The SpaceWelcome to our Tropical Island Paradise on the Southern tip of Isla San Cristobal in the Bocas Del Toro Archipelago. The island has no roads or electricity but we support ourselves with solar panels, a backup generator and a rainwater collection system.
You'll be staying in The Reef Cabin, in one of two rooms, perched above the island's coral reef. The Sunrise Room sleeps 2 people in our deluxe king size bed. The room offers a rustic experience with low cane walls and curtains for your privacy. The sea breeze will make you forget about air conditioning, but there is also a fan if you are feeling the Panamanian heat!
If you are a party of 4, the Reef Cabin has a second bedroom for rent, with a queen sized bed called the Diving Board Room. Both Rooms are above the shared kitchen and living space equipped with hammocks, swing chairs and sun loungers for your ultimate relaxation. All guests at the retreat do have use of the common dock and kitchen.
We provide a Meal Service but if you prefer to cook for yourself note that kitchen access is limited in high season (Nov- April). We offer deliciously prepared meals for our guests on request. We also have a BBQ.
There is a freshwater shower (biodegradable soap only, please!) at the Reef Cabin, and the composting toilet is a 2 minute walk away.
Beneath you, there is lots of aquamarine life: starfish, our resident nurse shark, octopus, colorful fish, a family of snappers, and of course the dolphins (see them during the day, hear them at night), amazing coral and magical bioluminescence in the water at night!
Other options on the property include 2 cabins on the waters edge, 1 waterfront house, and a house perched up on the Hill. These listings are more removed from the common area, feel free to ask for links to them via a Secluded Tropical Reef Inquiry.
Clean linens and towels are provided for all guests. Spices, cooking oils, and other kitchen basics are provided for your use, along with fresh young coconut juice, bananas, and other fresh goods from the property. (Cilantro, lemongrass, and citruses galore grow all around the Hill House!)
A 5 minute boat ride (or half an hour kayak or an hour swim :-)) takes you across the bay where you can buy (limited!) supplies or visit Ernie for his famous fried chicken.
A 30-minute each way, $70 round trip boat ride will take you to the town of Bocas del Toro, which has over a dozen bars and restaurants, a fun backpacker party scene, some very good food, some not-so-good food, an airport, several small supermarkets, local fruit and vegetable stands, and lots of local color and diversity. A similar boat trip will take you to the mainland (Almirante), a jumping off point for extended trips to Panama's incredible cloud forest or Costa Rica.
Bring your sunscreen, bug spray, and your bathing suit! It's tropical adventure time! Guest AccessAll guests at CocoVivo will have access to the common dock, the shared kitchen, Kyaks, Snorkling Gear, and SUP boards. Interaction with GuestsTwo hosts on site will be able to help you with any of your needs at all hours. They offer jungle walk tours, can arrange day trips with the boat. They will be here to make sure your off the grid experience runs as smoothly as possible, and will provide meal services upon request. The NeighborhoodIsla San Cristobal is a remote Island, with no roads or electricity. It is inhabited by the Ngobe-Bugle Indigenous and a great diversity of wild life. Here at the southern tip, we have extremely calm waters all year round and we look over the cloud forests and mountains of mainland Panama. Getting AroundOk Great, But How Can I Get There?
Travel by Air
There are 1-hour flights from Panamá City's domestic airport (PAC) into Bocas del Toro Airport (BOC). If you fly from Panamá City you will need to go from the international (PTY) to the domestic airport (30-minute taxi ride /$35), unless you fly with AirPanama, which departs from both airports. If you can book a flight from the international airport before 1:30PM you can make it into Bocas del Toro the same day. If you travel from Costa Rica you can book a flight from San José (SJO or SYQ, 1 hour). Take into account that there is also a $28 international departure fee from Costa Rica. Always try to book flights to Bocas del Toro in advance, Skyscanner might help. Once you or your group has arrived at Bocas del Toro airport, which is located on Isla Colón, the Virginia's Dock is a 10-15 minute walk or $1 taxi ride away. There we will happily meet you for the pre-arranged boat pick-up.
Travel by Bus
For an alternate, more cost-effective means of transportation, using the bus system may be the way to go. If you travel from Panamá City you can take a taxi ($35 from the international airport) to the Albrook Bus Terminal. From this terminal (night)buses leave to Almirante, which takes 10-11 hours. Unless it's a national holiday it's unnecessary to book your bus tickets in advance. If you travel from Costa Rica you can save money by taking a bus from San José. You can either take a bus to Changuinola and then take a bus to Almirante, or take a bus to the Sixoala border, do the border crossing procedure by yourself, take a bus to Changuinola and then another bus to Almirante. If you take a bus directly to Changuinola you will be traveling with Transportes Bocatoreños, which departs at 9AM just north of the Coca Cola Bus Terminal in downtown San José in front of the Hotel Cocori. The ride takes about 7 hours, but take into account that the waiting time at the Sixoala border can take a few hours in high season. In Almirante you can take a taxi ($1) to the boat gas station or any other preferred pick-up point where we will be glad to meet you for our boat pick-up.
The Boat Shuttle
We provide a 'Ride Share' service to our remote location for 60$ included in the cleaning fee. To participate in this reduced price transport we ask that guests co-operate with the arrivals and departures of others, this could mean taking a short water taxi to the decided meeting point or being flexible with pick up times. If you would like to be picked up at a specific time we can refer you to a water taxi, or pick you up personally for an extra fee, from your hotel or the airport. Other Things to Note!!! IMPORTANT: THIS IS A RUSTIC PLACE!!!
It's for the adventurous, who want reasonable comfort in a remote setting, and want to experience realities of rural life in the tropics. In addition to the abundant pleasures of the lush forests and reefs, you should expect to…..
GO OFF GRID: You will run out of running water if you take long showers or if the rains don't come. The solar panels are backed with batteries, but you'll need to remember to turn off lights and fans when not in use — especially when the clouds hang out for a few days. The Internet is fast and reliable — but it does go down on occasion.
WEAR BUG PROTECTION: Around dusk and dawn chitras (sand flies or no-see-ums) show up without fail. Luckily they are predictable creatures, and a layer of coconut oil or bug-spray will keep you happy.
Help yourself to any fruit you find on the farm (but ask if you're not sure what it is :)
Please be responsible with electricity use (if there is no sunshine for a couple of days, batteries can run low).
Likewise, but less critically, with water. The tanks last for about a month with no rain, but please conserve.