We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“My favorite experience in all of Panama” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Anbabnega Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Carti Tupile
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Anbabnega Lodge
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
38 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“My favorite experience in all of Panama”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2013

I'll start by saying this place isn't for everyone. If you're going to whine about things like electricity or cry because you don't have Western-style lodging, then you really shouldn't stay here. However, if you are open-minded and can handle nature and an interesting culture for a few, then try it out. It was my favorite experience in Panama.

I traveled to Panama as a solo female. I booked online through the Lodge's site. At 4 am, I was picked up in a 4 x 4 at my hotel in Panama City, taken through the rainforest, and onto Kuna Yala land. We arrived at the dock to Carti Tupile, where there is a tiny waiting area for Kunas to travel to and from the little islands in the San Blas archipelago, which is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. The Kuna are an amazing, proud people, and live true to their culture. As a Westerner, you do feel out of place, but in a fantastic, humbling sort of way. My driver waited with me until a young Kuna guy picked me up in his canoe. Landed on one of the island, Carti Tupile, which was so small, you could walk the whole of it in 5 minutes or so. Walking on dirt roads, we passed by huts and a school and a tiny store to the back of the island, to the lodge. The lodge has a bathroom, which isn't always functional, but welcome to the islands, man. The bed was comfortable enough and I loved the view, and the balcony. There was a parrot walking around but it's not dangerous. Hung out with Antonio and Pepe.

Pepe took me around to the other islands in the canoe, I had a chance to go the playa (beach), get a wicked tan, enjoy the water, walk under coconut trees, as well as visit slightly larger Kuna-inhabited islands. It was so much fun riding btw the little islands in a canoe, especially when the waters got a bit choppy (but it never tipped over!). I even went to a Kuna museum and saw some kids practicing for a dance ceremony and play basketball. It was so cool hanging out with and getting to know the Kunas. I speak limited Spanish and no Kuna, but we were able to communicate and laugh and share stories. It was pretty cool hearing about how the Kuna had fought off the Panamanians and Western conquerors for centuries and maintained their culture.

That night, Antonio, who takes care of the lodge, had prepared an amazing dinner for me. I also walked around the little island with the lodge and bought tons of beers (only a buck a pop) and shared them with some of the Kuna men hanging around. We also talked, laughed, sat on the rocks, enjoyed the sunset. Talked to as many Kuna as I could. They are very friendly and I was the only foreigner/tourist on the island at the time. Hung out with Antonio/Pepe at the Lodge and then went to bed. There is no electricity or Internet but that is the magic of this place. You are around eternal beauty and nature so you don't need any of that other stuff. But the folks here really take care of you. I never once felt unsafe.

I only stayed one night unfortunately. Everyone wakes up at the crack of dawn - due to the roosters and lack of electricity. And the day begins anew. I left that morning by canoe and was sad to go. I was picked up by my same driver at the "bus stop" and returned to Panama City. I had a blast with Antonio and Pepe. Miss you guys!

Much love, Josie.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank wavypearl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

27 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    17
    3
    0
    5
    2
See reviews for
3
9
5
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Binghamton, New York
Level Contributor
53 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2013

I had made it clear that I wanted to spend my time visiting several islands and purchasing molas during my trip. I was promised a boat and escort the first day which never materialized. The second day I grudgintly was quickly taken to two nearby islands and that was it. There is absolutely no electricity at the Lodge, and very little illumination in the evening. The community toilets don't flush and there is only occasionally water to wash your hands. The food was mediocure at best. If you didn't speak Spanish you were out of luck as no one spoke any English. One the plus side the Lodge was on the wate with a nice view from the balconyr. There was only one chair in the whole place. There were two hammocks and a picnic table downstairs.

Room Tip: There is no good room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pkibbee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreuil, France
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2011

My friend and I stayed for three days and absolutely loved it. Every one there was great and Jose was especially helpful and knowledgeable. If you are looking for white sand and clear blue water beaches this is the place to go. The Kuna culture is also very interesting and adds a little culture to a relaxing stay. I'd recommend this place any time and would love to go back.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank terriblet79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2011

I just read a very negative comment made by somebody, I believe this person made a mistake on the hotel. I was there in the month of April of this year (2011). To begin with, the Hotel was always clean. The food was always fresh cook and the seafood was always caught on the same day. I never saw or eat any type of can good food. The people in this hotel always make me feel welcome and they were very friendly. I will recommend it to anybody to come and please visit and see it for themselves.

Mrs. Hawkins of Florida

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Puntachame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scottsdale, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2011

Disgustingly dirty place, horrible service, and canned food, no fresh as they promise...That was a waste of time and money!!!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TracyStephany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2011

I Went on this trip alone and people were so friendly and made me feel at home,I also was able to have direct contact with the Kuna Indians which I enjoyed and they lived very primitave life style.The island didn't have electricity but the hotel I stayed at did.The hotel package included all my amentities .Over all I learned alot about the culture there and learned a few things myself.I would highly recommend the trip to this island to anyone that likes adventure and to learn about other cultures.The water was so clear and beautiful that you could see the star fish and other fish.Great for scuba diving and just enjoying clear waters swimming.We went out on a boat tour and got to see dolphins playing.

Room Tip: Book in advance to get the best prices.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank joaz2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Porto Alegre, RS
Level Contributor
94 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2011

I have no doubt that my boyfriend and I had the best vacation of our lives during the time we spend at the hotel Anbabnega. There we met amazing people who have become great friends. I have no words to describe how wonderfull Bethy, José (Pepo), Rey and his wife were for us! Is the best hotel staff you will find, don´t matter where you go!
Surely we will return to Anbabnega next year to experience more about Kuna culture and to spend more time in this paradise that is the Gulf of San Blas!
I just got back from there and I already miss it!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Fer_Rampon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Carti Tupile
0.0 mi away
Hotel El Porvenir
Hotel El Porvenir
#2 of 2 in San Blas Islands
3.5 of 5 bubbles 39 reviews
0.0 mi away
Cabanas Coco Blanco
Cabanas Coco Blanco
#5 of 27 in San Blas Islands
4.0 of 5 bubbles 72 reviews
0.0 mi away
Ultimate San Blas
Ultimate San Blas
#8 of 27 in San Blas Islands
4.5 of 5 bubbles 3 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Cabanas Naranjo Chico
Cabanas Naranjo Chico
#2 of 3 in San Blas Islands
4.0 of 5 bubbles 43 reviews
0.0 mi away
Akwadup Lodge
Akwadup Lodge
#4 of 27 in San Blas Islands
4.0 of 5 bubbles 85 reviews
0.0 mi away
Cabanas Demar Achudup
Cabanas Demar Achudup
#1 of 1 in Masargantupo
5.0 of 5 bubbles 4 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Anbabnega Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Anbabnega Lodge

Property: Anbabnega Lodge
Address: 85027, Panama
Region: Panama > Guna Yala Region > San Blas Islands > Carti Tupile
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Carti Tupile
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Anbabnega Lodge is a beautiful 10-room eco-friendly hotel nestled on an island inhabited by Kuna Indians, living as they have for hundreds of years. The structure was built by the Kuna people using traditional materials, but has the conveniences of running water (showers/toilets) and solar powered lighting. Three delicious meals and daily trips to see other beautiful islands are included in our prices. We have staff that speaks English, Spanish, French, and Kuna. Anbabnega Lodge is not a five star resort! We provide basic comforts and the opportunity to explore the beautiful islands of Kuna Yala while also experiencing Kuna life and culture. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Anbabnega Hotel Carti Tupile

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing