About the property
- Half Baths1
- Minimum Stay3 nights
Eco Aqua Over the Water Villa
Completed May 1st 2017, we are proud to offer our Casita del Mar, an eco aqua villa built over the Caribbean ocean in Dolphin Bay, on Isla Cristobal in the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama.
It is the sister villa to Casa del Mar which was built in 2012 which is located 3 lots over and can accommodate bigger groups of up to 6 guests. Both Villa's can be rented together to accommodate 13 guests total. See listing # 3789183
Both Casita del Mar and Casa del Mar are situated along a mile long coral reef approx. 25 minutes by boat from Bocas town/airport and 1 1/2 hours from the Costa Rica border.
Our goal is to offer guests an intimate experience with nature where you can relax in comfort while at the same time minimizing the impact on the environment.
The villa is made of local natural building materials offered by the rich resources of the region. The result is a close to nature ambiance. From you're private 30 foot covered terrace or swim deck, you will be able to observe impressive sunsets interrupted only by frolicking dolphins.
Feel immersed in the sounds of nature while lounging on the terrace sipping a drink or watching exotic birds while hiking on the well manicured hiking trails through 80 lush jungle acres located behind the villa. Snorkel the calm protected waters in front of the villa or paddleboard amongst the dolphins during their morning feed in the bay in front of the villa.
Learn how to coexist with the most advanced earth friendly renewable energy systems. Solar panels provide electricity to the house and double filtered rain water catchment supply pristine water.
You can rent the villa and be entirely independent or you can rent it with optional extras such as a chef (with or without shopping service) masseuse, boat with captain/tour guide and housekeeper.
You will have direct access to miles of great hiking trails by lagoons, on top of mountains, through orchards and secret lookouts.
The villa has 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. There is an outdoor hot shower as well.
The master bedroom is oversized and setup with a king bed, garden tub, and vanity as well as a reading/working area and separate toilet. The second bedroom has a queen bed and separate toilet with vanity as well as a single sofa bed. There is also a double sofa bed in the lounge to accommodate an additional couple. The downstairs full bathroom features a large walk-in shower, vanity and toilet.
The covered hardwood terrace features inviting hammocks and lounge chairs as well as outdoor dining and a BBQ grill. A gentile Caribbean breeze acts as the perfect climate control however there are ceiling fans throughout the villa and outdoor covered decking.
The well stocked open plan kitchen features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and custom cabinetry.
There is unlimited free use of stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and snorkel gear at the villa for guests use. There are beach and bath towels as well as access to laundry.
You will have access to our locally made Panga boat (including captain/tour guide) with roof and bench seating for guests who want to go exploring or customize there own tours (additional charges apply)
Customize tours could include: Zapatilla Islands, Starfish Beach, Red Frog Beach, Hiking, Bat Caves, Chocolate Farm, Zip Lining, Horse Back Riding, Scuba Diving, Sport Fishing, Salt Creek Indian Community tour to name just a few.
Upon arrival, our host will be waiting for you at the airport to take you shopping for provisions, then to the dock where you will enjoy a short 25 minute boat ride across the bay to Casita del Mar. You will be welcomed and given a tour of the property and amenities. Pickup, shopping assistance and drop off are included as part of your stay as well as 1 additional free trip to town to replenish supplies is included for a 5 night stay or longer. Additional trips to town for provisions can be arranged (additional charges apply) The villa has free wireless internet and cell service with a local network provider.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within one hour
- Calendar last updated:
- May 8, 2018
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
This is the place to book!
We've traveled all over the world and this was a really special place. The coral reef just outside your deck is reason alone to choose this house. I've never seen a reef like that. There's weren't a ton of fish but the colors made it one of the best reefs we've ever seen. Jose and the rest of the staff were amazing. Jose drives the boat and he took us to some amazing snorkeling places where there was nobody around. We hired Jose's son to cook dinner every night for only $25 a night...I would highly recommend that. The place is beautiful in a nice quiet area. It's really the perfect place! Lots of trails for walking and we saw monkeys, a sloth, really cool birds and then Victorio cut down some fresh coconuts for us to drink. Hope to go back soon with our kids.
Could have been so much better. Not enough room allowed below to fully explain all the good and bad.
There were things we loved about this stay. The home was beautiful, and the staff we did meet were wonderful. If the owners or caretakers had communicated more to us before the trip it would have been much better! Examples: The no-see-ums. If they had told us beforehand, we would have packed lightweight long sleeve shirts & pants. Instead, they told us when we walked in the door, and showed us a basket of long pants and told us to use those and coconut oil to protect ourselves. We did the best we could, but we were still covered in welts from the bites. If we had known, we would have packed accordingly. Also, it would have been nice to know that waterproof rain boots or hiking boots are required for hikes. They had several pairs, but the 3 of us all wear the same size (only 1 pair of that size), so we were either in tight boots or over-sized ones. My daughter and I did take a long hike one day and really enjoyed it, though it would have been even better if we had known and came prepared. We did a tour of Green Acres Chocolate farm which was fabulous, other than wearing the bad fitting boots. The other thing that REALLY should be communicated is "bring your own hard bottomed water/river shoes". They had 3 pairs and only 2 sort of fit. I had a pair, but they were soft on the bottom. There are sea urchins every 5 inches in the water, so no bare feet. It was very tricky getting on and off the paddleboard or kayak without stepping in the water. There were jellyfish everywhere for several days, but no mention in the "book" if they were stinging ones or not, so we just avoided going in the water. You can paddle out and swim past the coral, but you need to get on a kayak or SUP first. It rained on several of the days, which is fine, it is still beautiful, but we were stuck in the house- with one game, and 3 books (now 4 because I left one). Wifi only works sometimes. I did see the other house and saw that is where all of the books and games are. Why they couldn't move some of them to the newer house is beyond me. I emailed the caretaker about a beach trip, and she said she would plan it, but didn't get back to me because she was at the hospital with a friend. They told us to use Whatsapp, but since the Wifi didn't work most the time we couldn't. There was a phone, with numbers of some of the staff in it, but nobody ever made it clear who to call for what. Better pre-trip communication, and more attention given to casita guests. Never met caretaker.
Thank you for your detailed review. Most of our guests are experienced world travelers that carefully research and prepare for their trips. We are always available to answer guest’s questions.
No see-ums: Unfortunately, we share this paradise with no see-ums. For unprepared guests, we provide light long pants as well as coconut oil and instructions on how to protect yourself at dusk and dawn.
Rain boots and Water shoes: Provided as a curtesy but not required. It is unreasonable to expect us to provide multiple pairs in each size. Trail conditions vary greatly in a tropical rainforest. The fragile reef should not be stepped on, sea urchins help to ensure this.
Jelly Fish: On occasion, these fascinating creatures swim the reef, it is best to avoid the ones with tentacles. If contacted, mild skin irritated may last for an hour.
Books/Games: Based on your recommendation, we will increase our selection.
Wi-fi: Panama is a developing country and the Bocas area is considered remote. Speed and reliability is outside of our control and not to the same standards as your home country.
Beach Trip: This trip was scheduled twice, both times you backed out at the last minute. Both properties have private boats and captains available 24/7.
Communication: A local phone is provided with names and numbers saved in it. The guest book lists staff’s positions. There were 30+ emails in addition to numerous phone calls and in-person meetings with property staff.
Most importantly, it is critical that guests speak there wishes or concerns so that our staff can do everything possible to accommodate guests.
We are very disappointed that you did not fully enjoy your stay. We pride ourselves in exceeding our guest’s expectation and love our part in creating a once in a lifetime experience.
My family recently returned home from what is undoubtedly the most relaxing vacation we have ever had. Casita del Mar's setting and surroundings are like nothing we could have ever imagined. Better than the pictures. Beautiful. Tranquil. The house was immaculate and had everything we could want -- paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkeling gear were key. Plus comfortable beds. So much love, thought and care went into this place. We were mesmerized by the resident sloth, the daily dolphin sightings, and hearing the howler monkeys. The sheer nature of the isle is incredible. Julia, Erika and Jose were wonderful hosts. Attentive, reliable, knowledgeable, good people. Location and experience best for those who desire and love off-the-beaten-track experiences. For travelers not tourists. Chitras were brutal, but precautions can be made. Such a special place!
We couldn't ask for more!!!!
The house was impeccable And fully equipped
The place was perfect. Has a coral reef in front of the house
The owner was so helpful
The hosts Jose, Katherine, Victoriano were so nice and easy access to be in touch with them for anything we needed
And the best of all: we even have a private parrot ! He came one day to the house and stay there til we left
Thanks to everyone!!!!
I recommend this place without a doubt
Trip of a lifetime!
We stayed at Casita Del Mar for my 50th birthday, it was amazing! We loved snorkeling the reef 2 feet from the deck, no need to go to starfish beach when there were so many right off the front porch, and there was so much marine life including jellyfish that you could actually swim with. :} I was under the assumption that the dolphins would play in the bay, they were there mostly there to eat so they barely skimmed the top of the water but they were there all the time. We booked a time to go to the chocolate farm and paddle boarded there, I wouldn't recommend doing that unless you are sure the wind is not in your face, it is 3 miles away and the trip over was exhausting (the way back was much easier).
I do have to say that Erica, Jose and Victoriano were great hosts- we didn't want for anything. The perfect off the grid vacation, wish we could have stayed for 2 weeks.
So amazing...once in a lifetime experience!
We stayed at the Casita del Mar for 5 days with another couple. This house was absolutely perfect and we loved every moment here! We loved snorkeling right off the deck and it was absolutely breath taking! So much to see! While we stayed at this home we saw lots of starfish, sting ray, octopus, jelly fish and dolphins jumping in the bay! I highly recommend getting up early and going kayaking while the water is like glass, so relaxing and calming. We also hiked some on the path behind the house. It was amazing, but being forgetful as I am, I forgot to bring water, so we didn't so as far as we would have liked to. This place is amazing and I highly, highly recommend it! We drove from Panama City (8-9 hour drive) and left the car in Alimarante and had Jose (the boat captain) take us to the house. We brought most of our food with us. We ate at the family restaurant that is really close and the food was AMAZING! We visited the town of Bocas one night, went to Red Frog Beach one day and took a quick trip to Zapatilla one day, but didn't stay long since there was rain coming. Most of our time there was cloudy and rainy, but it didn't seem to matter at all. We had such an amazing time! Booking was super easy with Julia, Jose was wonderful, Erica was fantastic to deal with and does an amazing job! You definitely can't go wrong with this place!
Right off the front deck you can swim, snorkel, paddle board, kayak, fish or watch Dolphins. We have great hiking behind the house as well.
A short 5 minute boat ride across the bay you can enjoy a 1/2 day tour of the chocolate farm. We have lots of other activities within an hour away such as zipling, surfing and diving.