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Yandup Island Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Yandup is divine. I went with my boyfriend and stayed in a bugalow over the ocean, only for one night. 3 days here would be perfect, and you would be able to take advantage of all the activities. The two activities we did were snorkeling/relaxing on a remote island and exploring the Kuna Community island.

The staff was superb!!!! Absolutely no complaints. Food was wonderful.

Only recommendation: bring your own beach towels.

To get here, you need to book a flight with AirPanama. Call Air Panama, then they will email you a credit card form you'll submit via email. It was very complicated to purchase the plane ticket, but eventually I figured it out. Or you can work through Yandup and they can help. You'll fly into Playon Chico airport on a small charter flight...it's an awesome view from the air.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jen1234567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 - 155 of 428 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2012

Really worthwhile experience staying with the Panama Indians in Kuna Yala. Cool, small, green island, quiet and remote. Totally out of civilization with no mobile phone access (or wifi or any other distractions of every day life).

Great food prepared by the Kunas over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Full inclusive room and board, morning and afternoon excursions and lights out at 20:00.

Pretty cool, once in a lifetime experience. Worth visiting.

Room Tip: Go for overwater roooms to compliment the experience but be warned: they are more humid!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PaniosBanios
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

I spent the last 2 days in the Archipelagos de San Blas. The San Blas are a group of 355 islands off the east coast of Panama and are very remote, with most of the islands uninhabited. The 2 days of no connectivity and isolation (to some degree), were tranquil and relaxing.

I stayed on a private island, called Yandup Island (or lodge). The island itself is no more than the length of 1/2 a football field, with about 12 little huts and a main dining hut. The native Kuna Tribe runs the lodge, and they are a very friendly group of people (more on this later). The flight there was 30 minutes and was on a tiny prop plane. Lets just say that airport security, boarding passes, flight attendants...non-existent. When I say prop plane, I literally mean prop plane (slightly bigger than a skydiving plane). The runway at Playa Chincon (San Blas Islands), was no more than a wide cement sidewalk in the middle of a field. As soon as we landed, we were greeted by Blanco (our guide/host), and took a little wooden boat over to our remote island.

The price of my lodging ($165/night), included a very primitive over the water bungalow, but can sleep 3...i had too much room! When I say primitive, I mean, no windows, minimal electricity, a thatched roof where sometimes rain would seep in, and bugs eating me alive...despite the mosquito nets. The noises of the sea and lack of locks on the doors scared me at night, so I had trouble sleeping, but overall I was pleased with the authenticity of my lodging.

As I was a solo traveler, I managed to meet some people and they were gracious enough to let me sit with them for dinner, so I didn't have to eat alone! Last night I joined a young couple...he is a 28-year-old Aussie, she a 25-year-old Colombian. They met in Buenos Aires a year ago and have been long distance dating. He came over here for 3 months and this was the last week of their time together. He is a knight in shining armor. Her birthday was 2 nights ago, and he arranged for the staff to bring in balloons, decorate their table with flowers and traditional Kuna designs, and he somehow got her a cake!! He also caught a big conch shell earlier that day when snorkeling, and they cooked it up for them, cleaned the shell and now she has new household decor. Yesterday I ate with two friends traveling together. They were both from Eureka, California and work for the forestry department.

The highlight (aside from visiting 2 other private islands), was visiting the main Kuna village. The people live very simply. They literally hike into the mountains to find trees and palms to build their huts, vegetables and fruits to cook and the men take to the ocean daily, in dugout canoes to fish. Their are 3,000 people living on an island no bigger than a quarter mile in circumference. 1,000 are children...most just running around naked!

Anyway, the overall experience was wonderful. It's definitely a nice escape from reality. Overall, it's like summer camp for adults in Panama. Three square meals a day, a morning and afternoon activity, relaxation time on the beach or in hammocks and intermingling with travelers from all over the world!

Jennifer Carnahan

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank jkcarnah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012 via mobile

Honestly there's not much to say about this place except it's first class.

We stayed here for my girlfriends birthday for 5 nights (October 28 - November 2).

The staff were fantastic and nothing was too much to ask for. The overwater bungalow we had (number 5) was perfect and absolutely sensational. When you say wow upon arrival to a new place you know it's special.

It is incredibly good value in my eyes, the food is spectacular and even better when you're given a big surprise complementary lobster with your stay.

The staff were more than happy to help me decorate some of the dining area with balloons for my girlfriends birthday, they also decorated all the tables and her chair with beautiful flowers, and made a surprise cake for her.

Our guides Blanco and Dommy were top class, you will thoroughly enjoy your stay with them.

It is a wonderful location and highly recommended.

Dave

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank DavidNichol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Wao Yandup!!!! This place is fantastic the island in san blas is simply the best. We everyone at this place is so helpful the cabanas are very clean and nice the meals are fantastic we ordered the langosta (Lobster) we cook to perfection it was fresh!We also had some shrimp and fish cook to perfection. The tours was fantastic Blanco our guide really explain how the kuna culture works and how important it is to take care of the manglar and how important it is for them. Overall I really recomend this place. The best Lodge in San Blas.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank rodolfo m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

Yandup Island lodge was an amazing experience with our 1 year old daughter. It's a great value for money: setting in paradise, nice sea-view huts, delicious food in an open air hut, very friendly staff, and interesting excursions (personally didn't love the beach trip and would have rather stayed at the lodge but loved the trip to the town on Playo Chico). Not nearly as many bugs and mosquitos as I was expecting.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank romagrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

The location, staff, and food were all just what we were hoping for out of our 3 nights in San Blas. We met travelers later in our trip who stayed elsewhere in San Blas and all of them had complaints about food, lodging and fleas. So if you are going to San Blas this is the place to stay.

The only reason I cannot give them 5 stars are the sand fleas. I know the fleas are way beyond the control of Yandup and feel bad basing my review on this. However they were present during all hours of the day and were not at all fazed by any brand of bug spray. This had an impact on the overall quality of our stay. The good news is the cabins had great decks with hammocks so we spend much of our time there.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank travelingNYfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yandup Island Lodge

Address: Playon Chico | Kuna Yala, 0838, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Guna Yala Region > San Blas Islands
Amenities:
Beach Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 32 Specialty Lodging in San Blas Islands
Price Range: $120 - $210 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Yandup Island Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yandup Island Lodge is the perfect getaway in the Caribbean of the Kuna Indians, in the San Blas Archipelago. Perfect place to relax in a hammock, enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves and birds. In this private island with coconut palms, surrounded by coral reefs and a small beach you will be treated as kings and queens in one of our six lovely and comfortable cabins in front of the sea. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yandup Island Hotel San Blas Islands

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