Our first impressions of Isla Bastimentos were not promising. We were just hoping that the guesthouse we had booked 3 months earlier – the Ushuaia Guesthouse Bastimentos – would ease our misgivings and provide us with a clean and relaxing place to chill out.
The Ushuaia Guesthouse Bastimentos
Where do I start? The Ushuaia Guesthouse is awful on so many levels.
First off, the guesthouse is rundown and filthy, with full rubbish bags all over the place. The room they gave us was on the first floor. The unprotected double mattress was small and thin with lumps all over: Really uncomfortable.
Whenever we needed to wash, there was no water. Carmen, the owner, advised us this was a general problem in Bastimentos. She suggested that maybe if we waited half an hour it would come on again…
Not great when you come back from the beach all sandy and salty. Whenever the water did work, it was at a dribble and it was cold.
Apart from a narrow wooden bench the room had zero storage – not even one hook on the wall. However, there were a couple of pictures on the wall, so we removed them to give us at least 2 hooks to hang our clothes.
The room had a warped wooden window frame – facing the jungle – that wouldn’t close. There was a good 2-inch open gap at the side of the frame. So apart from welcoming in all the jungle bugs there was no security.
Anyone outside could easily climb the drainpipe to our window on the first floor. Obviously, we wouldn’t be able to leave any valuables in the room.
We lit 2 mosquitoe coils to clear the bugs already in the room. However, after 2 hours the mosquitoes were still lining up close to the coils laughing at us. These Panamanian mozzies are tough little buggers.
Of course there was no mosquito net.
Carmen was always apologetic, but this didn’t solve anything. It was clear they didn’t really give a damn about their guests. After dark the reception area was locked up because the owner’s family slept there on the floor on mattresses.
The place really looked like a dosshouse.
The walls of the reception/breakfast area are decorated with faded and obscure heavy metal posters from a bygone age. A style that fits very well with the owners, who still like to share their musical tastes with their guests.
And don’t be confused by the breakfast area: You can’t get anything to eat here (which is probably just as well).
We met a family of Russians who had also booked to stay at the Ushuaia Guesthouse for 3 nights. If anything, they were more incredulous and horrified than we were.
We had booked in for 3 nights, for which we paid $105. We decided to leave after the first night for sanitory reasons (we couldn’t wash). Fortunately we were able to book ourselves back into the comparatively luxurious the Hotel Residencial La Terraza in Bocas town for our remaining 2 nights in Bocas Del Toro.
With the exception of one guesthouse in Kochi India (for which we paid just $10), the Ushuaia easily rates as the worst guesthouse we’ve ever had the misfortune to experience.
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