Refugio la Brisa del Diablo is a Bed and Breakfast with a unique location and style. Perched on a hillside with a incredible view of Panama’s highest peak Volcan, 50 minutes from David and 2 hours from Almirante, beside the main highway in the small community Hornito, el Refugio is a perfect stop off for those in need of a comfortable room, great food and hospitable friendly hosts.
The congenial english speaking owners, Olga a 20 year chef and Stephane are experienced restauranteers who owned popular gourmet restaurants in Bocas del Toro for the last 15 years. Prepared with fresh herbs from their terraced gardens, the dinner and included breakfast at el Refugio were two of the best meals my taste buds have ever been delighted with. Truly gourmet, from food, service and atmosphere, everything was perfectly prepared and incredibly delicious.
Refugio la Brisa del Diablo is located on the edge of the Talamanca Mountain Range heading towards the Fortuna Lake and Dam in Fortuna Forest Reserve. The lodge is high enough to be blessed with cooler temperatures and constant howling breezes, hence the name Refuge from the Devil Wind. We arrived in the afternoon, just in time to enjoy the incredible sunset to the west towards Costa Rica before our masterpiece dinner. The wind howled like a banshee all night dropping the night air temperature to a perfect sleeping degree. A welcome change from the hot tropical climate we are accustomed to back in Pedasi. We all slept great in the comfortable bed, even the baby.
The lodge is uniquely decorated with a eclectic colorful decor leaning towards a caribbean feel spiced up with a couple Panamanian folkloric devil masks. They have a well stocked bar next to the plant nursery dining room combo. The relaxing dinner ambience is accentuated with a small fountain, a fireplace and a laid back music mix. The rooms are well sized and offer both television and wifi. Situated towards the view of Volcan each room has a comfortable porch with chairs and hammocks to enjoy the fresh mountain air. The grounds are well manicured and are great to stroll amongst the guava trees and terraced vegetable gardens while enjoying the incredible panoramic views.
Refugio la Brisa del Diablo is worth a day trip for a night stay if you are traveling in this area of Panama. We did not have time to hang out since we were on our way to Bocas del Toro, but if I had the time it would be fun to stay for a few days to explore the area and enjoy some more of their connoisseur cuisine. I am sure the bird watching, hiking trails and waterfalls in this area are phenomenal.
So remember, if making the trip to Bocas del Toro or on your way to David or Boquete plan to spend at least a night at Refugio la Brisa del Diablo. I guarantee your hosts will treat you like long lost friends and your taste buds and tummy will want you to stay for a few extra days.