Lodging review – Hotel Bambito
Located in Cerro Punta, less than 10 minutes outside the small highland community of Volcan, Hotel Bambito is nestled in among the mountains and jungle. The nicely landscaped grounds and surroundings made me feel like I was back on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The receptionist spoke perfect English, even though I chose to practice my emerging Spanish on her. I think she got a kick out of that! Service at the hotel was fabulous and attentive every step of the way. There were few other quests present while I was there, so I may come back during high tourist season.
The room and view were comfortable and clean, with a mini fridge, TV (no English station), and coffee maker. I thought it was a bit odd that the coffee cups were tiny espresso cups though. I had to have 4 the next morning to wake up! There is no AC, but it’s not needed at this cool elevation.
I had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and am happy to report that I had the best steak dinner since arriving in Panama. It was medium rare, just as I requested, and tender – this is a real treat in Panama! The stay also includes breakfast, not a buffet, but a pre-set menu of typical American/Panamanian breakfast items. I had fried eggs and they were cooked perfectly. They have decent chef’s here. In fact, there is a trout pond on the grounds, where I was told I could fish and the chef would prepare my catch to order. I may do that next time. It would be a great family activity too.
Also included in the stay was a morning horseback ride. Since I did not come prepared with proper attire and shoes, I opted out of this activity but will definitely do it on my next visit. The hotel also boasts one of the only indoor heated pools in Panama! Next time, and I’m sure I’ll return, I will bring my suit. There are plenty of bird-watching and photo opportunities around the grounds.
It is a bit far to walk to the nearby town of Volcan, but it is worth exploring by catching a cab or bus into the town. There are several good restaurants and shops to explore. Bambito offers tours of several activities in the area, like a visit to the volcano, Volcan Baru. It is the highest point in Panama and I am told you can see both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea from the top.
There is more to do up here than I expected, so I plan to return more prepared for hiking, swimming, and horseback riding. I recommend this lodging choice for anyone who wants to check out a quiet and beautiful highland escape.