Our rental is a recently built house, located at Bastimentos Island in the Salt Creek area, within 20 minutes from Colon Island town and airport.
House rental comes with two kayaks, one single and one double, one small sailboat and one 18 feet powerboat. Powerboat can be used only with a furnished driver at extra expense. Boat transportation can be provided to and from house at extra expense.
Gregorio is the one you are going to deal with for what you need once you are at the house - he is exceptionally accommodating. His wife does a great job housekeeping to get rid of the sand incessantly tracked in, etc. His kids are usually present at the dock once you come in from town or fishing to help pack your stuff in. We found that a buck and a pack of cookies for each kid put a huge smile on their face for their help! The beach is very eroded and trees are slowly going into the ocean one by one - to keep what is left a significant break wall and more sand would be needed. There is a BBQ available if you ask for it. Bring a Spanish book if you do not know Spanish - it helps a lot! Bring antihistamines and anti-itch cream as the no-seeums do get bad and you will itch. Putting bug repellent on before dusk helps but some will bite anyway. Soaking yourself in the ocean helps immensely (bring a few cervezas). The local people of Salt Creek are amazing and very welcoming. We visited a few times and did the bat cave tour in the mud - a very difficult go in the slippery mud but we laughed and called it Salt Creeks WeightWatchers program. Next door we found David to be a great neighbour as well as on the other side Marty, Erin, Daniel and Thorinn were all great to us! Their Chef, Alfonso creates some amazing dishes. The house and property need a cash injection to fix things like towel racks and window louvres - the outside beach front is what needs the most help before the ocean claims what is left of the trees. This house is a one couple house - walls are not to the ceiling so bathroom sound is throughout the house and the one shower is in the very big ensuite. The surrounding islands are also amazing - we explored a lot so if you plan on doing so, budget for gas @ $3.80/gallon (current). Beer and Clos wine are inexpensive so stock up when in town. Be respectful and friendly with the locals, this is their home - we found by integrating ourselves with them, they watched out for us and our stuff. We loved it here and would come again in a heartbeat! Cant wait to get back here!!!
My husband and I stayed here last February and had mixed feelings. First, let me say that the owner, Albert, is very responsive and helpful and has built a great house in a great location. We never had a problem with electricity or water and had good (for where you are) internet access. We couldn't make the TV work, but that's not why we came so that wasn't a big deal. The pictures on this site and the house's website are out of date. The house is NOT secluded. It is in the middle of what is now a "resort" called Azul Paradise. The backyard is the path for the locals from Salt Creek to walk to work at this and the Al Natural and Cas Cayuco resorts also located on this part of the island. The living room has no curtains and is exposed to the path by windows at all times. The bedroom faces the resort's tiki bar located about 50 feet away and has a sheet hung for a curtain. The beach has had significant erosion since these pics were taken so the water is now much closer than pictured and the beach immediately in front of the house is tree rooted sand. The view is of the dock to one side and Azul Paradise's over the water cabins to the other. One positive to this is we were very welcomed by the staff of Azul Paradise and had access to the their amenities almost as if we were their guests. They were great and even let us run a tab with them for the week! We also had Gregorio take us to dinner one night at Al Natural which was a fantastic experience. Don't leave your shoes or other personal belongings out on the porch overnight. We had a pair of flip flops (my husband's only pair of shoes) and a flash light stolen off the porch one night while we slept. Not a huge deal but we were very surprised. We then had to pay for gas to go back to Bocas Town and buy new shoes. That was okay since we needed water anyway. I would highly recommend buying everything you need - water and all other provisions when you arrive in Bocas Town if you don't want to pay for the gas and spend time making trips to town while you are there. We really enjoyed use of the kayaks and paddling around our end of the island. We were not able to use the Hobie Cat. We didn't have access to the mainsail and Gregorio was very reluctant to give it to us. We got the feeling other guests had needed rescue and he was trying to save himself from this trouble. Gregorio was nice to us but our Spanish and his English is extremely limited, so communication was a struggle at times.
Had the best time of my life in 2014, with family members. All services were provided without hiccups. The Owner's commitments were fully provided better than he stated. He (Albert) makes sure that everything is as he describes in his memorandum of sales. Great service provided by his Captain, Gregorio. Very humble person and ready to meet you expectations. Great place to be....highly recommended!!
TIPS: Vacationers should be prepared in advanced to have everything ready for this type of getaway due to airliners and airport hiccups.
I rated our stay 5 stars not because everything was "perfect" (what is?) but because it was better than expected and we were happy we ended up booking this house. We were worried we should stay closer to, or on, Isla Colon but, once we got oriented we realized it didn't really matter. All travel is by boat anyway so being in Salt Creek wasn't a big deal - just budget for the cost of gas for the boat. Sure the boat ride over was a little longer than expected (~35 min) but, we enjoyed it as it gave us our first look at the area. The beach is LITERALLY steps down from the house and it's idyllic: pretty, calm and warm. The Hobie Cat and kayaks were a true bonus and Gregorio's willingness to take us whenever/where ever ensured we never felt "stuck". It's also on the edge of the forest so, we went for a BIG hike to a bat cave with one of the villagers and got to really see/hear/smell a beautiful rainforest. I wouldn't pay any mind to that whiny review posted earlier either (they should never have gone to an eco-house in a national park if they were more concerned about air conditioning and bugs! In a RAINFOREST...go figure!) The power and hot water were reliable for us; open windows + ceiling fans provided all the breezes for cooling down we needed. Plenty of towels were provided and the kitchen was well-stocked with equipment. Sure, the stove-top coffee maker could use a replacement, but it worked just fine. We were happy we brought in a thorough supply of groceries though and you should assume you need to bring EVERYTHING in including lots of water. Got topped up with some goodies from the locals (mmm! fresh fish, coco bread + young coconuts!). Really sweet people, neither pushy nor greedy, just earthy and gentle and ask fair prices for their goods or services. The porch offered wonderful sunrise AND sunset views and we enjoyed going for big walks down the beach. Unfortunately, the visibility of the water wasn't great while we were there, but that's just nature. Regardless, you can just walk into water with a sandy bottom and then rinse off at the handy outdoor shower. We simply approached this house as a "tropical cottage": a nice, well laid out, comfortable rental that was just what we were looking for to get away from it all. BE WARNED! The no-see-ums were RUTHLESS from dusk until about 8 PM! Get coconut oil from locals IMMEDIATELY! Albert, thanks for lending your house and you are very lucky to have a loyal assistant like Gregorio. What a sweet man!
Muy linda casa y comoda, estuvimos con mi famila (5 personas) nos encanto el lugar, muy tranquilo y Gregorio (el capitan) es lo mejor!!!! No tuvimos ningun problema con nada, un paraiso
Muchas gracias Albert y Gregorio por todo
NO HOT WATER during stay, we left after 3 nights. Found out instant hot water heater was broken and had to be replaced.
NO POWER at night, which means NO lights, NO FANS from 9pm to 8am, then local caretaker turned on generator. Solar powered home is WAY underpowered so no power at night, Translation: HOT, HOT, HOT and Bugs, Bugs, Bugs Did I mention that the outside doorways (one four panel "louvered" door and a 3 panel louvered door, (see photos) had no screens and the louvers don't close fully so any flying or creeping thing is an unwelcome guest?
The owner said it was an unfortunate number of events and he would refund our money.... we are still waiting!
Home advertises an "ice maker" ... that would be the single plastic icecube tray in the freezer/fridge that doesn't stay on during the night when power goes off.
Home advertises a "coffee maker", DON;T expect a Mr. Coffee type as that is an electrical device and they are hard to find in this home. They do have an old fashion style coffee pot you can heat on the stove top (assuming they have gas when you are there)
This home is a nightmare, there are lovely homes next door that rent out, that are all screened and that have power and hot water all day and all night. Try one of them, not this one.
I am also an owner with 3 properties listed on vrbo and I would expect truth in advertising from other owners.
Island Bastimentos Salt Creek 20 minutes from Island Colon. There are two National Parks in the immediate vicinity.
Other Activities: Boating, Kayaking