From the first moment we landed in Bocas and Henry met us at the airport, we knew this would be a special trip. The boat ride to La Loma and Bastimentos only confirmed it. We had just spent 4 nights in the hustle and bustle of Panama City, a place with a lot to offer but one that is growing rapidly and can try a bit hard at times. La Loma is the opposite. Everything about it oozes effortless grace. The incredible open air ranchos (rooms), the insanely good food (we ate at THE nicest restaurants in Panama City and none compared to the food at La Loma. Seriously), the super-friendly but not overbearing service, everything. The setting is one in a million, perched on a hillside in the beautiful Bahia Honda where wildlife abounds. We saw capuchin monkeys, birds of every color and description, lizards, the famous local red frogs (and yellow and orange ones as well) as small as your fingernail, sloths, and more. While the location is certainly world-class, the real highlight of the place is its amazingly positive and relaxed vibe. Once you meet the owner/operator Henry, you'll understand why. During a good part of our stay, we were the only guests so we took our meals along with Henry each night. This is really the part of our stay we enjoyed the most. We simply hung out chatted about our families and just life in general. By the end of our stay, we truly regarded Henry as a friend and even keep in touch to this day. He is also a seriously good bartender, spinning up a creative and delicious specialty cocktail each evening (do not pass on these). La Loma's remote location lends itself equally to quality chill time as well as being active. For additional fees, the resort provides plenty of options for excursions including snorkeling, deserted island beach trips, wildlife cruises, bat cave tours and a complimentary tour of the chocolate farm on-site. We did all this and each of them were amazing and staffed by incredibly knowledgeable and friendly locals like the amazing Mr. Kelly. Even though we were pretty active we still had a good amount of time to hang out and read in the hammocks. If you're worried about bugs in the jungle and whatnot, don't. Also, the value cannot be beat since the price includes your (as already stated, amazing) meals. Basically, I could go on forever, but I'll sum it all up by saying, if you're coming to Panama you would be out of your skull if you didn't stay here. End of story. I just hope the next time i want to go, it's not totally booked up or to fill demand, it hasn't gotten to big and lost some of it's charm. I'm sure Henry won't let that happen though!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience something a little different. La Loma is a working cacao farm that also accepts a small number of overnight guests.If you want to escape everyday life, relax in comfort in a hillside rancho overlooking a secluded bay, participate in tropical farm life or engage in a range of activities designed to bring you closer to the natural environment and local communities of this spectacular island, La Loma is for you. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Loma Jungle Lodge And Chocolate Farm Hotel Isla Bastimentos
- La Loma Jungle Lodge And Chocolate Farm Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro