If you have not heard, Panama is now enforcing the 72 hour rule where you have to be out of the country for 72 hours if you are doing a border run.
This includes those who are doing a border run for their driver’s license as well, which is why we are making this run.
We believe that Panama is doing this because of the problem of 2000+ Cuban refugees that are sitting on the border in no man’s land between Panama and Costa Rica at Paso Canoas. We have heard that it has been getting pretty volatile down there, which is the border that most gringos hop over when doing their Tourista 90 / 6 month run.
Well, with all the crazy Cubans and now about 300+ Africans who have also joined the party, Paso Canoas is not a very friendly place right now.
Tracye and I had to do our run this past weekend and we really wondered if Paso Canoas is safe or not. Plus we have been hearing that with all the people down there, it has become a real hassle.
This is why we looked at doing the border run outside of Volcan in the little border town of Rio Sereno. After doing some research, we found that it is a great place to do your run, it is quiet, peaceful and it is cool. Paso Canoas is always around 100+ degrees where Rio Sereno is a comfortable 75 – 80.
So Tracye and I decided to go for it and give it a try. We arranged for a friend of ours to give us a drive up to the border.
We did a lot a research and found out there isn’t anywhere to stay in Rio Sereno proper, so you have to go to the next town and that is San Vito.
After doing some searches on TripAdvisor, We found Cascata Del Bosco.
There were a lot of positive reviews and also it appeared that there was a lot to do. They have hiking trails in the jungle surrounding the property and lots of birds, butterflies and yes…monkeys!
Tracye has wanted a change of scenery so that she can have some photo ops and she was really excited when she was reading about Cascata Del Bosco.
I called the hotel, made reservations and we were good to go.
Now here is something that was really great. A few days before arriving, George Alcock who is the owner of the hotel called us to make sure we were good to go and if there was anything we need while we are staying at his hotel. We asked him if he could arrange a ride from the border to his hotel and he said that he would be more than happy to come pick us up himself.
George is a gringo from California and a veteran hotel owner who had thriving hotel Grass Valley California and decided to move here to Costa Rica and open a hotel here in San Vito.
San Vito is about 15 or so miles from the Panama / Costa Rica border, so the ride was not that bad. Once we arrived to San Vito, George gave us a quick tour of the area and a lay of the city. San Vito is not that large, and you can walk it pretty easily. Just about everything you would need is here for a three day trip.
We get to the hotel, we pull up in the drive and enter into wonderful tropical garden. George stopped the car and got the keys to our room and then took us to our room.
We pulled up to a really cool tropical luxury cabin suites, step in and have a really wonderful view of the jungle. In it we had a fridge, microwave, kitchen sink, and coffee pot; everything you need to make it your home away from home.
We unpack and checked out the grounds. Come to find out that there are trails all over the property in the jungle. In fact in the three days that we have been here, we still have not walked all the trails.
After walking a number of trails, we finally went to the outdoor restaurant. There are plants hanging all over the place, and when it rains, the fountains seem to come alive. Being a tropical area, it does rain here,and George has done a great job of taking rain water and diverting it to the different pipes and then to the fountains.
So not only do you have great food, you get a nice “water show” when it rains.
George has built an outdoor grill and wood burning oven / smoker where the chef cooks all the meals right there in front of you.
I had the smoked ribs and Tracye had grilled chicken, fettuccine and grilled vegetables. My ribs also had grilled vegetables and I also got some fettuccine with it as well.
We both also had some incredible homemade tomato soup that was made with fresh tomatoes a few onions and some nice red peppers that gave the soup just a hint of spice.
My meal was 7,000 colons and Tracye’s was 6,500.
The next day it rained quiet a lot so we stayed close to the hotel and just hung out. We spent a lot of time in the outside restaurant and the staff was very friendly and wanted to make sure we were doing ok and would check up on us from time to time.
Saturday came and it was raining again in the morning, but George let us know that the odds are that they would stop and have a nice afternoon. He recommended that we check out Wilson Botanical Gardens just 200 meters up the road from the hotel.
The first day we were here we checked out the trails at the hotel, but Wilson Botanical Gardens is big…really big. There are plants of all types. Tracye had her camera and she was going crazy taking pictures of all the flowers, plants and beautiful birds. We also spotted a very beautiful bird called the “mot-mot.” This bird is emerald green and Caribbean blue, but they also have a tail that is about 8” – 12” long and at the tips they have these tufts of feathers. So when the bird swings its tail, the tufts flow and it is an incredible bird to see.
We stayed at Cascata De Bosco Hotel for three nights and it was very relaxing. George and his staff were incredible and we really appreciated them making out stay a wonderful experience.
If you have to make a border run, Tracye and I highly recommend doing your border run at Rio Sereno and staying at the Cascata De Bosco Hotel. I know that George and his staff will take great care of you.
Come check out San Vito verses going to Paso Canoas or flying to the Caribbean.
To learn more about Cascata Del Bosco Hotel, check out there website at http://www.cascatasanvito.com/
email – [email protected]
Phone (Calling From Panama) – 00- 506 – 2773-3208