Monday, February 27, 2012

La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm

The Red Frog and symbol of this island
On a trip this past summer to Isla Bastimentos in the Bocas Del Toro region, we stayed at the amazing La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm for a little pampering before heading out to the turtle conservation program on the opposite end of the Bocas islands.
This was a very positive experience for us and we had a great 3 day stay here. A couple things to note.  It's really hot and humid in this region.  Luckily, we had a breeze up in our cabin overlooking the ocean. And there are several cabins located up a steep hill.  Watch your step and take your time going up hill with your luggage.  But we had help and people helped carry our luggage up on our way up the hill.  The staff, owners, and guest staff are really kind people.  The owners were back in Europe for vacation, but we had their replacements Karen and Steve who did an amazing job keeping us occupied around the island.  Steve is a retired landscaper who has a great knowledge of rain forest trees and plants.  Karen is a scifi/fantasy geek like I am and we spoke about Game of Thrones amongst other things.
Our cabin was beautiful, private, and open to the rain forest environment.  We were able to read and hang out in our hammock on breaks.  This is really a great getaway for newlyweds or families.  It's also an excellent place for birding.  Listen to this one.  So this birder guy brings his family.  He has to do all the family stuff like go to the beach, bla bla bla, but when they turned their backs, he had his binoculars out spying on the trillion and one birds.  Clever man:)
Our showers were open to the world and I have to say......I loved it:)
This is one nice bathroom.  I felt safe and welcome on this cozy little forested island.  The Bastimentos National Park is located there as well.
Mosquito nets keep the bugs out and I slept quite well on this lovely little vacation.
Imagine yourself on this hammock(hamoca) taking a break from caving or swimming.
If you love native cultures or the outdoors, you'll love this visit.  The mangroves here are spectacular.
And if you're a birder, check out these Oropendalas from my open bedroom.  Their calls are unique and pretty strange.  They sound like something from outer space.
If you like gardens or growing your own food, all of it is made on the farm!  The meals were delish!
You will also have some amazing guides take you around the National Park and island.  Here we toured the Chocolate farm and sampled the fruit.  But the pic above is the only one I have of us entering the cave hidden in the lush flora.  There were a lot of bats!:)
And there was this dog that followed us all over the island and he was our magical guardian.  Sometimes he'd come out of nowhere!  Expect to see caiman, sloths, a billion birds, jellyfish, lots and lots of frogs, and a lot of critters.
While it may seem pricey at about 100 buck a person per night, sometimes it's just the break you need while backpacking through the rain forest.  And who doesn't like freshly made chocolate?!!!  You get to see it being made right there!  If you're heading to Panama and want a nice cozy getaway, I highly recommend this posh visit.  And if you are interested more in going to Panama, just head on over to the month of August on this blog for lots of interesting tidbits and fun.  Check this place out:)  More soon....


  1. dear chris, I love that Eagle Owl, and superbly photographed by you, but I do feel sorry for it, to have to go through life having a major identity crisis. (lol) Now to this post: this is my very favourite sort of holiday destination. To be in a place like that I would happily put up with leeches, mosquitoes and all kinds of wildlife as long as they're not deadly. One day I may get there, in the meantime I'll check out your blog regularly ... cheers, catmint

    1. Hi there:) I know what you mean. I have conflicting emotions when it comes to captive wildlife. I just remember that they were given a second chance and also help educate the public making them more aware of the natural environment. Thanks for your kind words and hope you have a fun week ahead planned out. Chris

  2. The Red Frog is so interesting! The colors are captivating. It looks like a wonderful trip...although I'm so too sure if I'd be tough enough. ha!

  3. it would take some getting used to - being in an open cabin. glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Fantastic!
    We will consider this place if we ever travel there..
    Great shots! Hope you really enjoy your travels!
    Many greetings
    Yvonne & Raphael

  5. Nice holiday, I kind of like the Frog, and what about its feet. Great photos.

  6. What a lovely place, great shots!
    Thanks for the tour, I loved it.

  7. wow! very very cool!!!! i would love that...maybe some day! and really...when u think about how much hotels charge...or even if you were to go on one of those guided group tour things...a hundred bucks isn't that much...

    ALL the a little modern tent in the middle of the jungle. i wonder if they build tree houses in the jungle and rent them out per night?!! so the frog...the birds...the flowers, plants, and the dog!

    but where are the turtle pic's??

    thanks for the trip! :)

  8. This seems like a lovely place for a getaway...a true getaway. I really liked the tour.

  9. Very nice serie good pictures Chris !

    Greetings, Joop

  10. It looks lovely! (And nobody has to say "chocolate" twice to get my attention!)


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