Why does everyone love Lost & Found so damn much?
On our customer service feedback forms the top rated guest experiences list Rocky the kinkajou and the treasure hunt as the top activities. Not far behind guests list the value of the tours. Many of our guests have taken coffee tours before and are delightfully surprised at how unique our coffee tour is. It is more of full organic farm experience. Guests also like the tranquility of the nature and the getting away from it all after they tire of the pickup scene and seedy bars of Bocas.
Who doesn’t like The Lost and Found?
Our hostel is social. We have a happy hour with games where we make the teams to help people mingle. Guests make fast friends; sit down to family style dinners at a big table and share stories. Honey Mooners and other couples who are expecting a lux private en suite room that they never come out of are overwhelmed with how social everything is. We sometimes discourage families with young children from coming because of the dangers of being in the middle of the jungle. For some reason they come anyway and love it here. We have a bar and we have parties but it is far enough away that if you are a birder in a private room and want to get up with the sun, you still can.
How far is Lost & Found from Panama City? How about from Boquette or Bocas?
From Panama City you go to David. The bus from Panama City to David runs about every hour and takes about six and half hours. From David we are about an hour and twenty minutes. From Boquete you have to go to David as well. It’s about an hour bus ride. From Bocas you take fast boat to mainland and spend three hours on a bus and stop not far after the massive Fortuna hydroelectric dam.
What do I need to bring?
A jacket. The cloud forest gets cold. We have ponchos for those that forget but still. Many days the weather is beautiful and a gentle breeze keeps bugs at bay. Other days in the rainy season the bugs can come out so bring some bug spray. Bring hiking shoes… there are hours of free jungle trails you do not want to miss out on.
Is Lost & Found and its surrounding areas prone to Malaria?
The malaria mosquito does not breed at our altitude nor do bed bugs. A relief. The much more common and potentially fatal Dengue mosquito lurks in urban areas including Panama’s cities but not in the jungle at The Lost and Found. Bugs are here and you should be prepared to protect yourself to enjoy it here but thankfully we don’t have any of the common dangerous mosquitoes.
Do you have hot showers?
Is Lost & Found suitable for Families?
The families that come love it here. They know however, that this is a backpacker hostel and they know that the jungle has obvious dangers like sharp drops and hidden dangers like caterpillars that irritate the skin. A child that needs constant supervision will need a mother with eyes on the back of her head.
Does The Lost and Found do anything for community?
The Lost and Found had a rough start. The multinational corporation that built the massive hydro project officially rejected our presence and successfully had our environment impact assessment rejected and we paid a stiff fine. It was years before we could open.
They objected on the basis that the reserve on which The Lost and Found was built belongs to them and all others, including the community, are considered squatters. As The Lost and Found was built on titled land their objection had no merit. The community rallied behind us. From the organic farmer that exclusively sells his coffee to us because our guests want to pay more for fair trade organic coffee to the local owners of the horses on our horseback tour, the members of your community want tourism. The tourism they were expecting with the creation of the forest reserve never came. We now proudly employ more locals than multimillion dollar multinational and we are growing. We buy local first and provide continued professional development to members of the community so they can be employed in the tourism industry. Sometimes Globalization can be positive.
Despite our setback we are bouncing back. It is expensive to run a hostel in the jungle. All the food available at The Lost and Found has to be carried up. But that provides employment for locals. All the free trails we provide also provide employment. It is a miracle that a budget hostel can even exist in the middle of the jungle but that is the miracle of the back packing community.
What is The Lost and Found novel?
Guests that read this novel have an entirely different experience at The Lost and Found. Much of what you see here at the hostel, the esoteric artwork, the treasure hunt, is connected indirectly to the book. It is as if there are hidden Easter Eggs all over the hostel and jungle for those who have read the book. However, the book is not for everyone. It plays with what I call the unwilling suspension of disbelief. People do not know what is real. And because of the controversial content I have to say that the book is not for everyone. I wouldn’t let my mother read this book. It is available for free
The following is the promotional blurb:
The blogs, letters and diaries of six travel writers begin revealing Panama -- the land of cheap rum and tempting lolitas. But after the writers meet Dr. Michael Anderson, retired expat and Freemason, they decide to act out their lucid dreams in ritual and the maps of right and wrong are redrawn. The editor brilliantly weaves a common story from the writer's blogs, diaries and letters home to tell the now legendary story of how a backpacking adventure in Panama spiraled into sex, magic, violence and betrayal.
“This is no chicken soup for the soul. It is a wicked broth that will take you to the dark corners of the human soul. (No travel writing has been this graphic and edgy.)”
“… left my head spinning. I read it in one sitting and couldn’t let the book leave my hands… I had to make my roommate read it so I had someone to talk to about it.”
Read it at your own peril.