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Red Frog Beach Receives International Property Awards

Bocas del Toro, Panama

November 2015

Red Frog Beach Island Community Recognized by the International Property Awards: Top Honors for Best Leisure Development and Best Residential Landscape Architecture in Panama

The International Property judging committee in London (chaired by two members of the House of Lords) reviewed hundreds of developments and Red Frog Beach located in Bocas del Toro, Panama has been awarded as a finalist in these categories for


  • Best Residential Landscape Architecture
  • Best Leisure Development


Panama has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies in the world that has attracted the attention of foreign investors because of the dollarized currency, 1st class healthcare, political stability and one of the best residency incentives for people looking to buy a vacation/retirement home.

Because of the country’s quiet boom, numerous real estate projects are attracting people from all over the world. Red Frog Beach stands out among all these developments because it is the most successful island resort in Panama and located on the Caribbean side of the country with the best beaches and world-renowned tropical forests. Few Caribbean locations can offer real estate in a setting as unique as this one with 1st class infrastructure and all the incentives that Panama has to offer.

Oceans Group International took over the island project in 2009 is proud to be recognized internationally for the resort’s Landscape Architecture and as a Top Leisure Development. The resort includes a large protected Nature Preserve adjacent to the National Marine Park on the island and the company has completed a reforestation project of over 60 acres caused by cattle grazing. Hence, there is more vegetation and tress at the resort than before the resort development began!

Red Frog Beach recently announced the beginnings of implementing a solar power project that will make the resort one of the largest centralized solar resorts in Central America. They also announced an affiliation with the University of Minnesota for students to study in this unique part of the world.

Steven Bolton of Oceans Group International is pleased that the island property has received this recognition: “This award recognizes that the resort compliments the natural beauty of this unique archipelago community. As the largest employer in the region, we credit our employees for their commitment to create something beautiful that invites people from all over the world to visit this special place.


Island Real Estate, contact: 888.220.5602

Vacation, contact: 888.655.9573


The International Property Awards is in its 22nd year and the largest and most prestigious property competition in the world. This year in excess of 2,000 companies from over 100 different countries took part.

Judging is carried out through a process involving a panel of over 70 experts covering every aspect of the property business. The judges not only look for the most impressive and innovative projects, they also examine the sustainability and eco-friendliness of every property and development.

The Rebirth of Red Frog Beach

Nine years ago the Red Frog Beach Island Resort project started. A small group of individuals purchased the land bordering Red Frog Beach, Turtle Beach, North Beach and Cayman (coves) Beach. Most of the land was sold by the Motta family who for 18 years had taken care of the land and improved it with tree plantations, bridges and pathways. However, the cattle grazing on the island caused deforestation on a large section of the island that was leading to erosion problems. It was on this deforested section of land that the Red Frog Beach Resort would build individual homes, and by removing the cattle, allow the natural vegetation to grow back.

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Things to do: Isla Bastimentos’s Chocolate Farm

Where chocolate grows on trees!

If you are visiting Panama, touring the chocolate farm on our island is a must.  CNN says it’s one of Panama’s top 11 things to do.

The History of Chocolate in Panama

things to do in Bocas del toro: cacao farm

Visit local, organic, cacao farm on Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

To early Central American Tribes and even the ancient Mayan and Aztec communities, the cacao plant was very valuable, even used as currency.  As immigrants came to Panama from the other Caribbean Islands, they bought land and employed the native peoples in the production of the plant.  Then, with the discovery of America, chocolate was introduced to Europe and there it was transformed into the product we know today.

In recent times, Ngobe natives have bought back their land and continued production themselves.  At present, about 30 indigenous families own the Oreba Cooperative…Oreba meaning “chocolate” in the Ngobe language.  The Oreba Shop is located on Bocas del Toro on Isla Bastimentos.

Panama’s Chocolate Today

Oreba Chocolate is considered by Swiss experts to be among the finest in the world.  Mix the paste grinded from seed with some sugar and milk, and you’ll get milk chocolate, or leave it without and you’ll get dark chocolate.  These Ngobe families pack all of their products by hand and export them to Switzerland or sell locally.  For a fascinating “plant to product” presentation visit:

Chocolate Farm Tours

On Isla Bastimentos, at the top of the highest hill just above the rainforest canopy, you’ll find Oreba Chocolate Farm.  From Red Frog Beach, it’s about a 25 minute hike.  Get ready to roast, grind and sample the goods!!…..and don’t forget to take home some chocolate nibs!

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.

Look What People Are Saying

Alex had the Massage at El Susurro Spa

Alexandra Kovacova had a rejuvenating massage from our French Masseuse, Ludo.  Here’s what she thought about our El Susurro Spa in the tropical island forest:

At the Spa

When walking up the steps, I was amazed by the spa design completely blended into the natural landscape. Such a peaceful place. You can just listen to the stream and noises of the jungle and observe the beauty of huge jungle leaves surrounding you.

It sounds like it was good for the muscles, the skin, and the spirit! You can read more about her experience at El Susurro Spa at Red Frog Beach HERE.


Reinventing an Island Bar & Grill: Punta Lava

New Owners and a Menu Makeover at Punta Lava Bar & Grill

We are excited to introduce two dedicated owners at Punta Lava Bar & Grill and a menu makeover!

With a location one of Panama’s favorite beaches, Punta Lava Beach Bar & Grill offers stunning views, beachfront access, and sea-to-table freshness that satisfies guests day and night.  Recently, Punta Lava has been reinvented by two innovative, dedicated and energetic owners.  We are excited to introduce Rich Littlefield and Kristie Craven, each with 20+ years of valuable experience from Tahoe restaurants to hot bars on Waikiki.  They are the ones bringing the goodness to your plate, and your glass, right here on Red Frog Beach.

Here’s the scoop from our Q/A with them about their love for Bocas, why they relocated here from Hawaii, and how they are making Punta Lava better for guests and the island community.

Inside Punta Lava Restaurant in Bocas Del Toro

Order a Coco Loco at the bar, or the day’s catch of Lobster–you won’t be disappointed

What attracted you to Bocas del Toro & Red Frog Beach?  What attracted us to Bocas and Red Frog is the natural and unspoiled beauty that exists here.   We were enamored by the panga boat taxis to get around, the clear warm tropical waters, the surfing, the diving and the variety of animals found in the jungle here.

We could also clearly see that tourism was relatively new to the area and growing and that Bocas was becoming a destination that people were discovering worldwide.   We thought that Panama was the new Costa Rica and very much like Hawaii must have been fifty to sixty years ago and that the timing was right to locate opportunities here.

When did you know you wanted to run a restaurant as a career? What is the best part?  Kristie and I [Rich] both knew that we always wanted to work for ourselves on a dream or project that we could have direct effects on.  The corporate mega hotels in Hawaii are too ingrained with red tape, bottom lines and corporate policies…  The “best part” we both believe is being able to create nightly exciting specials that we feel the guests will enjoy and then chatting with the guests to hear their feedback and stories about where they are from and how they, too, discovered Bocas.

Eat at Punta Lava on Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro

Get five-star service at this beachside bar and grill

Who is in the kitchen on a typical night? Our executive Chef Kinga Samudia is in charge with his Sous Chef Yasir creating incredible food combinations and sauces.    Kinga is from Bocas and has owned his own restaurant here in the past.   He also has cooked in Italy for four years, Thailand for two and Malaysia for one year before returning to Panama.    With this wide variety of cooking knowledge coupled with his incredible ability to speak five languages he is truly an asset and superstar that we are proud to have and showcase here at Punta Lava.

What’s Chef Kinga cooking tonight?  Though we change up our nightly menu every night here we strive to have Lobster on the menu as much as possible.   In addition to that we also have local caught octopus (pulpo) and sashimi grade yellow and black fin tuna on the menu most nights of the week.

What is it like behind the scenes at Punta Lava? A typical day and night at Punta Lava is much different than most restaurants in the states or surrounding developed areas.   We work with over 25 different local fisherman, farmers, bread bakers, and jungle fruit collectors in order to write our menu daily and keep our guest coming back for more.

What has impressed you about Bocas del Toro? What has impressed us the most about Bocas Del Toro are the friendly people: local people as well as the array of tourists from around the world who also love Bocas.  In addition to that is the bountiful availability of seafood and produce found in the surrounding ocean and jungle.

What do you hope to add to the island? We hope to bring … consistently great food and five star service.   This combination back in Hawaii, coupled with the aloha spirit, has made the Hawaiian islands a legendary destination location…We hope to see happen here in gorgeous Bocas Del Toro.

Restaurant in Bocas del Toro Red Frog Beach

Refresh at Punta Lava

What is the Fan-Favorite drink at Punta Lava? Our most revered drink here at Punta Lava would be a toss-up between “Snappers Rum Punch,” which has six fruits and two different rums in it and has a phenomenal balance and texture to it, and our famous “Coco-Loco Surprise,” which is one fresh coconut opened, the water blended with coconut puree, Malibu rum and Seco Herrano (local sugar cane liquor) and then poured back in the coconut and topped with a garnish of toasted coconut.  Yum!

El Susurro Spa at Red Frog Beach Resort is Now Open!

El Susurro Spa is now open and taking appointments!

At the heart of our island oasis, find a whispering natural spring, relaxation and bliss.

At the heart of our island oasis, find a whispering natural spring, relaxation and bliss.

What is better than a natural Spa retreat on an intimate Caribbean island, giving you a break between surfing days, tropical forest hikes, an organic cacao farm tour, SCUBA diving, the Best Secret Beaches, and the rest Bocas del Toro, Panama has to offer?

Connect on Facebook

Here is the spa’s Facebook page.
“Like” it and you’ll get our updates, specials, and yoga class announcements.
Leah Kropp, our certified yoga instructor, will be leading classes on Tues/Thurs at 9am on “the Point” by Punta Lava and is available for private sessions.
All of our therapists are licensed and experienced. Let us rebalance your mind, body, and spirit at our beautiful island Spa.
If you would like to book an appointment prior to your visit, please email us at, send us a Facebook message, or call the villa host at 507-655-98970.
We look forward to seeing you soon.

Massage services are available at El Susurro Spa or by appointment in the privacy of your island villa.

Massage services are available at El Susurro Spa or by appointment in the privacy of your island villa.

The Best of the Caribbean (hint, it’s in Panama)

The Caribbean has been the top cruise destination for years, and consistently is among the most popular world destinations for holiday breaks, weddings and honeymoons, and special occasions.

Red frog beach caribbean

Red Frog Beach on Isla Bastimentos (Bastimentos Island) in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Though the Caribbean Sea includes dozens of countries and territories, each with unique personality variations and attractions, these Caribbean characteristics keep a variety of travelers coming (and coming back) every month of the year: Weather, Water, and Beaches.

Come to the Caribbean for blissfully warm weather and sunshine, reliably about 80F anytime of year.  When dreamers picture long beaches and warm, crystal blue water for swimming and splashing or snorkeling and scuba diving, the Caribbean is the place that fulfills the image.

Get the Best of the Caribbean at Isla Bastimentos

Want to know why Budget Traveler listed Isla Bastimentos among “10 Great Islands You’ve Never Heard of?”  The Bocas del Toro archipelago is along Panama’s Caribbean coast and boasts the best of these Caribbean characteristics and more.

The Best of the Caribbean is in Panama

The Best of the Caribbean is in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Weather at Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

For weather, the unique geographical layout keeps Isla Bastimentos hurricane-free while most of the Caribbean is seasonally at-risk. The Marina is a sailor’s haven year-round, and the surf is great for a variety of activities.  Being in the tropics, we get rain to keep the environment fresh, and an intermittent morning drizzle will usually give way to sunshine and bliss through the afternoon and evening.

Water of Panaman’s Caribbean

The water here is not only brilliantly turquoise and clear, but we are blessed to be near the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park and enjoy many species of rare tropical wildlife from Wizard beach bocas del torostrawberry poison-dart frogs (harmless unless you ingest the venom) to toucans, as well as outstanding thriving coral reefs and water conditions for surfers, divers, kayakers and swimmers alike.

Beaches of Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

What about the beaches? Well there’s a more complete breakdown of the beaches of Isla Bastimentos here but we’ll just say that travelers come from around the world, any time of year, to experience the soft, white sand and capture the untouched vistas.

Take it from Travel Channel, MSNBC, or see them for yourself, these beaches are not to be missed.

The Bottom Line

Boat on Sea Red Frog ResortIt is hard to argue the beaches and rich environment.  On top of all that, Bocas del Toro maintains the genuine culture.  For travelers wanting a boxed vacation special from high rise hotels, this isn’t the place. Discover the natural treasures as Mother Nature intended them. Then at night, sit at the bar next to the guy whose forefathers worked banana plantations and fished for a living.  Enjoy the blended dialect with a Jamaican twist.

Best of the Caribbean? Whose opinion matters most to you?

Gearing up for the Open House!

Open House is just a few days away!  We are having an open house to celebrate the (finally) finished hillside construction, and opening of our new spa!

This is great timing to spend a fall break in paradise, think of Columbus coming 511 years ago and realize that the natural riches are largely unchanged and ready for you to discover it again.

More Open House details are coming soon, with new resort photos, special events, and more!

Villa at Red Frog Beach Island Resort

Villa at Red Frog Beach Island Resort

What we can share today are some of the specials going on.  If you want to be one of the first to celebrate with us, these great prices and travel deals make it tempting to invite family and friends to join.

If you’re lucky enough to be from Panama and have the November holidays coming up, use these deals to make your holiday more than just a day off.

  1. Book 5 nights get 1 night complimentary
  2. Book 7 nights get 2 night complimentary
  3. Unbeatable All-Inclusive Island Packages from $149 per person per night (includes food, zipline tour, island massage, Jungle Cart) (4 person minimum in a villa)
  4. Beachside Breakfast included!
  5. 10%  discount on domestic flight
  6. $70/person credit towards our discovery activities
  7. Discount Packages available to see Panama City Hotel accommodations, Panama Canal and Red Frog Beach Island Resort in Bocas del Toro (two vacations in one!)

Call for more information!