We just got back from Isla Bastimentos, where we spent a couple of nights at El Limbo. I have definitely mixed feelings about the place. There's 2 El Limbo's - one in Bocas town, and one on an isolated beach point on the far side of Bastimentos - same owners though.
The Bastimentos El Limbo is very rustic - they only have electricity from 6 to 10 pm, so there's no fans or AC. What's great about it is that it's very quiet & isolated - there's a beautiful beach out front, and the other travelers we met there were lots of fun to hang out with. (I suspect your experience at this place will depend somewhat on who you're with, b/c it's pretty close quarters -- but we really liked everyone we met.) The staff was very nice too, and the food was pretty good. They have kayaks available, though not the best - also some snorkeling equipment. All in all, we had a really lovely time there.
That said: it's REALLY expensive for what you're getting, and on top of that we felt really ripped off by the owners. When we got the final bill, we suddenly had $40 worth of drink charges we had never been told about -- which was a shock when we believed the inflated charges included all food and drinks. Plus, when a bunch of us wanted to schedule a day trip into Bastimentos town they first told us that it would cost $15 per person to hitch a ride (even though it was a boat trip that they were making already). And then after we committed the cost jumped up to $20 per person - when we could have arranged a trip with boats in town for less than half of that. As far as I'm concerned, that's a really shoddy way to treat people who are already paying you inflated prices to stay at your hotel.
When we were speaking with folks in Panama City we heard the same thing -- that other people had been ripped off by El Limbo. So for that reason, I will never, ever, ever give them another dollar. But, that said, if you're going to stay on Bastimentos, it's really nice to stay on the isolated beaches on the far side of the island. And this place is a bit cheaper than Al Natural (though I think the cabins, services, food and other amenities at al Natural are MUCH better. Plus the owners/management are actually living at Al Natural, and I hear they’re much cooler and more responsive). So it's worth thinking about - just prepare to be cheated by the management.
- Also Known As:
- El Limbo On The Beach Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro