Aside from the first night, I stayed in some nice places in Panama–even the hostel in Gamboa was great for the price and location. My favorite accommodation was Sierra Llorona Lodge outside Colon–it was the most relaxing part of my vacation (and probably the most relaxation I’ve had in a few years). Ida made the stay even more relaxing by being a great host and serving some of the best food I ate in Panama.
The only problem I had with this rainforest paradise was that my driver from Panama City had no idea where it was. He called a few times and asked for directions along the road more than a few times. I also paid twice as much as I would have if I had found a driver who knew where the lodge was.
On the first day, I was the only guest (unless you count the tailless whip scorpion that scared the hell out of me in the bathroom). In the subsequent day and a half, there was only one other guest–an Italian photographer who taught me to appreciate the spiders and insects of the rainforest.
Sierra Llorona is situated on more than 200 acres of private rainforest. There are trails all around the property, but it’s best to ask for a guide because it’s better than accidentally stepping on a snake (it took me five minutes to even see it in the middle of the trail when Jorge pointed it out).
I was a bit worried that it’d be difficult staying in Sierra Llorona without air conditioning, but the ceiling fan was enough at night. It didn’t feel nearly as hot as it did in Panama City. The lizards and other wildlife were a bit noisy at night, but it just gave me an opportunity to nap in the numerous hammocks around the property.
For anyone who just wants to take a hike around the rainforest of Sierra Llorona, they charge $5 per day. But it’s so much better to spend a few days there to relax in hammock.