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Reviewed 18 January 2014

We are in Panama for the first time, and especially like hiking and outdoor experiences. After a week in Boquete, we wanted to experience the other side of Volcan Baru and read about Finca Hartmann. Everything about it was wonderful. Analys, the daughter spent time in Seattle, so speaks perfect English, making reservations and arrangements easy. We were told we needed to bring our own food, that the forest cabin had hot water, towels, cooking facilities, candles and a comfortable bed all of which were fresh and luxurious for the isolation. The cabin, 3km (and 30 minutes) up the road from the main house by 4x4 was next to the research institute, a large house that was happily unoccupied at the time we were there. We were given a detailed map of hiking trails, a thorough orientation to the cabin and surroundings, and left gladly on our own. There was a full moon, a stream full of watercress burbling by and loads of birds and butterflies. We spent the day hiking around the trails among the coffee fields, and up to Parque Internacional de la Amistad. We only got to see one snake, my husband's quest, a false coral snake. It was a perfect, clear day, from the top of the trail we could see the familiar broken top of Baru and ridges that seemed to go on forever. Driving to and from the Finca is some of the prettiest and steepest country I have ever seen. This is the most welcoming family who has a clear understanding of how to set up an experience and then let the guest have their own good time! If you like nature and being on your own without having to make great effort to make it happen, this is definitely a must! If you go, the farm and the sign to it are on the RIGHT, not left as Lonely Planet says.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank artdreaming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

I have been to Finca Hartmann with groups of entomologist's at least once a year for the past 10 years, usually spending 4 or 5 days and nights, and have visiting here since 1976. The Hartmann family built their "Ojo de Agua Biological Research Station/Lodge" over 20 years ago, and completely renovated it in 2008-9 to better accomodate visitors, who were mostly bird-watchers and researchers up until now. Now anyone wanting to get right in the jungle/rain forest can get there by staying at Finca Hartmann.

It's basically a rustic 2-story lodge, with 4 bedrooms upstairs and 2 bedrooms downstairs (I believe each room has two beds, but adjustments can be requested), plus a large open room downstairs with a couch, a couple of hammocks, tables and chairs. There's a veranda all the way around the upper floor, and an outside staircase for access. While there's no electricity yet, lighting at night is from candles, kerosene lanterns, flashlights, or maybe they can provide a small generator to power a couple of electric lights. There is a regular bathroom with indoor plumbing and an instant-on gas hot water heater for pleasantly warm (if not hot) showers.

The kitchen is rustic, but complete enough to cook just about anything with gas cooktops (there is no oven for baking). Dishes and utensils are provided. Be sure to buy some of their coffee (some of the best in the world) to enjoy during your stay there. On my 2009 trip I brought 16 entomologists for 5 days and nights and in 2010 there were 8 of us. We cooked our own meals and did just fine.

It gets chilly up here in the mountains at night (elev about 4900 ft), so they have a large fireplace to keep it warm and plenty of firewood outside in the carport. The beds are very basic, but not uncomfortable. I'll be bringing entomologists and others here until I die. It's one of my favorite places on earth to get close to nature. On clear nights you can see at least a billion stars, and probably more.

They also have a small "honey-moon" cottage across the way from the big lodge. It's a one bedroom cabin with a full bathroom (instant-on hot water) and a kitchen (no oven).
My wife and I have stayed there a couple times. The view out of the kitchen windows is beautiful, and white-faced monkeys can be see across the yard drinking from the spring.

A few of the creatures you might see here White-faced monkeys, Howler monkeys, Coati-mundi's, Tamandua (Silky Ant-eater), a huge variety of birds, including Toucans, Trogons, many Hummingbirds, and beautiful butterflies. If you are looking to experience the rain forest in a rustic but comfortable location, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: August 2010
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7  Thank Albert214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC