Friday, September 12, 2014

Bocas Del Toro Archipelago, Panama

Bocas Del Toro has got the Pacific Island vibe down pat...

"It is difficult to express in a few worlds what you can feel when you visit the Bocas del Toro archipelago.  Only some places around the world keep this particular atmosphere, seductive, primitive and unforgettable.  Bocas del Toro captivates its visitors because of its amazing vegetation, its biodiversity, its ancient customs: its a real biological fantasy."

If they were trying to convince me why I should visit Bocas then they had me at seductive, primitive and biological fantasy!

Lets cover some basics about the archipelago...

They are located on the northern Caribbean coast of Panama and boasts some of the largest rain forests in Central America.  With 9 main islands, 52 cays, and thousands of islets it has become home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Panama's first National Marine Park.  While it protects its biological diversity it has become one of the country's top ecotourism destinations; considered the Galapagos of the Caribbean it is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth!

*Archipelago: A group of islands
*Cay: A low bank or reef of coral rock or sand 
*Islet: Small island

Since the archipelago consists of so many islets and cays it would be impossible to visit all of them in one visit - thats ok because after the first holiday there you will want to come back every year!
To spend your vacation exactly the way you dreamed of choose from any style of accommodation to call you home base: 
luxurious resorts
jungle eco-lodges
 private islands resorts 
beach front surf hostels 
island style B&B's 
  No matter where you stay you can hop on a sail boat and cruise the island chains, scuba dive to witness their world re-nowed underwater biodiversity, zip-line through the rainforest, surf, swim with manatees or explore the deserted palm line beaches.

It is the perfect balance between development and raw natural beauty. 

Surfing Bocas del Toro...

To surf the best swell head down there anytime between December and March when the Northeast storms deliver waves in the 4-12 foot range.  No worries if you prefer smaller waves or cannot make it until summer time, that is when the smaller waves of about 3-8 foot arrive for a fun, playful session.  
Majority of the breaks are coral reefs and beach breaks - always know which one you are surfing because you need to take caution when over the coral reef.

Three of the most accessible breaks are:

Isla Colon: choose from breaks ranging from steep, hollow beach break, or peaky reef breaks.  A word to the wise: the power and strength of these breaks should only be surfed by the experienced surfer who knows how to make steep drops and make tubes. While in the area hit up Paki point (restaurant/bar), Tiger tails (reef break) and lounge at the local surf club for food, a massage or yoga.  Also, book a charter to take you and a couple buddies out to a secluded break where you can score uncrowded waves.  Contact Sully's Surf and Fishing Tours - they have been around since 93' and are the most trusted surf shop down there.  

Paki Point Restaurant/Bar
Isla Carenero:  Here is great for the beginner and experienced surfer offering two different breaks: Black Rock for learning and The Point for seasoned vets.  Beginners can rent boards at this beach and set up a lesson with one of the surf shops/schools while the experienced surfer can surf the steep hollow lefts and score some of the longest rides in Bocas.  

Isla Bastimentos:  The locals consider this to have some of the beach beach breaks around such as Wizard Beach, Third Beach and Long Beach.  But in order to reach these beaches you either have to take a 30 minutes water taxi from Bocas town or walk if you are staying on Bastimentos.  The reef break that is found here called Silverbacks will make any big wave surfer drool as it is compared to some of the big wave breaks on the North Shore.  It is a right that rarely breaks but when it does the waves are 15-20 foot.  Not for the faint of heart.

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Now is the perfect time to contact United Military Travel and have them book your airfare and accommodation in the Bocas del Toro archipelago!  866-582-9579
Fly now/pay later
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Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo