Isla Bastimentos In Pictures

Take a closer look at an island off Panama’s Caribbean coast.

Making the Journey

Shelley Metcalf

Making the Journey

Motorboats ferry guests and supplies to Isla Bastimentos. Visitors reach the island via a one-hour flight from Panama City to the town of Bocas del Toro, then a boat ride.

Getting Around Town

Shelley Metcalf

Getting Around Town

Only one small town graces Isla Bastimentos. Small boats and dugout canoes called cayucos are a popular mode of transportation.

Seeing the Flora

Shelley Metcalf

Seeing the Flora

Tropical plants grow profusely, thanks to regular showers and abundant sunshine.

Relishing the Natural Setting

Shelley Metcalf

Relishing the Natural Setting

Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park boasts 32,700 acres of tropical rain forest, mangrove wetlands, and waters rich in sea life. As a result, a diverse mix of species call the area home. One of the island’s eye-catching species is the tiny red frog known as rana roja.

Dining Like a Gourmet

Shelley Metcalf

Dining Like a Gourmet

Writer Jeff Book dined at La Loma Jungle Lodge’s communal table on dishes like fish with yucca in lemon grass sauce; smoked chicken, avocado, and white bean salad; and pineapple-mango crumble.

Meeting Friendly People

Shelley Metcalf

Meeting Friendly People

Henry Escudero, co-owner of La Loma with his wife, Margaret Ann, mixes a lunch salad in the kitchen adjacent the dining area. In its remote locale, the lodge’s self-sufficiency is a necessity.

Playing Like a Kid Again

Shelley Metcalf

Playing Like a Kid Again

Off the coasts of Isla Bastimentos, opportunities abound for surfing, kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, and fishing.

Discovering Hidden Treasures

Shelley Metcalf

Discovering Hidden Treasures

Deserted beaches stretch along nearby uninhabited Cayos Zapatillas. Venture into the clear water to see coral reefs.

Relaxing in Style

Shelley Metcalf

Relaxing in Style

Sink into a hammock on the porch of a Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge guest cottage.

Making New Friends

Shelley Metcalf

Making New Friends

Guests at Tranquilo Bay discuss the day’s sightings, ranging from white-face capuchin monkeys to iridescent blue morpho butterflies. Most of the property’s 110 acres remain untouched, providing prime wildlife viewing.

Finding Your Happy Place

Shelley Metcalf

Finding Your Happy Place

Tranquilo Bay’s dock serves as an over-water center for kayaking, fishing, and lounging.

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