We discovered Estaban's hostal by fluke here on tripadvisor. We had tried to book another place that had been recommended to us in El Valle. Estaban's website didn't have much detail but we we wanted to have something booked before we arrived. We thought we might only stay one night. HOWEVER, the place was so much more than we imagined and Estaban was a fantastic host. We stayed for three nights and could have stayed longer if we hadn't had to be in Panama City on a specific day.
We were the ONLY ones there for three nights so we had the huge covered space all to ourselves. We could lounge in the many hammocks without disturbing anyone. We had more than one nap there! We could make lunch on one of the many tables as well. Our room was clean and bright (end room with two windows and good air flow), and the bathroom, though a little small, was also nice and clean. The only thing that seemed strange at first was the plastic on the matress but we soon got used to that.
We had the use of a big fridge in the covered area. Estaban's sister made Duros and stocked the freezer with them. We had a few and put our 25 cents in the dish on the top of the fridge. We collected money from a couple of locals who also stopped to buy them : )
On our last day, Estaban showed us around the property and told us about his future plans (swimming pool, volleyball court, another taditional hut). He showed us a small outdoor kitchen we could have used but we never asked - we're self-sufficient travelers but a cup of tea would have been nice! Be sure to ask if you want to do any cooking. He also showed us all the medicial plants on the property ... he's a wealth of knowledge. He trained to be a doctor in Mexico and is now an Engineer ... ask him about it. Oh, and he'll make his terrific organic coffee for you if you ask. He grown, roasts and brews it on his property. He made our daughter a cup of cinnamon tea from his own tree as well.
It's a ten minute walk to 'downtown' and the limited restaurants but it's silent at night so we loved it. The pet parrots entertained us one afternoon and apparently they can sing "La Cocaracha". We also watched lots of humming birds from our hammocks and Keel-billed Toucans flew around across the street.
There is a spa called Cariguana as well but you'll know if you're in the wrong spot. They looked at us like we were crazy when we said we had a reservation. If you get to the spa, you are only two minutes away from the hostal (walking). You can also walk to El Macho and the hotsprings from here. The Sleeping Indian is a little too far (we biked to the bottom) so you'll have to walk to town and get a taxi.
We love to walk so Estaban's Hostal Cariguana was a hidden gem for us. It was close enough to everything but far enough away to feel like a retreat. Maybe ask Estaban to give you directions if you are coming in by bus - you could use up a lot of energy walking around El Valle looking for his place before you find it.
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- Also Known As:
- Hostal Cariguana Hotel El Valle De Anton