My wife and I just returned from a 2 night stay at the Rambala Lodge located about 5 km outside the small village of Rambala, in the province of Bocas del Toro. We were interested in checking out this lodge as a way of doing some birding on the lower Carribean slope of western Panama. And we were not disappointed. The lodge property has a nice mix of mature forest, second growth, and open gardens that attracts many species of birds, not to mention the hummingbird feeders that are active. Toucans (Keel-billed), Aracari (Collared) and Oropendulas (both Montezuma and Chestnut-headed) were seen on the property. Dusky-faced, Sulphur-rumped, and Tawny-crested Tanagers were all new birds for me. White-vented and Olive-backed Euphonias were also added to my Panama list, as well as Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant. Bay Wren, Plain Tanager, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Golden-collared Mannakins - birds we saw in Gamboa - were in evidence here also. And as would be expected this time of year, many neotropical migrants were showing up as well. Extremely good birding!
Lyn and Eric proudly state the facilities are a work in progress. Their emphasis is on low impact, sustainable living. They currently have one small 2-bedroom casita with a screened living area overlooking the lower end of the property. It has a sink with running water, outside shower, and bucket toilets in the cabin. The main lodge/owners quarters, where Lyn serves excellent meals (see the sample menus on their website), is open air with beautiful views overlooking the property and the Caribbean Ocean in the distance. There are hammocks for relaxing in the casita and the main lodge. Beautiful cascading streams are everywhere on the property. Eric is currently working on installing a micro hydro electric generating plant on one of the creeks. Till that is completed kerosene and battery powered lanterns provide light at night. Eric and Lyn are wonderful hosts, making every effort to make your stay a comfortable one - even delivering hot coffee and fresh fruit to your casita in the morning. There are plans for more cabins and adding more amenities to the existing facilities. From where you park your car it's a 1 km easy up hill hike to the lodge (and they will have your gear carried up for you).
In summary, I can't say enough about the birding and the hospitality of Lyn and Eric. It was first rate. I urge those interested in a fun Carribean slope birding adventure to check this one out. We plan on visiting again soon ourselves. See their excellent website for more information.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This amazing destination is rustic and remote. A sustainable off grid Eco Lodge with River, cabins and jungle trails. All packages include good healthy meals. Stunning natural pools with waterfalls and Caribbean views, abound in this excellent climate which is consistant 70-80 f. Great for birding, discovering and enjoying the abundance of tropical plants and wildlife. Advance reservations necessary. ... more less