Take a closer look at an island off Panama’s Caribbean coast.
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.
Only one small town graces Isla Bastimentos. Small boats and dugout canoes called cayucos are a popular mode of transportation.
Tropical plants grow profusely, thanks to regular showers and abundant sunshine.
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.
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.
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.
Off the coasts of Isla Bastimentos, opportunities abound for surfing, kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, and fishing.
Deserted beaches stretch along nearby uninhabited Cayos Zapatillas. Venture into the clear water to see coral reefs.
Sink into a hammock on the porch of a Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge guest cottage.
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.