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Isla Bastimentos
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All reviews chocolate farm bat cave open air other guests mr kelly pre breakfast chocolate tour fresh muffins tamales bahia honda making chocolate jungle lodge local school red frog beach delicious lunch gracious hosts an amazing experience
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Reviewed July 15, 2019 via mobile

We, a family with two kids 12 and 9, stayed at La Loma for two nights. This was THE highlight of our trip! There is no wifi which was a blessing and got the kids away from their screens, the communal meals make you interact with the other guests and staff and we had many interesting and fun discussions, exchanging everything from travel tips, local and global politics and how to minimize our enviromental impact as a tourist. We took a snorkelling and boat tour to Zapatillos islands and got really lucky when a nest of sea turtles were hatching and we got to help the baby turtles to their first swim. Mr Kelly, Jose and Ariel all gave us an unforgettable memory of the jungle, the wildlife and of the Caribbean Panama. All the best and thank you!

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
1  Thank Mattias Gillis ... R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2019 via mobile

The initial inspiration for booking at La Loma came from our 14 year old who was researching places of interest and natural beauty on the Caribbean side of Panama. Being a lover of horticulture, he was taken with the prospect of visiting a chocolate plantation (having previously visited tea / coffee plantations in Sri Lanka). The opportunity to stay in an open air lodge surrounded by the jungle canopy and the possibility of having sloths and monkeys as neighbours was the deciding factor.

From initial contact and questions of availability to transport logistics when traveling from the Pacific coast, Zabrina was outstanding in her efficiency and warmth. Arriving at the jetty surrounded by mangrove trees and having Ariel accompany us to the main lodge whilst explaining what was growing along the way, was just a taster of the passion and knowledge of all those who make La Loma what it is.

The architecture and design of the villas was beyond expectations, from the beautiful wooden furniture and floorboards, to the bedside lamps and strategically placed hammocks. For anyone who appreciates interior design in keeping with the surroundings, La Loma will surely not disappoint. The bathroom was spacious, well appointed and in keeping with the high standards of the bedroom area. Pictures do not do the lodges the justice they deserve.

Those who fear insects and other things that live in the jungle, have no need to worry as there were no unwanted interlopers and mosquitos can be repelled by the coils provided. On the other hand, we did have two sloths ‘hanging out’ directly outside our room and a troop of monkeys passing by on occasion. Leaf cutter ants were seen marching along on the main path minding their own business and of course not forgetting La Loma’s in-house pets, this is a place for those who appreciate the natural world and wildlife.

Food was amazing in its freshness and seasonality, and second helpings not unknown. The produce from the land being made into homemade jams, chutneys, condiments, juices etc. all speaking for the larger vision of sustainability that La Loma represents. The pre-dinner cocktail of the day a wonderful way to bring guests together in conversation prior to sitting down for a meal together. A most special touch as mentioned by others, is the pre-breakfast box delivered first thing in the morning which only goes to further indicate the level of hospitality practiced.

The chocolate tour was enlightening and Mr. Kelly’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the trees and plants growing on the island truly inspiring. For those with a wish to experience something slightly more daring, the tour to the bat cave was also marvelous.

Thank you to everyone at La Loma (including the little cheeky chappy Adonis) for making our three days on Bastimentos the best of our time in Panama.

Date of stay: April 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
1  Thank HumairaMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2019 via mobile

We stayed four nights at la loma - and every day was something special. The lodge was stunning and the range of things you can do are plenty - thus the days went by quite fast.
Our personal highlight was the hot chocolate to start the day as well as the food - So many amazing and creative dishes with ingredients right from the garden served in this fantastic enviroment is something you do not easily forget! We will keep these days in very good memory!

Date of stay: May 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Alena7543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2019

La Loma exceeded all our expectations. The under stated excellence of every detail from amazing food, to genuinely friendly staff, and help with the day's plans made every day special. The coffee tray drop off at our bungalow at 7am was a daily highlight. Our 9 year old enjoyed the entire experience.

Mr. Kelly your time, knowledge of various medicinal plants, & the process of making chocolate was so interesting and appreciated. It’s a must if you visit La Loma.

We enjoyed several activities off site including the dolphins in the bay, zip lining a short boat ride away, and learning about the local chacara woven bags. We donated supplies (with Give & Surf) to the local school and they were much appreciated.

Rain jackets, flashlights, insect repellent were all helpful. The mosquitos weren’t an issue during our stay as long as you take precautions with repellant and use the coils provided. Monkeys, sloths, along with two amazing dogs( Zoro & Ninja), and a Cat (Minchie) all kept us entertained during down time.

The walk to our cabin helped justify the amazing food and just one more treat.

It takes a minute to unplug but when you do, the sounds of the jungle take you away.

Zabrina & Ariel you were the perfect hosts! La Loma is a special spot in the world I’m grateful we had the chance to experience.

Till next time!

Date of stay: March 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank 1292stephen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2019 via mobile

I had come across La Loma on a travel site several years ago but only recently had the opportunity to book a stay here. I can see why the ratings are so high. Zabrina was super accommodating and helpful as I had to adjust details of our trips several times. Ariel was gracious, funny and a wonderful host. The food was nutritious yet sooo delectable - I don't think I ever left even a crumb on my plate! Mr. Kelly and Roger were great tour guides. Regretfully, we had taken a tour from Bocas town prior to our arrival at La Loma. Had we gone with either Mr. Kelly or Roger, I'm sure we would have had a much better experience. They are extremely passionate about their community and the environment and it definitely makes time spent with them that much more enjoyable. The early morning pre-breakfast food box was a nice touch, ensuring we never went hungry and had the chance to enjoy peaceful mornings lounging in the hammocks. Thank you Ariel, Zabrina, Mr. Kelly, Roger and the rest of the staff. I had such a great time here and am glad that I didn't put it off any longer!

Date of stay: April 2019
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Thank LJen416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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