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“Memorable Experience”
Review of Palmar Beach Lodge

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Palmar Beach Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
“Memorable Experience”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

If you are heading to bocas then make sure you get to this place! We had one night in a double tent, and two in the dorms (budget travellers). The tent was an experience, but the dorms were very comfortable, not cramped at all and decent lockers. The setting itself is amazing!!! Sand paths lead to the different tents with the main restaurant/relaxing area beachfront. Was raining hard a lot of the time so was a little damp but this allowed for lots of book reading and relaxing after big nights on the main island. The food available was good, especially the dinners. We managed some walks in the extreme mud, made it to 'up the hill' and over to Old Bank. Red Frog and Wizard beach were beautiful when the sun shone. The best bit about the tent lodge when we were there were the staff, they were bubbly, helpful and generally nice people. They even met us off the boat and carried our packs for the 10min walk there. A place we will remember.

Room Tip: The double tent is a great experience, but if on a budget the dorm safari style tent is very comfort...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KiwiTravelerEm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We loved staying at Palmer! I have always loved to camp and it was version of that! Except. you had a comfy bed! The tent was stayed in had 3 bunks and was set back on the pretty property. No noise at all, except for the jungle sounds and the waves crashing. The staff was very nice and helpful and always answered your questions as fast as they could. They seemed to stay pretty busy. We only had a few meals there , and they were good. You could even walk up the hill to Bocas Bound for other eating options......pretty nice place to eat and even see the ocean from the hill!

We had a large locker in our tent to lock up valuables. Bring your own lock. Bring a flashlight too. The big shower (first on on the trail) was the best for showers , with the most water. The showers are manual and also have rain water . Bring a SMALL suitcase or back pack ...you will be lugging it up and down a sandy muddy trail for about 15 minutes. You can store other stuff at Casa Verde, if you don't need it! Wish I had known that...but ...my fault...I did not ask!

The noseums are pretty bad here , so beware! Bring some good bug juice and USE IT, especially in the early morning and evenings. I got bit up pretty bad on my feet , and they itch itch itch for 3 days!!!!!! Also had some bites from Mossies , while I slept. A mosquito net for a single bed would be nice . Not sure if they have them to use or not. One girl had her own .

We booked a boat to get back to Colon and it did NOT show up. (We were waiting on the Palmer dock) Bummer ...because the noseums were NO FUN when we were waiting! Lucky for us ....a guy pulled up in a boat and we used his cell phone to call Palmer and get another boat re: 30 minutes later! Don't really know what happened to the first driver. Always find out the name of the boat driver.

The first boat over to Palmer , from Casa Verde wanted to charge us $20 bucks. I said ...no way..it is supposed to be $ 5 per person. (not the Casa Verde 2 times a day shuttle) and I ended up paying him $ 12 . The last boat we took going back (not the shuttle from Casa Verde) charged us $14 for 2.

Red Frog beach was very pretty ...we tried to snorkel , down the beach 20 minutes ...but it was too rough. I think that is a pretty rough place most of the year. We did boogie board in front of Palmer and THAT was fun...even though the boogie boogie board was broken!

All and all , it was nice stay. The tent's for couples looked nice too. You even have your own little shower .....but I would think the larger shower on site would have more rain water for a decent shower.

I would stay here again...in a minute!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank margolu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Bastimentos is one of the most incredible places I've been in my life and being able to camp out in an amazing tent while on the island made it that much better. The staff are great and super accommodating and friendly, and the location was amazing, right on the beach but also totally in the jungle. We saw monkeys, sloths, caimans, and incredible birds all within a short walk from the lodge. They also have delicious family style dinners and good breakfast and lunch options. Note that there is not a communal refrigerator, so you will likely be dining at the lodge the whole time during your stay. We went in July and it was rainy and everything was continually damp most of the time and that put a little damper on the trip, but I'd love to come back and stay during the drier season. If you are contemplating whether or not you should book here I would highly recommend it, you won't regret it. Any cons are trivial and definitely outweighed by pros.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Denise L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The World
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Palmar is a one of a kind lodging experience. It was my very first "glam"ping experience; complete with luxury tent just footsteps from the beach. It's located just a short boat ride from Bocas Town on Isla Bastimentos. I highly recommend staying at Palmar during your time in Bocas!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kiersten R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Let me start by saying we did not stay here, but at red frog villas. However, the service we received at Palmar by Maddie, Amy and Max was a welcome sigh of relief. They were helpful, engaging and kind. That is something we did not receive at red frog beach villas. We ate at Palmar most nights and the family style eating was fun and the food excellent! We felt we were part of the 'community' even though we were not staying there. Thank you to you all!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Andrea P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2013

I stayed at Palmar tent lodge for 5 nights in May. The jungle location is stunning and just a stones throw from the wonderful 'red frog' beach. I stayed in tent 'Papaya' and had none of the ant problems mentioned in the previous review however i did have a large but placid crab living in the shower area! I found the volounteer community who run the tent lodge to be a rather closed group but by the end of my stay they had opened up a lot and were all friendly and helpful. The communal dinners were OK if a little pricy for what you get. Overall I would recommend Palmar tent lodge to other travlers as a great relaxing place to stay away from the party town of Bocas in fantastic suroundings. I also thouroughly recomend that you visit north beach (around 45 min walk) for some of the best snorkelling you are ever likely to do!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Method81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tahoe City, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Let me preface this review by saying that the Tent Lodge, while quite obviously a fantastic place to stay, helped teach me that I'm not much of a jungle/beach person (I'll stick to my mountains).

This place is magically located in some of the lushest jungle you'll ever see, on one of the best beaches in Bocas. Awesome volunteer staff, fantastic fantastic food, reasonable prices for how far off the grid they are. Only complaint that might have been mitigated was that we had an ant problem in our tent. Granted, this is serious ant territory but after snooping around a bit, I'm pretty sure that our tent (Papaya) was an ant freeway compared to the rest of the tents (no ants to be found on any of the other tents). Also, the website says that all the private tents have showers, this isn't the case for the 2 person tents (some of the larger tents did have private solar showers). Sloths are very easy to see if you look in the trees closely. Surfing on Red Frog in some spots and you cant beat $8 surfboard rentals.

If you are at peace with the fact that you are living amongst the critters and their isn't a damn thing you can do about it, this is the place for you. If you get agitated by constant sand in and around your sleeping area (no paved paths), clothes that wont dry, or any type of biting insects... it might be worth taking those factors into consideration.

Room Tip: Avoid the Papaya tent, only one I could see that had ants crawling all over it (inside as well).
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alex P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palmar Beach Lodge

Property: Palmar Beach Lodge
Address: Red Frog Beach on Isla Bastimentos | Bocas Del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Palmar Beach Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Palmar Beach Lodge has eco-friendly, affordable beachfront accommodations that are one of a kind in Bocas del Toro. Spend your days on the beach and your nights falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle and ocean. Accommodations range from fully equipped bungalows to safari style tents and a cabin dorm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palmar Beach Lodge Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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