Category Archives: history

Best of 2013 at Red Frog Beach Resort, Panama

Best of 2013 at the Best place in the Caribbean!

What a year it has been for Red Frog Beach Resort in 2013! By looking deeper into our connection with the island, its pristine beauty and rich history, we were motivated in many areas of growth.  Here are some of our highlights, all benchmarking the way to creating a more valuable guest experience.

JOIN THE 2013 MEMORIES!

Highlights of the Resort and Guests at Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Highlights of the Resort and Guests at Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama

We have shared these times and lifetime experiences with so many of you!  If you have a travel photo of these or another favorite moment from Bocas del Toro, Panama, please share it with us to add to the Best of 2013 album on Facebook!  We are collecting photos to remember what we all have shared, learned, and experienced this year.  Look up those photos on your phone, camera or computer file and put them to work—the more the merrier!

Without further paragraph, the Best of 2013 list!

  • Featured On Mundo Social TV show and Viajando en Pareja, among other TV shows & movies!
  • Finished hillside construction in Villa neighborhood!
  • El Susurro Spa opening!
  • Redesigned Resort Entrance!
  • Marine Fuel Station at the Marina!
  • Grand Open House celebration!
  • Opened our Bocas Airport office!
  • New management and menus at Punta Lava Beach Bar & Grill!
  • Facebook reaches 1000+ Likes! (how long ‘till 5000?)
  • New English & Spanish Websites!
  • Redesigned All-Inclusive Vacation Packages!

 Don’t forget to join our Best of 2013 Celebration with your travel photos and comments!

Holiday Month in Panama! 6 National Holidays in November

Panama is at Holiday for the Month of November

Or it can feel that way, at least.

Spend the holiday watching your soccer team with good food and drinks in Bocas del Toro

Spend the holiday watching your soccer team with good food and drinks in Bocas del Toro

If you’re doing business in, through, or about Panama, this is need-to-know information.  You have 11 months to accomplish what you need.  Panamanians are taking off in November.

While a lot of people in Panama are hard at work, with 6 national holidays, and several other provincial holidays, November is a notoriously slow month-to say the least.  Locals often escape the hubbub of Panama City and head to visit family and friends in country towns or make way to the beaches.  If you want parades, dancing in the streets, and lots of Panama’s red, white and blue, this is the time to come.

Plan ahead for ATM’s running out of money and some restrictions on alcohol sales 24-48 hours around the holiday.

Here is the November Holiday rundown:

November 2:   Dia de los Muertos  Celebrated in Panama with reverence for ancestors, this is opposite of the parades and fiestas in Mexico.  Panamanians typically visit cemeteries and are restrained from loud music or buying alcohol.

November 3: Separation Day  This is the beginning of the Fiestas Patrias in November.  Separation Day commemorates Panama’s Civil War and separation from Columbia in 1903

Panama Flag - Can't miss it on Flag Day

Panama Flag – Can’t miss it on Flag Day

November 4: Flag Day  National pride will be at its peak with flags, colors, and décor on about any place possible.

November 5:  Colon Day  Panamanians remember Christopher Columbus who traveled all down the Eastern coast of Panama on his fourth voyage (and rested near Red Frog Beach for a week).  It was also in Colon that Panama’s forces stood against the Columbian army to victory in the separation.

November 10: The Uprising in the Villa de Los Santos  When Panama was under rule of the Spanish Empire, villagers in Los Santos wrote a letter to activist Simon Bolivar for aid in a revolt against the Spanish. The holiday marks the first step towards independence.

November 28:  Independence Day  This is the anniversary from 1821 when Panama declared full independence from Spain and joined the Columbian government (Gran Columbia) for another 80 or so years.

Snorkeling in Panama for the holidays

Snorkeling in Panama for the holidays

This year Panama’s Independence Day falls on Thanksgiving Day as celebrated in the USA.  What are your plans for the November 28th holiday?

 

Columbus’s Discovery of Bocas del Toro

In 1500, Bocas del Toro was a quiet island group in the Caribbean.  Indigenous groups had lived on the mainland and among these islands for thousands of years.

Ageless scenery around Isla Bastimentos

Ageless scenery around Isla Bastimentos

The Ngöbe-Buglé people didn’t know they were about to receive their most famous visitor: Christopher Columbus.

Ancient towns and indigenous artifacts throughout mainland Panama have now largely been claimed by the thick rainforest in an ambiguity that continues to tempt historians and archaeologists.

Spanish Discovery of Bocas del Toro

Map of the Caribbean

Map of the Caribbean

With 140 crewmen and 4 vessels, a worn Columbus set sail in May 1502 on his 4th and final journey to find a strait that connected the Atlantic Ocean with the Indian Ocean.  He ventured from the port of Cadiz to Jamaica and soon to Central America.  Traveling south looking for a waterway to take him to the Orient, Columbus and his crew skimmed the rims of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Soon they found the islands we call home.

On October 6, 1502, Columbus sailed the channels around then-Caribaro, which was renamed Almirante or Boca del Almirante meaning Mouth of the Admiral.

He noted the deep, rock-free channels and the fragrance that came from fruits and flowers on the islands.  When Columbus anchored, the men were able to refill their provisions, which had been damaged from recent storms, and refresh their spirits.  With this, their island base was named Isla Bastimentos, meaning Provisions.

Refuge on Isla Bastimentos

For ten days the explorers took refuge on Isla Bastimentos, making friends with the native people through offering gifts and hiring translators to communicate. Columbus learned that the mainland was just a narrow isthmus, and over the mountains there was another large ocean.  This reassured his goal of finding passage to the Far East, which he never accomplished.  The people also told of rich gold mines far to the south which diverted later Spanish explorers away from these islands.

Sunset on Isla Bastimentos

Sunset on Isla Bastimentos

In the following weeks and months in 1502, Columbus led his crew south to other points along the banks of Panama and Central America, and the mainland later fell under Spanish rule in a conquest for gold and influence. In 1503, the ships had seen their share of traveling.  The Vizcaino sunk along this part of the trip, yet to be found, and Columbus retreated to Jamaica to await repairs and new ships before returning to Spain in 1504.

Columbus spent significant time of this 4th journey in Bocas del Toro relaxing, learning, and naming his favorite places, including Isla Colon, Isla Cristobal, and Bahia de Almirante.  While this is only one page in the rich layers of history and culture here, October is the month to remember this famous explorer’s visit to our favorite island retreat.