The Perfect Paradise in the Panama Islands
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
The excitement level was unbearable as we arrived at the Panama Islands. This particular trip was taking us to Bocas del Toro to explore an amazing region in Panama. With only a few days to research this area, we were eager to delve into the waterways that would lead us through this stunning paradise.
Our hearts were set on experiencing the perfect island cabana and our first destination filled us with a sense of pure delight. Punta Caracol on the Isla Colón boasts over-water bungalows that sit directly on top of the beautiful turquoise water of the Caribbean. Our short water-taxi ride whisked us across the crystal-clear blue sea and relaxation began to take control.
We knew we were somewhere special when only after a few steps over the bungalow deck we were greeted by a pod of playful dolphins. We watched them joyfully swim around the bay, immediately putting us in a state of pure bliss. Our spacious bungalow offered the perfect amount of relaxation and comfort. It was a two-story wooden bungalow detailed by a wraparound deck and an upper level bedroom with incredible views of the bay. The remoteness of the resort truly makes you feel like your floating off by yourself in the Caribbean Sea.
We wanted to keep to activities around the resort since we only had one day to visit and enjoy this heavenly location. We almost never wanted to leave the palm thatched bungalow with its expansive terrace views while relaxing comfortably by way of hammock rocked gently by sea-breezes; bringing you to a place of true euphoria. We loved the ability to jump straight into the ocean and take a swim around with the picturesque sea-life below. Snorkeling gear is provided by the lodge and sights are bountiful with the transparent blue waters and colorful coral reef. We also chose to take out their complementary kayaks and explore the mangrove channels that surround the area.
There are plenty of tours to choose from as you can visit indigenous Indian communities, take fishing excursions, explore for dolphins, paddle with river tours to see white faced monkeys, or shop the local handcrafted markets in the town of Bocas.
Our evening was highlighted by having a romantic dinner by candlelight while feeling the ocean breeze in the open-air restaurant. They take great care in serving up products native to the region and grown from the organic garden, creating creative meals specializing in Caribbean flavors and the Catch of the Day. Everything we tasted was of exceptionally high quality and freshness.
Punta Caracol is truly an amazing place to enjoy an over-water bungalow experience nestled in a prime location. We highly suggest giving it a try if your wanderlust brings you to the Panama islands.
The next morning brought us a new adventure as we headed our way back through the islands on our way to Red Frog Beach on the Isla Bastimentos. We were staying at Red Frog Beach Island Resort in one of their amazing villas. There are plenty of different villa options to choose from and they all have their special charm. The island is breathtaking, and it truly is one of the best kept secret beaches in the Caribbean.
Our villa had an expansive view overlooking the Caribbean Sea, a very sizeable kitchen, ample room and an amazing splash pool to cool off in. Your very own golf cart brings you around the island as you can explore the pristine beaches, restaurants and nature trails. Our favorite stop was always Punta Lava Beach bar and grill. This watering hole was nestled right on Red Frog Beach and served cool drinks and fresh seafood. This was truly living the “island life” as we kicked back our feet, listened to some reggae in perfect harmony with the sweet sounds of the ocean.
Activities abound as you explore the island’s numerous experiences. You may find yourself zip lining through the canopy, riding the waves with world-class reef surfing, taking a nature hike to enjoy one of the 300 different species of birds in the area, heading out to sea for a snorkel or diving adventure, deep sea fishing, learning how to make local chocolate or just relaxing on the beach taking in the sunset. Don’t forget to see one of the red frogs that give this island its namesake.
We ventured out by hiring one of the local boatmen guides. There are several established tour operators. We wanted to explore more of the islands and did the tour of Dolphin Bay, Coral Key, and Zapatilla Cays. We experienced many beautiful areas to snorkel, saw numerous dolphins, learned about native island culture and just plain relaxed on Zapatilla Cay. We also added the option to explore the town of Bocas. Bocas has a great number of options for restaurants, local crafts and tour outfits. If you are in Bocas Del Toro, you will most certainly pass through Bocas as it is the hub for all transportation to and from your island adventure.
We truly felt the romantic charm of Bocas Del Toro. The colorful imagery awaits at every turn. This area of Panama is perfect for the adventure traveler or honeymoon celebration. We can’t wait to return to explore more of its pristine beaches, turquoise water and exotic nature.