Here, we provide you with all the information you need to plan your vacation in Bocas del Toro…
Bibi’s on the beach: It is located on Isla Carenero, the closest neighboring island to the main island. It is a 5 minute boat ride away which makes it an ideal place for when you are short on time but you still want to make it to the beach. Here, the sea is very calm, making it an amazing choice to go to for a swim. Small and surrounded by palm trees, Bibi’s name comes from the restaurant that is located there. Come here for a delicious plate of Caribbean food or enjoy a drink while you contemplate the amazing sea view.
Zapatilla: With crystal calm waters and white sand, this nature reserve has one of the most dreamed of beaches in Bocas del Toro. It literally looks like it came out of a postcard picture! You can snorkel in its coral formations or take a relaxing nap under a shady palm tree.
Since Zapatilla is further out in the sea away from Bocas del toro “town,” the easiest way to visit this paradise is to hire an island boat tour.picturesque and enjoyable, the tour is one of the most recommended activities on the island. While it usually lasts the whole day, it includes other activities such as glimpsing dolphins in Dolphin Bay, snorkeling in Coral Cay and watching sloths slowly climb around mangrove forests. This adventure costs between 30 and 35 USD and is entirely worth it.
Starfish Beach: Up the coast of the main island, it’s a perfect choice for those who enjoy a beach day without rolling waves. Due to its still waters, it’s ideal for a calm swim and some relaxing in the sun. When you visit Starfish Beach, you don’t wanna forget your mask and snorkel to enjoy the starfish that live on the seafloor! (Please remember to not take them out of their underwater home so we protect them and keep them alive.)
Hungry while at Starfish Beach? There are many restaurants where you can eat fresh seafood with a side of rice and beans or some Caribbean patacones.
To get to this piece of island tranquility you can take public transportation, a bus which costs around 2.50 USD each way, or you can hire a water taxi that usually costs 15-25 USD total depending on the places you visit along your route to Starfish Beach and the amount of people that take the boat with you.
Pro tip: We recommend that you go during the weekdays if possible since the weekends tend to be much more crowded.
Red Frog beach: With a serene atmosphere amidst the green of the jungle, Red Frog beach offers you the opportunity to easily find peace and tranquility on Isla Bastimentos.
Despite being a beach further away from the main island’s town, Red Frog pairs its wonderful, exclusive beach with a handful of restaurants for an experience full of delicious local food and beautiful views.
Also, if you pay close attention to the little wonders around you you might be able to find the tiny yet beautiful red frogs hiding in the jungle!
Bluff beach: Surrounded by palm trees, isolated hideaways, coconuts and a pristine sea, this beach is usually the locals’ favorite. Stretching 5 miles along the coast, Bluff is the largest beach on the main island, Isla Colon, and is most easily accessible by taxi. its powerful waves and rough seas, make it the perfect platform for advanced surfers to test their skills. Every year during surf season (December-April) professional surfers from all over the world come to this beach in search of perfect tubes.
When this happens, it is better to prepare your camera and take a seat in the sand, for the force of the ocean can make any swim deeper than waist-high a bit precarious. However, outside of surf season the sea is usually much calmer and one can swim more safely. The view is always breathtaking!
And, as an added bonus for our nature-goers, Bluff Beach is also a place where sea turtles nest. Fortunately, nonprofit organizations like the Sea Turtle Conservancy work to protect their hidden nests, but if you are a little lucky you may be able to witness a turtle hatching!
Wizard beach: It is a large, peaceful and uninhabited beach with epic waves that attract surfers – particularly the bold local youth of Isla Bastimentos – despite the trek to get here.. While you can hire a tour to take you via boat, the most typical route to get to Wizard is via a jungle hike that takes about 25-45 minutes depending on your physical condition and whether it has recently rained or not. . Following a clear foot path up the side of valleys and down earthy hills, the trail that passes Up in the Hill organic restaurant is the most recommended.
Not only can you stop at Up in the Hill for a glass of homemade kombucha and a cacao brownie, but the road is ideal to connect with nature. You will pass a small herd of grazing cows, find yourself weaving in and out of the jungle, and hear the sound of crashing waves in the distance as you get closer to Wizard beach. The best part is that when you finish you can dive under a wave and completely refresh yourself.
When making your way to this secluded beach spot, it is important to always be accompanied and not be carrying things of value due to the isolated and long route. For safety, we also recommend avoiding going in the late afternoon so you avoid having to travel back in the dark.
Remember to bring water as well since there are no restaurants or kiosks on this slice of untouched paradise h(this is actually one of the reasons why it is so clean and beautiful to enjoy!).
Written by Martina Alvarez
Edited by Maria Mc Dounough