We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Absolutely idyllic”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in San Blas Islands
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Yandup Island Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 24, 2010

My wife and I stayed two nights at Yandup Lodge. What a great place! They serve three good meals a day including fresh seafood caught that day, right there. The bamboo/thatched huts are primitive compared to a motel room, but with running water, mosquito netting, and the freshest of all breezes blowing through it's like a little Paradise. The over-water cabins have a covered porch/balcony all the way around with two hammocks providing a relaxing way to contemplate the beautiful surroundings. Each day they offer two optional "tours", morning and afternoon. We took a beach/snorkeling tour and the community-visit tour, both highly recommended. For us it was a great place to kick back. But if you need to be entertained, or if you just have to be doing something all the time, it may not be for you. For us it was idyllic. Two nights weren't enough -- maybe 4 or 5 would be. Or 14.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank RoadMode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (427)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

226 - 232 of 427 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2010

After a busy week in Panama city, this was the exactly what we needed. No decisions to make, as most everything is included. As a budget traveler, at first the $100 a night per person seemed a little steep, but when we tasted the food, saw our lodging and swam in the warm tropical ocean, it turned out to be a great bargin. If you love the ocean and white sand beaches, enjoy seafood every meal and can entertain yourself, this is the place. Make sure your travel partner doesn't expect spa treatments and WiFi and can live with no other sounds or distractions other than the ocean. I could stay forever, but my partner grew a little bored after only two days. And he calls me a city girl! One note, on some of the other islands, you will see plastic water bottles and other trash washed up on the beach. Just a good reminder to recylce and avoid plastic at all costs!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jodieColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2010

O.K., so if you're looking for night-life, or a 5 star hotel, this is not your place. But if you are looking for an incredibly unique destination, exceptional service, and surreal views/photo ops, this is your trip!! I woke up each morning and sat in my hammock on our wrap around porch and watched fishermen row by in their dug-out canoes. We ate seafood that was very well prepared along with lots of fruit and vegetables (the staff is incredibly cordial!). We bought bottles of wine to take back to our room where we could sit and watch the view as the Kuna Yala's floated by in their makeshift sailboat/dugout canoes. We snorkeled (by the way, snorkeling at the resort was exceptional according to my husband... we did the snorkeling trip with a guide from the resort to a nearby island together, but later when my hubby snorkeled at our island, he said it was better there.) We met fascinating people from all over the world. I couldn't put my camera down... tons of incredible photo ops. The Kuna Yala village is a huge part of this experience. Take lots of one dollar bills, you'll want to get a lot of pictures. The molas averaged about $15 to $45 for the hand-stitched pieces (check the back side to see if they are machine stitched). You don't get a lot of time to shop, so act quickly, but the route we took seemed to take us to the better molas the further we went... there wasn't an opportunity to go back later. We enjoyed the cemetary trip (serious hike involved here) and the Kuna Yala Village trip best. Put on your bug spray! We didn't see any mosquitos, so we didn't bother, but the little no-seeums got us good! We were itching a week later! Still totally worth every minute of it!! The trip out was in incredible experience in and of itself, sit near the back of the plane (more like an airbus that makes lots of stops) so you can get pictures of the "airports" you'll be utterly astounded!! Bathrooms are pretty rustic and water pressure is better at some times of day than others, seems to be a supply and demand issue there. Energy is an issue since they operate on solar. We didn't feel put out... just worth knowing and planning for in advance. The huts are just that... huts, you can see through the bamboo in your hut, so you'll want to turn off your lights at night for privacy. But we never felt as though we weren't sufficiently blocked from other's view. The crashing waves drown out most sound, so you don't have to worry too much about any (ahem) noise you might make. The waves did make it a bit hard for us to sleep... you'd be lulled to sleep and then every once in a while a huge crashing wave would wake you up. Not something I would consider to be a detterent by any means. The island is small, to say the least, but we never felt too secluded. I had the theme to Gilligan's Island stuck in my head most of the time that we were there. - I'd say two days was enough, but one day would be cutting it short. Overall, this was one of my most treasured travel experiences, and having been blessed with lots of opportunities for international travel, that's saying something!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Roamin_Mt_Rushmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2010

The lodge occupies one of the otherwise uninhabited islands among the cluster of awesome, wild, paradise-style islands in the Carribean Sea. What makes Playon Chico area and islands exceptional are the proud Kuna Indians which do not allow foreigners to buy land and build there. Therefore it stays natural and unspoilt. Therefore we definitely preferred it to Bocas del Toro.
Lodge itself is nice and tranquil and food is tasty. As there are no shops around, take some snacks with you.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Junglebloom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2009

My husband, brother-in-law, and I travelled out to Yandup Island for 2 nights during the holiday week here in Panama in early November. I stumbled across the lodge purely by luck, calling the wrong number and getting into contact the son of the owners of this lodge. Never have I been more glad I did!

We flew in Air Panama ($40 pp). It's about a 30 minute ride, however with a few stops, making it end to end closer to 50 minutes. The staff of Yandup Lodge were ready and waiting for us when we arrived.

For $75 pp/night (high season rate as it was a holiday), we received a beautiful lodge, which could have held easily and comfortably 5-6 people, complete with 3 beds, and 6 hammocks on the outer patio. There is only a mosquito net on one of the beds, however none of us used them and we were fine. A few bites here or there, but nothing extraordinary. The lodge itself was right on top of the water, with absolutely breath-taking views. The rooms themselves were comfortable and clean, but a bit damp smelling (unavoidable, I would assume).

The staff is beyond incredible. They will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. IE: My husband wanted to go fishing. When he mentioned this to them, they brought out some line, bait, and sat with him fishing in the afternoon, and left it there for the evening for him to continue trying. It's the little things that go a long way. They also asked us what we felt like eating in the evening and always did their best to accomodate us.

We received a meal 3 times a day. We had 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners during our stay. The breakfast' were pancakes, eggs and toast, and assorted breads respectively. The last breakfast was small, as we were up early to catch our 7 AM flight out of the island.

After breakfast was a trip to a beautiful beach somewhere on the Caribbean. This is usually from 9 AM- 1PM. Both days were about a 15 to 20 minute boat ride. These beaches were that of movies. White sand, completely secluded, and beautiful crystal clean blue water. You will see a variety of starfish, some different colored fish, however not much coral. Also, it is advised you bring your own snorkeling gear as they are quite pricey to rent (we luckily had our own). On our 2nd trip to the beach we saw wild dolphin. It was definitely a life-changer just watching wild dolphins glide in and out of the water.

Upon our return, we would go straight for lunch, which was usually a soup, seafood, and salad/rice. Definitely filling. After lunch there is some time to wander around, relax, read, shower, whatever it is you may want to do, and around 4 was usually a 2nd trip. The first day we skipped it (cemetery hike) because we landed that morning, the day after halloween, and were quite sleep deprived. It was apparently quite interesting to hear about the rituals taken.

The second day we did go down to the community in the afternoon. The amount of children is astounding. They will ask for money, but are very friendly. Keep an eye out for Ocho, who will continuously give you hugs or hold your hand and follow you through the whole community.

Dinner consisted of soup, crab/lobster/fish/octopus, salad/rice, and a dessert. On our second day a young girl celebrated her birthday on the island, and a cake was made especially for her which I think was extremely sweet of them to do.

The showers had absolutely no pressure in the lodge, however, as suggested by other reviews, the "public" bathrooms had great pressure, so no complaints there. Don't expect hot water.

Evenings are quite quiet, as there is very little to do. It truly is the epitome of relaxed, however I wouldn't recommend more than a couple days.

Tips
-Bring snorkel gear (renting is pricey)
-Bring snacks for the nighttime/ between meals
-Bring $1 bills for when you go into the community
-If smells (dampness) bother you, back a small bottle of Febreeze
-Bug spray and sunblock are must- haves

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank LaFemme86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2009

We chose to visit the Kuna Yala in order to disconnect from the modern world and recharge ourselves. Cell phones don't work here and there's no internet, no TV, no roads nor vehicles for that matter. Just nature in all her beauty.

The Yandup Island Lodge is a rustic set of six cabins (with four new ones under construction) built over the water like those in Tahiti. We stayed in cabin 6 and there are no bad cabins. There is electricity but no hot water (ever) so your shower will be on the refreshing side.

Tips:

Bring snacks. You are served three meals a day but you may want a snack in between and there's no way to get it if you didn't bring it. Lunch and dinner portions are fine but breakfast is on the slim side.

Bring a book. You'll really enjoy reading it in one of the two hammocks on your deck over the water.

PROS:
Unbelievably beautiful little islands with total seclusion.
Lots of quiet time.
Fish, lobster and crab in abundance and it doesn't get any fresher

CONS:
If you can't live without modern communications and luxury you won't like the Kuna Yala.
The Kuna are friendly but aloof (this is actually a PRO and not a CON for me) and they won't kiss your butt.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank HuggyBearHonolulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2009

I loved it. The people were wonderful, especially the owner Beatrice and the guide Ulti. I thoroughly enjoyed the snorkeling and the trip to village. The cabana over the ocean was heaven and I loved relaxing in the hammocks that were provided. The fresh seafood was fantastic...the fisherman stopped by with their catch from the morning. I would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank MeEncantaTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these San Blas Islands hotels
8.5 mi away
Hotel El Porvenir
Hotel El Porvenir
#2 of 2 in San Blas Islands
41 reviews
7 mi away
Cabanas Naranjo Chico
Cabanas Naranjo Chico
#2 of 3 in San Blas Islands
47 reviews
60.9 mi away
Akwadup Lodge
Akwadup Lodge
#17 of 32 in San Blas Islands
96 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Dolphin Lodge Uaguinega
Dolphin Lodge Uaguinega
#11 of 32 in San Blas Islands
27 reviews
22.5 mi away
Cabanas Digir Dubbu
Cabanas Digir Dubbu
#1 of 3 in Isla Tigre
3 reviews
0 mi away
Isla Perro - Barco Hundido
Isla Perro - Barco Hundido
#12 of 32 in San Blas Islands
3 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Yandup Island Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing