We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great resort for families ”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
Ranked #4 of 20 Hotels in Isla Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 April 2017 via mobile

We sought out Punta Caracol for a relatively affordable over the water option. I agree with some prior reviews that compare this to glamping. The price is for the location - not for high end luxury.

Our arrival was smooth- the resort has a driver pick you up at the airport and take you to the resorts dock. From there it is a pretty short 10-15 minute boat ride to the resort. No issues.

The room. We stayed in Luna 3- which is the farthest from the restaurant. We liked being on the end and having another cabin only on one side. The beds are adequately comfortable. There is power for languid ceiling fans and small lamps from solar but not enough to charge any devices- all charging and wifi happens at restaurant. There is no AC and the breeze does not reach well into the bedroom due to the very small window and heavy thatched roof. We tried to mitigate the fact that the bug nets block most of any residual breeze but found that tiny biting gnats fly right through the standard mosquito nets we bought. The tight weave blocks the no see ups but also the breeze. We had read about this so we also brought a mini air conditioner that charges on solar power and blows air across an ice pack. This was also a fail as the resort did not have a freezer as we inquired prior to the trip. They have an ice chest/box - so our gel pack wouldn't freeze. Anyway- it cooled off during the night so it was only uncomfortable during initial falling asleep. Of note - the showers also are mixed fresh and salt water but didn't leave you feeling too sticky. Overall OK.

The food- great when Panamanian- ceviche, local soups, etc. Breakfast was totally solid and the fresh fruit was usually pretty good. I don't recommend any seafood we had other than ceviche- the fish and shrimp we had were super super over cooked. Desserts again were best when local/simple. Do not expect gourmet and you will probably be satisfied.

The location- superb- plenty of coral and sea life. Water is clear but not crystal due to nearby mangroves, river silt. Endless safe entertainment for our teenage son. It's great to be able to relax while he amused himself for hours.

The staff- mostly really nice but service is not a priority here. A couple of examples. When you email the resort - you are told that you need to pay for boat transfers to town. In fact- they don't charge you if you take one of the planned trips made by staff. However there is no schedule so you can't plan any activities in advance. In the AM they remain cagey about the return times which is a little stressful. It would be much better if the resort just had two AM trips and two PM trips on a set schedule. The staff are also a bit difficult about helping you with arrangements. For example- since they wouldn't give us a time for AM boat- I couldn't arrange pickup by Flying Pirates for ATV rental. So I asked manager to call flying pirates to coordinate once they figured it out. He was not great about it and asked me what their number was. Really- it's the top rated activity on the tiny island you run a resort in and you don't have their number on a list? The boat trip we arranged through the hotel also no showed- but they did call and get a replacement- although they seemed totally unaware of the advance arrangements we had made.

Overall. 4 but not a 5 star experience. Greater happiness through lowered expectations.


Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
4  Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (315)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

8 - 12 of 315 reviews

Reviewed 7 March 2017

Me and my two sisters visited the Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge in February 2017 and we had a great time. The staff was very nice and anything that you needed they worked to make your stay wonderful. I would recommend this place to get to know your family.

Room Tip: Prepare to leave the windows open to catch the breeze there is no AC in the rooms but once you jump...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Lasonya L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2017

20 min boat ride from Bocas del Toro town takes you to only by boat reachable small resort entirely on the gorgeous clean and transparent water. You don't need snorkeling gear to watch numerous fish, star fish and sea urchins, including elegant manta rays. There is no typical beach at the Lodge, but you can swim of your acqua lodge and also use free kayaks. A nice sandy beach is another 20 min boat ride away. We went once, as we preferred quietness and desolation of the resort. There was internet available if really needed, but no TV and no world drama while there. Restaurant served excellent freshest food and fish was delicious. Service was friendly, efficient and just about perfect. We met the owner and had a nice friendly discussion about everything and felt really welcome.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2017

Before planning my trip to Bocas del Toro, I read a lot of reviews online; not only of Punta Caracol but also of many other places nearby. I finally selected Punta Caracol and I can say that after spending 4 days there, I am very pleased with my choice.

The hotel ("aqua-lodge") is a little pricey but I think it was worth every penny. The staff I dealt with were friendly, accommodating and very experienced. We first arrived in Bocas town on a flight that showed up an hour early - when we went to the hotel's office in the Bocas airport, we were greeted with smiles and the attendant said that even though we showed up much earlier than expected, she would take care of us. She quickly called a cab for us and less than 30 minutes later (after a quick boat ride to the lodge) we were warmly welcomed by the staff.

The suites are rustic but beautiful, are very clean, and the views (as you can see online) are near perfect. The water is warm, you can see dozens of fish species from your deck alone, and the atmosphere is extremely serene. Given that the place is so small (only 9 huts), it feels like a family affair; we quickly got to know each of the staff members and also the other guests, which is not something that you'll experience if you stay in a bigger place.

I read many reviews about the food online, and I can say that it exceeded my expectations. Each meal was presented beautifully, on-par with any fine-dining experience on land, and the service was excellent. A few of the meals fell short of being spectacular, but the food was fresh, it was served quickly, and the portions (when considering you get an appetizer, entree, and desert for each person) were large. I will say that the drinks are not cheap, and can add up quickly if you're staying for a long time - I recommend purchasing your own drinks in Bocas town (maybe 10 minute boat ride from the lodge, and they'll ferry you back and forth for free) and staying away from the bar if possible.

And finally, the excursions - we took a day trip with Charlie (an excellent "Capitan") that took us to Dolphin Bay to look for dolphins (we saw several, though not a lot), snorkeling on a spectacular coral reef, lunch at a beautiful restaurant over the water, and finally to Red Frog Beach on Isle Bastimentos. For the $45 we each spent, it was well worth it - the snorkeling was world-class, the food amazing and Red Frog is beautiful though crowded. Isle Bastimentos has been in the news a lot lately, but there were police officers all over the beach, and the place felt very safe.

Charlie, Lionel, Pilar and all other staff members we encountered were great. As someone who has managed hotels for years, I can say that this place has got it right.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Chad A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2017

A surprise week-end gift from my son, an international DJ, while we were in Panama City.
Punta Caracol aqua lodge is located, on Isla Colon in the Bocas Del Toro province of Panama, close to the Costa Rica border. A 45 minutes plane ride from Marcos Gelabert (Albrook) airport, Panama City to the Bocas Del Toro airport,
From the airport, it is a short cab ride to the boat terminal to board the water taxi for the 20 minutes ride to the Lodge. Nb: the trip from the local airport to the lodge is courtesy of the Lodge.
What a sight to greet us, nine eco-friendly cabins with thatch roof, sitting on stilts over pristine clear waters of a coral reef in a totally virgin and natural environment.
We were greeted by the owner, his mom, and his friendly staff
Simple message was “Mi Casa es su casa”
Great bio, home-made food, by lady chefs; 2-3 options daily; great service.
Thank you Pilar, Luis, Jorge, Ishmael, Lionel to name a few.

Sit back, relax, enjoy the amazing sunrise and sunset; watch the fish frolicking below your hut, jump into the crystal clear waters from the deck, water shoes is suggested; sip rum/cocktails on your terrace, go snorkeling and kayaking; take a tour of the mangroves.
Do not forget to enjoy the half-day trip to Playa Estrella, it is included in your package, Playa Estrella (starfish beach) is a 15 minutes water taxi ride from the lodge;
Lounge or hammock under the palm trees; order some grilled fish or grilled lobster at the beach restaurant. Watch the chef walk over to the beach and pick them from the cage/net.
.
This lodge is a truly rustic, bio and eco-friendly experience, It was a serene welcome change from the Hard Rock Megapoils we stayed in Panama city. There is no TV, no electricity for your electronic toys; but there is a communal charging dock for cell phones, Wi-Fi is available in the restaurant; no Aircon, so at night simply enjoy the sea breeze, and the fan under your mosquito net. Yes bugs (mangroves); bring repellent.
Wonderful experience off the beaten tracks, in harmony with nature; say rustic camping without the hardships.

Room Tip: all rooms are 360 over a pristine coral reef
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Isla Colon
7.7 km away
Hotel Palma Royale
Hotel Palma Royale
#3 of 13 in Bocas Town
429 reviews
7.6 km away
Tropical Suites Hotel
Tropical Suites Hotel
#1 of 13 in Bocas Town
558 reviews
7.6 km away
Hotel Bocas del Toro
Hotel Bocas del Toro
#2 of 13 in Bocas Town
400 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
7.5 km away
Hotel Olas
Hotel Olas
#11 of 13 in Bocas Town
361 reviews
12.6 km away
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & S...
#1 of 3 in Isla Bastimentos
538 reviews
27 km away
Popa Paradise Beach Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge

Address: Punta Caracol, Isla Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Colon
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range: RM1,314 - RM2,199 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Punta Caracol Acqua Hotel Isla Colon
Punta Caracol Acqua Resort
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge Panama/Isla Colon

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing