We had a really good week in Bocas del Toro. It was fun exploring the Islands and we met some really nice people that I know we will keep in touch and see each other again down the road.
Where we stayed:
Hotel Olas has a great all purpose area built over the water. It is a great place to chill, work and relax in one of the hammocks. After settling into our hotel we met two separate groups of travelers. We all united as one group and had a blast over the next couple of days and it made our stay in Bocas so much more special.
Things to do in Bocas del Toro:
Charter a private lancha with a group of friends. We gathered a group of 10 people and decided to rent a private boat and explore the Islands. The boat driver had a large cooler and we stopped at a store along the way and stocked up with beer and snacks. The first stop was the reef break near Caranero Island. One of the guys in the group was an advanced surfer so we dropped him off at the break and watched him surf for about an hour.
After he swam back to the boat we headed for Red Frog beach. When we arrived at the pier we each paid our $3 entry fee and jumped in the free Island taxi that takes you across the Island to the beach. We had a great time at Red Frog beach and yes there really are little red frogs. The local kids on the Island run over to you with the Red Frogs that they have captured in small cups, but don’t give them money because it just encourages them to capture more of this endangered species. I also had a chance to surf on the beach.
Sailing on a catamaran tour: Included on this tour is checking out dolphins, snorkeling and a nice lunch. The tour starts at 10am and finishes at 4:30. It was a great day and I recommend it. Check out the video of our day on the sail boat:
Wizard Beach – be prepared to slip, slide and possibly fall in the mud:
Getting to Wizard beach at the time was not a highlight of our stay in Bocas del Toro, but looking back I am glad we did it. We were told it was very muddy, but it was much worse than I imagined. The hike to wizard beach is about 30 minutes up and down hills and through thick mud. There are parts where you have to take your shoes off or they will get stuck in the mud. To make matters worse it is very slippery and dangerous if you do not have good balance or luck on your side. Once we were on Wizard beach the only thing that made it worth while for me was that the guys next to us had surf boards and they let me borrow one for a little while.
There are two trails leading to Wizard beach. We also heard, that on one of the trails, there is a place that sells chocolate brownies. On the way back we decided to take the other trail and check it out. After hiking for 20 minutes, through more thick mud, and also hoping that once we got to the cafe we would not have to backtrack we arrived at the “Up in the hill cafe”. It was very tranquil and a nice pit stop on the way back. The couple that own it were very nice and welcoming. We ordered a brownie, truffles and lemonade. While the food and drink were nothing to rave about, it was a nice treat after a long hike through mud.Once you get to the cafe you do not have to backtrack and there is a much better trail leading back to the water taxi’s.
Restaurants in Bocas del Toro Town:
We tried a bunch of the restaurants in Bocas town, but our favorite was a place called Chitre. This place had great food and was nice on the budget. The meals are around $3 per person and the food was really good. There are tons of options on the Island, from Peruvian, Seafood, Thai and they even have a bakery that serves up delicious fresh pastries and muffins.