Pictures can not do this place justice. Absolutely beautiful house, away from town, but close enough if you needed to take a water taxi to town to grocery shop. So many different types of fish swim under the house - it's the perfect place to snorkel. There is an entire city of sea life under and around the house. The bioluminescent fish behind the house at night were absolutely breathtaking. Poli and Lyo were amazing hosts and very accommodating. I definitely plan on bringing family back. This place is a dream.
This is an unbelievably beautiful location. The house sits on the water on stilts, and there are magnificent water views from every single window. If you want to go in, you just jump of the deck any which way.
The snorkeling from the house is fantastic. There are plenty of fish right under the house and the stilts are covered with beautiful corals. There was spotted eagle ray that came twice to feed in the shallow water behind the house and you don't even have to go in to see it. We saw large schools for colorful fish, sting rays, eagle rays and a nurse shark. Something different every day and no need to go anyplace else.
The house is large and nicely appointed. Master suite has a private balcony and separate bathroom. We went with one of our adult kids, and we had more space than we needed.
The only way to get there is by boat and Poli includes a free ride to town and back once a day so you can stock up on provision or do day trips. Bocas town is small but fun and there are gorgeous beaches nearby. It's an island, so there aren't a lot of cars and taxis are the way to get around. In town it's about 1$ per person if you flag them down. Everything is "chill" and "relaxed". We didn't spent a lot of time in town, since the house was so beautiful.
Poli and Lyu where extremely nice, helpful and accommodating. If you want/need something, just ask.
If you want a tranquil spot with great snorkeling and in a magnificent tropical setting, this one is hard to beat. My wife and I have been to over 20 countries but this one is right at the top. Much better (and cheaper) and then resort over-water villas.
Feeding the tropical fish, deciding what to eat, how many swims to have or wether Juan would take us on a ten minute boat ride into Bocas was the only things we had to consider, if you are looking to get away this is your place. Fly to Panama take a short flight to Bocas Del Toro two water taxis and you are as removed as you want to be. If you are looking for all inclusive full resort vacationing this is not your place. But if you are adventurous, love the water, wanting down time then it doesn't get much quieter then this. The house covers all your needs, Poli and Lyo have done a great job at sharing a completely unique experience. Water was warm and clear and this stay was our favourite in all our experience of Panama. Peggy.
We stayed for a week in the yellow house and had an amazing time. The view from the house across the bay with the mountains in the background is stunning. I thought I would share some helpful info for others considering this rental.
First, you need to understand this is not a 5-star resort. You will not have all of the amenities of a hotel or of your house at home, you need to have a relaxed attitude and understand that the benefits that this house has to offer are so much more valuable than any of the trade-offs. Be prepared that there will be some minor quirks - expect some bugs just before sunset, you will have small lizards inside the house, mostly in the kitchen area so keep your food closed up but they don't get in your way and they actually eat the bugs so they are helpful.
I was concerned about the lack of air conditioning as I'm typically the first one on a group to get too hot. This was not an issue at all. The windows and doors all open and the breezes made it very comfortable so no need to worry. Because of the solar power you won't have a microwave of coffee pot so you'll just need to prepare food and coffee using the stove - it wasn't what we were used to but it worked very well and we had no issues with electricity use while we were there. We all used the wifi and were pleased with its speed and performance.
Another thing I was concerned about was not being able to pay with a credit card and paying the down-payment via paypal/bank transfer and the balance in cash. This was not an issue at all. Everything went smoothly and Poli was extermely patient with us answering dozens of questions over email before our trip and helping us with questions, booking trips, and anything we needed while we were there.
We didn't realize that Juan, the caretaker, lives in a house on the land that is accessible via the dock and a walkway so whenever we needed something we could go and ask him. He watered the plants, took out our trash, and took us to town in the boat everyday. When I broke a latch on one of the windows he had it replaced in less than 10 minutes. He also helped us purchase lobsters from local fishermen.
The snorkeling right around and under the house was the best we encountered anywhere in our travels that week. The amount and variety of fish and rays were amazing. One of our favorite parts of this location.
The beds were comfortable and the house was very clean. The sofas in the living area were not very comfortable but we spent nearly all of our time in the outside living area (the outside dining table is great) so it didn't really bother us.
The only issue we had the entire week was the water situation. Because the houses use collected rainwater, there's the potential that you won't always have water when you need it. Rain levels were really low when we stayed so the water was shut off between 10pm and 6am. A minor inconvenience but I thought others would want to be aware that this is a possibility.
In summary, I would highly recommend this place to anyone. We would not hesitate to return. Poli, Lyo, and Juan were all excellent to work with.