Postcard Perfection on Isla Bastimentos in Bocas Del Toro

I’ve visited beautiful beaches on 5 continents – each one interesting and unique in its own right.

And I’ll admit, I’ve become a bit of a beach snob. After spending over a year exploring Thailand’s almost unsurpassable stretches of sand, and then living just a few blocks off the beach in Rio de Janeiro – very little impresses me.

Arraial do Cabo in Brazil? Jaco in Costa Rica? A beach is a beach and I’ll take it, even though…. I’ve seen better.

But Isla Bastimentos?

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas Del Toro
Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

ISLA BASTIMENTOS

Seriously – straight out of a magazine, straight off of a postcard.

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

Isla Bastimentos (or “Bastimentos Island”) will forever have a special place in my dreams… The clear water, bright blue skies, and lush green trees. Wow!

Just a short boat ride from Bocas Town on Isla Colon, Isla Bastimentos is a welcome escape from the noise, crowds, and hustle and bustle of Bocas del Toro’s main gateway.

A laid-back island paradise, you could devote a whole day (or more) to beach hopping on Isla Bastimentos, but be sure to reserve at least half a day to exploration.

I visited on an afternoon trip with Habla Ya Spanish School, who organized the whole excursion. It was an awesome opportunity to make friends and be social with other students. As a solo traveler, I find that group tours are one of the best ways to make friends while traveling, and this tour was no exception!

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del ToroIsla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

The school took care of the boat there and back (about a 10 minute ride) and provided a fabulous guide to lead us from beach to beach to even more beautiful beach.

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

The trails weave through the forest of Bastimentos island, and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to find all the beaches without an experienced guide leading the way.

We lunched on tacos (and beer) at the very first beach…

Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-6 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-7 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-8

…which was actually (relatively) crowded and nothing to write home about, before setting off with full stomachs and brimming with excitement.

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

We followed our guide along the beach and into the water, before taking a planked trail that lead to a scenic lookout point.

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

Gorgeous!

From there, we moved on to check out beach after beautiful beach, noting plants and fruits that our guide pointed out along the way.

Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-9 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-10 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-12 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-13 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-14 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-15 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-16 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-17 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-20 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-21 Bastimentos Island Bocas Del Toro Panama 2016-24

After leaving that very first beach, I didn’t see another person outside of our small group! It felt like being a small band of adventurers on a truly deserted island.

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

Finally, we ended at a completely secluded, completely gorgeous, beach perfect for swimming.

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro DCIM100GOPROGOPR0811.

The guide watched our stuff for us, so I was able to set down my camera and truly enjoy splashing around without keeping an eagle eye out for thieves. (and of course – snap some selfies)

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

The scene was picturesque, the fellow beach-hoppers were awesome (until now, I’ve stayed in touch with several of the people I met that day), and it was a relaxing break from cramming my head full of conjugations and vocabulary.

Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro

What are your favorite beaches?

 

 


 

Necessary Details

Any student of Habla Ya will receive the discounted rate of $25 for the Bastimentos Island tour (which includes lunch)

Be sure to wear sandals or shoes that can get wet (you’ll be walking in the water for part of the Bastimentos trip), unless you want to take them off and carry them.

Also wear a swimsuit (there won’t be any bathrooms to change in), and bring a towel or canga for drying off afterwards. A water bottle  would also be a wise choice, as would sunscreen for the easily toasted like me.

The Bastimentos scenery is absolutely gorgeous so don’t forget your camera (I’m in love with my waterproof Nikon AW1 and GoPro Hero4)!


 

Follow:
Steph

A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. 6 years later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and Puebla, Steph is on to her next adventure and living in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She is traveling and living around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook

6 Comments

  1. February 19, 2016 / 11:39 am

    I just got back from here! I love seeing blogs of places I’ve been!

    • February 22, 2016 / 1:57 pm

      Did you like it? I absolutely LOVED Bocas del Toro and can’t wait to go back… Actually, I loved all of Panama! One of my new most favorite countries

  2. March 1, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    Okay, this is definitely on the list! Sounds like a beautiful birthday destination 🙂

    • March 2, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      It is a TOTAL birthday destination! It’s an absolutely gorgeous and relaxing place, perfect for wandering from beach to beach and exploring.

  3. John Inton
    May 11, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    Thanx for your blog. I downloaded most of ur Rio blog. If you enjoyed Thailand, you’ll definitely be blissful about the Philippine beaches!! no language barrier here and cheap as chips. am from Melbourne

    • May 16, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      Thanks so much John – I’m glad I could be of help!
      I haven’t been to the Philippines yet but when I (hopefully) move back to Asia it’s actually first on my list!! I’ve heard nonstop great things about the beaches there… do you have any favorites?
      I love Melbourne – great city and great people!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.