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“Special Experience in Gamboa / Soberania ”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Mateo's B&B

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Mateo's B&B
Ranked #4 of 4 Gamboa B&B and Inns
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Special Experience in Gamboa / Soberania ”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2014 via mobile

We are young couple from Europe (Italy / German) and we stayed one night in Gamboa to visit the Soberania park (pipeline road) and to do a tour on the canal and lake gatun. We decided to stay with Mateo and Beatrice in Gamboa and we really enjoyed staying there and meeting them, they are a very nice couple. Mateo is very funny and ironic, and he makes a lot of pranks. The breakfast was really good, we paid extra 8 USD for dinner cooked.by Beatrice, which was totally worth it. Guests sleep in a very basic wodden garden hut directly attached to the forrest. The garden of the house is very nice and is frequently visited by birds, monkey and roditors. Bathroom with shower for guests is located in a separate hut in the garden. For us it was an adventours and positive experience, but if you are looking for comfort or fear the noises of the jungle then you should stay elsewhere. We reached the house from Panama city by taxi after stopping for 2 hours at the Miraflores dock to visit the canal (whole trip 25 USD). From Mateo's house, we walked into the Soberania national park in Gamboa. In the evening, we had some drinks at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. The day after Mateo brought us to the dock from which we started a boat and kayak tour. We surely can recommend the stay for one or two nights, it is a great alternative to the expensive resorts.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank umbimuc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014

While the room was extremely basic, the floor was slanted, the wood was rotting, I would still highly recommend this B&B! You can tell that Mateo & Beatrice love what they do and highly enjoy meeting visitors and helping them enjoy Panama and the Gamboa area. Mateo nor Beatrice speak English so I'd recommend having basic Spanish conversation skills to stay here. I emailed them but never heard back; fortunately, when we arrived there was a vacancy. Beatrice cooked us a wonderful home-made dinner and Mateo personally took us on a trip down Pipeline Rd and helped us rent a boat captain at the marina. Stay with Mateo and Beatrice and you'll have wonderful memories from Panama!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Wade C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

Mateo & Beatrice are wonderful people. I spent 3 nights in one of their bungalows that has a detached, shared bathroom. i was very content. There is forest on two sides of the bungalow room. The rooms are very basic, the outdoor dining/common area is very nice & the garden is great.The birds sang their daily chorus every day at 5:00 AM from the forest trees, & animals wandered into & out of their yard at different times of the day. Mono Titi swung through the trees in the forest behind the bungalow & came down for a banana snack. I observed & photographed tropical fauna while I was stretched out in the hammock. The patio & yard were wonderful to relax in after walking the "pipeline", spending the day on Barro Colorado, & visiting Embera & Wounan Villages.

There is a small store "El Viejo" stocked with bare essentials where a traveller can buy tinned meats, canned vegetables & bananas, but it was nice to have Beatrice cook a tasty, hot meal in the evenings for a nominal charge. Mateo & Beatrice showed me the real heart & soul of Panamanian people. Everyone knows them; I think they are living legends.

Mateo was my host, tour guide, driver, & teacher Beatrice shared her love of native plants with me as we walked around the garden.

I will return to stay at Mateo's B & B & spend more time in the Embera & Wounan villages, & with my new, Panamanian friends Mateo & Beatrice. I speak Spanish, so it was easy to communicate with them, share with them & really learn about Gamboa.

Room Tip: Two bungalow rooms are side by side. I think the one farthest from the bathroom with garden & f...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lmmla91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2014

Just after arriving Mateo gave us a Banana for feeding the wild little monkey at their "Feedingstation" After that Mateo drove us with his car around to show us the mainspots in town inclusive the entrance of the best hikingtrack and the spot for seeing tucans. We even saw a huge crocodile. The next day they stood up for us at 5:00AM for preparing a perfect breakfast for us at the terrace. And he gave us his peniculars for free to spot the birds at the hikingtrack.
We had defenetly the best stay in hole Panama for low budget.
IMPORTANT:
- There is no cheap place for Dinner. But Mateo and his wife can prepare somehing for 10 $. You just have to let them know as soon as you arrive.
- There are tents available. I guess they are cheaper. Just ask for it in the mail when you reservate.

Room Tip: There are two cabins and also two tents in the lovely little yard availible. Ask for tents at the ma...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nino R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2014 via mobile

The value for the money wasn't that good, but there aren't many opportunities in Gamboa. The room itself wasn't much bigger than the small double bed. The toilet was outside. But it is a 4 star because Mateo was really nice carrying us around a bit and sharing his knowledge. He and his wife were really heartly people, creating a familiar atmosphere. They prepared us an really early breakfast, because we were going on trek at 6 am. We had a good time there.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank ringalin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Akureyri, Iceland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2013

I give Mateo's only three stars because the accomodation itself was very basic. Me and my friend stayed in a small cabin with one double bed and a chest of drawers. It was clean, but smelled a bit dingy and was very humid. No AC, only a very dirty fan.
But to meet Mateo and Beatrice made it worth it and I'm very happy we stayed there. We don't speak Spanich except for a couple of words, but still Mateo chatted a lot, showed us around and we had a great time. He drove us to the store, to the boat ramp and wanted to do everything for us, he's a great host. I just wish we spoke Spanish so we could've chatted with him! The breakfast is very basic as it is in most places in Panama.
So all in all, it was okay, I loved to meet Mateo and Beatrice but I wouldn't stay there for a long time, one or two nights is fine.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Svadilfarinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2013

We started our two week trip in Gamboa and found Mateo´s place in advance. We reserved via email and got a quick response. Upon our arrival (which was one hour by schoolbus from Panama City), Mateo greeted us by taking us on a tour in his car around the town. His wife, Beatrice, however, did not welcome us as graciously and immediately gave us the receipt for our stay.

The room was simple -- two beds (a little buggy, rugged), no electrical outlets in the room, small shared bathroom outside but the door did not close.

There are many public buses from Gamboa, but travel takes planning and no one seems to know exactly what time the amarillo bus will come.

Breakfast includes cereal, bread, PB, milk, coffee and tea. Dinner is not included but Beatrice will make something upon request (request must be early in the morning). She charged us $6 for a plate of spaghetti and tomato sauce. There is a very small corner store where you can buy some goods -- hours are limited, though.

Overall, if you´re not looking for much, this is a solid stay, but if you need the bells and whistles, you might want to head up the hill to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank m_pearlman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mateo's B&B

Property: Mateo's B&B
Address: Calle Humberto Zarate | Casa 131A, Gamboa, Panama
Region: Panama > Colon Province > Gamboa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Gamboa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A small and quiet bed and breakfast in Gamboa, operated by Mateo and family. Like no other guest accommodations in Gamboa, the large backyard and simple cabins sit nestled next to dense rain forest and adjacent open space— where Mateo has been feeding birds, monkeys, coatis, aguitis and other friends for 15 years. The site is ideal for birdwatching and generally enjoying the nature and tranquility of Gamboa. ... more   less 

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