The staff were really friendly and helpful. The facilities though, while rated 3 and a half star online, were at best 1 star. The room was poor and the mousquitos were plentiful, despite the nets over the beds. The food was mediocre at best. Again the best feature was the staff.
We came by boat, but you can come by air as well. There is an airstrip on the island.
The hotel is rustic.
We were provided with a large room with double bed and bunk beds if needed. Our own bathroom with shower. Cold water, but with the heat, you do not need hot water. Very refreshing after a long day.
Provided three meals a day. There is not a selection, you get what you get. Fish, chicken, rice, potatoes. If you want fresh fruit, vegetables, or a variety, bring your own provisions. We had fresh barracuda and it was delicious! They run on generators and do not have a way of storing so many provisions.
You are provided with fresh caught fish from a local fishermen.
Part of the whole experience!
You can buy extra water, pop, juice and a few other things.
Arriving by boat, be prepared to get wet.
They provide a tarp for your belongings.
Use a towel or garbage bag if you don't want to be involved in the whole experience of the trip.
Tours of the islands are provided daily with a fee of 2 dollars. Excellent , a must do! They are supporting
other Kuna that live on the islands.
The staff or owners are fantastic. I enjoyed our capitan cheeke, even though I could not speak Spanish he and I communicated very well. He brought us to many islands and showed us different islands on the tours.
Antonio is a wonderful person. He showed us his fresh caught fish for the day and he speaks English. When I had a tough time communicating he would help.
This is an experience that you should not pass by to see San Blas islands and the Kuna people. Go to town with cheeke and stroll through the village.
This is not a five star hotel, not for the faint of heart.
A getaway from the everyday.
I wanted to stay.
After extensive reading,and research on where to stay, we opted for El por Venir, which was on of the options on the package we got in panama city. The serenity of the place, and just relax is the whole reason of going to san blas. The service from the lady in charge, can be confrontational at times. Most of the other staff, were willing to help out in any way they could. Food is ok, dont expect anything great. The island is located close to another island which is the major town, and some crafts can be purchased, and cheap lobster at $6 per lb. Choose your dinner, and bring it back to the hotel, they will cook it up for you (remind them NOT to overcook it..!). No lights, a generator provides electricity from say 4pm to 9pm. After of which, they leave one light on in the dining area, for those hanging around having drinks, socializing etc. Theres an airport landing on the island, so a flight or two might come in daily. The rooms have there dividing walls, but the roof area at the top is a shared connected space, so a cough and other affairs can be heard from afar. But then we really don't know which room its coming from anywayz. I heard of several people over paying for similar service/level hotels in the area. seems like a safer bet here. In the daytime you can go on tours, and visit other islands as well. My overall ratings is in comparison to other hotels in the area, considering, otherwise all would be poor. The islands are beautiful, and worth the experience. After we went to cartagena, colombia, and boy i wish i spent MORE time in san blas :(
I stayed at hotel Porvenier for 3 days, booked it through the Happy Landing Travel agency in Panama City. We knew that things are very different from our lifestyle,it`s the land of the Kuna people.
We arrived out of the season so no noise from neighbours or planes. Everyday we made boatrides to very very beautiful islands, on some we were the only ones (with a Kuna family) and others with more tourists.
2 times we visited a Kuna village which was very interesting. The food was very good -3 homecooked meals with fresh fish. The room was o.k. not dirty but very rustic. Private cold water showers and toilet, bring a moskito net for the bed. Electricity is there at night.
Backpacker of well-rounded traveller will apreciate this accomondation.
We drove with a car (only 4 wheel drive cars with experienced drivers) from Panama City and had to wait for a boatride to the hotel, it seems not very organized but somehow the Kuna people manage it to get you there.
The hotel boat transported more people than there were life jackets on board. All baggage is placed under a plastic tarp and be warned that if sea is rough or the tide is high you will get wet and those on the sides and in the front will be drenched. We were shocked with the poor conditions of the place. There was a washed up boat refrigerator near the landing and discarded plastic bottles. There are different bed arrangements in the rooms and though the rooms are not very clean and the bathroom shower head is a pipe of cold water there are private bathrooms. The walls are 3/4 brick with braided palms on the upper which does not filter the light or noise from adjoining rooms. Try to get an end room if possible therefore you have only 1 neighbor. The sheets are very old and do not stay on the mattress. There is no way to lock the bedroom doors so I chose to carry my camera and wallet. The menu is the same every meal but the ingredients are fresh and we were served cabbage slaw, rice, fish, chicken, or octopus. The hotel boat takes you to a different island everyday for swimming. There is a nice swimming area and the runway is not being used and a great place to walk at night and enjoy the stars. The owner speaks English and the Kuna extended family live on site. Everyone is very friendly and the ladies can share their knowledge of needlework and beading. The generator runs from 4pm to 10 am. In summary this is a very primitive living condition and it is as close to living in a Kuna village as you can get.