La Paila del Pueblo
La Palma, Panama
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La Paila del Pueblo La Palma Reviews
La Paila del Pueblo Aug 10, 2014
La Palma is a capital of Darien region in Panama but it is not connected by road to the Pan-American highway. La Palmas highway is the river and that is the main way in and out. Other possibility is airport, but you would experience much by flying over this beautiful and wild land. Long boat simply run the ground on the larger opening that serves as “port” and we jumped out and walked towards the “main street”, actually the only street in town and divider between hill and the beach houses.
All houses on the water side of the road are on stilts and they go pretty deep into the water. As soon as I started walking the road looking for the place to stay, group of locals showed interest in my stories and they also gave me good tips where to go for food and sleep.
La Paila del Pueblo was one of two places in town where you can get room, and also they have restaurant that is favorite for breakfast between local government officials. La Paila is long house on the stilts with two floors, and I expected that second floor is for rent, but that is not the case. Dark and long hallway has rooms on both sides and it looks more like storage place then something where people will stay. I did not have any choice of where to stay because other place did not have any rooms left and La Paila had only one room available. So I took whatever it is, with the smile (or grin). The room that I got was dark, moldy, sketchy place with the door so weak that wind could open it easily… Bed was metal construction from 1940’ and mattress was almost not existent. Honestly it looked more like prison cell (with mirror) than anything else (not that I visited many prison cells, but movies educated me). Ceiling had bunch of pipes going everywhere, floor had sporadic holes looking 5-6 meters to the stone beach under the house. Bathroom… well I am big guy, 198cm/100kg and stepping on those boards in the bathroom made me feel very uneasy, especially at the night when I could not choose much where I was walking. Water does not flow all day long, so you hope that you will have some for shower at the end of the day. Bugs are everywhere so bring your mosquito net.
Aside of that, restaurant balcony is simply beautiful, with lots of old items placed all over the rooftop and guard rails. Food is totally decent, but I tried to find better places around the town. There is no drinking water aside of bottled, and you can get it in small stores around the town. It looks to me that every store is run by Chinese families. It is amazing how well they are equipped for such a middle of nowhere place.
Owners of the hotel are nice people and they can organize transport and maybe even some tours if you ask them. There were some expeditions leaving that place in the past. If you have any choice don’t stay here. It is way better to find the spot for your tent and sleep there instead of staying it in this hotel.
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