Take a walk on the wild side with all of the creature comforts at the Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Marina, in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Arriving by sea the natural sights are not vastly different than when Christopher Columbus visited on his voyage of discovery in 1502 thanks to the Isla Bastimentos Nature Preserve. This incredible ecosystem is home to fantastic flora and fauna. Today, says marina manager Petr Hercik, “the combination of the natural protection, beautiful Caribbean beaches, lush tropical forest and nearby resort and town amenities, plus paying a lot less of what you would at comparable marinas in traditional parts of the Caribbean, makes this a fantastic location.”
Isla Bastimentos, one of Panama’s largest islands at 20 square miles, is located in the Bocas del Toro Province. This archipelago is some 20 miles south of Costa Rica and 133 miles from the entrance to the Panama Canal. Panama will make headlines this year as the Canal celebrates 100 years since its completion. It’s a good year to visit and dock your yacht at Island Global Yachting’s Red Frog Beach Marina. The 83-slip marina has an average depth of 25 feet and can accommodate vessels up to 300 feet. Services include dockside power and water, Wi-Fi, laundry service, a ships chandlery, provisioning and full-time security. What’s more, marina guests have access to all resort amenities including the spa, zipline, discounts on villa accommodations and many tours. That’s what makes the Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Marina an ideal base from which to explore.
Hercik, the island’s marina manger, provides a few ideas of how to spend a day:
- Tour the Zapatilla Keys. Journey out to these post-card worthy uninhabited islands, which lie within the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park, to swim, snorkel and sun on the beach. Lunch at the famous Bora Bora-styled restaurant named Crawl Caye. It’s built out over the water and the water teams with tropical fish just below your feet. Later, dine at Punta Lava Beach Bar & Grill located right on Red Frog Beach as the sun sets over the Caribbean.
- Cave Explore by Kayak & Hike. Paddle up the incredible inland river that cuts into the heart of Bastimentos Island. Look out for agile white-faced and spider monkeys as well as adorable three-toed sloths. Park your kayak and take a short hike to the Bastimentos Caves. See several species of bats and other cave-dwelling creatures along with stalactites and stalagmites in these open caverns. One of two tunnels leads you into 4- to 5- foot water that you can wade through to a hidden pool and underground waterfall. In the evening, enjoy dinner at Bibi’s Restaurant on the beach at Carenero Island. Fresh seafood, local ingredients and tropical cocktails are the specialty.
- Go Fishing. Enjoy a half-day fishing for snook and tarpon within the interior islands of Bocas del Toro. Afterwards, relax on the beach or hike through the jungle to one of several secluded beaches on Isla Bastimentos. Then, dine in a private villa served by your own personal chef with stunning panoramic views.
There’s a relaxed and welcome feel to Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Marina. In addition to the enviable location and exclusive destination, social activities on property throughout the year include pig roasts and bonfires, theme nights and karaoke. There are also entertaining annual events such as Carnival and Semana Santa in nearby Bocas del Toro.