayaks and stand-up paddle boards to rent, and an open air studio to practice yoga. There are also plenty of places to enjoy yourself doing nothing – the beach hammocks were my favorite.

It says a lot to me that over the course of a week’s turnover of guests, I met so many lovely and interesting people at Palmar. I can only think that it is the staff and management that engender a down-to-earth, warm, and enjoyable vibe. As someone traveling alone, this was as much a valued part of my vacation as the stunning beaches. From coordinating my stay, to the excellent meals and yummy cocktails, to the pleasant company, I thought the volunteers/staff/management were exceptional. I’m also very pleased, given how eager people are to develop pristine areas like this, at the lengths the lodge goes to to minimize their ecological impact and support the surrounding community.

Room Tip: The private tents are pretty darn affordable and totally worth it, in my opinion. They would be a l...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palmar Tent Lodge

Address: Red Frog Beach on Isla Bastimentos | Bocas Del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Palmar Tent Lodge has eco-friendly, affordable beachfront accommodations that are one of a kind in Bocas del Toro. Spend your days on the beach and your nights falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle and ocean. Accommodations range from comfortable private safari style tents to shared dorm safari tents, a cabin-style tent, and a two-story jungalow. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palmar Tent Lodge Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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