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All reviews isla contadora panama city golf cart ferry dock beautiful island bed and breakfast a great stay peter fridge tour atv rental host snorkel carts
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Reviewed October 16, 2010

Peter, the owner is awesome, and the rooms are charming and very pretty. The only gripe was that it was far inland in the residential area of the island which was why the prices for rooms were so cheap but getting to the beaches and restaurants took at least a 10-minute walk. Not that big of a deal but sometimes you just want to be in the water right then and there, not trek for 10 minutes in the sun.

However, I would definitely recommend this place as a more cost-friendly alternative to the other hotels that are closer to the beaches and therefore, more expensive.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank nicquk2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 11, 2010

My wife and I spent 3 or 4 nights at Casa del Sol. We rented the room with the kitchen; however, we probably would go for the normal room next time. There are no real grocery stores on the island so there's really no way to utilize the kitchen.

The room was very nice and the breakfast was perfect - toast, jam, cereal, eggs, coffee, etc. The owners are very pleasant - ready to help in any way that they can but mostly stay out of the way. About a week later, we actually ran into Anke in Panama City and had a few beers.

Contadora is an absolutely beautiful island. The beaches are amazing. However, it is very isolated. There are 4 restaurants - none of which are particularly good and all of which are more expensive than anywhere else in Panama. However, if you want to just relax, lay on the beach, go to bed early, etc., then it is absolutely perfect. In hindsight, we probably would not have stayed a full 4 days on account of getting restless from all of the laying around and doing nothing.

We'd definitely recommend Casa del Sol for anyone going to Contadora!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled solo
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Thank Dave E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 23, 2010

Casa del Sol has two small rooms (one with cooking facilities) and a house for rent. I stayed in one of the small rooms (with no cooking facilities) for two nights. My room was small but spotlessly clean and nicely decorated, but the lighting at night is insufficient. There are beige tiles, pale green walls, a queen bed, and two cupboards (only one holds clothes –folded, no hanging space. The other cupboard holds a small fridge with your breakfast. Both rooms have en suite shower and toilet.

It´s a pretty meager breakfast of bread and jam and packets of cereal. They also offered me a boiled egg, but the breakfast isn´t as substantial as their web site or the Bradt Guide would have you believe. You will still be hungry after having had it.

The owners are kindly and efficient but they will let you be unless you knock and ask for help. (German lady with British husband pro golfers. They plan to move to Coronado to be closer to the golf courses in six months and get someone else in to manage the place, so check for updated reviews after new management is in place ). They picked me up at the airport on a `mule` (local quad bike/ golf cart) and gave me a tour around the very small island (you can walk around it in 90 minutes) so I would have my bearings. Note that Case del Sol is off the beaten path. It´s about a 20 minute walk into town and it´s not near a beach either. There´s no TV or pool. They have high speed WIFI, but it didn´t work when I was there, so you better like your peace and quiet. (I also got no response to any of the e-mails I sent establishments on Contadora although they did apparently receive my e-mails and responded to me, so I had to call to make bookings.) That said, many places will pick you up for dinner or activities like the glass bottom boat and diving, or the owners will give you a ride.

The beaches aren´t great. They are rocky and at high tide the water nearly covers the beach and at low tide, sand with rocks materialize for miles, so you have to wade a long way out to get water you can swim in. Other than a nine island tour or a spin out on a glass bottom boat, there´s nothing to do on Contadora. Two nights is plenty. A fly in day trip with boat and snorkel trip from Crystal Divers might be a better bet if you want to maximize your time in Panama.

I came here to check out the diving. Diving is shallow and while there are lots of fish on some sights it´s pretty mediocre. It´s also pricey at $90 for two tank dive, $80 if you have your own gear. By way of comparison, it costs $50 to dive with your own gear on Bocas del Toro and only an incredibly low $175 to learn how to dive there, thanks to greater competition. Mind you, they were kind enough to take me out by myself for this, although they usually request a two person minimum.

The 25 minute flight from Panama City to Contadora is on tiny prop planes with barely any luggage room. They couldn´t accept my dive bag as it was too big, so I had to take my stuff out so the bag would fit. Also, on all domestic flights in Panama, you only get 15 kilos luggage allowance. Fortunately, excess baggage charges are reasonable. Note that AeroPerlas is more reliable than Air Panama. You can book your tickets online very easily. You can rent gear from the dive shop, but for those of us who like diving with our own gear, be warned. Dive shop has 3 mm suits. Water is usually 25C but it 22C when I dove in mid March. Apparently the cold Humboldt current comes through for a few weeks a year and maybe that´s what I dove in. I was glad I had brought thicker wet suits.

Casa del Sol only takes cash for now-- payable when you arrive in your room. (You can´t really get off the island without them noticing, so I thought this was a bit odd.) They are applying to get a credit card machine set up though. It´s a nice enough place to stay, but just be ready for the fact that there´s not much to do on Contadora Island, unless you come end August/September when the humpback whales congregate here to breed and give birth. Then you supposedly get great whale encounters by snorkeling.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled solo
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4  Thank Poleinahole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 5, 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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