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Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

TRAVEL RELATED QUESTIONS

  • How do we get to Bocas?
    Most guests travel by air between Panama City and Isla Colon (Bocas Town). Air Panama has at least two flights each day departing Panama City and returning from Bocas. The flights are usually early in the morning (6:30 am PAC to BOC and 7:40 am BOC to PAC) and late afternoon (4:00 pm PAC to BOC and 5:10 pm BOC to PAC). During high season Air Panama schedules additional flights throughout the day. Tranquilo Bay will meet you at the airport and transfer you out to Isla Bastimentos.

    Some guests will travel from Boquete to Bocas by land. In this instance there are several options for transfers to and from Tranquilo Bay. We can arrange to meet you at an eco-lodge on the mainland and make the transfer direct to Tranquilo Bay or we can schedule a time and location to pick you up on Isla Colon. To get to Isla Colon from the mainland you will take a water taxi from Almirante.

    A few guests are traveling from Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro. Some of these guests travel by plane in which case we will pick them up at the airport the same as anyone traveling from Panama City. Others will travel by land and either meet us on the mainland at the designated eco-lodge or at a specified location on Isla Colon.
  • What should we pack?
    We suggest the following items in addition to your regular hot weather vacation clothes, etc.:
    • Rain jacket
    • Sunscreen
    • After sun lotion
    • Bug repellant
    • Water shoes or tennis shoes which can get wet (for hiking)
    • Long pants & lightweight long sleeve shirt for jungle hiking
    • Lightweight long sleeve shirt for water activities – in case of too much sun
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
  • Can you help us with our airfare and transportation?
    Yes, we can help you with a variety of additional services. Please see our Rates page for more information.

PACKAGE RELATED QUESTIONS

  • What is the difference between all-inclusive pricing and an a la carte vacation?
    All of our packages include:
    • Round trip transfers from Isla Colon to Tranquilo Bay (on Wednesdays and Fridays, otherwise this is an additional $100 fee for the boat not per person)
    • Deluxe air-conditioned cabana with ocean view or jungle view
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day of your stay
    • Non-alcoholic beverages, Panamanian beer and rum, House Wine. Other alcoholic beverages are available. We reserve the right to charge for the beverages not included in this list.
    • Use of our expansive facilities and grounds
    • Use of our equipment
    • Access to biologist-trained naturalist guides for activities on our grounds or off of our dock
    • Basic domestic gratuities
    • Panamanian Sales and Hotel Taxes (2012)

    Your expenses once you arrive at Tranquilo Bay are limited. You might have a small bar tab. You may have excursions that you elect to add on during your stay. Other than these items you will have any gratuities you choose to give to your guides and or the other staff.

    Tranquilo Bay is a small eco-lodge in a secluded location.  You have access to the ocean and the jungle.  We are next to a marine national park, thus we have no neighbors and our grounds are completely private.  We have two full-time biologist guides on staff for your tours.  Our tours are conducted solely for our guests in a completely secure manner.  Due to our location, which puts you in the middle of the jungle, we must catch or own water, supply our own power and bring all materials in by boat.  

    An a la carte vacation:
    You will manage all of the following items for your party during your vacation:
    • Transfers between the airport and your accommodations
    • Accommodations
    • Meals
    • Beverages
    • Access to jungle and ocean activities – generally group tours
    • Rental of equipment for said jungle and ocean activities
    • Gratuities
    • Sales and Hotel Taxes

    We cater to parties interested in nature and the activities within the jungle and ocean.  There are other accommodations in the archipelago that will cost much less, but they do not provide you the value we do with the entire package we have.  Any other accommodations you consider in the archipelago will be missing something from this package.  Location and privacy change, comfort in your accommodations, and quality of equipment, facilities and guides is vastly different.  No other business in the archipelago provides biologist trained guides or the activities that are all available on or from our facilities.
  • What does per person double occupancy mean?
    Our rates are based upon two people per cabana. If there are two people staying in the cabana they both pay the amount stated. If there is one person staying in the cabana then that person pays the regular rate plus the single person occupancy fee. Children fifteen and under staying in the cabana with their parents are one-half of the adult price on the Close to Shore and Within the Reef packages. There are no discounts for children on the Reef and Beyond package.

FOOD RELATED QUESTIONS

  • I am a vegetarian or have a food allergy, can you accommodate me?
    Yes, We can accommodate you. Our Guest Information Form has a few sections that ask you to provide us with information about anyone in your party's food allergies or health requirements as well as for what everyone in your party does eat.
  • Can we eat the fruit, salads and vegetables at your location? Can I drink the water? Do you have any issues with traveler's illnesses?
    Yes, you can eat the fruits, salads and vegetables at our location. We do not have problems with our water, thus no traveler's illnesses. All of our water is rainwater. It goes through 5 micron filtration and UV light prior to entering any of our buildings. All of our water inside the buildings goes through this same treatment. Our water is safe to drink. We wash and/or peel fruits and vegetables so that you are free to eat whatever you would like to eat when you are staying with us.
  • What do you make on-site with regard to the food?
    If we can make a high quality product on-site we do. We prefer to carry bulk items out to Tranquilo Bay and prepare food from those items instead of purchasing things in small packages, etc. Thus our breads, chips, desserts and ice creams are all made on site. They are delicious!

FACILITY RELATED QUESTIONS

  • Why is Tranquilo Bay a good fit for family travelers?
    The owners live on-site with their families. As such, we are familiar with providing support to families with babies or grandparents traveling with them. We believe it is important for each member of the family to be comfortable and happy. We have a variety of staff members to meet your needs at Tranquilo Bay.  The staff to guest ratio varies between 1:1 and 1:3 depending upon the season. Our full-time biologists, Ramon and Natalia, provide you with lots of information about all of the nature and wildlife found within Bocas del Toro. We also have our resident Labrador retriever, Fula, who does what she can to improve your stay with us.
  • Why is Tranquilo Bay a good fit for couples?
    Couples traveling to Tranquilo Bay will find a great mix of “alone” time and more social times. Each party has its own cabana to relax in and spend time on the porch or otherwise enjoying our tropical location. Your excursions may be with other guests or on your own depending upon the other guests on site for your trip. Most meals are communal where you can share your adventures with the other guests.
  • Why is Tranquilo Bay a good fit for groups?
    We are happy to host groups either on their own or as a part of the rest of the guests we have on site in any given week. For groups of eight or more we can make special arrangements for you. Please contact us to give us the specifics for your group and we will get back to you with a variety of options.
  • Why is Tranquilo Bay a good fit for individual travelers?
    Tranquilo Bay is in a secluded location. Individual travelers looking to get away from it all find Tranquilo Bay to be just what they needed. We eat meals communally each night so individual guest mingle with any of our other guests that are onsite at that time. This may include families, couples or other individual travelers.
  • What about bugs?
    We do not have a bug problem. We do run into small no-see-ums or chitras at dusk and dawn. If you will be out during these times on your porch or doing an activity we suggest that you wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt or use insect-repellant. Otherwise, if you are hiking in the jungle we suggest the same attire. On most other excursions these types of precautions are not necessary. Since our cabanas were built for air-conditioning they are airtight and insects are not an issue within the cabanas themselves.
  • What about laundry?
    The weight limit in the small planes is somewhat small and you are likely to get dirty on some of your excursions so, we are happy to do some laundry for you. We do not charge for this service, but we do ask that you remember the domestic staff provided this service to you when you determine the gratuity you leave for the staff. During the rate dry spells in the jungle, we may need to limit the amount of laundry we do for each guest.
  • What about security?
    We haven't had any security issues to date. Each of the cabanas has a lock on the door. If you have any valuable items that you would like stored we can store them for you in the main building. Most guests do not lock the door on their cabanas. Our location is secluded. There is only a limited number of people with access to our facilities. As such, we do not have security issues that other locations may have.

EXCURSION RELATED QUESTIONS

  • Do you offer your excursions or tours separately to people not staying at Tranquilo Bay?
    No, our excursions and tours are available only to our guests. We do auction off onsite tours during our low season for certain charities and or provide such to local schools as an education experience for the children.
  • Are all excursions full-day?
    We are extremely flexible. Excursions can be full-day or partial-day depending upon what you choose to do. Unfortunately, the price does not change much if you only take a partial-day excursion as most of the expense of the excursion is in the transportation to and from the excursion not in the length of the excursion itself.

    Certain excursions are full day, but we will explain this to you as you are reviewing your options at the beginning of your stay and each night as we make a plan for the following day.
  • Are your tours semi-private or private?
    Tranquilo Bay has three boats, four captains and four guides available to you during your stay with us. Generally we would consider our tours to be semi-private. We do try to manage excursions so that we do not make those specific excursions that are fuel and time intensive on a daily basis. We also manage the load between our guides and guests to maximize our guests’ enjoyment. If a particular excursion is best limited to six people we are not going to take ten people on that excursion we will break it up into two groups. We frequently include more than one party on excursions if it is appropriate. However, if one party includes a more mature group we will not include young children in that party’s outings unless the party specifically requests that we do so.

    If you want to book private tours then you should book the Reef and Beyond package which allows us to dedicate a boat and a guide to your party specifically.
  • Why don't you list diving as an excursion?
    Tranquilo Bay is centrally located in the archipelago and only a short boat ride away from a variety of depths and currents to accommodate all snorkeling skill levels. All snorkeling excursions depart directly from our facility where our staff will handle the preparation, maintenance and portage of the equipment.

    If you want to dive we can arrange this with one of the dive shops on Isla Colon. Diving requires a different set of equipment and staff than we have for Tranquilo Bay. As such, we outsource this particular activity to the professionals. With up to a few divers we transport the divers to Isla Colon for dives directly with a dive shop. If there is a larger group of divers, we can arrange in advance with a dive shop to have dives leave from our facility.

FIELD NOTES

FIELD NOTES

Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge Logo

(713) 589-6952 (USA)
(507) 838-0021 (PANAMA)
(713) 344-1125 (USA FAX)

INFO @ TRANQUILOBAY.COM

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