Kalu Yala

Kalu Yala

001 Ave San Martin El Valle De Los Rios Tres Brazos, Panama City 0813 Panama
Traveler (159)
Dining (27)
Casa Mahana's Famous Jungle Teepee at Kalu Yala, Panama.
Room & Suite (25)

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About

4.5
#7 of 59 hostels in Panama City
Location
4.7
Cleanliness
4.6
Service
4.6
Value
4.5
Kalu Yala is a new model for a modern sustainable town. Utilizing the brightest minds from our research institute, we’ve created an off-the-grid home for those dedicated to creating a better world... while having a damned good time doing so. Explore one of the world’s 25 Biological Hotspots on some of Panama’s most iconic hikes, swim in the country’s cleanest rivers and waterfalls, design your own experience by choosing custom workshops and activities, eat from our farm-to-table kitchen, ride in and out on off-road 4x4 trucks, party at an off-the-grid bar and stay at the coolest Panamanian jungle lodge: Selina Kalu Yala. All within 1.5 hours of Panama City. Our off-the-grid community is in the heart of a 7,000 mountain preserve full of hiking trails, natural swimming pools, and wilderness adventures. Enjoy 3 hour rainforest waterfall hikes, jungle survival classes, guided wildlife viewing, permaculture food education and more!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Yoga classes
Bar / lounge
Archery
Bicycle rental
Babysitting
Secured parking
Wifi
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Plunge pool
Shallow end in pool
Coffee shop
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Complimentary tea
Complimentary welcome drink
Happy hour
Outdoor dining area
Snack bar
Special diet menus
Bicycles available
Canoeing
Game room
Hiking
Horseback riding
Billiards
Canoeing offsite
Darts
Fishing
Patio
Walking tours
Board games / puzzles
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Kids pool
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Car hire
Taxi service
Meeting rooms
24-hour security
BBQ facilities
Baggage storage
Convenience store
Gift shop
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Picnic area
Shared bathroom
Sun loungers / beach chairs
First aid kit
Infirmary
Laundry service
Room features
Desk
Housekeeping
Safe
Wardrobe / closet
Walk-in shower
Room types
Mountain view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Romantic
Quaint
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish

Location

001 Ave San Martin El Valle De Los Rios Tres Brazos, Panama City 0813 Panama
Getting there
Tocumen Intl Airport
13.6 mi
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Paitilla Airport
26.8 mi
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84Reviews0Q+A8Room tips
Traveler rating
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Detailed Reviews
Eva M wrote a review Jun 2020
Portlaoise, Ireland1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed here for 3 months, during the global quarantine, we were a community of 30 people and Kalu Yala looked after us so well despite the lock down conditions, we always had what we needed and Jimmy and Zoe always did their best to cater to our individual needs and requests. The food was great, kitchen staff, Nick, Angel, Martin and Oneida looked after us so well, Zeke and Nena and all the other staff are also sweethearts. The facilities and beds are very comfortable, the location is beautiful, I will definitely be coming back to visit!
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Selina Management, Owner at Kalu Yala
Responded Oct 19, 2020
Thank you Eva!!! Come back whenever you want, this is your home always!! See you next time.
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Jonathan wrote a review Aug 2021
Cerro Azul, Panama5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I don't even know where to begin.. . Every time I close my eyes I imagine myself back on the pristine rivers and waterfalls that surround Kalu Yala, the amazing hiking trails, looking out into the horizon and seeing NATURE, amazing views, life at every place you look at, and amazing people to hang out with. A real Paradise! Definitely go to Kalu Yala if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of typical tourist areas.

Everything about this trip was sheer perfection. We were picked up from basecamp at the EXACT scheduled time and driven to Kalu Yala with courteous and experienced drivers, the drive was already a big adventure!, We drove into the jungle through an exciting off-road in a 4x4 and even got to cross one of the main rivers that surround Kalu Yala in it.

The complete team has been super friendly and always very supportive. Once we arrived at Kalu Yala we have been warmly welcomed by Zoe, the General Manager with a freshly made welcome drink and we were promptly shown to our Jungle little Palace as I like to call it. The accommodation was so fresh and comfortable, the mattress was actually like sleeping in a 5-star hotel, but in the middle of the Jungle!

The next two days consisted of pure adventure and also a lot of learning. I highly recommend doing all the different hiking trails and workshops they have to offer. My favorites were the Farm tour and the Jaguar Falls hike.

Do not miss hanging at the bar with the best Bar Manager Lisa who will get out of her way to keep you hydrated and comfortable at all times. I am still having flashbacks of that exotic creation of Pineapple, It tasted like they marinated a pineapple in pineapple juice for 2 days before serving it. I’ve never tasted anything like it. Lisa has everything at the Bar you can ask for, she even served mimosas in the morning!



While I was leaving back to Panama City I literally cried. Half the tears were joyful for the experience and the other half were sad because we had to leave. I scroll through my photo album at least twice a day in complete disbelief that I got to experience something so magical. If you are on the fence about this experience, you shouldn't be! Book it, book it now!
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Date of stay: July 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Scott T wrote a review Sep 2021
1 contribution1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Came here with my family, We wanted to be surrounded by nature and the jungle. The property is bordered by wonderful rivers with clear and clean water, we all enjoyed swimming and taking sun. We also did the Jaguar falls hike, it was a challenge but well worth it when we arrived to a beautiful waterfall at the end. Staff offered wonderful hospitality, Super family friendly, pet friendly. The Bar staff was super great as well, great cocktails, good music, was a overall great time. I would recommend this as a top 10 place for anyone visiting Panama 🇵🇦
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Date of stay: September 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Fufu Bogota wrote a review Apr 2022
Panama City, Panama58 contributions9 helpful votes
+1
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We booked 1 week for 3 person and paid all inclusive $770. Upon arrival we were shocked. The place is completely neglected. None of the free activities like Yoga, painting, etc were available, everything else was super expensive and a scam. The food was actually the worst we had aver seen (see pictures) and super little. Gabage and neglected construction material all over the place. Buildings and sport areas are in complete disrepair. Mosquito nets had the big holes. Internet was super slow and is just available at the bar. No electricity at night. The manager started drinking beer at 9 am and that's how the entire place is managed. Outrageous. We left after 3 days and are still waiting for the promised refund.
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Date of stay: March 2022
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Lisbeth H wrote a review Aug 2021
8 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
I live in Panamá City and was looking for a place to disconnect from the day to day but that wasn't far away. Kalu Yala caught our attention because of it's vision of building a sustainable city. We stayed one night at a teepee as I had never experiencied something like it before. I can say that my objective was achieved. I was able to disconnect from technology and the noise as you are in the middle of nature.

Staff is GREAT, we felt as if we were sorrounded by friends. They went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our stay offering walking tours or group games.

It's important to be aware that there are no mayor commodities (no hot water, private bathrooms, ilumination at night, etc), food is simple but good, facilites are rustic but resemble the real country side living.

If you are looking for a different experience, looking to disconncet from the big city but connect to nature and are open to ecotourism you will enjoy.
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Justis T wrote a review Apr 2021
Washington DC, District of Columbia19 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I stumbled upon Selina Kalu Yala when seeking accommodations in Panama City. I’ve stayed at a number of Selina properties around Latin America, and I’ve always had good experiences as a solo traveler. It was originally my intention to explore Panama City and stop by the canal. While the canal is surely one of Panama’s most iconic landmarks, Kalu Yala offered me something even better—respite and peace in a world characterized by urbanism and technology and the frenzied pace of life that comes with it. As someone who works at the intersection of the finance and civil rights fields, life can be overwhelming at times. While this type of holiday was not part of the original plan, I don’t regret passing my limited time in Panama in such a magical place. While Selina Kalu Yala is best suited for the outdoor lover, it’s a great place to reconnect with the earth, oneself, and others. My typical days consisted of working out, showering, grabbing a home cooked meal, going out for a hike/to swim, eating lunch, napping, yoga, showering again, dinner, and chatting with new friends in Town Square/at The Toucan (the bar). The accommodations are solid, the food is good, the weather is pleasant (I was fortunate to be here as we moved out of the dry season), the environment is gorgeous (the swimming holes are beautiful, and the hikes are fun), and the staff made it hard to leave. How do you leave new friends behind? The only viable way is to leave knowing that you’ll be back. Zoe, Jimmy, Rom, Carmelo, Robert, Abraham, Zeke, Nelly, Nata, Louis, Follo, Gruñón, and the many others that made my stay a great one, thank you for giving me the space to find myself again and for accompanying me along the way. Keep the lights on; I’ll be back.
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Date of stay: April 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Fltraveler9 wrote a review Aug 2021
18 contributions17 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our time at Selina Kalu Yala exceeded expectations on so many levels. I decided last minute late on a Friday night to take my 4 year old son and dog on a weekend adventure. Jimmy was on it. By 9:30am on Saturday he had a shuttle at our home in Casco, and I had communication from him and the driver the entire time.

The site is beautiful and relaxing, nestled deep in a valley with a stunning river, plant life, and surrounding mountains. The entire Kalu Yala staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating, and they took my kid and dog in like part of the community. Zoe even set up an impromptu art class for my kid, and he *loved* it. Others showed him around the plant and animal life.

We did farm walks, bonfires, swimming in a beautiful water hole, river hiking, and lots of lounging in hammocks listening to the sounds of nature. The teepee was comfortable and a great experience. All around a fantastic experience, and my kid keeps asking when we’ll go back! Such a special find.

The 30 minute drive from the basecamp to Kalu Yala is one of the toughest roads I’ve experienced - fortunately, guests don’t have to drive it! Leo is an amazing driver and takes you in a 4x4 from the basecamp through the valley. He was right on time. My kid thought it was great fun.

All in all, I highly recommended Selina Kalu Yala. Although I was the only one there with a kid, I think they had more families coming pre-Covid. Bring the little people in your life; they’ll love it! Very fun and beautiful community experience in nature. Muchísimas gracias to a wonderful Kalu Yala team.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Lilith La Diosa wrote a review Apr 2021
Pyeongtaek, South Korea43 contributions3 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Selena Kalu Yala Panama 🇵🇦 is a very special experience in the Panamanian jungle. We stayed in one of the teepees in Selina's section and it was a great experience expect the lack of staff communication. I scheduled a trip to the Jaugar Falls tour as soon as I arrived on the property and was told to be at the parking lot at 0900 on Saturday. I was there at 0850. After waiting for a while, we were told that the tour had left at 0900 but we can do it on Sunday. However, I spoke to another guest and they told me they had went to the Jaugar falls tour at 1100 am on Saturday. On Sunday we were told that they didn't have a tour guide for the Jaugar Falls tour but there was another event happening. I was very angry that a family who arrived later got to see the waterfalls when I arrived on time and also asked. I was also charged for a "tour" which was a 5 minute walk up and down the river band, which was a total ripoff. The place is beautiful but there is poor communication between staff and I lost my opportunity and money to see the Jaugar Falls.
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Date of stay: April 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ninz C. wrote a review Feb 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Kalu Yala is a very special experience in the Panamanian jungle. We stayed in one of the teepees in Selina's section and it was a great experience. Jonathan, one of our many great hosts, was excellent in communicating back and forth with us - and was so great at checking in on us through WhatsApp during our visit. Very nice touch! The teepee is open to the elements but because the jungle is at a higher altitude, there were very, very few (if any!) mosquitoes and that was so nice. The climate is very balanced and you will feel wonderful breezes through the day and night. The activities they have on offer was the most impressive aspect of the trip. Jungle hikes, river swims, farm and distillery tours (our personal favorite) - all amazing and crazy beautiful. We met a lot of cool people, everyone is friendly and so incredibly hospitable. This whole experience was so unique and wonderful, I believe that every nature lover must make this part of their Panama experience.
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Date of stay: February 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Enrico B wrote a review Aug 2021
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The stay was just perfect!

If you enjoy the nature and you’re looking for an adventure in Panama, Kalu Yala is definitely the place to go. The whole team gave us a really warm welcome (welcome drink included) and we felt like part of the Kalu Yala family from the first moment.

It’s a really calm and cozy place with lots of fun activities to do (different jungle hikes with destination at a beautiful waterfall). They also have a „beach“ that is right next to the Camp at a nice river (see pictures).

For the night (we were there for the weekend) the whole Camp was doing some cool drinking games, playing music and dancing together ❤️

We can highly recommend this adventure to all Panamá travellers - for us it was the highlight of our trip :)
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Excursion47454322450 wrote a tip Nov 2023
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"There is no pool, pool table, laundry service, shop or bar. Nothing is as advertised."
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Fufu Bogota wrote a tip Apr 2023
Panama City, Panama58 contributions9 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Do not even try"
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Manuel Austin wrote a tip Mar 2022
1 contribution1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
""The Jungle Teepee area does not have WIFI""
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Jesuspalacio3194 wrote a tip Mar 2022
Panama City, Panama14 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Nah the staff will tell you everything expect FUN"
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Kayla C wrote a tip Aug 2021
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Prepare to take a taxi or uber to basecamp and schedule your ride from basecamp to Kalu Yala before you arrive"
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LOCATION
PanamaPanama ProvincePanama City
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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KALU YALA

Frequently Asked Questions about Kalu Yala
What are some of the property amenities at Kalu Yala?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Kalu Yala?
Top room amenities include a desk, a mosquito net, and a view of the mountains.
What food & drink options are available at Kalu Yala?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Kalu Yala?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Kalu Yala?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and yoga classes during their stay.
Are pets allowed at Kalu Yala?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Kalu Yala?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.
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