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5 Stars!
I spent the first two weeks of May 2011 at Frank’s Nature Preserve near Caldera, Panama- a traditional Panamanian rural town replete with dogs, laundry hanging on the front porches, music from cantinas at night, a great inexpensive restaurant called Melissa’s place, a Catholic church , farmacia and Dr.s office, and fields where cattle graze and you see horsemen riding up and down the streets. David is the closest big city and Boquete is the usual destination point for travelers coming this way. There is an enlargement of the two lane road into a four lane divided highway so it is anticipated that the area will continue to grow and expand. There are signs Se Vende everywhere. From the area of Volcan, two hours away, food for Panama is grown so you won’t grow hungry in Panama.I found Franks place on VRBO.com and the pictures and price were very fair, but you never know what you are going to find. Coming down the hill towards the Caldera River I saw his home and casitas nestled in the vegetation and could see the water tumbling down and around the huge boulders in the Caldera River.

Frank has turned the place into a nature reserve and basically has reforested the area with a huge variety of plants, of all shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and smells. Some are native to the area while others he brought here. In addition to his home he has three casitas for rent, preferably by the month. They are private, have their own front porch and are nicely furnished and set up for housekeeping. I stayed by the river in the “River Cottage.” Even in May it is cool in the valley by the river and at night there is no need for air conditioning. I was traveling by myself and used the local bus system which made me have to spend lots of time waiting but if one needs a vehicle Frank or Jose can make it happen. The compound has security gates that close at night and each guest gets a gate opener so they can come and go as they wish.The water is clean and good to drink and I had no experiences with mosquitoes. There is also a huge pool where guests can lounge and enjoy themselves and a “Rancho” area where you can have a beer on the “credit system” where you drink now and pay later.”

In thinking about the place, I am planning to return for a month stay. It suits my needs very well. It would be ideal for anyone but seems best for the following personalities: 1) those who like to read and watch movies and enjoy nature and don’t have to be driving somewhere every few moments 2) those who like to fish or hike in the back-country 3) those who want to be close to some of the beauty of the Chiriqui province but want to be away from the cities and noise 4) those who have a book to write or pictures to take 50 those who want to be in Panama for an extended amount of time but dont like hotels and need a little more space between themselves and others.

Overall, I love the place and found Frank and the staff helpful without being intrusive into your area. I would recommend it for newcomers to Panama as an alternative to Boquete or David or Bocas. Panama has much diversity but the people are very friendly and accepting of the gringos ways. Your money will go further in Panama than other destinations, Overall, a person will bring to Rio Encantado what is going in their lives. There is a familiar saying that ” wherever you go, there you are.”

Frank is knowledgeable about Panama and can be a great resource for someone considering moving to the area. He lived in Boquete for ten years before creating the Rio Encantado. He has a background that is wide and varied and be sure to ask him about his treks in Mexico, Central and South America looking for artifacts in the old days.

Concluding, I hope this causes people to check out Frank’s Place and get to know his business partner Jose, Paulo who cooks fantastic dishes for those who don’t want to drive anywhere and are tired of cooking. His dog Mo is a gentle German Shepherd who will like it if you take him for a swim in the river.

A Nature Lover’s Paradise… the Lost Continent, Spectacular!
My husband and spent one full week in Caldera the second week in March and absolutely loved our time there….the weather was perfect, we could dine out ever night as it did not get cold or windy as if often does in Boquete……the river is spectacular for swimming in and wonderful to listen to from the front porch……Frank was a wonderful host and provided us with everything we needed for our enjoyment and was able to answer questions about the area…..it would be important to rent a vehicle to do some exploring from this location…you will love it,love it love!! Kudos to Jose and Paulo for making us feel so comfortable. We totally recommend this location to anyone who truly loves nature and all flora and fawna……Frank has done an amazing job creating this place called ” Eden” thanks so much.

Loved Cabin #1
Recently we enjoyed a week stay in cabin # 1 which was the BEST rental we had on a 6 week vaction in Costa Rica and Panama. Frank has a real gem of nature, we loved sitting on our porch watching the river and birds. The pool is a welcome feature that we enjoyed daily. The cabins are perfectly appointed and comfortable. The trails surrounding the property are lovely and full of birds. Frank was a very hospitable host with lots of information and love of the property . One point we noticed the property is exactly as described , many are not. Thanks again Frank we have been telling everyone about your lovely property.

Gorgeous Nature Retreat!
We stayed at Franks’ place for 4 nights to escape the Carnival madness where we live in Panama. As a nature retreat it’s the real deal & perfect for people who love nature in all her noisy exuberance. Instead of party hearty Carnival revelers we listened to the soothing sounds of nature: the river running by our cozy cabin, the nightly serenade of frogs & bugs lulling us to sleep & the cheery chirping of birds waking us to another fun day at Franks’! We hiked the trails, swam in the river pool & never even left the property except to drive down the road for lunch at Melissa’s. Does it get any better? We think not & look forward to a return visit! Thanks Frank!

Awesome Experience!
The words and pictures cannot describe what a wonderful reserve the owner has created here. Many people that travel the Boquete area probably don’t even realize that this nature reserve is so close to all of the conveniences of David, Boquete, and Caldera. The owner is very hospitable and very knowledgeable of the area. Without a doubt, one of the best places to stay when in the area. It is clean, well-maintained, and built by the owner himself to precise standards. Highly recommended as “Excellent-Plus”.


Panama Eco Resort & Lodge | Cabanas Caldera, Boquete.