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Reviewed 28 November 2011

El Porvenir has everything you need: rooms with mosquito nets, water, power at night. The island is lovely and hammocks and hotel setting are great. It's a relatively inexpensive way to visit the San Blas and is easy to get to from Cartí or the airport (though construction work had closed the runway at our visit in November 2011). Food is adequate, but I would recommend bringing some extra fruits. We booked via Panama Travel Group and had some communication hassles that we don't think were the fault of the hotel, but would recommend booking another way. The San Blas are lovely and for me, the outings were worth the trip.

Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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2  Thank Lily_F11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2011

We visitied El Porvenir to join our world-cruising friends on their sailing yacht for a week. The flight from Panama City was an experience - and our 5-year old son was happy for the road on the island - making it possible to take the plane down. We spent 2 nights at Hotel El Porvenir which is a quite simple place with very friendly and helpful staff. The food is traditional "kuna" meaning fried fish, chicken, boiled rice and beans. This is a part of the cultural experience I would say- and you don´t go there for the food only. The fish is fresh from the sea and really great. We went there in april which can be a bit uncertain - but we had 27 centagrades, 90% sun and a fresh breeze.

The beaches, palmtrees and swimming is extraordinary - it is really a taste of paradise. The hotel offer include 2 boat trips a day to unhabited islands. We went there with 2 kids (7 and 5 years old) and therefore we stayed close to the shore. There were a lot of dead reefs, but we heard it was better further out.

This is really a place hard to find elsewhere and we really would like to recommend it. Hotel el Porvenir is a good start for visiting Kuna Yala / San blas and it is easy to meet up with sailors. 2 days is a good length before moving on elsewhere - and I really suggest sailing yacht.

Date of stay: April 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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4  Thank AnnaSafvestadAlbinss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2011

This place is nice enough, with okay food and cold beer. Wouldn't stay at Porvenir for more than a night anyways. The little lady who seems to run the place can arrange anything, she's sort of like the Godmother.

Date of stay: February 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jehow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2010

For $40 a day, you get three meals and two island excursions. It's a pretty good deal despite the fact that the island they took us to (Pelican Beach) was no larger than a large studio apartment and overcrowded with obnoxious tourists lugging coolers like they were going to a tailgate party. You can pay extra to go to different islands or to be dropped off on a deserted island for the night.

Yeah, the food isn't great (eggs and bread for breakfast, rice/fries and beans with chicken or flank steak for lunch and dinner) but if you ask them, they will catch FRESH LOBSTER AND FISH in the ocean for you to eat. It's only $8 and it's literally the catch of the day. You see the hotel employees go out into the water and come back with fresh seafood. It's pretty awesome.

The hotel is clean, right on the beach and right near the airport. Oti, his wife and the rest of the crew are awesome. If Chiki is your tour guide, you will be in luck. He is THE MAN. I would recommend HEP over Hotel San Blas which is on Nalunega and pretty grimy. The main Kuna villages are littered with trash while El Porvenir is clean and while I wouldn't get in the water there, it's much cleaner than the surrounding waters of any of the other villages. It doesn't get any better than waking up at 6am to watch the sunrise while listening to the waves gently crashing on the shore from right outside your hotel room.

If you only have a day or two in San Blas (which we did) then I would definitely recommend staying here but if you've got 3 or more days, you're better off paying independent fisherman to take you to different islands and spend your days there.

Date of stay: October 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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9  Thank nicquk2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2010

This hotel is about the oldest hotel in the San Blas islands and is the only accommodation actually located on El Porvenir island - where the Police station and airport are located. The main town is a couple of minutes boat ride away on the neighbouring island, with more hotels/ hostels. From what I saw although this place is in no way grand, its about the best on offer in the vicinity of this part of The San Blas. For $35 per person a night its a bargain compared to the alternatives. This includes 2 boat trips a day and 3 meals a day aswell as accommodation. Oti and her husband are very friendly and helpful. The islands are fantastic and seeing the native Kuna indians in their traditional dress is great too- not tacky tourism, unlike the Embera villages tourist trap in The Chagres National Park, those panama city day trips and one to miss...
The neighbouring small island of Corobiski has many Kuna in traditional dress living their daily lives as if untouched by the outside world. Out of season in february you really feel as though their are no other tourists, although it can get a bit windy and wet aswell!
The further islands remind me of the South Pacific, but the sea can get a bit rough.
Back to the hotel, it has 2 small beaches and plenty of hammocks and a sea kayak for use. You have a lot more space here than the other hotels nearby, as they are built in the town which is poor if you want to go swimming or want some space. This hotel is also right by the runway so you will see the daily plane arrive around 7am which is brilliant!! The food was the big let down. no fish or fruit in sight. it was just 1 chicken drumstick with rice and beans for lunch and dinner aswell! breakfast is tea or coffee and bread with eggs- the food tasted poor aswell. thats it. so bring supplies with you including drinking water as these are all a rip off on the islands. there are a handful of places to eat out on the neighbouring island but i wouldnt recommend it. the rooms are also reliant on power from a generator for a few hours each night then its off. water is cold and the walls do not go to the ceiling so insects(not many) and noise travel with ease.
I would go back but although you can get here by boat and land the time and sea conditions mean in practice just fly (typically about $70 per person each way from panama city- which is cheap) The scenery from the air is stunning and this is one of the most scenic flights i have ever done. In my opinion this hotel offers a better experience than the expensive exclusive island resorts elsewhere on the kuna yala as its more genuine and natural, you also have easy access to the main towns of the region but without the polluttion as you are on a neighbouring island with less development. the stunning areas are not far away either so you have more options here, especially if the weather isnt always good- the expensive resorts are cut off and prices are high... honeymooners only!

Date of stay: February 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
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4  Thank hotelreview123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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