"As for the positives, the other reviewers were spot on. The lack of other tourists and thus the peace and quiet was amazing. That, coupled with still being close to the necessities, makes the location nearly unbeatable. Just know that you will be removed from most other signs of humanity, and I personally would under no circumstance try and drive back to the house at night, especially after a couple of libations. You'll find out why after the first time you head down the dirt road and across the wooden road through the mangrove.
The only downside, and I really wrestled with docking a star for this, is that the bug situation is no joke. Besides scuba diving (which was great), the other thing I was really looking forward to was sitting out on the deck at night, having a drink, and enjoying the tranquility. The sun set at about 6pm, and shortly after that the insects would appear. My wife was pretty squeamish with the various bugs flying around, and my Kindle screen was a magnet for all sorts of interesting (but annoying) creatures. By the end of our stay we unfortunately found ourselves inside more than we would have liked. We also had to keep the door to the kitchen closed because of the sheer number of insects that would have taken up residence with it open. Perhaps screening-in the deck, like the house two doors down, would be a solution. We gladly would have given up some of the view in exchange for some relief from the bugs. Maybe the insects won't bother you, but it was a little disappointing for us.
As for the sand flies, the little red welts left by them don't itch, but they're not a good look for most people. The local bug spray in the blue bottle seemed to work, but it's also oil-based so you might keep the bugs away but you'll be asking for a serious sunburn. We went with the deet-based alternatives, and you're going to want to use it early and often.
Two other tips:
- I'm not sure how anyone could sleep on the bottom floors with the windows open and not get eaten alive by the bugs. We immediately opened the windows when we arrived, and within a couple of hours we had mosquitos and other guests in both downstairs bedrooms, despite the screen on the windows. Perhaps this isn't an issue on the top floor bedroom, but it certainly was downstairs.
- The Trooper is no longer a rental option, but you'll need 4WD. Work with Liz ahead of time and she'll find you an alternative."
Date of Stay: March 2015
Review Submitted: April 2, 2015