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“Incredible place- best proprietors in the world!”
Review of Casa Cayuco

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Casa Cayuco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Incredible place- best proprietors in the world!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Both Sue and Lloyd were completely knowledgeable about the area and the local culture, and Lloyd took us on incredible boating and snorkeling trips where the reefs were unlike any we had seen in the world. If you are a person who likes to snorkel, the mangrove island reefs will really blow your mind. We snorkeled 4 of the 7 days we were there as we just couldn't get enough. We also saw a ton of dolphins on our snorkeling trips and even spotted a few sloths in the mangroves out in the ocean. We also borrowed kayaks and went kayaking through the mangroves which was very cool. Take a trip to Zapatillas Keys if you get a chance. The beach is gorgeous, and the hike into the interior was so pretty!

The property at Casa Cayuco is beautiful, and there are some nice short hikes on the island with diverse plant life, poison dart frogs, parrots and the like. There are lots of night monkeys that hang around the property as well, though they are hard to spot. The beach in front of the property is great, and the water was warm and good for swimming. Bring your water shoes as there are sea urchins and rays hanging around, but they’re easy to avoid if you shuffle your feet in the water.

We stayed in Rana which is a really nice open air room above the lodge, and we managed to spend a few nights in one of the gorgeous beach front cabins as the staff was happy to move us when a cancellation came up. The rains at night are so wonderful for sleeping, and the open air design of the cabins provided a great breeze. Plus lizards are free to come in and visit, one of my favorite things!

We traveled with our four year old daughter, and Sue and Lloyd were so kind to her and made her feel like family. She also LOVED Bella and Angus, the English bulldogs, and we’re all still talking about them regularly. Favorite afternoon activity: pina colada at the bar with Angus and Bella sitting up on bar stools watching us play Uno while we chatted with Lloyd and Sue and the other guests. Favorite afternoon snack: Greenfries, which were small fish netted under the dock which Sue seasoned and fried like French fries. Favorite dinner: curried kingfish- I have to reiterate what an amazing cook Sue is. Favorite dessert- caramel bread pudding!

I can’t say enough good things about this place and the people who run it who I now consider my friends. It is freezing today in NYC, and we spent the morning remembering our time in Panama which will get us through the rest of the winter!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Diana P
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
Grinnell, Iowa
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2013

My daughter and I were with docrox and ditto to her remarks. Our plane was late arriving into Boco but Lloyd was there waiting for us with a big smile! Upon arrival at Casa, Sue and dinner were waiting for us as well as a big welcome from Bella and Angus. We loved the jungle walk and seeing a three toed Sloth just off the path. A walk out the "back" of the lodge took us to the other side of the island and more beauty. Thanks again, Sue and Lloyd, for your knowledge of the island, hospitality.

Room Tip: We loved Tortuga; one double and 2 twins and a few steps from the dock.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Natalie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winterset, Iowa
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I had this lodge on my list of places for quite some time but when I found a flight out of the midwest for $420 I couldn't resist. Sue and Lloyd do a fantastic job from start to finish. Sue keeps track of the reservations and is very prompt at answering emails. I arrived by myself as my family came from another city and missed their first flight. They would eventually arrive a day behind me in every leg. I walked out of the Bocas airport and asked the woman at the Bocas Hotel if she would hold my big backpack until Lloyd came to get me that afternoon. I then walked around town, had brunch, and then waited on the dock. Sue had contacted me and said I was the only one that day to come and go so Lloyd could come and pick me up early. He was right on time. On the boat ride he showed me the sights and we even spotted 2 dolphin! On arrival at the Casa C. dock Sue met us and walked me to the main area. Not only did she offer me a glass of wine, but she poured a tiny glass for herself which was a nice touch to not make me drink alone. She gave me the tour and instructions. Don't bother to take your blow dryer. You won't need it and as they are on solar power, it is against the rules. Good reason to relax and not worry about how your hair looks :-). Meals are served family style and is announced with a conch horn. A snack is served in the afternoon as well. Sue is the chef and every meal was great. I had told her I don't eat beef or pork but I didn't want her to make anything special for me as I could eat whatever was served for a side. She remembered even though I had forgotten I put that in my reservation.
We stayed in Tortuga and it was nicer than the photos even. The beds were very comfortable, even the twins. Sheets were nice and thick and we were never hot with the fans. Water pressure in the shower was great and always had hot water. They ask that you get wet, soap up and then rinse to help conserve water. The next cabin is close, but we never heard any sounds. I guess the husband didn't snore, but I can imagine that one could hear it if they did. We went to sleep with the sounds of the waves as this cabin is just steps from the water.
There was a belly bug running around amongst the guests which knocked the three of us out for a day. It was handled with empathy and professionalism by Sue and Lloyd. They tried to offer us whatever they had on hand for our bad luck.
The dock area is really nice with lounge chairs, hammocks, and sling chairs. There are lights and a table if you want to play cards in the evening (or drink), or both.
The location is great as it is on a long stretch of beach with very few people around. They supply snorkel gear if you like. Several kayaks and knee boards, etc.
I loved the lodge but since we only go to places once as there are too many new places on our list to visit, we won't be going back. I would in a minute go to a new place if Sue and Lloyd ever move on and are running another lodge. Thanks guys! You are great hosts.

Room Tip: Tortuga is closest to the water. There is also a bigger room in the jungle.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank docrox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Casa Cayuco resort is not only nestled away in one of the most beautiful corners of the world you can imagine, it is also the place where my husband and I got married. Truly a place to cherish for all time.

After spending a handful of amazing days snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and kayaking, Sue and Lloyd made sure that the attention to detail they place on every other aspect of this amazing place was also paid to our wedding ceremony. My husband helped pick hibiscus flowers to line the beach. Lloyd acted as our MC and Sue as our photographer. Imagine my emotion when I was presented with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers arranged by a talented women from the island and special rings made from native sea shells and seeds. Sue and Lloyd made sure to have a bottle of champagne waiting to celebrate, gave us special tokens of love and friendship during the ceremony, and my husband arranged to have a private candlelight dinner on the dock afterwards.

The absolute peace and patience of this amazing place has set the tone for our new life together. Oh, how I cried when we had to leave! It has almost been one year since we have been married and I can honestly say we dream of Casa Cayuco nearly every day (and Sue's amazing food!) Regardless of whether you are traveling alone, with your husband to be, your family, or your friends, I can guarantee this will be an unforgettable trip. Hasta Luego!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

After a long and tiring trip down to Boca from Boquete, we were waiting on a dock for our 4.00pm pick up to get to Casa Cayuco. I started to worry; are we on the right dock; I have no mobile phone; what happens if the boat does not arrive /However at 3.50pm a boat arrived and the skipper looked at me, one of 20 people on the dining dock, and I at him and he just said 'Casa Cayuco" and I said Ok and away we went. This was Sebastian, boat driver, seaweed raker, a brilliant swimmer and a man of many trades! A quick 45 minutes around a number of islands and we were then greeted at the dock by Lloyd who showed us to our bungalow right on the beach and gave us a five minute chat on what the plans were and times when things usually happened. We had a lovely swim and then headed to the bar to get a drink and we took it to the dock to watch sun set and the stars rising, and to meet the other guests who had arrived in the morning.
There were eight of us staying, a couple from Zurich with their 11 year-old daughter, a couple from Toronto, delayed for 24 hours by the storm and bags goodness knows where, and two ladies from the USA. We all hit it off very well and had a wonderful time. Me thinks aided by Sue, a professional from the hospitality business, who's first mantra is, "no wine glass shall remain empty for more than 60 seconds!" We would sit talking under the stars til near midnight but by the morning had no recollection of what we discussed so earnestly!
Each day was different, some days we did things with the others, some days my wife and I walked to the local village (no Victoria, no fashion malls!) or walk around our end of the island, or go out snorkelling with Lloyd and watch dolphin, and the flying fish, or visit the local chocolate factory. There is certainly no shortage of things to do or one could just relax and do nothing.
The meals were fantastic! We had 12 meals there and all the food was lightly and superbly prepared, very fresh and nothing from cans. We never felt overeaten, even after the fresly made desserts each evening, One could have as much as one wished and if anything ran out it was quickly replaced, great fruit at breakfast as well as home made granola..A different variety of bread is baked daily as are the cookies. Coming from Bocas, Sebastian had bought two fresh snappers in the market, so fresh I could have sworn their tails were still flapping. And all alergies were quietly catered for without any fuss.
Our room could not have been more comfortable, no, our sheets might not have been 10,000 thread count from Egypt and the mattress was maybe 8 inches thick but we have not slept so well each night for a long time. Plenty of good light but those who have a little eye sight trouble, like me, should bring a cheap headlight, I bought ours for $12 each in a camping store.
Nothing was too much trouble for either Lloyd or Sue...just ask and they would make sure it happened.
And although there are 9 staff one hardly every saw them, they went about their jobs very quietly and efficiently..they all come from the local village so all had been very well trained by Sue.
The island is very flat therefore the sea around our beach is shallow. There is a natural path out between the two moored boats with no sea grass and the water depth is probably only 5 feet but a couple of feet higher at high tide. We swam twice a day and could not have been happier. We also took kayaks out a couple of times which as fun.
With all our extras, and Sue's heavy pour, I expected a stiff bill for the add ons, but honestly it was about a lot less less than I would have happily paid. These people are not there to gouge the last penny out of you.
If there was anything my wife or I did not like I would say so. We have been lucky enough to travel the world and stay in a lot of different places, but this is one of the most pleasant, understated places we have stayed in...wonderful atmosphere, which I think attracts a certain type of people. Yes, the Ritz Charltons are wonderful but Casa Cayuco is different and it must be in the top 5 percent of these type of small resorts.
I hear a conch shell...must be time for dinner!!

Room Tip: We stayed in Pelicano, lovely double bedded room right on the beach
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank begley85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

My Husband and I went to Casa Cayuco last year and this was our first trip to Panama. Our time
in Casa Cayuco was the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Lloyd and Sue were gracious hosts and the food was excellent which was inspired by local cuisine and ingredients. The rooms
were comfortable and the showers were great. The visit to the rainforest was one of the
highlights of the trip. Just the absolute abundance of tropical plants, birds, ocean and sand
created a pristine environment. We also went Kayaking and we have to give Lloyd props for
planning all our adventures and making this an excellent "active" relaxing vacation. We cannot
wait to go back soon!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank betty r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2013

We will never forget the hospitality and enthusiasm of Lloyd and Sue, hosts at Casa Cayuco. They made sure everything was perfect, from the delicious meals every day (we eat anything but other guests had particular diets - gluten free, etc, and they were always well accommodated), to carrying out the details so our daily adventures were carefree and amazing. Nature surrounds you, and the night noises included the surf pounding the beach, and the frogs and birds talking - but after a full sunny day of kayaking or snorkeling in the pristine water, the sounds didn't interfere with sleep. On our trip to Panama we stayed in 3 other places but none had a bed as comfy as the one in the Delphin cabin. And check out the beauty of its design that allows for breezes and comfort, and fits right into the beach-side setting.
Isla Bastimentos is a paradise but could easily be ruined by development and insensitivity to the ecology - Casa Cayuco owners and staff are aware of this and have set up the resort to allow its visitors to experience the magic of the area, without damaging the environment. So yes, you won't flush as often and you won't be wasteful with electricity and you will have local ingredients as often as possible (so expect lots of fresh seafood and coconuts in many forms) but this is hardly a hardship. You will feel privileged to experience a few days in this setting.
Best of all, Casa Cayuco provided us with the opportunity to share our vacation with fascinating and friendly travelers. If I had a magic carpet, I would be back at the dinner table tonight with our new best friends at Casa Cayuco.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mnreader6
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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