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Lover of nature, sailing and life.
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Dolphin Bay Cabana's offer an amazing escape. As soon as you arrive there you feel transported into a "totally relaxed zone". We found it a stress breaker and felt fortunate to have discovered this little gem on its tranquil lagoon miles away from the hustle and bustle of Bocas Town.
Jelle's wife is the ultimate host focused at all times on doing everything reasonably possible to enhance your stay in their paradise. She is very caring and a great cook, providing delicious breakfasts and dinners at very affordable prices that include wine at dinner. They have sodas and beers available for a buck a piece and as much filtered water a you need free of charge. You are about 30-40 minutes away by boat from Bocas so its a good idea to bring some snacks and anything else you may want while there.
It is totally off grid and everything is a little rustic there so don't be expecting a 5 star resort although the location is that and more. If it rains a lot like it did while we were there most things stay damp and its incumbent on you to find away to dry your towels with the breezes blowing between the rain storms. When it sunny its stunning and of course the solar panels get a chance to recharge too. They will however do what is necessary to make sure that you have enough battery power for your needs with supplementary generators. Don't forget you are on an island and it truly off grid. Despite this and even with a lot of cloud in the two days we spent there we had Internet access most of the time.
We walked the jungle behind their property with one of their friendly dogs joining us and got to see 4 different sloughs in the trees above. We also spotted dolphins in the lagoon in front on two different occasions.
Tip: make sure to arrange with Jelle for pick up and drop off from Boca or Bastimento as the local boat shuttles will charge you $25 to $30 per person each way. Jelle offers this same service in his fast long panga for only $15 per person each way.
In summary a stay at Dolphin Bay Cabana's is all about an off grid super relaxing experience. The accommodation is basic and some maintenance is necessary in a number of areas but given the location and the chance to relax for the price per night we highly recommend a few nights there.
The most beautiful and tranquil place we have ever stayed in our lives. My boyfriend and I spent 1 night (unfortunately we were unable to stay for longer) at Dolphin Bay Cabanas. Everything was perfect from the start. The family were exceptionally welcoming and warm, the cabana was gorgeous and the scenery to match. I would recommend Dolphin Bay Cabanas to anyone who has the chance to visit whilst in Bocas del Toro area.
Los anfitriones fueron muy atentos en todo momento. El lugar es muy lindo y acogedor ya que estás rodeado de la naturaleza. Lo malo es que hay muchos bichos y llega a resultar molestoso, sobretodo en las noches ya que no hay ningún control de los mismos en las cabañas. Es una lastima que queda lejos de Isla Colon ya que es pesado y costoso trasladarse de un lugar a otro.
Nous avons eu un très bon accueil de la part de Jelle et sa famille, Janneke (sa maman) est une femme exceptionnelle... Les logements sont dans un véritable paradis, très propres, confortables et décorés avec goût, c'est encore plus beau que sur les photos et nous avons eu la chance de voir des dauphins non loin de là. Ils proposent également des repas très frais et copieux, la meilleure adresse de notre séjour!
Before we even arrived at Dolphin Bay Cabanas, Jelle answered questions for us almost daily. He and his wife picked us up at the airport in Bocas Del Toro, which we really appreciated since we had never been there before and didn't know how to hire a water taxi.
The cabanas are on Isla San Cristobol, about 20 minutes from Bocas. There are indigenous people on the island as well as a smattering of expats. Most of the island is jungle. Nights were super quiet except for the noise of the jungle including monkeys! Dolphin Bay Cabana property offers hiking trails through over a 100 acres of the island. Wildlife is abundant including butterflies, birds, snakes, and sloths to name a few.
You will have a real Panamanian experience if you stay here. We slept with all doors and windows open. The cabanas have traditional thatched roofs and are sparse, but they had everything we needed and they were super clean!
Jelle lives on the property with his wife Diana and mother Jannicka (I hope I spelled your name correctly, Jannicka!) Diana makes a superb supper every night and you will eat family style. Wine is included with dinner. The first night this felt strange but by the end of the week we truly felt like family! Breakfast was just the two of us in the restaurant or outside on the patio. They thoughtfully catered to our dietary restrictions and desires, which is not easy! Food was very reasonably priced, beer and bottles water were a $1, filtered water was free. Nightlife consisted of good conversation or watching the show from the rain and lightening!
When we wanted to explore, Jannicka made arrangements with a private, local guide and packed a cooler full of beverages. Troy was really great and we never would have found him w/o their help.
The swimming right outside the cabanas offers some snorkeling but it's an easy boat ride to tropical reefs of all shapes and sizes!
All in all it was a great trip and truly relaxing!!! We learned a lot about Panamanian culture and customs as well!
For an eco-resort experience, this is a 5-star!
This hotel is quite of the beaten track but surounded with beautiful forests filled with amazing wild life which makes for a great soundtrack from dusk till dawn so be sure to bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper. Make sure you arange a pick up with them because locals will try to overcharge you.
The family is a bit quirky but very nice, they tried to help us out the best they could. The food was delicous and this at a great price.
Lieu exceptionnel parce que l'environnement est magnifique et parce que l'accueil est très chaleureux. L'endroit est paisible du fait de sa situation (c'est une ile) et de sa capacité d'accueil : 1à personnes maxi réparties sur un grand espace au bord de la mer ce qui en fait une destination rare et très bon marché.
Dolphin Bay is a perfect place to disconnect, i went with my two kids a friend and a dog.
the kids were very happy, the spent all day long jumping from the dock, and i was able to monitor them from the social area (which has wifi), also for a small fee they sailed the Optimist in the bay.
The dog was super happy because he spent his days playing with the other super friendly dog.
my friend and i spent our time in the hammock and in the water wich was cool.
we choose to have breakfast lunch and dinner and it was a good choice, we had a special lasagna, thai influenced salad, pasta and other healthy meals. breakfast was also rich.
Only negative thing is that we decided to drive from Panama so even the route is magnificent you arrive in Bocas very tired.
Also i suggest to improve the focus on young generations focusing the experience in relax yes but also in sport activities, wake board, fishing or others.
The stay in dolphin bay cabaña was very special and definitively a highlight of our trip. From the moment we stepped out of the boat till the moment we left we felt very welcome in the familiar atmosphere - it was like staying with friends. Every night the family cooked delicious meals for us which we enjoyed together with them.
Espectacular. El lugar te deja sin palabras.. Especialmente al amanecer, la madre de Jelle nos dió un trato familiar y la presencia de Karim enriqueció mucho la estancia. El único inconveniente es la ubicación, alejada de donde parten los tours en bocas town, lo que te obliga a pagar transporte adicional algo caro... Volvería sin dudarlo!!
Jelle and Diana are a very nice couple and enjoyed the cabin very much.