Bastimentos Island (in Spanish: Isla Bastimentos) is an island with eponymous town, and corregimiento located in the Bocas del Toro District and archipelage of Bocas del Toro Province, Panama. The island is about 62 square kilometres (24 sq mi), one of the largest in Panama. Bastimentos had a population of 1,954 as of 2010, giving it a population density of 31.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (81/sq mi). Its population as of 1990 was 988; its population as of 2000 was 1,344.
Often considered the more relaxed alternative to the busy streets and bars of Bocas del Toro District but at only 10 minutes by water taxi Isla Bastimentos is becoming an increasingly popular destination for backpackers. Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park and the Red Frog Island Resort’s Nature Preserve encompasses a large portion of Bastimentos Island, Zapatilla Cays, in addition to the waters and mangroves that surround the island. The western tip of the island, better known as Bastimentos, is clearly visible from Bocas town, and is not part of the National Park itself. There are several private residences here. (Wikipedia)
Our first outing together, Marlot, Matias and myself headed to Isla Bastimentos, Red Frog beach for the day. Travelling alone makes for the perfect opportunity to meet wonderful people, Marlot and Matias were to be two of those wonderful, kind, souls. We decided to catch a ride to Bocas Town and go from there because our host has suggested it would be $180 for a trip to red frog beach. I thought otherwise. Once in Bocas Town we headed to a tourist company and a young salesman rode up to us on his bike and started going through the options, we asked if we could go to Red Frog Beach for a couple hours, hit Sloth island, go for lunch and finally end the day with some snorkeling. Absolutely he said, we would get our own captain and our own boat for $25 each for the day! WHAT!
Off we went for an adventure we would not soon forget.
Red Frog Beach was the most beautiful beach I have seen so far, yellow sand beaches with the beautiful colourful Caribbean sea, clear, clean and oh so beautiful. The beach had some distance and we were able to walk for a long time; something I do frequently at home, a form of meditation for me and I have missed it so very much up to this point in the journey.
I was in heaven.
We walked …
We swam …
We encountered a pig walking down the beach to enjoy his favorite swimming hole …
We encountered police walking the beach in full uniform, security tightening up on this beautiful island, Isla Bastimentos, due to the murder of a young girl only days before.
Most of all we had a lot of fun being silly, hanging, just enjoying each other and the day in front of us. Little did I know at the time, but these two wonderful people would become my travelling companions and good friends.
Much love and gratitude for my new friends Marlot and Matias.