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“Paradise”
Review of Casa Cayuco

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Casa Cayuco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 9 February 2014

You will be so happy you chose to stay at Casa Cayuco. We stayed for four nights in January 2014. The owners, Dave and Suzanne, are wonderful people who work tirelessly to make sure that each guest has an outstanding experience. The property and location are gorgeous. The accommodations are comfortable. The food is delicious. We went snorkeling at an amazingly vibrant coral reef in the mangroves, which was the highlight for me. My husband loved taking out the hobbie cat sailboat. The other guests were lovely, and I felt that we formed a friendly community by the end of the trip. We stayed in Pelicano and could hear the waves breaking on the shore as we fell asleep at night and as we woke up in the morning. We were thoroughly relaxed by the end of the trip, which was my main goal. The hammocks on the dock and quiet setting help in that regard. Dave and Suzanne went way above and beyond to make sure we were happy, safe, and comfortable. They even set up a beautiful private candle-lit dinner on the end of the dock for my husband's birthday, which we enjoyed with a bottle of champagne.

The only thing I think I should mention that may be an issue for some people is the flying bugs at night. If you have a phobia or something, you may want to think twice about an open-air accommodation on this island. However, the bed netting at Casa Cayuco is the thickest and highest quality netting I've ever seen. The nighttime bugs are not a reason for a normal person to think twice about booking, but should be taken into account if you have a serious fear of bugs.

Casa Cayuco is truly a special place. I think our departure illustrates our experience. As we walked to the boat where Dave was waiting to take us to the airport, we hugged all of the other guests goodbye and said we would keep in touch. Dave helped us into the boat and Suzanne sat down on the dock and said she wished we could stay. As we drove off, waiving goodbye to Suzanne and the other guests, I had the same bittersweet feeling associated with saying goodbye to friends at camp at the end of an amazing summer - thankful for the experience but sad it has to end.

Room Tip: Pelicano is very romantic, right on the beach and secluded from other rooms.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 January 2014

This is a wonderful place with very hospitable hosts and staff. The accommodations are very comfortable and well maintained in a lovely setting. The location is close to its own beach (with very few people going past) with very calm water and an outer perimeter reef with distant waves crashing. There are paddle boards, a Hobie cat, and kayaks. The mangrove snorkeling was excellent with very colourful soft corals and this trip is really worthwhile. I would suspect that other snorkeling areas probably aren't so great around that area as so much coral has died in general in the region. You can walk down to the village and have a guided walk through the adjacent jungle and village and also walk across the island to the beaches on the other side. The trip to Robert's garden and chocolate "factory" was interesting and I would recommend it to anyone interested in gardens, the area's plants, and how chocolate is produced. At Casa Cayuco, the salads and vegetables were very tasty, but the fish was often overcooked - however, our host was very amenable to addressing this. The afternoon snacks were tasty. Suzanne makes very good margaritas! Frontera sauvignon blanc was the table wine, and there was a red also. I would have preferred stronger coffee but appreciate having it available by 7 am so you can enjoy it whilst sitting watching the pelicans or whatever. The food was very good in general, but I wouldn't call it gourmet. However, unlike another reviewer, I did not think the place was overpriced and would go back again. I wish we had stayed longer than the 5 days.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank jilleastfallowfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014

We stayed at Casa Cayuco in Jan. 2014. The setting, a 30 min. boat ride from Bocas, is lovely, nestled on the beach against subtropical woods. Overall, we had great time, but delicious food and some of the extra touches we've seen elsewhere in this price range were missing. For those reasons, we recommend Casa Cayuco with some hesitation. The cabanas were lovely, with plenty of room for us all (3 beds). However, the bathroom toiletries weren't particularly nice (we had much better in Boquete). We saw monkeys every morning, and the rooms were very clean. The common area has only limited seating beyond the dining table. (The owners will be expanding to address this limitation in an upcoming construction porject.) The new owners, as of June 2013, are friendly and helpful. However, the food (included in the daily rate) was somewhat of a disappointment. They advertise "gourmet" meals but seem to be working out some kinks in food prep and delivery. Several meals were good, but the coffee was lukewarm, the fish was sometimes overcooked and dry, and the desserts were awful. Meals might be better if they transitioned to fresh, healthy Latin American and Caribbean food, with a focus on lighter, simpler meals cooked properly. Almost all excursions and activities cost extra, and they are clearly described in a booklet in your room. These excursions are essential to really enjoying the area; don't miss them! Our favorite was snorkeling around the mangrove islands. The variety of coral was amazing. (The snorkel equipment, however, was moldy and needed a thorough cleaning.) On outings, the packed lunch is pretty unexciting—a soggy chicken wrap and some chips/snacks. On a trip to Zapatillas Island, we saw other groups being served delicious salads and fresh fruit and we were envious. We took walks in both directions along the coast from Casa Cayuco, and guided hikes are offered at fairly reasonable costs from a local village. On our last day we discovered there also were a number of hikes inland we could have done ourselves. It would be nice to get more information about these possibilities for local exploration upon arrival. We've stayed at similar pricey lodges in several locations in Latin American and the Caribbean, and overall, we’d recommend Casa Cayuco if the price were lower, but at current prices guests justifiable expect better food and more extra touches.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank EEDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CasaCayuco, Owner at Casa Cayuco, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2015

We thank this guest for writing this review and offer our apologies for not living up to their expectations. We are crushed that this guest felt they didn't receive what they paid for. We'd like to quickly cover the points of concern in this review...

Toiletries: We realize that having individual toiletries seems like a simple enough amenity to have have at any resort. However, accumulating loads of small, plastic bottles goes against our goals of minimizing Casa Cayuco's impact on this beautiful island. That being said, we had been looking for a "green" solution to providing toiletries and we're pleased to announce that as of mid 2013, all our cabins now feature biodegradable "Earth Therapy" individual bath products.

Limited Lodge Seating: Even though our lodge has enough seating for over 30 people (more than our cabin capacity), we agree that the seating was limited in comfort. When we took over Casa Cayuco in June 2013, we went right to work improving the lounging and seating options on each cabins private porches and our large, covered dock (that we like to call the living room). The lodge is more of a restaurant and bar space than a lounge. As you mentioned, we have now completed a new, large lounge connected by bridge to the bar and equipped with ceiling fans, free wifi, hammocks and loads of comfortable loungers and other awesome seating options.

Food: At Casa Cayuco, we are passionate about a lot of things - perhaps none more than our food. We pride ourselves on creating fresh, inventive and delicious dishes. We have been recognized by Conde Nast Traveller and Jetsetter.com as being a destination for foodies. We are crushed that this guest didn't feel the same way. We will use this review and continue to work towards giving guests the culinary experience they have come to expect from our talented and experienced kitchen staff. Casa Cayuco is the only resort in the area that catches all of its own seafood. We also source almost all of our lettuces, fruits and vegetables from partnered farms here in the archipelago. We advise potential guests to check out other reviews here on TripAdvisor to get a better view of the food you'll experience at Casa Cayuco.

Snorkel Equipment: We have over 40 sets of snorkel masks and fins available to guests. We are confused that this guest found mold on their equipment as hey are cleaned after each guest use and replaced yearly. We will take steps to see that this doesn't happen again - our apologies.

We're glad this guest loved their cabin, the excursions we offer and our location. Casa Cayuco is a very small, remote, unique, beach resort. Please take the time to check out our website and read a variety of reviews here on TripAdvisor. If you have any questions about the issues raised in this review, please don't hesitate to email us - info@casacayuco.com

Cheers!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

I was there over Christmas with my wife and really enjoyed ourselves. Its cool for couple and families both. There are a lot of cool excursions to do, and we really enjoyed the snorkeling and a trip to a beautiful island that's a nature preserve, but the best part for us, after a long year of work, was just hanging out on the beautiful dock and beach. Total relaxation, in one of the most beautiful and natural places you can imagine. They have hammocks and swinging chairs galore, and its hard to beat a Casa Cayuco sunset.

Dave and Suzanne, are the owners, hosts, chef, boat captain, guides... you name it. They have support from a great staff of really sweet indigenous locals who really enjoyed getting to know, but they are personally involved with every element and take great care to make sure you are happy at all times.:-).

Food was great. They source very, very locally whenever possible. Yes, incredibly fresh fish, but also some of the best local greens you can imagine. I am a meat eater and was very happy. They are great about any dietary restrictions and preferences, and we are still dreaming about Suzanne's peanut butter cheesecake!

Its not for everyone. Its a true natural environment set against the jungle and a beach. Nature abounds. That means amazing things like encountering a sloth and its baby in a low hanging tree, but also seeing some very weird bugs at night!

But if you want a special experience, a non-cookie cutter vacation where you can disconnect in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, book now. We hope to get back soon.

Room Tip: Pelicano is the smallest, but best for a couple (or a single). The other rooms are bigger and most...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JRNYC360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2014

We stayed at Casa Cayuco around xmas time. There are no words to describe how much we liked this place. we stayed with our 2 kids who adored Susan and David (the owners) and their dog, Rosie. Everything was perfect. Its a place that is good both for kids and adults. The excursions were perfect!!!! in sum, everything was said about this place in previous reviews. we just want to say that we would LOVE to come back...

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank yael_2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014 via mobile

If you are looking for a old-fashioned quiet beach getaway in beautiful, comfortable cabins where you can hear, feel and smell the sea air - this is the place for you. My wife and I just returned from an fantastic 4 night stay at Casa Cayuco. It was everything we hoped and more. The new owners are the perfect hosts. Dave and Suzanne went out of their way to make us feel welcome and take care of us and help us get to understand Isla Bastiamentos it's people and the natural surroundings. They went out of their way to show us a sloth in the wild and took us on an unscheduled evening boat ride to see the bio-luminescence. The mangrove snorkeling trip was a real highlight - we have never seen coral like that before, the colors were amazing. The food was also first class. If you have the chance go!

  • Stayed: December 2013
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1  Thank travelfern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

The website and pictures do not do it justice. The new owners are very dedicated and go out of their way to make your experience perfect. I was really eager to spot a sloth and one of the staff went out of his way to show me one. We celebrated our anniversary in the most romantic and untouched setting. The seafood was fresh and prepared by the local staff. Be sure to take a day for the excursion; seeing the playful dolphins and snorkeling was the best part of the trip. Thank you for an amazing experience!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FarimaF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Cayuco

Address: Punta Vieja, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: 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 20 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range: £98 - £116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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