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Sapibenega The Kuna Lodge

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Comarca de Kuna Yala Panama
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About

#5 of 38 Speciality lodging in San Blas Islands
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Discover the soul of the Caribbean in a land where time is never ending.Listen to the tales of an ancient sprit inspired by waters so crystalclear,you can see the heart of the sea. More than 365 islands withwhite sands beaches will be waiting for you at Kuna Yala indigenous reserveand we, at SAPIBENEGA THE KUNA LODGE willbe glad to show you the magic of our culture.
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Free parking
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Beach
58Reviews1Q+A6Room tips
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AkaRon wrote a review Dec 2014
New York City, New York2 contributions28 helpful votes
The setting....nice. The infrastructure, very rustic, but ok. The food....not good and scarce. The people...rude, even agresive. Had a very bad experience with them. When checking out, my credit card did not work..although it worked in every other place in panama ( spend some days in panama city prior to this stay and some days in the pacificmislands afterwards). I gave them every possible option to solve the problem. I gave them the cash that had on me, gave them the credit card numbers of all my cards, offer them the transferbthem the money on monday(i was leaving on a sunday) , etc. Nothing worked. I had to take the flight so i left and said them (in a calmend and polite way) i would solve the problem in panama city. When i arrived to the airport, to my surprise, the police was waiting for me...yes the police (i was travelling with my wife and three kids). They took me to an "office" where the owner of the place was also waiting for me. Very frightening. They did not allow me to take the flight.awful experience. At the end, i paid the balance to the local airline so they could .transfer it to the hotel..no problem with my credit card there! Will never recomend and or visit this place again.
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Date of stay: February 2014
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Trip type: Travelled with family
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wrthomas wrote a review Aug 2014
Columbia, South Carolina101 contributions25 helpful votes
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As the final leg of our excursion to Panama and The Canal, we flew out of Panama City to an old pre-WWI airstrip near El Porvenir. There we were greeted by our dugout boat captain and transported to "Hotel" Sapibenega on one of the larger San Blas Islands. There were three thatched "huts", each with two bedrooms, and room each having its own bath. Half of the "hut" was on land nad the back side over the water. We stayed only one night, but what a night it was. Of all of our travels,world-wide, this place had the most comfortable bed we've slept in thus far. They had a nice bar with ample seating and served nice Caribbean-style beverages. The "restaurant" was at at distance from shore over the water on a stilt-like platform. The food was very fresh, as they raise their own vegetables on the mainland and caught fresh seafood (fish and lobster) every day. Meals, which were included in the room charge, were served by native dressed Kuna Indians. We took time the next day to visit a near by uninhabited small island. White sands, clear water, green everywhere. The San Blas Islands of Panama are an archipelago comprising approximately 378 islands and cays, of which only 49 are inhabited. They lie off the north coast of the Isthmus of Panama, east of the Panama Canal. They are home to the Kuna Indians and a part of the comarca (district) Guna Yala (also spelled Kuna Yala) along the Caribbean coast of Panama. The area is popular for sailing, as it is known for its beauty and lack of hurricanes. None of the islands has fresh water. An interesting note: the hotel we stayed at has a PVC pipe going from the bar area down into the water over the ocean floor onto land, up the mountain to a spring-fed stream. We were there in the dry season, so water would only trickle out of the faucet in the bar area. We were there in 2006, but our memory of this adventure is still fresh and vivid. For some reason, photos uploaded may show a later date of 2011. We checked the earliest date TA would allow so we could submit this review.
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Date of stay: September 2013
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Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Rooms are the same.
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Mogur777 wrote a review Mar 2014
Valencian Country, Spain25 contributions6 helpful votes
This is all-inclusive with 3 meals, dinner being the best with great seafood. Staff is really very good and attentive. Water is $2.50 for small bottle, wine $3.50 +, beer $2.50 (local only), (bring your own and have them put it in the cooler at the bar). Cold water showers only. Electricity from 6 to 10 PM only. Very modest and marginally maintained units that are clean. Mattress and bedding are comfortable and clean. On small island with nothing to do. 2 tours per day. Morning to nearby islands - cooler available with a FEW soda's and beer - may last if staff does not sell to campers on the island before you get it. Afternoon - once to cemetery (Yippie) - long walk and climb up hill to top, and once to the local Comunidad - quite interesting to see how the people live - be prepared for some shock. Some local handcrafts available and inexpensive. 10 minutes by boat from airport.
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Date of stay: March 2014
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: You will have to take what you get.
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Rentaycaron wrote a review Jan 2014
15 contributions10 helpful votes
A perfect place to slow down and relax with a wonderful scenery as well! Very friendly, attentive and helpful staff! The tours, the Kuna people arranged, were great. We spent there a couple of days between 2013 and 2014. We had such an awesome time!
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Date of stay: January 2014
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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texasjr wrote a review Jan 2014
San Antonio, Texas147 contributions57 helpful votes
I was only able to do one night --- primarily because I booked at the last minute and AirPanama flights were not available --- NOTE TO ANYONE PLANNING ON COMING HERE --- plan ahead!!! Arriving at the airport is an experience unto itself. You get off the plane and the Sapibenega representatives are right there on the landing strip to greet you and take you to an awaiting "panga" boat from the dock at the end of the runway. The hotel is about a 5-7 minute boat ride is situated on a tiny island consisting of 5 or six cabins which sleep either 2, 4 or 6 people (depending on how they configure beds). The Guna people really try to make you feel home when there. The cabins are all made from local materials (wood an thatched roofs) with no glass windows and small electric lights (only function when the generator is turned on). I did not have many problems with bugs or other critters. The first (only day) consisted of a fantastic breakfast followed by a briefing of the day's "tours". Each event would be announced by one of the Guna men sounding a conch shell --- very cool!!! At 9:30am we did a trip to one of the nearby islands (Isla Poso) which has a very nice sandy beach on the leeward side of the island. The guides got us to the island and one of the guides (Elvin) took me on a guided snorkel trip showing off the local coral reef. The underwater visibility was not that great because the winds from the sea are quite strong during this time of year and stir up the sands and bring many nutrients to the islands. Lunch was at 1:00pm featuring a tilapia ceviche followed by a grilled corvina (white fish) fillet with mashed potatoes! The 4:00pm tour was to the main community of Playon Chico to see the island and provided an opportunity to purchase locally made "molas" from the Guna women that directly benefit the local community. Although bargaining is prevalent and encouraged, my experience was that the local prices were not that different from what you get in Panama City at the tourist areas. However, I felt better about the fact that I know that this was benefiting this community more directly. The people on the island were very friendly. ***NOTE*** General photos are allowed, but if you take a picture of the Guna women or the children directly, they will ask you "un dolar, un dolar" --- "one dollar, one dollar"... Dinner was at 6:15pm featuring mixed seafood on a bed of angel-hair pasta in white wine sauce! This is DEFINITELY not "roughing it". The generator was not functioning on this day, so evening drinks and conversations with the other guests was done while watching the sunset and then by solar-powered flashlight lanterns. Sleeping in the cabins while listening to the sea under your bed and a constant sea breeze was incredible. In the morning, the guide took me to the airport via the "panga" boat and then assisted me in weighing my bag, my carry-on bag as part of the check-in process. There was a bit of confusion as they were not sure if there would be one of two flights arriving this day. My guide (Elvin) did a great job of explaining what was going on. Ultimately, I left with a fantastic experience that really makes one appreciate nature and the people that make this world so diverse and unique. As long as you are able to disconnect, don't expect 5-star luxury accommodations, love seafood, and are flexible in your daily plans, this is a place for you! I really wish I could have stayed another night!
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Date of stay: January 2014
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Trip type: Travelled solo
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ALSO KNOWN AS
sapibenega the kuna hotel san blas islands
LOCATION
PanamaGuna Yala RegionSan Blas Islands
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Sapibenega The Kuna Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Sapibenega The Kuna Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Isla Perro (5.7 km), San Blas Islands (7.2 km), and Isla Pelicano (5.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Sapibenega The Kuna Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Sapibenega The Kuna Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Sapibenega The Kuna Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Is Sapibenega The Kuna Lodge located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.2 km away from the centre of San Blas Islands.