Tag Archives: short

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Islay Bastimentos Bocas Del Toro

Ushuaia Guesthouse Bastimentos 😱 Panama

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Discover the unvarnished truth about the Ushuaia Guesthouse nestled in Bastimentos, Panama, as we unveil an honest review of this accommodation anomaly.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time adventurer, delve into our firsthand experience to uncover whether this guesthouse lives up to its promises or falls short of expectations.



Isla Bastimentos

Our first impressions of Isla Bastimentos in Panama were not promising. We were just hoping that the guesthouse we had booked there 3 months earlier – the Ushuaia Guesthouse – would ease our misgivings and provide us with a clean and relaxing place to chill out.

More on Isla Bastimentos

The Ushuaia Guesthouse Bastimentos

Where do we start? The Ushuaia Guesthouse is awful on so many levels.

First off, the building is rundown and filthy, with full rubbish bags all over the place. The room they gave us was on the first floor of this gallery guesthouse. 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…

It didn’t.

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.

Panama City to Bocas del Toro

Ushuaia Guesthouse Bastimentos

Ushuaia Entrance – Welcome to our Nightmare

The Room from Hell

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 on which 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.

Ushuaia Guesthouse Bastimentos

That’s as closed as it’s going to get

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.

*other* Hotels in Bocas Del Toro

Ushuaia Guesthouse Bastimentos

Mosquito coil? … Good luck with that…

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.

Get me out of here!

We had booked in for 3 nights, for which we paid $105. We decided to leave after the first night for sanitary reasons (we couldn’t wash).

Fortunately we were able to book ourselves back into the comparatively luxurious  Hotel Residencial La Terraza in Bocas town for our remaining 2 nights in Bocas Del Toro.

Book Hotel Residencial La Terraza

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.

Want to avoid more places like the Ushuaia Guesthouse?  Check out our Panama Roundtrip. You may also like:


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Buses & Jeepneys in the Philippines

Philippines Buses & Jeepneys 🚍

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Explore the vibrant tapestry of Philippine transportation using its iconic buses and jeepneys. From bustling city streets to scenic rural routes, these colorful vehicles serve as the lifeline of Filipino commute culture.

Discover the blend of modern convenience and cultural charm as you journey through the Philippines, where each ride promises an adventure of its own.



Your Public Transport Options

During our trip through the Philippines, we had the opportunity of trying out a myriad of transport options. In addition to Habal Habal motorcyle rides and Trikes and Taxis, there were a few tips we picked up using the Philippines Buses & Jeepneys.

Which Colour Bus?

Always take the yellow air-conditioned buses. The price difference between these and the standard red buses is minimal, but they are faster and more roomy.

They also don’t stop as much and don’t get so overcrowded (oh, and they’re air conditioned 😉 ).

Philippines Buses & Jeepneys

Cebu bus terminal: Take the yellow aircon buses

Avoid Large Denomination Notes

Keep a pocketful of small denomination notes and coins to pay the conductor (especially so in Jeepneys).

Checkout your Filipino Currency

All Seats Are Not Created Equal…

Whenever possible, don’t sit at the back of the bus (over the rear wheel arch). With the general state of the roads, you’ll be bumped and shaken about like a rag doll.

Try a Trike or Taxi

Plan for Potty Breaks

Don’t drink too much before taking bus journeys. Some 3 or 4-hour bus trips that we took didn’t stop for potty breaks. If you really have to go, then there is a chance you won’t be the only one and a quick word with the driver should be enough to get him to pull in by the roadside.

You’ll have to forget your dignity at this point, and just take a pee as inconspicuously as you can. If it’s a number 2 you’re needing, it might be better to just let the bus carry on without you. You can then sort yourself out at leisure before hopping on the next bus

Philippines Buses & Jeepneys

One of the red non-airco buses

Stowing Luggage

At the start of some bus trips, you may be asked to stow your rucksack/luggage in the hold. Make sure you already have your valuables in a separate smaller bag that you can keep with you.

This might save you having to unpack your rucksack in the street while testing the patience of the driver and other passengers.

Adventurous? Try Habal-Habal

“Let me off!”

If you’re hidden behind bodies at the back of the bus and want to stop it to get off, the standard way of alerting the driver is to tap on the metal handrails with a coin.

All Hotel Options in Manila

If you enjoyed Philippines Buses & Jeepneys, check out Central Philippines – Cebu & Bohol. You may also like:


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