El Otro Lado is located inside Portobelo National Park, just over an hour from Panama City. The Caribbean, the tropical forest, an idyllic lagoon and the San Fernando colonial fort surround and blend in harmoniously with this magical retreat.
With views of the Caribbean and the lush jungle over the bay, the four “casitas” or cottages offer the allure of a tropical experience with dedication to the preservation of the quirky crafts and original traditions of the town and people of Portobelo. Living this experience transports you to our origins, with all the comforts of modern life.
El Otro Lado is private, secluded and secure, ideal for families, groups of friends or private executive retreats. Every detail in arranging a retreat is carefully considered so that you are free to enjoy the property in its entirety. Experience the feeling of being at home without having to lift a finger as each member of the staff is dedicated to your wellbeing, providing you with a totally tailor made stay.
The perfect set-up for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of your everyday work routine and intense day-to-day activity. This magical spot in the north-eastern area of Panama offers the choice of two accommodation options, or even better, both together:
• Las Casitas facing the sea, can host 5 couples
• Casa Grande, for 6 adults and 4 children (up to 14 years)
Forest House: A one-bedroom villa tucked between a soothing waterfall and the rainforest, with views of surrounding Portobelo Bay. This 65m2 house displays examples of the work of local artists, together with molas (decorative fabrics painted by Guna Indians) and an interesting collection of Turkish caps. Sleeps 2.
Sea House: Thanks to its unique location – boasting nature together with views over the rainforest and sea from the terraces – staying here is an experience of pure energy. Its 65 m2 contains a collection of African masks made of plastic waste material in the most genuine representation of Arte Povera. Sleeps 2.
Sun House: At the edge of the rainforest, this one-bedroom villa has an open plan living room, kitchenette, exceptional views of the bay from its two terraces, exclusive privacy and all the elements for maximum comfort. Sun House is decorated with a collection of Congo headgear with paintings by local artists from the Portobelo Workshop and evocative photographs by Sandra Eleta, one of Panama’s most recognized contemporary authors. Sleeps 2.
Spirit House: Almost touching the sea, Spirit House is made up of a living room and two individual suites and has unique views of the bay from the terrace. It has been decorated with an amazing array of paintings and sculptures created by artists from the Portobelo Workshop, colonial chairs, indigenous handicrafts made by Guna and Embera Indians, contemporary photography and European art. Sleeps 4.
Casa Grande: The elegant geometry of the building, with its ample terraces surrounding the rooms, is an ideal setting that emphasises the extraordinary view of the Bay of Portobelo. Sleeps 10.
Spanning nearly 800 m2, the residence is arranged over two floors.
Ground floor: includes a centrally air-conditioned living room, which can be easily prepared for private or business meetings, plus a bar and outdoor dining.
The three suites, which are located on the second floor, each with their own character and unique elements, surrounded by spacious terraces with exceptional views of the jungle and the bay.
The construction is designed to respect the privacy of the guests so that despite the ample areas of space, it also incorporates nooks that add both warmth and privacy. This makes it a unique and picture-perfect place to unwind in relaxing and beautiful surroundings.
ALL RATES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, boat transfer, wifi, swimming pool, daily beach trip, daily evening cultural presentation, a tour of the property, mangrove walk on board the Faraona, use of kayak, paddle board and snorkelling equipment, mojito or ceviche class. Housekeeping service is offered daily.
Most of our team members are born and raised in Portobelo. They are perfectly familiar with every corner of the estate and its surroundings; take advantage of their knowledge and their ability to create unique experiences.
DINING / CUISINE
Fusion Cuisine is a delicious mix designed to cater to different palates, and which unites the local food culture with European, American and Oriental traditions.
The cuisine combines local, fresh, organic, tropical ingredients to present a simple yet creative menu.
The idea is to invite you on a journey through the textures and flavours of the different dishes. Professional gourmets reveal that the secret of the preparation lies in reaching a balance between flavours, colours and textures. Our chefs Juan Ríos and Mirna Chavarría are trained by culinary experts and work with this formula on a daily basis.
Special meal requests and private dinners can be arranged, such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
ABOUT THE AREA
Portobelo is one of the richest cultural destinations in Latin America thanks to its thrilling history and traditions. Located on the Caribbean Coast, it was one of the most important settlements in America during the colonial period, and a vast majority of the gold and wealth that sailed back to Spain passed through this town, as did some of the most infamous pirates and privateers of the period like Francis Drake, whose body lies in a lead coffin in the depths of the bay.
In 1976, the National Park, and four years later, the ruins of the fortifications together with the nearby Fort San Lorenzo, were recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. More recently, UNESCO recognized the “living heritage” of the ritual and festive expressions of Congo culture which embodies the pride and identity of the black rebel that took over the town during the colonial decadence. Culture, heritage, sea and jungle meld together creating an unforgettable experience for the town’s visitors.
Portobelo National Park was the first protected wildlife area of Panama, made up of 86,000 acres, 20% of which are marine. It protects both coral reefs and coastal forests. This coastline includes important stretches of coral reefs, mangrove swamps, coastal lagoons and beautiful beaches. Within the park is one of the more beautiful natural harbours of the Caribbean, the Bay of Portobelo.
A short drive from bustling Panama City, visitors can arrive by private transfer arranged by us and for a discovery trip, one is able to land nearby the property, by helicopter. The usual way to arrive on the estate is by boat which is arranged by the estate team.
Alternative ways to arrive are also possible.