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All You Need to Know About the Rooms
at Tropic Star Lodge

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Guests1 room, 2 adults, 0 children
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... remote location. The lodge has a beautiful dining room, bar, and pool. A private beach can be enjoyed, albeit with...
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... the pool and few cold ones cured that. Dinner in the dining room that night. Good food! Day 2's plan was to fish inshore....
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... and easy. The staff was so friendly and welcoming. Our room was comfortable and perfect for us. No problem sleeping as...

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seminolepilot wrote a review Nov 2008
Denver, CO10 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
My initial thoughts on our Tropic Star experience would read virtually word for word as wolftrout's does above. He summarizes things very nicely. I would especially agree with his observation that fishing is never quite as good as one dreams of, some work is required to do well. Alas, the fish do not simply jump in the boat as some guests seem to expect.

Synopsis: Our experience at TSL was absolutely wonderful, honestly exceeding all expectations. Crews, boats, rooms, facilities, food and bar - all were first class. Amazing considering the nearest road is over 100 miles away and supplies must be shipped or flown in. This is an extremely remote location. The lodge has a beautiful dining room, bar, and pool. A private beach can be enjoyed, albeit with a bit of a walk or boat ride. Food is excellent - made to order - and does revolve at night around the catch of the day as one might imagine.

We worked hard for the fish we did catch - but in the end achieved a first Black Marlin and my wife's first Pacific Sailfish among many other species. In between, the inshore fishing for snapper and trophy sized rooster fish provided a nice change of pace from the offshore scene. Yellowfin tuna were abundant during our trip. The shoreline is visually stunning, a mountainous jungle right to the edge of the Pacific.

The Lodge does aim to please - customer service is phenomenal. Wakeup calls each day are in person - a knock on the door - with an offer of hot coffee. My wife briefly mentioned a desire for some soy sauce and wasabi, this resulted in those items being on the boat subsequent days and we enjoyed fresh sushi each day on the boat. Many guests enjoyed a massage by a therapist the Lodge flew in from Panama City for a few days.

Some notes: Ladies welcome. My wife was quite comfortable and may have had a better time than I did. Power is 110 Volts -- plugs the same as in the USA. The lodge is staffed by locals from a nearby village, children's supplies such as crayons, paper, etc are extremely appreciated by them. Tackle provided is top quality and in good condition but you are welcome to bring your own. Boats are Detroit Diesel powered - sound proofing is minimal - some ear plugs or noise cancelling headsets may be helpful for softer souls while under way. TSL captains know two speeds - slow and full throttle !

Trip pricing is significant, but considering experience worth every penny. Trips available for all budgets with shorter 3 and 4 day trips available outside the prime winter months where 6 days of fishing is the norm. Package price does not include charter flight to Pinas Bay, tips, alcohol or hotel in Panama City. Trip price does include excellent pick up service at airports and hotels, we felt safe and in good hands and enjoyed skipping the customs line.

The US dollar is widely accepted throughout Panama. While in Panama City we would recommend the beautiful Bristol Hotel located in the financial district. It has an outstanding restaurant and beautiful bar. We felt quite safe traveling throughout the country - and did so after visiting the TSL.

If offshore fishing is your thing, the Tropic Star Lodge is the holy grail of fishing trips in my opinion.
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Date of stay: April 2008Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Ron S wrote a review Jun 2017
7 contributions6 helpful votes
This is a place that's all about the fish...
Our grandson Max chose Panama for his 12 year old trip. Wanted to see the the canal, jungle, surf, dive, and fish. This is the last part of our two week adventure in Panama. From the moment we were picked up at our hotel in Casco Viejo, we knew this was going to be something special. The flight down to Pinas Bay was beautiful. Upon landing, we looked around and thought "who found this place in the middle of the jungle?"Our first view of the lodge from the pangas was spectacular. Had a nice reception at arrival and a Captains meeting that afternoon. Big buffet by the pool that night. Good food! Neither my grandson or I slept well that night in anticipation of the next day fishing. Wake up call at 5:45 with coffee and hot chocolate, then down to breakfast at 6. On the boats by 6:30. Discuss the plan for the day with Flaco while Juan readies the gear. Made bait and headed out for billfish the first day. Raised a sailfish, got bill wrapped and spit it. That was it for us for the day. A little down, but that's fishing. A dip in the pool and few cold ones cured that. Dinner in the dining room that night. Good food! Day 2's plan was to fish inshore. Rich gave us rooster tags from Guy Harvey'sFoundation in case we were lucky. Max landed a couple of Snappers early and then a 40 lb Rooster. I was lucky and caught a Rooster as well. Both "firsts" for us. A good day. Lot's of fish tales at the bar that afternoon and a swim in the pool. Buffet by the pool that night. Good Food! Max was still smiling when he went to sleep. Day 3 saw us back offshore in search of billfish. Got a double on sailfish early in the morning and Flaco handled the boat perfectly to get both to leader. An hour or so later the starboard rigger goes off and from the bend in the rod, this looks like the right kind. Max is up and an hour later releases a 250 lb blue marlin. In the middle of the fight, he wasn't convinced he could get it in, we simply said "it's you or the fish", he gritted his teeth, bowed his neck and got it done. Flaco tossed Max off the dock that afternoon for catching his first marlin.

It's funny how in one simple act of catching a fish a boy can grow so much. Priceless.

More fish stories at the bar that afternoon with a dip in the pool. As this was the last night of the trip, an awards presentation was held after dinner acknowledging everybody's accomplishments. Max was pretty pleased with his certificates. His family's probably going to find it hard to live with him.
I've fished for forty years in some pretty exotic places. This is the best overall experience I've had. The boats were well maintained, the gear was top notch, Flaco and Juan were both fishy and good with a kid. The rooms are big, clean, and well maintained. Every staff member was helpful and friendly. You can tell they really enjoy working there. And did I mention the food? Really good!

A special thank you to Rich who made the trip special for a twelve year old. This is truly a "bucket list" thing. And we'll be back...
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Date of stay: June 2017Trip type: Travelled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Mallory W, Manager at Tropic Star Lodge
Responded 5 Jul 2017
Dear Ron S, Thank you for taking the time to leave such a detailed account and great review from your stay. We couldn’t agree more that Tropic Star Lodge is a spectacular experience. Over 100 miles from the nearest road in the heart of the Darien – Max chose his fishing destination well! We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the amenities at the Lodge as well as our boats and world-class fishing tackle. Thank you for the kind words regarding your crew, land-based staff, and our amazing kitchen staff lead by Chef Gabriel. It was so special for us to see Max come back to the Lodge after a great day of fishing to hear his fishing stories and see his photos, especially that last day with his Blue Marlin release! There were so many highlights for us from your stay. We look forward to seeing the results of your tagged Roosterfish and also your return to Tropic Star. All the best, Mallory and Richard White
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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sherrydk_2000 wrote a review Mar 2017
Huffman, Texas125 contributions58 helpful votes
+1
I actually don't know where to start. Everything was superb! The pick up at the airport was coordinated and easy. The staff was so friendly and welcoming. Our room was comfortable and perfect for us. No problem sleeping as we were worn out at the end of each day!
But what we came for -- FISHING! I'm not going to lie, our week did not start off great. Zero catches the first day BUT no one can control the fish. We fished hard the next 3 days and ended up catching tunas, 2- 50-70lb dorados, 1 sailfish and, ultimately what we came for, a 700lb Black Marlin! My husband was estatic! A perfect ending to a perfect week! Thank you to the TSL staff for being a part of such a great moment in our lives!
Sitting here talking waiting to fly back home my husband says we will be back!
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Date of stay: March 2017Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Adrienne R, Guest Relations Manager at Tropic Star Lodge
Responded 9 Mar 2017
Dear Sherrydk_2000, Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review. We are thrilled to know that you and your husband had such an awesome time! We look forward to having you both back again soon. We understand it was a difficult few days but you certainly ended the trip with a bang! Congratulations on the release of a 700lb Black Marlin!! Until next time... Tight lines, Adrienne and the TSL team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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wferg54 wrote a review Dec 2020
Panama City, Panama9 contributions
+1
This place is absolutely amazing. Richard & Malory run a top-notch operation from the time you step foot onto the property until you depart. They made a point to make our two boys (8&9 yrs old) feel welcome and they were entertained at all times. They went kayaking, night fishing, swimming, fishing from pangas, a trip over to a secluded beach, etc...

Now to the best part... the fishing... We fished on "Skandia" which is an updated late 60's/early 70's 34' Bertram. We caught 2 for 3 Blue Marlin 300+lbs, 5 Sailfish 100+lbs, 2 Yellowfin Tuna (one was 174 lbs.), 1 Almaco Jack, 6 Mahi-mahi (one 70lbs) & 1 Bluefin Trevally. That is 3 great days of fishing! Cheers to our captain Jose & mate Eladio which made this fishing trip a special memory that we will never forget. Also, if you have the chance to book Hannes Ribbner (a professional photographer from Sweden who specializes in shots for magazines like Marlin Mag) do so. He got some awesome pics of my wife's first Blue Marlin & a number of other great shots for our family.

We stayed in one of the upgraded villas and it was updated & very comfortable for a family. The food & staff were excellent in every way. You just can't beat the 5:30am wakeup call in your room with hot coffee being delivered and hot chocolate for our two boys. Again, I can't say enough good comments about Tropic Star Lodge! They are GREAT!!
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Date of stay: November 2020
Room Tip: Upgraded Villas were great. Highly recommend.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Mallory White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge
Responded 7 Dec 2020
Dear wferg54, We are so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your fishing adventure with your family at Tropic Star Lodge. We appreciate you taking the time to leave your review and highlights from your stay. We love having families here and sharing in the excitement and thrill of your family’s catches and making memories is what fishing and Tropic Star is all about. Congratulations again on all those special catches and releases! Thank you for your positive comments about our accommodation, food, and staff. Can’t really beat the wakeup call service in the morning! It was such a fun week for us and we very much look forward to having you back soon for some amazing fishing fun! All the best, Mallory and Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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332lonniel wrote a review May 2023
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri38 contributions22 helpful votes
+1
I simply can't say enough about this trip. Traveling as a single woman to a fishing lodge seemed a bit extreme but I am telling you I have already booked a return trip for January 2024.

The accommodations were perfect! I was luck enough to stay in the presidential room.

The food was fabulous!

The staff, well I can't say enough about them.

Fishing - A 40 lb Rooster fish. 13 Pacific Sailfish. January 2024 trip booked for black marlin.

IF you love to fish - Tropic Star Truly IS the #1 Sports Fishing Resort in The WORLD!!! I must do trip.
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Date of stay: May 2023Trip type: Travelled solo
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Response from Mallory White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge
Responded 21 May 2023
Dear 332lonniel, Yes! Girls can fish too! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of your fishing vacation. Congratulations on your fantastic fishing. We’re glad you enjoyed the Presidential villa. We’ll extend your compliments to the Chef and staff. We look forward to seeing you back in January. All the best wishes, Mallory and Richard White
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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