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“A week in Paradise!”
Review of Casa Cayuco

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Casa Cayuco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Palo Alto, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A week in Paradise!”
Reviewed July 3, 2012

We decided to head to Casa Cayuco for our mom's 80th b-day celebration and we couldn't have found a better place. It was perfect for all ages -- from 7 to 80 -- with something for everyone. Since there were 16 in our party it was just our family for the 5 nights so we had the place to ourselves. Sue and Lloyd were extremely gracious hosts, very flexible and helpful, and lots of fun besides! The rooms were comfortable and spacious with homey touches, the meals were incredible, and the setting spectacular. Every night the kids would head out to the dock with the hammocks and chairs to play cards late into the night while the adults relaxed in the lodge dining area or headed back to our rooms. We were staying in Coco and at night we could hear the monkeys, birds and caiman much to our delight.

In our free time we kayaked and paddle-boarded around the beach and even took the sailboat out one day. The kids would have been happy to hang out all day swimming, snorkeling and exploring the reef nearby. We went on several excursions which were definitely some of the highlights of our stay. From the short hike to Salt Creek and the Caiman trail to the full day at Ndori Beach to surf, swim, and hang out with the friendly locals each trip was equally exciting. We also headed to Dolphin Bay to snorkel in the mangroves and watch the playful dolphins -- this was one of our favorite outings.

Thanks to Sue, Lloyd, and the rest of the staff (Sebastian was great to have on our outings and around the lodge) this was an incredibly special trip for our family that we will all always remember. We certainly hope we can come back again!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank PAfamily1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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308 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
st simons island
1 review
Reviewed July 3, 2012

Fabulous weather, water & 2 furry Eng bulldogs (Angus & Belle) are
center to this area. Sue & Lloyd are not to overlooked as they manage,
chef, expert guiding to outings such as: snorkling, chocolate farm &
fabulous garden expert, ropes course & walks to nearby villages where
one can view more exotic plants & wildlife ( sloths come in 1 st place for
adorable looks). Accomodations & cuisine superb! would return!!

Room Tip: All were comprable/ 3 separate mini lodges.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank victoria m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 3, 2012

We just got back from our trip to Panama and the highlight was definitely Casa Cayuco! From the moment we got on the boat to head to the island, I knew we were in for a relaxing stay! We stayed in Pelicano and found it to be such a beautiful cabin with a fantastic view of the beach and ocean. The craftsmanship is very impressive and really makes you feel like you are part of your surroundings. Our cabin was cleaned daily by the very attentive and friendly staff and even the clothes I had left out were neatly folded on the bed. The excursions offered at Casa Cayuco were also a highlight. We did two snorkeling trips and took a hike to the local village. All were exceptional! The mangrove snorkeling allowed us to see by far the most impressive coral I have ever seen! Even if you don't do the excursions, the resort itself is very relaxing. It was so nice to unwind and get away from it all! We could have spent an entire day reading and relaxing on the dock! Probably the best part of Casa Cayuco is the hospitality. The staff is so welcoming and Sue and Lloyd really made us feel so special! We even got to enjoy a private dinner on the dock! I felt like they really went above and beyond to make our honeymoon special. Casa Cayuco is a great way to experience the Bocas area and I would recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AnneP79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2012

Casa Cayuco is amazing. We stayed here (family of four - two kids 6 and 8) and it was fantastic. Sue and Lloyd were great hosts, the bungalows are lovely and well-appointed, and the setting is outrageously beautiful. We went to Zapatillo, my husband went surfing with Lloyd and we all spent lots of time kayaking and snorkeling. We will definitely be back!

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Diana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novato, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2012

Definitions matter. What's your definition of "vacation"? What type of experience are you looking for and why? In my case, and that of my girlfriend, our goal was to relax, and by that I mean "un-plug" completely and utterly. We were looking for a little corner of paradise where we would could shelter ourselves from the daily-grind and pretend, if just for a few days, that the pursuit of nothing was our job. We found it here, at Casa Cayuco. With only 4 bungalows, and a room in the main house, the potential for that overcrowded feeling you experience at "resorts" is nil. We stayed in Tortuga, separated from the Caribbean by twenty feet of beautiful powdery sand, and settled in immediately. The accommodations are well above par: the bungalow itself was open-air in that there were shutters lining all walls, but you still had a sense of privacy, in that they could be closed if you so-chose. The wood work is beautiful and feels very authentic; the showers are high end, and are also open-air surrounding the top of the bathroom; the beds are comfortable and have mozzy-nets; there are two ceiling fans, and one stand-up fan, and no air-con, which is unnecessary anyway - with the shutters open, the sea breeze gently flows through the bungalow all day and night making the in-room environment even more comfortable. On top of that, if you're going on daily excursions, you will come home to find the rooms exceptionally clean; the local staff that helps maintain the property do a fantastic job in every respect.
In regards to excursions, they offer many from world-class snorkeling, to jungle-treks, bat cave tours, to guided surfing trips and everything in between, all of which are reasonably priced. Now, I'd like to say that we did all of them, and I think that upon arrival that was our plan, however, the serenity of this place took over, and our plans changed. We did end up going on a 5 hour snorkeling trip, which was exquisite, and another trip to a lovely chocolate farm run by an expatriated couple. Suffice it to say, the trips we went on were fantastic, and the same sentiment was echoed by the other couples staying here in regards to the trips they went on. Still, we were unable to do all of the fun activities we were planning on because, to say it simply, we didn't want to leave. We spent all day reading, enjoying the beaches, taking our own unguided tour of the surrounding jungle, napping in the many hammocks, swimming, sunning, napping some more, and paddle boarding (a very humbling endeavor indeed).
At this point I hope it is clear that we enjoyed our stay; however, the aesthetic beauty of the place, the wonderful local staff, the plethora of exciting activities all pale in comparison to the unparalleled hospitality of our hosts, Lloyd and Sue. It is easy, I think, to relax in a place like this simply because of what, and where, it is. But to make it feel like home takes effort; Lloyd and Sue put in all the effort required, yet make it look and feel effortless. Everything else is a bonus. You, Lloyd and Sue, are why this place is what it is, and we cannot thank you and "the kids" enough. Casa Cayuco is THE proverbial gem, one of the few left out there with real soul, and that soul belongs to the Smiths. You guys are great, we're coming back soon!!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Matt P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2012

My wife and I were interested in finding a bit of tropical paradise, and we found Casa Cayuco. We are global trekkers, but since having kids and demanding careers, we have had little time for such travels - so it was that much more important for us to get this trip right (plus we were celebrating my wife's 40th bday). We spent little time in Panama city (thankfully), and headed out right away for Bocas. The islands are beautiful and unspoiled. We were looking for a place to park ourselves where we would be surrounded by rain forest, palm trees, and warm, clean, calm, crystal clear waters.

Casa Cayuco had it all! Lloyd and Sue Smith who are part owners and run the show there made the experience all that much better, with their incredible knowledge of the area, hospitality, sense of humor, enjoyment of life, and appreciation for their visitors (and amazing skill in the kitchen!!!). We had a great time with them!

That coupled with the great kayaking and local hiking in the jungle just made the experience all that much better. We could walk in one direction through the property and run into caymen, monkeys, frogs and sloths, or go the other direction to use the complimentary kayaks and paddle boards (or just chill on the hammoks on the private dock with a cold beer - I recommend Balboa). Nothing else around (so be mindful of that)!

It's a bit of a trek to get to, but well worth it. We had the solitude mixed with a bit of socializing with the handful of other guests there (communal dining) which we thought was well balanced.

The weather was not ideal the entire stay - we went in April (2012) too close to the rainy season (but hell it's a rain forest and beautiful none-the-less). If I could do it again, I'd put some more time between the visit and the rainy season. And watch out for the mosquitos! Nothing seemed to work for me (over 40 bites), but my wife went mostly untouched. I expected this though. It didn't sour my mood at all! It was impossible in the lil' slice of heaven.

I could go on and on, but you'll likely have little patience to read on (and I don't have it to write on). Overall the property, its managers, the surrounding nature, were incredible and revitalizing.

Enjoy! We sure did!

Kevin and Orly Frank

Room Tip: Ask for the beach front rooms. If you're going to do it, do it right!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank KevSF777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Level 6 Contributor
509 reviews
170 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 458 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2012

We stayed five nights in one of the beach bungalows, Pelicano. We allowed enough time for lazing around reading and for bad weather as well as to participate in activities/excursions. The excursions were all really excellent. Zapatillos beach was idyllic. Mangrove snorkeling was some of the best we have done anywhere and is not to be missed!!! Though we did the bat cave tour at a different lodge, it is also offered by Casa Cayuco and is a very fun adventure! There is good snorkeling off the beach and we really enjoyed the night snorkel too.

The owners clearly work very hard to make sure all guests have a good time. Unlike a lot of places all their equipment is in good condition so you can enjoy their snorkel gear, kayaks, etc. without any trouble. They have put a lot of thought into every aspect of the resort and it is an ecologically friendly, environmentally responsible business that also cares about the local people and fair labor practices. It is clear they have a lot of challenges and continue to make the most of their paradise like setting and make it easy for guests to enjoy everything the region has to offer, with a clear conscience!

This is a lovely setting for couples and it is one of the best beach vacations we have had. Loved their resident bulldogs as well! We got lucky and stayed when there were no kids - if this is important to you, might want to ask in advance - due to community meals you won't be able to avoid kids if they are there. The food was excellent and Sue is a very creative and talented chef - we always looked forward to meals!!

The only negative, and this was quite minor, is that sometimes music played in the main dining area and we could hear it from our room. We much prefer the sounds of nature and the ocean that were all around us - but it was a very minor point as typically it was during cocktail hour or dinner and not the rest of the time.

Truly a 5 star vacation - we would not hesitate to go back and would recommend this place to anyone!!! With only 4 cabins and one space in the lodge it can't be too crowded - it is a gorgeous setting!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DAEsmae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Cayuco

Property: Casa Cayuco
Address: Punta Vieja, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Cayuco is a truely unique and intimate eco-resort that sits directly on the only calm beach in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. If you crave beauty, nature, adventures on land and sea, seclusion, delicious food and local cultures - Casa Cayuco is the place for you. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Cayuco Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Casa Cayuco Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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