Spanning three generations of the Eleta Family, well known in Panama for their long patronage of Panamanian arts & culture and for the renowned photography of Sandra Eleta, El Otro Lado can be explained as “a passion project.” Offering a combination of wonderful casitas/rooms, smooth logistics, cultural immersion, breathtaking views of turquoise waters from a Rustic Beach Club, jungle vibes, and a staff that makes you feel right at home, you won’t find an accommodation like EOL anywhere else in the world. Whether you are planning on traveling with your family, significant other, or even a solo-journey, El Otro Lado is the place for you to unwind and experience a world where the past and present are beautifully intertwined.
UNESCO "Cultural Heritage of Humanity"
One of the most unexpected aspects of staying at El Otro Lado is your chance to immerse into an incredibly unique cultural setting with amazing people. This property is located in Portobelo, Panama, a major port where Spanish settlers entered the new world, and soon after had to protect themselves from pirates invading their territory. With Spanish settlement, came slavery and people primarily from the Congo. After slavery was abolished, Portobelo became a town full of music, dancing, bright clothes, fishing, religion, and much more. UNESCO wisely chose this culture as a Heritage of Humanity to be preserved and celebrated.
At El Otro Lado, you will find yourself dancing the night away with locals to the sounds of African-inspired drums, whistles, and clapping. We provide each traveler an opportunity to visit the town of Portobelo and attend a musical class with students, explore original Spanish forts with abandoned cannons overlooking the Caribbean, and to even enter the home of a family and church who will serve you freshly-picked coconuts and bananas AKA “guineos.” Soon you’ll find yourself dancing and singing “Coco y Guineo!”
Simple Logistics & Included Adventures
Getting to El Otro Lado from Panama City requires 1.5 hr transfer by vehicle and about a 7-minute boat ride from Casa Congo in Portobelo. There are no roads that lead to El Otro Lado, which makes this property that much more spectacular. A great way to make the most out of your journey to El Otro Lado is to stop by the Panama Canal and view the Miraflores Locks to learn the history of this bizarre human invention. Once you arrive at El Otro Lado, be prepared for as much, or as little, adventure as you are seeking. Activities we can include are: paddle boarding, kayaking, two jungle hikes through historic forts, art-making class, athletic training at “the jungle gym,” Congo dancing presentation, mojito making and hot sauce making class, plus more!
Private Travel to Panama
Check out the video below from our YouTube channel for an insider’s look of exploring El Otro Lado and Portobelo! Feel free reach out to us at email@example.com or give us a call to start planning your dream journey to Panama today!
Ideal fortravelers who desire a luxury adventure on a pristine jungle island in Panama's Gulf of Chiriqui
- EOL is a passion project spanning three generations of the Eleta Family
- Simple logistics make this an easy sell to get travelers to discover Panama beyond the City and Canal
- The Afro-Caribbean Congo Culture - which was just recognized by UNESCO as an essential part of the “Cultural Heritage of Humanity” - is richly celebrated at the hotel and through drumming and dance performances in Portobelo
- Lovers of interior design will enjoy the architectural details created by local artists
- El Otro Lado is affiliated with the nonprofit Bahia Portobelo Foundation
- Easily combines with other destinations in Panama or Central/South America
- Excellent Paddleboarding
- Casa Grande (Three Suites Total): Suite 2: King Bed + Loft (two twin beds), Suite 3: Two Double Beds + Loft (two twin beds), Suite 4: Two Double Beds
- One-Bedroom Casitas: Forest House, Sea House & Sun House all overlooking the Caribbean
- Two-Bedroom Casitas: Spirit House
- All meals included
- Local boat transfer
- Rustic Beach Club
- 2 Nature Trails on the property to explore
- Unlimited Non-Alcoholic Drinks
- Complimentary Mini-bar (alcoholic beverage not included)
- Complimentary use of Kayaks, SUP's and snorkeling equipment