Tag Archives: Bocas del Toro

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.

Dive Panama: 2 Oceans in 1 Trip

Dive at the "Galapagos of the Caribbean" in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Dive at the “Galapagos of the Caribbean” in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama is easily one of the top 5 diving destinations in the world.  Worldwide experts have called our region in Bocas del Toro the ”Galapagos of the Caribbean.”  Its rich biodiversity comes of its privileged geographical location. 1600 islands comprise Panama and from it’s mountainous interior flow 500 streams and rivers draining into both the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. Bocas del Toro (one of the 9 main Islands) is the most popular dive destination in the country.

What You’ll See Diving Here

On the Caribbean side (our side), say hello to over 250 reef and gamefish, 52 kinds of different coral and more than a dozen species of sea turtles! You’ll fin past nurse sharks, stingrays, dolphins, lobster, starfish, seahorses and vase sponges–all thriving among the dramatic and diverse reefscapes of Bocas del Toro.

On the Pacific side, look for whales, dolphins, black marlin and even the 400-pound jewfish!  Enjoy amazing volcanic formations and abyssal drop-offs.

There’s more.  Weather permitting, it’s possible to dive the famous Panama Canal and see the first sunken trans-isthmian railroad and the 19-century trains that ran on it to build the Canal.

All in all, your diving experience exploring Panama’s underwater worlds should leave you astonished, amazed and “sea”duced!

How You’ll Get Here to Bocas del Toro

You decide:  Fast and convenient or slower and less-costly. There are 3 main options with Panama City as your start point:

  • a flight from Panama City to Bocas del Toro (45 minutes.)

  • a bus from Panama City to Almirante (10 – 11 hours) and a boat to Bocas del Toro (30 minutes.)

  • driving from Panama City to Almirante (10 – 11 hours) and then a Ferry to Bocas del Toro (2 hours.)

Experienced diving instructors and friendly local companies will help advise and design the perfect tour for you and your party.

 

Love to hear about what you are looking for when you dive! Underwater architecture? Swimming mammals? Bright coral and reef fish? Join the discussion!

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?

 

5 Beaches You Need to See: All on One Island

The Travel Channel isn’t keeping it a secret, but listed our whole island on their exposé of the World’s Best Secret Beaches.  Here’s a breakdown of the 5 beaches on Isla Bastimentos.  Being the best of Bocas del Toro, the best of the Caribbean, and even on Travel Channel’s world-wide list doesn’t surprise us.

If you’re making the trip to the Caribbean where there is a lot of coastline to be had, you have room to be choosy.

1.  Red Frog Beach—Where else could we start but with our namesake beach?  This is undoubtedly the most popular beach on the island as more are hearing it is the “Hottest Beach in Central America,” according to MSNBC.  Many travelers to the area come on water taxi to at least spend a day or an afternoon taking in the stunning, jungle-lined, white, soft-sand beach.  Join an impromptu volleyball or soccer game on the beach, enjoy the water, and lounge in the local mood.

Beaches- Turtle Red Frog Wizard

Left to right: Turtle Beach, Red Frog Beach, Wizard Beach

2.  Turtle Beach—Just on the other side of a lava outcropping from Red Frog Beach continues the stretch of beautiful sand on Turtle Beach (Playa Tortuga).  One bonus our guests can attest to: few visitors make it past Punta Lava Beach Bar & Grill and The Point lookout spot.  That leaves Turtle Beach just as close and just as lovely but giving you a lot more alone time.

3.  Wizard Beach—Also known as First Beach (Playa Primera), Lonely Planet says that this is actually the most beautiful beach on the island.  You’ll have to see for yourself.

North Beach and Coral Reef, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

North Beach and Coral Reef, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

4.  North Beach—This is a distinguished, long sandy beach that stretches out to a coral reef, offering great snorkeling.

5.  Playa Larga—Known to surfers and animal watchers, this is a 3-mile stretch of postcard-perfect beach within the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park.  Several species of turtles nest here in the early spring. Access Playa Larga by hiking the marked trail through the jungle (great for animal spotters), kayak or consider a water taxi.


Bocas del Toro’s Feria del Mar–The Fair of the Sea

As the Caribbean Fall approaches, the waters around Bocas del Toro turn a calm, clear crystal blue. The boat captains tune their engines as the local community of Bocas Town gears up to celebrate the festival of the season.

Bocas Town, just a 10 minute ride from Red Frog Marina, is bustling for the 5-day Feria del Mar festivities.

Bocas Town, just a 10 minute ride from Red Frog Marina, is bustling for the 5-day Feria del Mar festivities

 Get ready for Feria del Mar, The Fair of the Sea.

During this uniquely original Bocas event, Isla Colon and the waters around her turn into a place for fun, great food, and a community in action. Feira del Mar is a festival for everyone. Thousands of people from the surrounding islands and region come together on the beaches as the Bocas streets transform into a fairground.

The festival is a 50-year tradition showing appreciation to the local fisherman and boatsmen in a celebration of the sea.

The festival starts on Wednesday, September 11, and culminates five days later on Sunday, September 15 with the Bocas Boat Races, which showcase the motorized pangas and the classic wooden Cayukos (canoes), hand-built from large local trees.

 Music and dancing is a key draw for the locals who grew up coming to this festival. From salsa, calypso, reggae and Panamanian rock, there is a little something for everyone, including local folk dances performed by area children in traditional costume.

 Food brings more flavor to the fair as local venders prepare and sell tasty Panamanian treats; a few of the highlights are fresh local fish, the Torrejitas, a sweat and salty corn fried dough and Sancocho soup.

 The children and families are a centerpiece of the day time festivities, enjoying the great selection of games, carnival rides and prizes, as well as arts and crafts. A queen of the fair is chosen, “La Reina,” and then everyone comes to Playa Ismito beach on Sunday for the excitement of the boat races.

Residents of the Bocas Archipelago still prefer traditional Cayukos transportation.

Residents of the Bocas Archipelago still prefer traditional Cayukos as daily transportation

 The Archipelago of Bocas del Toro with all of the beautiful natural wonders, the islands, seascapes and the tropical rain forests; Feria del Mar stands out in the September breeze as a don’t-miss special occasion.