We made the trek from Costa Rica to Panama via the infamous old bridge that felt like it may have collapsed at any minute. Once through customs we took a bus and then water taxi to Bocas Del Toro. Bocas is an town comprised of many islands. Each island has something different to offer from great restaurants to pristine beaches. Since it is Holy Week we were concerned about finding a room, however, we were lucky enough to get a one at Hostel Hieke on Isla Colon. Isla Colon is one of the main islands with plenty of tasty food options and cute houses built over the water. Our hostel bed was a nice upgrade from the hammocks at Rocking Js! The first day we ventured to Red Frog Beach; about 15 minute water-taxi ride. This beach is known for the poison red dart frogs that inhabit the land. Red Frog Beach is located on Isla Bastimentos and costs $3 to enter. After finding the perfect spot for the hammock we jumped into the crystal clear water. After getting some vitamin d from the strong sun we caught a water taxi back into town to search for some grub. We chowed down on some fish and chips at Rip Tide. This restaurant is actually a converted boat with great views of the ocean.
The next day we booked a tour with Under Sea Adventures to Dolphin Bay, Coral Cay and Isla Zapatilla. We were fortunate to see a dolphin and a sloth in Dolphin Bay. Next we traveled through the mangroves to the national park; Isla Zapatilla. It is hard to even describe in words how pristine and beautiful it is there. The crystal clear water with the white sand looked incredible. We also tried “Coral Boarding” which was a once in a lifetime experience. We held onto clear boards while getting pulled by the boat. With our snorkel gear on we were able to dive down and soar above all the coral and come up whenever we needed some air. We spotted all types of fish, in addition to a Nerf Shark and Sting Ray. We finished up the day snorkeling and enjoying a pasta lunch.
After a fantastic day out at sea we worked up a good appetite. By recommendation we headed to El Ultimo Refugio. This quaint little restaurant over the water is famous throughout Bocas. We started with some fresh Mahi Mahi Ceviche which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and pico de gallo. We also enjoyed our main coarse of tuna steak! By the time we finished eating the place was packed and there was a line out the door to get in!