Category Archives: travel

Recently Announced Condos at Red Frog Beach, Panama Are Attracting Many Americans Ready to Move Internationally in Uneasy Sociopolitical Times

Trending: More North Americans than ever consider moving outside the U.S., while Panama continues to be one of the top places to go. The Red Frog Beach Island Community in Bocas del Toro Panama announces the start of construction for its Beach Condos called La Perla Azul to Provide Luxury Island Living alongside Panama’s Economic Benefits.

BOCAS DEL TORO, Panama, April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Panama has become one of the hottest spots for Americans seeking a 2nd home. A recent poll by Morning Consult/Vox showed that 1 in 4 Americans would seriously consider leaving the U.S. if a particular candidate wins the presidency. Continue reading

Souvenir Savvy

People spend a lot of money on souvenir purchases that fill their travel bags and their bookshelves as soon as they are unpacked at home. It is hard to resist the urge for knick knacks that will just add clutter! The good news is that it’s easy to improve your souvenir-buying savvy! Here are 7 ideas:

  • Furniture and Home Decor. Think of how the treasures from your adventure would add to the charm in your home. By remembering the places you saw, sat and stayed, you can bring that feeling with you and incorporate unique pieces into your decoration.
  • Local Art. From its history to its landscape, art is a special way that a culture can express itself. Shop local art displays, grand and roadside, and you’ll be surprised at what you find.
  • Handmade Clothing. This is a lightweight and an easily-packed way to pay homage to those who made a destination come alive on your vacation.
  • Curiosities. Find something that you would see at home? Pick it up. Pieces like this create interest and help tell the story of your experience.
  • Children’s Toys. For the a child or grandchild in your life, toys are always a winner. Even simple trinkets that spark imagination, along with your story of adventure, will be sure to please.
  • Packaged Foods. Don’t forget the power of the sense of taste! Take a box of delicacies with you and you’ll delight in how one bite unlocks the little moments that meant so much.
  • Found keepsakes. Oftentimes, what will mean the most to you is something with little monetary value, but it is rich with sentiment. You’ll know this souvenir when you see it.

Another helpful tidbit…tie the souvenir to your vacation location. The items might include national colors or depictions of a famous icon or be made of well-known items endemic to the locale. With some things you find and buy, specifically fresh fruit or meat, check customs requirements on transporting across country boundaries.
With that, let’s talk about BOCAS DEL TORO SOUVENIRS! Maybe you have a favorite? We’d like to hear about it below! Our top three…drum roll please…are:

  1. Molas. Intricate, colorful fabric designed and worn by Panama’s indigenous Kuna Indian women. You’ll spend between $10-$40 dollars. These can be bought on street stands or small shops and come in many forms- a purse, pillow cover, wallet, framed art. Designs are unique to the maker and best of all, lightweight and packable.
  2. Tiny Frogs Toys. Who doesn’t love cute and colorful little things? These “smaller than a penny” frogs are seen mostly in Central America. They come in an array colors on the islands of Bocas.With the island named after them, who wouldn’t want a toy to remind them of their trip?
  3. Oreba, or chocolate in Panamanian, from the Chocolate Farm. Panama’s chocolate is known for being as good as the Swiss make! There are a few chocolate farms on Bocas. The chocolate nibs are always a favorite.

Whether it be for yourself or another, you’ll probably know the best souvenir when you see it. Go with your gut and remember….
DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO BUY YOUR SOUVENIRS…. Because neither you nor anybody else wants another key chain!
Have a favorite souvenir category that you turn to? Ever received a terrible souvenir? A great one? Please share your souvenir savvy (or not!) in the comments section.

Have a favorite souvenir category that you turn to? Ever received a terrible souvenir? A great one? Please share your souvenir savvy (or not!) in the comments section.

26 Adventurists Won a Trip to Red Frog Beach Resort. Here’s What Happened.

What happens when 26 proven adventurists come together at Red Frog Beach Resort?

Exploring the Panamanian rainforest with a great group of Adventure Hunt Winners

Exploring the Panamanian rainforest with a great group of Adventure Hunt Winners

One legendary week of fun, adrenaline, and unforgettable memories.

That’s what we discovered this July when winners of the nation-wide Adventure Hunt joined forces at Red Frog Beach. Adventure Hunt chose us as part of their grand prize– a 6-day, 5-night stay in our luxury villas , along with a free pass to our famed jungle canopy zipline.

Adventuring through the Treetops in Bocas del Toro Panama

Adventure Hunt is an epic American race to find buried treasure from hardcore brands like GoPro, KZ, Red Bull, Stance, GoScope, and Mission Belt. With 24 participating cities, the treasure is buried in each city’s most recognized or unsung adventure sites. Teams race between the sites, completing missions which range from heart-pumping to fun and goofy.

Adventure Hunt climbing palm trees in Bocas del Toro, North Beach, Panama

Who wins this kind of contest? Those with a passion for adventure, a love for nature, and a curious, fun-loving mind. It’s no wonder the winners had such a great time at Red Frog Beach, in the heart of a stunning tropical landscape and endless array of adventures.

Adventure Hunt on the Canopy Zipline at Red Frog Beach, Panama

You can’t exactly put 26 thrill-seekers on an island and expect them to sit still, so we hit up nearly all our activities at Red Frog Beachscuba diving, snorkeling, ziplining, and hiking through the lush jungle terrain. There was plenty of time to relax, too– whether in the private infinity pools at each villa, our island spa, or lounging on our famous white-sand beaches.

Boat at Bocas del Toro Red Frog Beach

Though our 26 winners could not have been more diverse– different backgrounds, ages, vocations, and interests–-everyone got along famously. That’s what happens when a group shares a common passion for adventure and nature: differences tend to slip away.

Adventure Hunt Scuba and Snorkel at Bocas del Toro, Panama with Red Frog BeachWe decided to put their treasure hunting to the test–-Red Frog Beach style. It’s one thing to find treasure in your own city, but how about a foreign island of jungle, caves, towns, and beaches? Adventure Hunt at Red Frog Beach Panama

Unsurprisingly, our guests were up to the challenge. An incredible day of clue-deciphering and island exploration led our winners to a final treasure chest. Inside: GoPro toys, gift cards, and (everyone’s favorite) cold, hard, cash.

Thanks to our 26 winners for an amazing week, and to Adventure Hunt for choosing us as their grand prize location. We’re glad we got to show how we do adventure out here at Red Frog Beach Resort.

Life's a Beach

Thanks to our co-sponsor, Kameleonz!

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Find your own adventure to Red Frog Beach Resort.

BOOK YOUR ISLAND STAY NOW

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7 Frequently Asked Questions When Traveling to Panama

Here are 7 of the most frequently asked questions about traveling to Panama to help you make plans and enjoy your trip! Please contact us with any questions you have about traveling to Panama or Bocas del Toro.

Is Panama safe?

Yes! Panama is safer than most big U.S. cities. It is the safest country in the region and one of the safest in Latin America.  That said, use common sense and don’t wander in poor areas at night, use only authorized yellow taxis, and do not leave your valuables unattended at the beach.

7 Tips for Panama tripsWhen is the best time to book my visit to Bocas del Toro?

Panama is a year-round attraction. The temperature hardly varies, hovering at about 80 degrees fahrenheit.  The sun shines everyday, all year-round.  We like to say October thru November is the “green” season for bringing the most rain to nurture our thriving ecosystem, but there is still some sun everyday, and possibly some rain, too. Contact us to discuss how the best time for you might vary based on particular activities such as sport fishing or surfing.

Will it be a problem if I don’t speak Spanish?

Not a problem!  Most Panamanians in Panama City and Bocas del Toro speak English, along with other languages.  Panama is an international crossroads where English has been established. Panamanians who cater to tourists are especially comfortable with speaking English.

Do I need a visa/passport to visit Panama?

Not typically.  A visa is required if you intend to work/study/live here.  A passport is required for trips of up to 180 days.  Note: a law requires people entering Panama to have at least 3 months before the expiration on his/her passport, so plan accordingly.

What’s the best way to get to Panama?

From the U.S. there are many direct flights to Panama: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, TX, Houston, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, NJ, Orlando, Tampa, and Washington D.C..  From Canada, Copa has direct flights from Montreal and Toronto.  KLM flies direct from Amsterdam, and Iberia from Madrid. There is also a direct flight from Paris. As of 2014, Southwest flies direct to San Jose, Costa Rica which is very close to Bocas del Toro by regional airline or chartered boat transportation.

What is the currency?

The U.S. dollar, also referred to as a balboa.  No currency exchange hassles!  It’s one of Panama’s great conveniences.

What is the number of the Tourism Hotline?

Just call 311. Operators speak English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. They will advise you if you are having a problem and give you general tourism advice.

That’s Swell! An Epic Surf season in Bocas del Toro

We thought last surf season was big.

Surfing is incredible right now in Bocas del Toro, Panama…and when the swells are here, you can count on some of the best waves and breaks the Caribbean has to offer!  You might also be surprised by who you run into–Sonny Garcia, former world surf champion, and his friend and pro surfer, Kelly Slater are here.  What kind of Surf Report would bring these guys to Bocas? Check out this.

world-class surfing in Bocas del Toro Panama

World-class surfing in Bocas del Toro, Panama

surf in the Caribbean

Waves for beginners and pro surfers near Red Frog Beach

The most popular wave, known as “Silverbacks,“ is located on the NW corner of Isla Bastimentos which is less than 10 minutes by boat ride from Red Frog Beach docks.  How do you describe these Silverbacks?…Magicseaweed says, “Silverbacks (off of Isla Bastimentos) is Bocas’ big wave spot and it’s the only right reef break in the zone. The ride is short, but the drops are long as the wave ledges up into a large barrel. Boards over 7′ are recommended to surf this spot. It needs a good size swell to start breaking and will hold over 20 ft (6m).”

Sunny Garcia says Silverbacks is likely the “heaviest wave I’ve ever tried to surf….and that is why I’ve been surfing a few other spots around Bocas 🙂  The waves of Bocas are varied, some for the beginner and some for the expert.”

                 Slater and Garcia (Jan. 2015)

Come meet up with these guys and score some of the largest and heaviest, right here from Red Frog Beach in Bocas del Toro, Panama!

 

Surfing hot-spot! Red Frog Beach, Panama

Surf with the best in Panama’s Caribbean at Bocas del Toro

Panama Flag - Can't miss it on Flag Day

Panama is the Best Place for Your Well-Being

For the Life that You Will Feel Good About: Move to Panama

Should we credit it to our seco, over-the-top holidays, or our multi-cultural heritage? In a recent study where the United States, England, Japan or France didn’t rank in the top 10, Panama tops all countries as the best for your well-rounded physical and emotional well-being. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows that Panama is the most likely place for you to enjoy living your life.

The poll evaluates worldwide responses from five general areas:

  • Purpose
  • Social
  • Financial
  • Community
  • Physical

Not only does Panama have the best overall scores, but it also has a significant margin over runner-ups Costa Rica and Denmark for the percentage of people who are thriving in at least 3 categories, according to the poll.

Here are the top 10 results:

  1. Panama
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Denmark
  4. Austria
  5. Brazil
  6. El Salvador
  7. Sweden
  8. Guatemala
  9. Canada

USA Today broke down the numbers from the poll here.

This means that we would be happy to have you as our neighbors, and you wouldn’t regret it either.  If you aren’t ready to move to Panama, at least come visit as often as you can.  It is, after all, for your own good.

Featured Again! A World-traveler from Slovokia Shares Her Favorite Things at Red Frog Beach

We are happy to have many kinds of guests at Red Frog Beach, from celebrities to college students, wedding parties to single travelers and more. Sometimes we get to read how they feel about their experience with us through blogging and social media.  Thanks to all our guests who keep in touch with us–you are all part of building our character at Red Frog Beach Resort!

Recently, Alex, expert traveler writer of CrazySexyFunTraveler.com, stayed at the Red Frog Beach Villas for several days.  We were delighted to hear about her coming after knowing her reputation for finding unique adventures and specialty destinations around the world.

Read about what she learned to do, what she likes most about a private pool, and what is on her to-do list for the next time she is here.  Thanks, Alex, for sharing your story!   We hope to see you sooner than later on your next trip to Central America.  (Her post here http://www.crazysexyfuntraveler.com/red-frog-beach-resort/)

Red-Frog-Beach-Bastimentos-13 Alex

Celebrate Carnival 2014 with Panama!

Celebrate Carnival 2014 with Panama!

It is a 5-day event unlike any other in the country, and Panama City hosts the 2nd-largest Carnival celebration in the world.  Think you can dance party non-stop with the best of them? Keeping pace with this crowd would be proof.

Like to party non-stop? Join us for Carnival 2014 in Panama

Like to party non-stop? Join us for Carnival 2014 in Panama

Doing business in Panama?  Don’t think about it for another week while locals are donning costumes, turning up their speakers, dancing and dancing some more–then recovering from Carnival.

Hotels and restaurants host musicians and special events in order to draw the crowd their direction; check your favorite spots for what they have scheduled through the weekend.

History of Carnival

With its roots in Catholicism, the premise of Carnival is getting rid of your sins and preparing to start the Lent period.  Through time it has evolved to an opportunity to indulge before Lent and then just an excuse to let loose like never before.  Panamanians and visitors dancing in the streets have little worry about anyone’s religious practices through the modern Carnival festival.

Carnival 2014 Schedule in Panama

Panamanians in every city will be celebrating.  Panama City hosts the largest Carnival in the country, and each region loosely follows the same schedule.

FRIDAY: Carnival starts the Friday before Ash Wednesday, which for 2014 Carnival is February 28.  Friday night, expect an opening ceremony of sorts.  In Panama City there will be a Carnival queen and attendants presented to symbolically look over the following days’ parades and parties.  Dancing in the streets begins!

SATURDAY: By afternoon, people begin to join the street festival again.  There is a small parade and all day and night you’ll find pockets of various music and crowds moving from one stereo to another.  Vendors set up early with goods from crafts to food, drinks and water balloons.

SUNDAY: Traditionally, the Sunday festival and parades honor Panama’s colorful national costume called pollera.

MONDAY:  Ready for more parades, music and dancing?

TUESDAY:  March 4 will offer the biggest party of all.  Over-the-top parade entries show the competitive spirit within the town to put on the most elaborate show.  Spectators from all backgrounds wander through town with festive costumes, masks, tossing confetti of their own and drink and dance all through the night.  The festival is symbolically over when someone burns a sardine on the beach on the morning of Ash Wednesday.

Expect the Carnival vigor to last until sunrise on Wednesday, even if you don’t.

Are you more adventurous on vacation?

There are a lot of reasons to travel, and one that regularly tops the list is the need to just get away.  There is a lot to getaway from: work responsibilities, busy schedules, your hometown, cold and snow, and stress.  But do you sometimes travel to get away from your normal self?

In a recent article on LandLopers, Matt Long proposes that many travelers throw their usual inhibitions out and say yes at the chance to bungee jump off a stadium in South Africa, when “the thought of a nearby bungee spot has honestly never occurred to me,” he said.

Call it crazy, courage, flexibility, or open-mindedness, the idea is that these traits increase while inhibitions, fears, and walls come down when we are traveling.

Why is it that people are suddenly more eager to try activities, food, and experiences when they are farthest from home?  And does it start the moment of getting off the plane or a day or two into the trip?

Zipline in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

What fears have you conquered while traveling? Done something crazy you wouldn’t have done otherwise?

We see this in Bocas del Toro with Resort guests who might otherwise be petrified of heights who end up wanting round-2 on the Zip Line Canopy Tour (we don’t need to discuss some first-hand experience with this one).  Others, typically uncomfortable with swimming can’t get enough snorkeling time with neon fish, large starfish, and harmless sharks in the vibrant coral reefs.

For others, it is hard enough to get on the intimate domestic flight to Bocas, where there is a beautiful chance to appreciate local Caribbean lifestyle without a “super” shopping center.

Perhaps that’s why guests appreciate the villas and private pools so much–there are plenty of thrilling and new fish, hikes, waves, food, villages, vistas, people, tropical wildlife, and natural attractions to encounter during the days, that it is nice to relax in a place that feels like home at night.  Unwind on the sofa, patio, or by the pool–while charting the next day’s possibilities.

It is probably good for us to travel and discover these new sides of ourselves.  It can bring our everyday selves and the inner adventurer closer together.

What have you overcome while traveling that you wouldn’t have otherwise?