Vacation Guide & FAQs
Vacation Guide and FAQ photo
This is an aerial picture of Bastimentos taken looking southwest. Your Villa is now built on the hillside on the left side of the picture. You can see the calm waters behind the island where the water is consistently glassy and the Red Frog Marina is now built. In the very top right corner of this picture you can see Bocas Town.
 

Panama Vacation Guides



Standard Procedures

  • Check-in and Check-out: Check-in will begin at 3:00 PM on the day of your arrival. On the day of your departure check out will be no later than 11:00 AM so that our staff will have sufficient time to prepare the villa for incoming guests.
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What to do in case of:

  • Emergency: For all emergencies, fire, or other major injuries call Resort Management at 6559-8970. They will contact proper authorities.
  • For villa related problems: Things such as power outages, water outages, leaks, or other problems should be reported immediately to resort staff so that we may attend to the problem. (Resort management: 6671-8189)
  • If someone needs to reach you: Have them call Resort management at : (507) 6559-8970
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FAQ

1. How do we get to Red Frog Beach?

  • To get to Red Frog Beach, you will first need to arrange a flight in to Panama City's only international airport, the "Tocumen International Airport." From there, a 45 minute taxi ride (depending on traffic) will take you to "Albrook National Airport" which has direct flights to Bocas del Toro twice a day (7:00AM and 3:00 PM) flying with Air Panama. These flights can be booked at www.flyairpanama.com Since most of the flights into Panama City arrive in the late afternoon or evening it will most likely be necessary to stay overnight in Panama. We can recommend places to stay in Panama and from there you would need to arrange transportation the Albrook national airport and fly to Bocas del Toro. We will arrange all transportation from Bocas Del Toro to your villa.
  • There is a possibility to fly to Bocas Del Toro from San Jose Costa Rica on Nature Air. It is also possible to make a long car ride from Panama City. Many eco-travelers often "back-pack" from Costa Rica to Bocas. Please ask for details if you are interested in one of these alternate routes.
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2. Is there a general store at Red Frog Beach?

As of now, there is small general store at Kayukos Restaurant on the property.

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3. What can of activities can I do while staying at Red Frog Beach?

  • We believe that Bocas has some of the best "natural amenities" in the world. Our staff can arrange any of the tours offered out of Bocas Town. These tours include: Dolphin Watching Tour, Zapatillo Islands: Snorkel and Beach Tour, Starfish Beach and Bird Island Tour, Salt Creek Indigenous Village Nature Hike, Private Boat Charter, and more...
  • There are a total of five beaches to explore on Isla Bastimentos. The Island has beautiful hiking trails that lead through dense jungle canopy to secluded beaches. Those visitors that are interested in ecology and wildlife--we are located within a World Heritage Site as part of the National Marine Park. The Red Frog staff plans regular Community events where everyone is invited (boaters, owners, and renters) to the Marina Welcome Center to share food as the sunsets over the mainland mountains.
  • You can get a surf lesson, scuba dive, snorkel, explore caves, and try some exotic kayaking through native mangrove. We can also assist in arranging a private massage in your Villa.
  • Bocas Town provides just about everything you would expect from an eclectic Caribbean town. Restaurants, bars, shopping, bike rentals, and more...
    • Please ask our staff about availability and prices for the listed amenities above as they are subject to change.
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4. Is there a villa or resort pool?

Each villa has a small plunge pool to which offer a great spot to cool off and relax after a day at the beach.

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5. Are there volunteer opportunities in Bocas del Toro while I am on vacation?

Yes, below are listed several volunteer opportunities that guests can participate.

  • Operation Safe Drinking Water (see their website for information on this local non-profit group).
  • Village Visit Food Program: In any of the local indigenous communities- could be Bahia Roja, next door, or further away. This involves buying 40# of lentils and 80# of rice (total cost about $70) and go with OSDW to the village to distribute food packs. You can also bring some little games to play with the kids (i.e. Frisbees, bean bag toss, crayons or paints, some paper) and pharmacy items such as new reading glasses (cheap here), tooth brushes, toothpaste, and soap. I would recommend buying toiletries in Bocas to save on luggage weight and also support the local economy. OSDW will often combine the food distribution with a first aid clinic. They also appreciate donations of over the counter medications (list available.
  • Rainwater catchment tank for an indigenous school: Donate or raise $900 and install a water tank at an indigenous school in Bocas del Toro. OSDW will purchase the supplies and provide transportation and the technical expertise. This is an all day trip and OSDW needs the money a month ahead of time to buy all of the supplies.
  • Local indigenous community- Bahia Roja: Our close neighbors on Bastimentos, a community of 150 indigenous people, suffered a fire that destroyed 3 houses in January 2011. The Red Frog Foundation is raising money to help them buy building materials (treated lumber and zinc roofing) for 3 houses. This is an urgent need (check or cash donations to Red Frog Foundation preferred).
  • Bocas Educational Service Organization- (BES0) provides supervised scholarships for local high school and college students in need—cash donations to BESO can be made locally.
  • Playa Tortuga Cleanup: Playa Tortuga is the wild tropical beach on the north shore of Isla Bastimentos and located at the foot of the hill below the villas. Steady onshore winds bring garbage from the ocean to the beach so this beach needs regular cleanup. We provide gloves and garbage bags and one staff person to go with you. It takes about three hours, is good exercise, and at the end you can jump in the ocean and cool off!
  • Global Humanitarian Adventures (GHA), for longer term experiences: info@VolunteerIsland.org We also recommend that people check out the Bocas Breeze (local monthly newspaper) online and read that, as the publication often has additional volunteer options advertised there. Please contact us for more information on any of these options and for help in scheduling a volunteer experience. mpbolton54@yahoo.com Phone 507-6747-2568
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    6. What are our best options for food while at Red Frog?

    To make things as easy as possible for our renters we have the ability to buy groceries and stock them in your villa before your arrival. We strongly recommend this service to allow you the most hassle-free stay here possible. In Bocas town there are many great restaurants to choose from each with its own unique and tasty flare. Some of these restaurants even have take-out meals which can be brought to your villa. In addition, there are a few specialty meat markets and organic markets which will have the freshest meats and produce in town.

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    7. Is the Beach safe for swimming and how are the currents?

    While Red Frog Beach is truly a paradise with access to a variety of beaches, there are times when the surf can get very large and the rip currents can become strong. Most days you will see people swimming and enjoying the perfectly warm water with no problems, however, it is important to be very cautious and know what to do in case of emergency.

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    8. Are there DVD players in the villas?

    Each villa comes equipped with a flat screen TV and a DVD player. These DVD players will play DVDs from the US, and our resort staff will be happy to let you choose from our selection of DVDs on the project. As well, Red Frog is working to provide iPod docks in the villas so that you may play music and also charge your iPod.

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    9. Is there a washer and dryer in the villa?

    Each villa comes with its own washer and dryer so that you may do laundry during your stay, and detergent will be provided. In addition, we offer a valet laundry services at $5 per load if you prefer not to do it yourself (subject to change).

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    10. Are there beach chairs and beach towels at the villas?

    There are beach towels provided in the villas for you to use while you are here. In addition, there will be a number of beach chairs and umbrellas set up on the beach daily for you to use during your stay.

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    11. How can people reach me in the resort?

    In case of emergencies, family and friends will be able to contact resort management directly at (507) 6559 8970 to reach you during your stay. From there, a staff member will relay any messages to you at your villa.

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    12. Is there ongoing construction at the Resort?

    The Resort will be finalizing some construction mid-to-late 2013. There are many villas that are not near any construction.

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    13. Do we need to get vaccinated or take malaria pills?

    You will not need to worry with vaccinations or malaria pills while you are here. Cases of malaria are extremely rare in Panama, with most being located in Panama City. As well, Typhoid and Yellow Fever are extremely uncommon and pose a very minimal threat to travelers.

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    14. Are there cribs available for babies?

    We will be able to provide cribs in the villas for a small surcharge. Please notify us of any special requirements you may have in advance so that we may be able to accommodate.

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    15. Do I need to bring an electrical adapter?

    All the outlets in the villas run off of a standard 120V electricity with normal 3-prong US plugs.

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    16. Do you have a nurse/doctor on property?

    We do not have a doctor on standby on the project. Resort management will have first aid kits for smaller injuries, and there is a hospital in Bocas town in case of an emergency.

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    17. Can I drink the water?

    The water on the project is perfectly drinkable and is put through a purification system as an additional precaution before reaching the villas. The water in Bocas town is safe to drink, but large bottled waters can be bought while in town for one to two dollars just in case.

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    18. What is the local currency in Panama?

    While the Balboa is the official currency in Panama, coins are the only Balboa that you will see. All prices are listed in dollars and everyone throughout Panama uses dollars. Large bills ($50 and $100) are harder to change and use in Bocas, and smaller bills are preferred around the islands.

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    19. Can I easily pay with a credit card or is there an ATM machine in Bocas town?

    Some larger establishments in Bocas town have the ability to take credit cards, although most prefer cash and may not be able to accept credit cards. ATM machines can be found in Bocas town if you need to obtain additional cash during your stay. If you are planning on using your credit card here often, be sure to alert your card provider to let them know you will be traveling internationally.

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    20. How do I arrange transportation to the Resort?

    For a fee, Red Frog can provide pick-up and transportation service from Bocas airport to Isla Bastimentos. If you book your own flights to Bocas, be sure to notify of your time of arrival.

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    21. What kind of fish are in the Bocas area?

    Panama actually means "Abundance of fish." In Bocas you will find numerous species of fish including Sea Bass, Snappers, Yellowtail, Tuna, Wahoo, and King Mackerel. As well, some of the rivers in the Bocas area can hold Tarpon and Snook during certain times of the year.

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    22. What is the ocean temperature and visibility?

    The water in Bocas usually stays in the low 80's (warmer than Hawaii) and has great visibility year round. To complement the beautiful water here, the average temperature in Bocas resides around 88 degrees which is comfortable to be in for several hours at a time. Typically, a slight breeze comes in the evening which is very refreshing.

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    23. Do you offer tours?

    There are many things to do while here in Bocas. We can arrange private boat tours as well as hikes, beach, and even a cave tours though the caverns of Bastimentos! This truly is a place where you can do it all, or simply relax on the beach and soak up some sun. We can provide you a list of things to do and a sample itinerary.

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    24. Is the surfing good in Bocas?

    The Surfing in Bocas is excellent and the waves here can reach heights of 20' at their peak. Wave patterns vary throughout the year. There are multiple spots around the island which offer good waves for all types of surfers. However, most of these waves are reef breaks and are better suited for intermediate to advanced surfers.

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    25. Is smoking permitted in the Villa?

    There is absolutely no smoking within the villas.

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    26. Do villas have a patio or balcony?

    Each villa has a nice patio. We have furnished the patios great outdoor furniture and full sized barbecue grills for you to enjoy during your stay.

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    A photo from Red Frog Beach
    A picture from Red Frog Beach. The Island Key you see on the right is Wild Cane Key. There are 6 other beaches on Bastimentos as well as a massive stretch of protected Marine Park (Wizard Beach, Turtle Beach, Pelican Bay, Polo Beach, Cayman Beach/Cayman Coves, and Long Beach).

    Villa Operation Hints

    • Microwave: Sometimes the microwave may appear to be broken or displays an "F-2" error. To fix this simply press the "beverage" button in the top right hand corner of the microwave. This should clear the microwave and it will then be ready for use.
    • Showers: In order to get hot water from the showers it is necessary to turn the faucets so that they are pointing down. The further to the right you turn the shower handles, the colder the water will get.
    • BBQ Grill: We have provided a grill so that you may easily cook your foods while in the villa. Matches or grill lighters will be provided. Please contact resort management if you have problems with the grill or need a refill of propane. Please be sure to TURN OFF the grill as well CLOSE THE PROPANE VALVE.
    • Air conditioning: The remote controls for the A/C units will power all of the units throughout the villas. To conserve energy, please be sure to shut all doors and windows while the air conditioning units are running.
    • Smoking: Smoking inside the villas is not permitted. When smoking on the patio please dispose of all cigarettes in a correct manner. Please don't throw cigarettes in garden.
    • Cell Phone: We have provided a cell phone so that you may be able to contact resort management during your stay. The pin number of the phone is #1111 and may be necessary to activate the SIM card.
    • Bugs: While Red Frog Beach Club has very few mosquitoes, there are sand flies called "Chitras" which are most prevalent at dawn and dusk and are found close to water. These small flies are barely visible, but can produce small bites. Insect repellent works well to deter these bugs as well as things such as bug repellent incense coils.
    • DVDs: We have a few DVD's to provide to our villa guests during your stay. We will generally stock the villas with a few DVDs, but please feel free to ask if you would like to switch them out during the week.
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    Things to Bring

    Here are a couple items that may help you in packing for your trip:

    • Money: While the Balboa is technically the official currency of Panama, US dollars are used everywhere in Panama. All locations will accept US dollars, and while some locations will accept major credit cards, it is a good idea to bring plenty of cash with you. There are ATMs in Bocas Town that may be used with debit cards, although these have the tendency run out of cash during peak times so be prepared. Personal checks are not accepted. It is also a good idea to advise your bank that you will be travelling to Panama and will be using your credit card and ATM card there.
    • Medication: Bring all of your required prescription medications with you. For over the counter medications, there are a few pharmacies in Bocas town where you can pick up most medications.
    • Clothing: Think casual and comfortable. Shorts, T-Shirts and flip flops are the standard here. Make sure to pack your bathing suit as there are tons of fun things to do in the waters around Bocas del Toro. You may want to pack a light windbreaker/rain jacket if the weather should be less than sunny.
    • Camera and film: Be sure to bring your camera with you so you can document you adventures here in Bocas del Toro. As well, an underwater disposable camera is always fun and useful, but these can be purchased here in the local stores.
    • Document Copies: It is important to bring photocopies of your passport and drivers license in case of an emergency. Keep these in a separate place from your actual passport and license to ensure you will have some sort of documentation.
    • Bug Spray and Sunscreen: Due to our position close to the equator, the sun can be very strong here so make sure to bring adequate sunscreen. As well, bug spray with DEET can be very effective against the small sand flies that are prevalent near the water mostly around dusk and dawn. Also DEET can be purchased here in local stores, ask for the brand OFF deep woods, this is very effective
    • Books, music, and videos: For entertainment and relaxation, we suggest bringing books to read or DVDs to watch. Each villa will have a flat screen TV and DVD player for your enjoyment.
    • Adventure Gear: If you would like, you may bring your own gear for snorkeling, hiking, and exploring the island!
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    Please contact us if you have questions about your stay. We look forward to seeing you at Red Frog Beach.

    Sincerely,
    The Red Frog Team
    US: (281) 576-8792
    Panama: (507) 6671-8189
    info@redfrogbeach.com

    A photo from Red Frog Beach