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“A Tropical Get Away” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Yandup Island Lodge

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Yandup Island Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A Tropical Get Away”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2014

We stayed at this lodge for 2 nights. We stayed in one of the overwater cabanas which is very roomy for 2 people, but found it a bit dark, especially at night. Only 2 lights one in the bathroon and one in the bedroom. There are solar lights out there, but they still don't illumnate things very well, so coming back to the cabin after supper ou had to be very careful. There is no hot water at all, I was very dissapointed, although I understand they don't have regular electricity there are other ways of getting hot water, at least in the morning for our showers.
The food is good, but would not say 'Great', and there was not much of it, we found ourselves hungry in late morning and late afternoon. Although we did mention that we found that we did not get enough to eat, they then came and asked if we wanted more to eat, we said yes, they came back and said there were only 2 portions left (we were 4 people), we said we woudl take the 2 portions, and to our amazement they server it to us COLD (it was soup).
The staff was very kind and helpful at all times.
I am giving this place an 'average' rating becasue it's high prices does not reflect the service we received. Food was good, enough for me as a woman, but certainly not enough for the men.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rachel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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400 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (77)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

This small resort in the San Blas Islands, run by a family of well educated Kuna family, offers a dream spot to combine vacation in a Caribbean paradise with the cultural interest of learning about the Kuna population in the San Blas. Only less than a dozen traditional cabanas facing the sea, good food, boats to take you snorkeling in beautiful beaches and in the Kuna village. The perfect vacation!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Silvia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
159 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2014 via mobile

We stayed 4 nights on Yandup and would like to have stayed longer. It was so nice to get away from phones, wifi, and all the other amenities of the modern world. The meals served were wonderful and the staff was outstanding. The morning boat outings to snorkel on the different surrounding islands were great. Note: at first we were disappointed with the lack of visibility when snorkeling until we realized we just had to swim out a bit further. The afternoon outings to the village and the cemetery were very informative and gave us a greater appreciation of the Kuna culture.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Ansje55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rijswijk, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2014 via mobile

Beautiful island, romantic cabins on the water, lovely (sea)food, everything you wish on your island trip. There are 2 tours per day, beach in the morning and community/cemetery/mangrove or hiking in afternoon. THE way to end your holiday in Panama. Hopefully they will release the turtle!

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank ppc2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2014

We stayed in bungalow 10 on Yandup for only one night and it was not enough time. But in that short amount of time, we got to know two of the "guides" Domi and Nikolas and had a wonderful time conversing about their people, the Kuna Yala. The trip to Domi's village, meeting his wife a few of his 6 children, witnessing a short dance, etc. was really an eye opening experience. They are some of the most caring people I've ever met! We have to go back! Oh yeah, the plane landing through the tree tops is a great thrill ride!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2014

We stayed at Yandup for five nights in December 2013. Yandup is a wonderful place, perfect for an eco-escape.

Our girls stayed in hut #10 which was huge, large enough for a big family. Hut #10 is probably the quietest hut on the tiny island as the waves do not break underneath it.

My husband and I stayed in hut #8 - gorgeous views and very loud waves breaking underneath our hut. We love hearing the water all day and all night.

The huts are clean and spacious. The maids make the beds and refresh the towels daily.

The food is delicious. Americans should understand that the portions are not Cheesecake Factory sized portions. Our family of four shared all our meals and by the end, there was not a bite left on the plates. The fish is fresh - we watched the catch being delivered most days. They did not have as many fruits and vegetables as I had expected, but perhaps we were not there at the right season. Eggs, pancakes, bread, ham for breakfast. Lots of fresh soups, chicken, fish, potatoes, carrots, rice and pasta for dinner and lunch. We brought diet cokes on the plane from Panama City to feed my addiction. Yandup does sell sodas, wine, beer and spirits.

We spent our days reading on the tiny beach, swimming and taking part in the daily tours. The beaches they bring you to are delightful. The cultural tours help you to understand about the people and their way of life. Blanco is a gift - he was so kind to our family, and we were glad to get to know him better.

Nights were spent eating dinner, sharing a bottle of wine and playing cards with our children. We went to bed early - the rooms are dark at night! We rose with the sun.

A few things to know -

Playon Chico is dirty. It is shocking when you get off the plane. The Kuna Yala and the Panamanian government really need to address this problem. I know the lodge sponsors cleans-ups. After talking with some locals in Panama City - we heard it is a problem though out the Kuna Yala as well as Bocas del Toro. Yandup is immaculate as are the beaches they bring you to.

There is a new cell tower on an island that faces Yandup. It is too bad to see that tower marring the view. I know Yandup can do nothing about this.

Bring beach towels if you have room. We borrowed some from the lodge.

Do all the morning and afternoon tours. The cemetery is fascinating.

Bring snacks. You can buy some mid day snacks at the dining room, but we were glad we had some nuts and granola bars.

Swim at sunset - it is glorious.

Showers are cool - but it truly does not matter. We spent the day in bathing suits and the nights in shorts and tops. We did not dry our hair or use make-up. Refreshing.

The lodge should invest in a few more lounge chairs for the little beach.

Four nights is plenty - you will see all the beaches and get to do all the tours. We stayed five nights as we did not want to travel on Christmas day. Blanco, our guide, gave our family a special tour so we did not have to repeat. We were bummed it was too wet to see the waterfall.

Be prepared to relax, rest and rejuvenate in a gorgeous setting with lovely people. It is a very unique spot, and I am glad we went.

If you go at the holidays, spend Christmas Eve at Yandup. The food was abundant as were the drinks. The Kuna dancers they brought were awesome. And, we ate outside on the grass, under the stars. A magical night.

Room Tip: Hut #10 is the largest. If you do not want ocean noise, it is probably the quietest. We loved stay...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Michele G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

I know there are lots of reviews posted – believe all the positive things you read! This is truly an amazing place!! The beautiful huts are incredibly comfortable and roomy and the views are nothing short of breathtaking! Lying in the hammocks is a perfect way to relax after any of the fun trips…either to gorgeous white sand beaches on uninhabited islands or visits to the mangroves or to the community, which is where you will see the Kuna and their gorgeous, fun children! Everyone we met was kind, helpful and made our visit perfect. My husband and 16 year old son even had a great volleyball game with the Kuna women who work in the restaurant. My 20 and 21 year old daughters thought this was one of the most relaxing places they had ever visited. The meals were also amazing – especially considering that four of us don’t eat seafood, which I understand could not be fresher. But do know, this isn’t a Four Seasons and if that is what you are looking for, this isn’t your place. Yes, the showers are cool water, but you know, when you are hot, it is a blessing! Yes, sometimes the waves are a little loud for sleeping, but what a lovely sound! You need to want to experience a real environment – and enjoy a little rustic lodging. We loved it!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank torontoliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yandup Island Lodge

Property: Yandup Island Lodge
Address: Playon Chico | Kuna Yala, 0838, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Guna Yala Region > San Blas Islands
Amenities:
Beach Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 27 Speciality Lodging in San Blas Islands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Yandup Island Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yandup Island Lodge is the perfect getaway in the Caribbean of the Kuna Indians, in the San Blas Archipelago. Perfect place to relax in a hammock, enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves and birds. In this private island with coconut palms, surrounded by coral reefs and a small beach you will be treated as kings and queens in one of our six lovely and comfortable cabins in front of the sea. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yandup Island Hotel San Blas Islands

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