The damage to our car [see previous post] significantly dampened our desire to celebrate on our Anniversary weekend but we were able to get reservations at a small, oceanside resort the following week. The resort had been recommended to us by a number of different people and we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate our Anniversary.
The resort is called Las Lajas Beach Resort. It is located on the Pacific Ocean, about 2 hours from where we live (see map at bottom). We made reservations to stay there for two nights, starting Thursday, February 26th. Even though this is the "high season," we thought the room rates were reasonable: $99/night.
We set out late morning on Thursday and found our way to the resort, which is out in the boonies. It's a small, scenic, well-kept resort. We counted about 12 rooms. The rooms are large and ours had 3 beds in it: 2 queens and a single (expecting company?). The walls and ceiling had palm trees, clouds, and other scenes painted on them, giving it a fun, tropical feel - not the usual, boring hotel artwork. With AC, WiFi, and a large screen TV, it was well-equipped and comfortable. Each room also has a hammock right outside the front door, just in case you feel the need...
The resort itself is very nice and small enough that you could walk anywhere in the resort barefoot. It has a good-sized pool and an open-air bar and restaurant. This is a good thing, since I don't know how far it would be to the nearest restaurant - not many choices.
On the ocean side, there is a lawn area, with large, thatched roof palapas for shade. Beyond the lawn is a beach that is very deep (probably 100 yards or so to the water), very flat and compacted, and appears to stretch for miles in either direction - and almost no one on it (panorama photo below).
Several times we saw vehicles driving on the beach - just like they were driving down the street (note tire tracks in above photo). It was a lot smoother than the bumpy, dirt road that was in front of the resort. Some friends had loaned us their boogie boards and we took them out Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon to try to catch some waves. The waves weren't very cooperative and our rides were mostly very short but we had fun trying. The ocean water was very warm (bath water). Tina loved it! There was no "getting used to" the water - just walk on in. The pool water was cooler and more refreshing. It felt great after a tough session of boogie boarding... ;-)
We ate all our meals at the resort. Fortunately, the food was quite good (except our first breakfast, which was very disappointing). It was a bit overpriced, no doubt because they are charging "resort prices" and because they pretty much have a captive market. The staff was very friendly and everyone spoke better English than we spoke Spanish (of course, that's not setting the bar very high).
In the evenings, we got to watch the sunset out over the ocean. Being at the beach, with an ocean breeze, and watching a beautiful sunset definitely reminded us of being back in Hawaii. Temperatures were very warm: peaking in the mid 90s during the day. However, the constant ocean breeze made it comfortable - as long as you were in the shade. If you were in the sun, you definitely wanted to be wet.
We checked out late Saturday morning and hung around under a palapa, and in the pool, until after lunch. Then we did a quick change and headed back to Boquete. Since it was the weekend, the traffic on the Pan American highway was lighter (less construction, fewer trucks) so it was a little quicker trip back.
It was a very nice trip and a memorable Anniversary!
Posted by Mark