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“Private Paradise Discovered!!”
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Review of COTTAGE 2

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Excellent
47 reviews
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Overview
Cottage -
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 4
Caldera, Chiriqui Province

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 47 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jay M
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Private Paradise Discovered!!”
Reviewed 6 August 2013 for a stay in September 2012
1
person found this review helpful

First off, I would like to say I never write reviews unless I am particularly impressed, and this would be one of those moments. From the second I arrived, I was in awe of how spacious, well manicured, and private the property was. My friends and I felt as if we had been friends of the owners for years because they were so welcoming and accommodating far beyond what we ever expected or experienced at any other resort or hotel in central or south america. The river, flowers, wildlife, locals, weather, and food couldn't have been better. I can absolutely guarantee I will visit this wonderful preserve again....in fact, my friends and I are in the planning phases now!

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Liked best: The huge swimming pool
Travelling group: Friends
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
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  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dutch0469
Naples, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Paradise found”
Reviewed 15 July 2013 for a stay in July 2013
1
person found this review helpful

My wife Nina and I stayed at Frank's paradise in the mountains for a week. Frank has done so much to the property to make it seem that you are in a different world, words canot describe it. From the mement we arrived, Frank was the most gracious host. We rented the cabin by the river (#3) and truly enjoyed it's privacy and location. We went to the Boquette area to explore potentially moving to Panama and did not want to spend too much money to stay in some fancy hotel. To our suprise, Rio Encantado was more than a hotel it was a retreat from the daily grind and offered so much more than any hotel I have ever stayed at. Come with a sense of adventure and enjoye nature as it should be....and Frank too ...he is a hoot! We will miss you Frank. But who knows when my wife and I move to Panama, we will come and visit for sure. Thanks for your kindness and wonderful conversations. Rob and Nina

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Liked best: being away from the tourist area
Liked least: to little to mention
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
15 Jul 2013
Thank you so much for you visit and review. We are always trying to improve things here. the next addition will be a tree house next to the river.

Thanks again, till next time.
adios,


fank
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bleacherd...
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Enchanting Blend - Pampered & Rustic”
Reviewed 30 June 2013 for a stay in June 2013
1
person found this review helpful

We stayed at Rio Encantado for a family vacation with my wife and two teenage boys in June 2013. We were hoping for some adventure off the beaten path and a comfortable venue.

The site far exceeded our expectations. Overall, the world class grounds include a fantastic in ground pool, pool area, and a lovely canyon and bubbling stream.

The cabins (we ended up using 3 different ones) vary from perfect to good. Some have air conditioning and wifi, some don't. This wasn't a problem for us, since you can get wifi by the pool and there are fans, but choose wisely.

Since facilities are on a hillside, you can drive from the entrance level to cabins. If you choose, there are stairs to travel between cabins on different levels. This facility will be more comfortable for people that can walk up and down stairs.

The owners are very accommodating and offer much local advice if you inquire. We felt fortunate that Frank led us on a tour one morning to a local waterfall that highlighted our trip. His recommendation to eat at Melissa's for $3 per meal was a nice local food choice. Jose helped us find restaurants and hot spots in Boquette.

We loved the stay and felt this was a great home base for our visit to the mountainous region of Panama.

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Liked best: A rural oasis with helpful owners
Liked least: Inconsistent wi/fi and amenitites on site
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
30 Jun 2013
thanks again, happy that we got to show you the waterfall near us.
Our next project will be to build a tree hous next to the river.

Come on back for a few weeks.


Frank
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frank_Ast...
Riethoven, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“We loved the natural and green environment, perfect cabin.”
Reviewed 23 April 2013 for a stay in April 2013

Rio Encantado is a green tropical oasis in a rapidly changing environment at about 20 minutes drive from the town of Boquete. It's at a lower altitude then Boquete and hotter and drier. Its a beautiful protected terrain (nature reserve) with a river that is surrounded by tropical vegetation and lovely gardens.
We stayed 4 nights in cabin #3, the most most remote of the 3 cabins and located next to the river with a lot of privacy. We are nature lovers and absolutely loved the location of this cabin. We slept with the sound of the river and the cicades. We enjoyed swimming in the river right in front of the cabin (deepest part is located to your right) and in the wonderfull swimmingpool.
Matrasses were excelent as wel as the equipment of the kitchen. We did not miss the airco because it cools down a little at night.
Our favourite bird, the colourful motmot visited our garden every day as well as the (friendly) toads in the evening that were catching insects.
We loved this location and could easily stay for another week here.

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Liked best: Natural environment and privacy
Liked least: Not applicable
Travelling group: Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
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Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John M
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A perfect Chiriqui Highland Escape”
Reviewed 15 March 2013 for a stay in January 2013

We had a perfect two month stay in cottage number one. The lovely cottage was beautifully appointed with rock walls, a garden shower and comfortable furnishings. It had a wonderful view of Volcan Baru and overlooked the gorgeous swimming pool and gardens! Frank and his partner, Jose, have indeed created a magnificent nature reserve filled with acres of lush tropical plants which are a bird lovers dream. We particularly enjoyed the crested oropendola, fiery-billed aracari, red-legged honeycreeper, blue-crowned motmot, and rufous-tailed hummingbirds.

The weather was fabulous - cool nights for comfortable sleeping but unlike Boquete (which is often rainy, windy and always at least 10 degrees cooler), the days were warm enough to appreciate both the pool and the swimming holes in the river. In the two months we were here we never saw a single mosquito!

We rented a car for easy access to the many wonders of the area such as the gorgeous mountain drives, rainforest hikes with glimpses of resplendent quetzals, coffee fincas, markets and excellent restaurants in the nearby town of Boquete. We also enjoyed rides in Frank’s boat out of Boca Chica. We visited a number of palm studded islands with white sand beaches where we snorkeled and swam in warm, clear, aquamarine waters.

Frank and Jose were the perfect hosts in every way and we left considering them good friends as well.

This is a perfect place for those like us who enjoy the quiet relaxing beauty of nature.

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Liked best: The quiet relaxing beauty of this true nature preserve.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bunnyriot
Vancouver
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“So much more than we expected!”
Reviewed 31 December 2012 for a stay in December 2012
1
person found this review helpful

It is difficult to find the right words to describe Rio Encantado because it is one of the most unique, unusual, and beautiful places I have visited - and I have been around the world. Words simply cannot do it justice. I am also difficult to please and picky, and Rio Encantado far exceeded my expectations.

This place is the real deal. I cannot emphasise enough how happy I am we chose to stay here, instead of in Boquete, as seemed the obvious choice. In fact, I was a little uncertain when booking as it seemed too good to be true! Simply put, Frank has chosen to share his wealth and home with people who want a unique and authentic experience without the synthetic feel of tourism, and we are so thankful and lucky we were able to experience it. Frank had a vision for a stunning piece of paradise, which he created; and his love and passion for it is unmistakable.

His property is well thought out and gorgeously landscaped. The cabins are spread out from each other, and each has its own advantages: the first one has a great view of the property, the second is close to the pool, and the third is quite private. We were originally to stay in the guest house, and upon arrival were so lucky to find that the riverside cabin was available. Although you can have a good stay at the guest house, I'd strongly recommend one of the other cabins instead - for such a minimal price difference the experience will be that much more complete and rewarding. You wake to the rising sun and the various bird activity; morning coffee is bliss on the patio beside the river. You fall asleep to the sounds of nature and the running river, and a few creatures moving around in the jungle. If you cannot sleep with noise - particularly nature noise - this place is NOT for you!

Our cabin was clean and well appointed, with everything we needed - kitchen utensils, small fridge, full bathroom (hot water!). I would recommend buying food in a larger city like David or Santiago, because the small shop a few minutes away doesn't have much (although if you get in late, they are open until about 8pm and have basic necessities like coffee, milk, bread). The only downside to this cabin is that there are three single beds, no double or queen. Even though two doubles are pushed together, the wooden frames makes it so the mattresses don't come together...and if you are a couple who likes spooning at night, this won't work very well for you!

The river is refreshing (really not very cold) and amazing to swim in every day, as Frank does with Mo, his lovely dog. There are only a few small fish and tadpoles living in it. The pool is gorgeous, and another option for swimming and lounging in the sun. Wifi is available by the pool, and seating is of various types with hammocks, chairs, tables, and a little area for a barbeque or beers. You feel completely safe anywhere on the property, even though knowing there are all sorts of creatures in the jungle! There are next to no bugs here, even after the sun sets, which is definitely an added bonus.

It is an easy 15-20 minute drive to Boquete through the hills, and the weather here is truly remarkable and not at all like Boquete: when it was rainy and misty elsewhere, it was streaming sunshine here.

I feel like I'm repeating myself, but really, Rio Encantado is incredible. Frank and Jose are gracious and kind hosts, and lovely people. The landscaping staff and housekeeper are also kind and conscientious. Frank has so many interesting stories, and we loved his and Jose's company. They let you enjoy your privacy, but are around if you want to sit and have a chat; the perfect balance. Mo, Frank's dog, is an added delight.

We will definitely come back to Panama, and while we liked the rest of the country, we really only want to spend more time at Rio Encantado.

Tips on getting there:

We did get a bit lost, as Frank's directions say to turn at the Shell station in Chiriqui, but it's no longer a Shell, it's a Delta, and there are a few of them. We also couldn't find the sign for Gualaca, so be on the sharp lookout! The turn is early on when you get to Chiriqui, so if you drive through for more than 5 minutes or so you've gone too far. Also, just before Gualaca, there is a split in the road - take the left part (NOT going into Gualaca itself, but heading for "Chiriqui Grande" I think it says).

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Liked best: Peaceful, part of nature, calm.
Liked least: Three single beds in the cabin.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LLB123go
Lac La Biche, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Lots to see and do”
Reviewed 23 December 2012 for a stay in December 2012
2
people found this review helpful

Stayed at Rio Encantado Dec.1 - 9 with lovely wife and another couple. Frank the owner and Jose his associate and Moe the wonderdog. were a great help and gave us lots of ideas about things to do and places to go. The facilities were great and the location was ideal to tour the area around Boquete / Volcan. A vehicle is necessary and Frank and Jose can help set that up. There is a very small # of cabins (4) but great pool, river swimming and lots of trails mean you can stay onsite all day if you want to just chill. With so few guests you have lots of privacy. It is in the jungle so if you are not into quiet isolation then go to Boquete instead. Caldera is a cute little town within 3 km for basic food supplies and a great little restaurant with comida tipico called Melissa's.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Liked best: poolside
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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