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1 - 6 of 49 reviews
Reviewed February 26, 2017

My wife and I came to Panama for the wildlife, and we weren't disappointed staying here. If you want a luxury room try the Radisson Summit (where we also stayed). It was lovely waking up in the morning with the birds and agoutis on the lawn and feeders, and really nice to feel near the jungle but safe inside our room. It is basic, but that's part of the appeal. Beatrice and Mateo are lovely, and extremely helpful. We also had Geoffroy's Tamarins coming to be fed in the afternoon and an armadillo one night.
Regarding meals be aware that Gamboa has little choice: there are 2 basic lunch shacks on the canal waterfront which close about 1; a very small shop; the more expensive Marina restaurant - Los Largatos (lunch only) and the Gamboa Rainforest Resort (lunch & dinner), both about 1 km walking distance.
For an authentic Panamanian wildlife experience Mateo's is great value. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: February 2017, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank muttonbird2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2017 via mobile

Mateo's B&B is muy intersante. The lodging itself is good bang for your buck, the accommodations as simple as you need- basically a roof over your head. Now to the legend Mateo. He drove us around the town, around the Pipeline Road, and to the boat in the morn for Barro Colorado. As two Americans who know very little Spanish, we had to improvise and enjoyed trying to interpret Mateo's crazy stories. His bird call of "hey" was perfected, attracting a beautiful blue Motmot for dinner. Mateo and his wife take pride in what they do and have made a welcoming and budget friendly place that is easily accessible to amazing wildlife.

Stayed: March 2016, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Nicole S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2016

We heard about the pipeline road so we decided to stay 2 nights in Gamboa, at Mateo's place. Although we explained to him we didn't understand everything he said in Spanish, he kept talking. He also drove us around, while we didn't ask for it in the first place. We are sure he was just trying to be friendly, but to us it felt a bit pushy.

We paid 40 dollar for a very basic garden shed where everything felt very humid, and the mattress was so bad you might as well can sleep on the floor. We asked Mateo's wife, Beatrice, if she could prepare us dinner, and it was not bad at all, but 10 dollar for some rice, a plantain, a slice of tomato and a handful of beans is way too much.
After all, Mateo's b&b is not a bad place but we wouldn't recommend it. It's better to stay in Panama city, where you can get a much better room for your 40 dollar and a tastier meal for 10 dollar. If you want you can take an early bus to Gamboa from the Albrook station, and return on the same day. Also it's not really necessary to go early because we saw more birds in the village itself than along the pipeline road.

  • Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Joni-Styn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2016 via mobile

Arrived quite late at night, due to bad weather -the ride from the airport took about 2,5 hours. Beatrice prepared a nice meal for me and was very sweet. Mateo seemed to be a good guy as well, but then asked me what I thought about the two Dutch girls that disappeared in Boquete. He kept telling me it was no accident, but they were murdered for their organs, and started to explain how horrible all the criminal organizations in Panama are etc. I don't really get scared easily, but if you just arrived in a new country on your own, this is everything you don't want to hear, and it gave me the feeling I might not be as safe as I thought.

My 'room' was beyond basic, like many people described before me. I knew this is the cheapest place in Gamboa, but something that looked a little less like a shack for garden tools would have been nice... The shared bathroom was ok, but far from great. Same for the breakfast, consisting of corn flakes with milk, and white bread and peanut butter.

In the morning, the garden did turn out to be a cool place to hang out. Though I am not a fan of feeding wild animals, it is very nice to see the variety of tropical birds right in front of you while you drink your coffee.

If you want to do some easy bird watching, go visit this place. Otherwise, there might be a better place for you.

Stayed: September 2015
2  Thank Ferdy_Timm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2016

Previous reviewers have said almost everything there is to say, a very basic establishment with lovely hosts and heaps of birds. Don't come here if you want luxury, but if you want to pay anything less than $120 per night - there are no other options in Gamboa. We just loved our time here. If you can speak Spanish, it could be sensational

With our lack of Spanish and Mateo and Beatrice's choice not to learn any English, we still had a delightful 4 days. I'm sure we would have absolutely loved the more of the information Mateo was willing to share - if only we could have understood it all :-) Listen hard and consider the context - it is amazing what you can pick up.
Essential booking communications are best confirmed through their son Jose.

We stayed in the two bedroom house across the road which provided us with room to spread out nice mattresses and our own bathroom. The fan in the spare room was great for drying our washing.

Dinner ($10 each) on each of the three nights was chicken (done differently each night) variations of rice and beans, fried plantain and a salad. As a special treat we had icecream on the last night. For lunch one day we went to the resort where we paid $10 for a small cheese and pepperoni pizza.

Getting here is the biggest challenge - finding a taxi driver who can understand the directions took awhile apparently maps aren't commonly used by taxi drivers and the address: Ave Humberto Zarate, Casa 131a meant nothing. Google maps and much waving and pointing got us there :-)

Coming back to Panama City Mateo drove us into the Allbrook Mall so we could catch a taxi from there.

Overall a fabulous place to chill out or be frantically active on prebooked tours - but read reviews before you book anything through the Resort. Alternatively get Mateo to take you for a walk along Pipeline and/or Plantation Road for $20 per head.

Room Tip: Ask for the house across the road - it sleeps 5 - plus mattresses on the floor.
  • Stayed: March 2016, traveled as a couple
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Thank Geoff_Heather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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