I know many of you are anxious for us to announce our 2021 calendar so you can plan your next trip. We are equally excited about next year. Although we cannot yet announce dates and take bookings – we wanted to take the time to let you know as many details as possible. We will announce the schedule and further details soon.
Our 2021 plan has been in the works for quite some time. Once we saw the amazing potential of kayak fishing and its success in our area, we made it a part of our long-term plans as the developers of Los Buzos Resort. Many of you have seen some of the pieces evolving, some of you even own some of the pieces, but 2021 is the year when they all come together into a single operation with a common goal – to be the top destination resort for fishing and adventure sports.
To allow time to focus on the big picture, I withdrew from fishing operations starting 2019 and made a deal with Adam Fisk and Jesse Hosman to operate the lodge independently through the end of 2020. They did a great job of developing the fishery, running the trips and increasing our digital profile, not to mention breaking five new IGFA world-records and the now infamous Marlin video. As most of you know they both also got married in 2019 and with that comes change.
Since the long term shut down for Covid Jesse has already moved on and I have stepped in to fill his role for Adam through the end of the year when the 2021 team takes over.
We are currently set to open immediately when our airport and sector (hospitality) is permitted to open by Panama. The 2021 staff is stepping in to assist Adam with expanding the schedule of available 2020 trips to the maximum number of possible trips throughout the balance of 2020 to provide maximum flexibility for rescheduling trips cancelled due to Covid.
Likewise, we are working out agreements between the old and new teams for any trips that may wish to reschedule to 2021. This was not anticipated since we withheld the 2021 schedule to accommodate the transition – but with a 6 month and growing closure it has become a reality.
It is important to understand however that we are dealing with separate operations. The 2021 team was in place and committed to certain plans, contracts, and priorities prior to the health crisis. So, there will be some limitations to any trips moved from one year to the next, and we are negotiating those between the groups at this time.
A big change for 2021 is our new partnership with Global Rescue. Since 2004, Global Rescue has been the worldwide leader in field rescue, evacuation, security extraction, and virtual health services. Los Buzos clients will now have access to purchase not only Global Rescue Memberships but also Global Rescue’s Signature Travel Insurance that allows you to insure all your expenses and covers all fishing activities and trip expenses. To find out more about what Global has to offer click https://ss.globalrescue.com/partner/losbuzosresortpanama/
To contract with Global and receive access to their excellent travel insurance options it was necessary to change our deposit to non-refundable. We have also elected at the same time to lower our standard deposit to $750 keeping the overall cost to reserve a trip with trip insurance the same or less than in previous years. We feel that insurance is the best option for all with the new travel restrictions and worked hard to secure the best option.
Another change for 2021- group trips are shifting to Sunday arrival in Los Buzos and Saturday departure from Los Buzos. This should significantly improve our drive times to and from the lodge as it avoids weekday traffic in the cities.
Before any of you hardcore guys panic – Adam is still on Team Los Buzos and the signature weeklong all-inclusive trips will remain intact. We will maintain our normal slate of approximately 26 weeklong trips with one of our All-Star Guides – Adam or Robert – fishing along with our new lead guide Darret Cortes.
2021 will bring some new faces along with familiar ones. Darret Cortes, as already mentioned, will assume the lead guide position. Darret obtained his fishing cred at Los Buzos immediately by capturing the King Cock trophy within weeks of arrival and tacking on an all-tackle Corvina World Record. Since then he has proven himself worthy of the lead spot not only on the water but with his work ethic, language skills and a variety of other technical and organizational skills from his past career. Most importantly Darret has shown us the key ingredient – the strong desire to be a long- term team member here in Los Buzos.
A.J. Palmer, who many have seen in the background for years, will assume the now much more complex duties as the Comptroller and Financial Manager for all divisions. Fresh off finishing his degree in Accounting and International Business and with years already on the ground in Los Buzos he brings needed skill to our expanded operations. Anybody that has run a remote lodge like this knows that an Accountant who also is a mechanic is the perfect fit.
Robert Field, long involved in operations behind the scenes and as a lot owner, will now officially become our Director of Fishing Operations in addition to his role as one of our All-Star Guest Guides. No need to elaborate on what Robert brings to the table since a large portion of you guys only know of us through his videos.
The new face to many of you will be Eucaris “Cari” Spadafora, our new General Manager. Cari is not actually new – her first job as a teen was at Los Buzos in 2008. Since those days, I have had the pleasure of writing glowing references for her for a variety of positions in Vancouver, Minnesota, and even Kuwait – all the while biding my time hoping that some day she would return home to Los Santos and Los Buzos. With the unique nature of our multi-cultural client base and Panamanian operations it is important to not just have someone who is bilingual, but also multi-cultural themselves, understanding different perspectives and cultural differences. We were elated when we learned that Cari and her family had returned to Panama, and we immediately tabbed her for this lead role. Cari has been on board with the property management side since January and is ready to assume full duties upon reopening.
Finally, Dakota Dunmire has been added as the lead guide for our new Adventure Sports division. Dakota came on board just before the closure – and quickly earned his stripes mastering and mapping the new 24 kilometers of hiking, horseback, ATV and mountain bike trails in Parque Los Buzos. Stay tuned for more on this exciting new division.
As already outlined, our signature, all inclusive trips will operate basically the same. The lodging facilities will now all be combined including the original lodge rooms across the street, rebuilt and renovated beach front facility featuring two newly remodeled suites, a catering kitchen, and ocean front group dining area. Bunk Beds have been eliminated and all lodging has ensuite bathrooms.
All 2021 group trips will include a panga assist boat for catching bait and aiding guests as well as to provide additional security.
The 2021 rate for our All-Star Group weeks with these new enhancements will be $2250 per person.
New facilities for 2021
In addition to the original program, 2021 brings new offerings – many of which can already be seen on our website.
Four new beach front homes will be available for 2021 season.
Crab Shack, around since 2019, will be joined in 2021 by two more beach front homes and a beach front Guest House – all available as upgrades to the standard packages OR as standalone vacation rentals with activities (including kayak and panga fishing), meals, and transportation purchased a-la-carte to suit the specific needs of your family or small private group.
These options, bringing us to a total of 30 beds, will be available year-round and provide a flexible option for families and small groups wanting a mix of activities. The new rental homes plus Roosterfish Bar & Grill, La Tiendita, and Breathe Center detailed below complete our goal from the beginning of becoming full service for all types of guests.
As always kayak and panga fishing lead the way as far as exciting activities go at Los Buzos, but 2021 brings much more.
First, Kayak Day Trips and Panga Charter Fishing will be much more flexible in adapting to mixed group trips and day trips.
Next, Parque Los Buzos, our private reserve, has undergone a near two-year makeover with more than 24 kilometers of maintained single and double track trails creating one of the most unique natural experiences around. Guided and unguided hikes, Kawasaki Mule tours, horseback riding, camping and more open this vast swath of undeveloped Panama and its amazing wildlife for your exploration – all starting directly from our new facilities. Also, for 2021 Mountain Bike trails have been added in addition to the hiking and horseback trails opening the Parque to a variety of groups and possibilities.
Other new facilities outlined on our website include:
The new Roosterfish Bar & Grill with a-la-carte meals, full-service bar and ski-aperitif style video displays featuring fishing and nature videos directly from our guests.
La Tiendita – our Resort Store where guests can conveniently purchase on site anything from tackle for their fishing trip, liquor, souvenirs to take home, and groceries for their vacation rental.
Breathe Wellness Center – an independently owned operation on site at Los Buzos, Breathe provides a large variety of massage, therapies and training to help enhance the many other options available.
We look forward to hosting each of you and your families at Los Buzos in the coming years.
Morris Palmer & Team Los Buzos