Bastimento Island

posted by Carlotta Garcia de Ahumada
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Located just five minutes from the main Isla Colon by boat, Bastimentos is the second largest island of the archipelago. Treasuring a vast territory of wild jungle, the history of this land goes back to the times of Cristobal Colon, that arriving for the first time in this territory, found in this island the perfect place to "stock up" ( abastecerse in Spanish) for food, hence the name: Bastimentos.

Old Bank is the main town, located in the northwest of the island, this small (authentic Caribbean) community will not leave you indifferent. Its colorful houses in front and on the sea, "the street" full of children playing and older chatting, bursts life with every step you take. The community that inhabits it is mainly of Afro descent, and they speak Wari-Wari, a language very similar to the Patua of Jamaica with traces of Spanish, and that everyone who arrives is very curious to listen.

The place is quiet, with music playing for much of the day from any of the Caribbean-style houses that characterize the village. The people are friendly and always try to get you a smile with some witty commentary, whether in English or Spanish, all are bilingual.

In Old Bank there is a fairly wide range of accommodation, from hostels perfect for backpackers, to some of the most authentic eco-lodges in the area. Also from here you can walk to some of the most spectacular beaches in all of Bocas del Toro, Wizard Beach is just 20 minutes walking along a beautiful trail.

In Bastiementos, too, you will find Red Frog Beach Resort, arguably one of the most spectacular in all Panama. Immersed in flat jungle, and on the shores of the most famous beach in the country, you can enjoy the greatest luxuries and comforts surrounded by an environment unimaginable. Each villa (luxuriously equipped) is surrounded by hundreds of fruit trees, and endless animal species that will make your awakenings and days be in complete harmony with nature. In addition, there are endless activities and tours that you can do, from the impressive Zip Line, where you can observe the beauty of nature in the heights and at a rate of vertigo, or any of the tours that will take you to some of the most beautiful islands that exist.

There are also some indigenous communities on the island, which without being so touristy, can also be visited. In Bahía Onda, one of these communities, is the Cave of the Murcielagos. This is undoubtedly an incredible experience, you can go through long subterranean passages, which lead to different natural pools and take you as far as your adventurous instinct lets you advance.

Bastimentos also has the only National Park we have in the archipelago. Included within this, we find the famous Cayos Zapatilla and Playa Larga, famous for the number of Turtles Carey that come every year to its banks to deposit their eggs.

If you are in Bocas del Toro, you cannot miss this wonderful island. There are alternatives for all tastes, whether you are a traveler in search of a great adventure, or if you want to spend a few days of authentic luxury and relaxation, Isla Bastimentos offers you the best of each part.


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