Surf Travel Company

Isla Solarte Surf Hotel - Bastimento, Bocas Del Toro. Panama

INTRODUCTION

Isla Solarte Surf Hotel - Bastimento, Bocas Del Toro Guests overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 5 reviews.
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The archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama is situated on the northwestern coast of Panama in and around the Bay of Chiriqui. This isolated region of Panama has only recently been discovered by international travelers. It is for this reason that much of the island chain remains in pristine and untouched splendor. Bocas is a surfer, diver and outdoor lovers paradise with unspoiled coral reefs, deep-sea fishing, boating, kayaking, snorkeling and long, deserted sandy beaches.

 

The green colour of the water and clarity of the ocean in Bocas is just incredible, combined with the abundant jungle backdrop and tropical sun provides a beautiful setting for your surfing experience.  The most ordinary waves are reef breaks, but there are also some beach breaks, tubing, shallow and can be risky at times! There are few rights but the lefts are widely ranged. Bocas del Toro’s waves normally favor short boards.

 

Eco Surf Lodge Bocas del Toro is a perfect place for the guests, who are looking for the time away from technology and getting unplugged. “Off the grid” is the motto here. It means the hosts collect fresh rainwater for all of the water needs and generate own electricity from solar and diesel generator. There are no TVs or AC. There is free wifi internet for checking in with the loved ones.

 

There are just a few suites and cabanas. Total capacity of 12 people, which makes a quiet relaxing vacation away from the stress of life. Being off the grid the lodge provides a comfortable relaxing holiday with as few of technological crutches as we can handle.

THE ACCOMMODATION

Panama with its green scenery, crystal clear coastline feels like paradise already, staying on your own island will bring this feeling to a whole new level!

 

“Off the grid” is the motto at Eco Surf Lodge. It means the hosts collect fresh rainwater for all of the water needs and generate own electricity from solar and diesel generator. There are no TVs or AC. There is free wifi internet for checking in with the loved ones.

 

It is a perfect place for the guests, who are looking for the time away from technology and getting unplugged. Quiet relaxing vacation away from the stress of life. Being off the grid the lodge provides a comfortable relaxing holiday with as few of technological crutches as we can handle.

 

ROOMS

 

STARFISH SUITE

The suite has two queen sized beds, private bath with hot and cold rain water shower, and a large deck with a hammock, lounge chairs and a ceiling fan for your comfort. Breathtaking views!

 

The Starfish Suite can accommodate a maximum of (4) adults.

 

POOLSIDE CABANAS 1&2

There are 2 cabanas with breathtaking views, which are located adjacent to the pool. Each room has a queen size bed and the option of adding a futon that can sleep a 3rd person, private bathroom with hot and cold rain water showers, and a veranda with a hammock and chairs to enjoy a fabulous panoramic view of the bay

The Cabanas can accommodate a maximum of three (3) adults.

 

BUTTERFLY SUITE

The suite has one large king size bed. Crown jewel of the the lodge. Please inquire about more details and availability. Minimum 5 nights or booked with the whole island.

 

FOOD

 

BREAKFAST

A light Caribbean breakfast is included in all the stays and is served from 8:00a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Breakfast typically includes a selection of tropical fruits, local bread, yogurt, homemade granola, coffee, tea, and juice. If you are leaving prior to 8:00 a.m. we will have the coffee and warm banana bread ready for you.

 

LUNCH

Lunch is available from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and varies daily based on what ingredients are available. Prices range from $4 for fruit smoothies to $10 for shrimp cocktail.

 

DINNER

Dinner is served around 7:00 p.m. and is based on a fixed item of seafood, chicken, beef or pork. Dinner includes appetizers which are available from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Dinners range from $16 to $28. Desserts are typically available starting at $3. Chef uses local fresh ingredients and menus are based on what is available at the time. Chef can accommodate most dietary requirements (vegan, pescatarian, gluten free, etc).

 

FACILITIES

 

✔ Swimming pool

✔ You can enjoy a sea view from all the rooms.

✔ All rooms are equipped with a balcony, linen and a fan. 

✔ Complimentary use of kayaks and snorkel equipment

✔ A restaurant and a games room.

✔ Free wifi

✔ Hot and Cold rainwater showers

THE ACTIVITIES

SURFING

 

Surfing in Bocas Del Toro, Panama is different from surfing in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua or any other places in Central America. The surf in Bocas is island/reef surf, similar to what a surfer might find in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean with lesser crowds.

 

TIPS, SEASONS, SPOTS

The three best qualities of Bocas Del Toro surfing are:

 

✔ Consistent Swell

✔ Quality and Powerful Surf

✔ A Tropical Surfing Experience

 

SEASONS

 

December until April is the surf season in Bocas, when the archipelago receives strong swell. June and July are fine as well, due to wind and cold fronts to the north. August is generally smaller, but there is still some surf in Bocas. September and October are normally flat on the Caribbean coast, but sometimes they get some swell during those months with the hurricanes in the Caribbean pushing swells in.

 

The best and more reliable swell season is December-February, when wave heights average 3-6 feet during this season, but can get up to 8-15 feet on the biggest swells. However, it can also go dead flat for days at ANY time of the year even in peak season. 

 

SURF SPOTS

 

  • Old Man’s – perfect for all skill levels and under head high, it is a perfect longboard wave
  • Sand Fly Bay – If you are a beginner, or want to learn to surf, this is the place to be.
  • Bluff Beach – Advanced Level Surfer.
  • Silverbacks – Advanced/Pro spot only
  • Carenaro Island – Intermediate/Expert
  • Paunch Reef – Intermediate/Expert
  • Dump – Advanced
  • Inner Dump – Intermediate/Expert
  • Tiger Tails – Intermediate/Expert

Snorkeling, Fishing and More

 

Crystal clear water and unspoilt coral reefs for your snorkeling pleasure. Also Bocas Del Toro is a great destination for the beginner to intermediate diver. The sub-sea topography of the Caribbean basin surrounding Bocas del Toro is extreme. Water depths can be more than 2,000 feet just five miles offshore, thus you can be fishing for Yellowfin, Blackfin, and Bigeye Tuna, Wahoo, Kingfish or Snapper all within a few miles of the island.

 

Snorkeling

ZAPATILALS ISLANDS

One of the most popular attractions in Bocas. White sand beaches encircle the islands, they are host to a number of boat tours every day. It is a National Park so expect to be charged $10 park admission in addition to your transportation. The waters are clear and the beaches are beautiful perfect for snorkeling and fun in the sun!

 

DOLPHIP BAY

A short ride from Bocas town, Dolphin Bay is a true treasure. Dolphins can typically be seen in this bay. However, you are just as likely to see them playing off of the docks of the Eco Lodge or on the deck to your room as you savor your favorite afternoon cocktail.

 

CORAL CAY

One of the most accessible snorkeling spots in the archipelago, Coral Cay also offers a couple of restaurants looking over the Zapatillas Islands and surrounding bay.

Fishing

TARPON FISHING

Tarpon fishing in Tranquilo Bay in Bocas del Toro is world class and provides the best sport fishing we have to offer. The best time for tarpon fishing in Tranquilo Bay is in March, April, May, September and October.

 

MANGROVE AND FLATS FISHING

Mangrove estuaries throughout the archipelago are vast. Most of the shielded sides of the islands in Bocas del Toro are covered in mature and lush mangrove forests. There are also hundreds of mangrove islets scattered throughout the archipelago, most of which are protected by the Bastimentos National Marine Park by the Federal Government.

Diving

Bocas Del Toro is a great destination for the beginner to intermediate diver. If you are just learning this great sport then Bocas is the place to come to improve your skills in warm water, with few currents and great underwater scenery.  

 

At the same time there are some great challenging dives off of the front of Bastimentos Island if the weather is cooperating. And remember the Archipelago of Bocas Del Toro was once the hideout for many Pirates that sailed the Caribbean so you never know what a diving adventure may bring you. 

Yoga

Enjoy morning Yoga by the pool before you embark on your daily adventures in Bocas. We offer group classes on most mornings at the eco resort. The weather and instructor may vary the schedule of these classes.

 

Bocas Del Toro has several internationally trained Yoga instructors. If you are interested in trying a class we can recommend and arrange a trip into town to participate in one of these excellent classes. There is something special about YOGA in the Tropics.

 

Want more than just a class? The staff can arrange for daily Yoga classes by the pool for groups of 4 or more and many times YOGA instructors are on-site and will provide an impromptu class at guest’s wishes.

Eco-Tourism 

 

After enjoying a day on a white sand beach, riding the waves or cruising below them then it is time to take in the other Eco tourist activities available pristine and untouched part of the Caribbean. 

 

Bat Caves

After enjoying a day on a white sand beach, riding the waves or cruising below them then it is time to take in the other Eco tourist activities available such as exploring the natural limestone “Bat” Caves so named for their most favorite inhabitant. At least they are not called “Caymen Caves”.

Cacao Farm Visit

Panama and especially Bocas Del Toro is known for its high grade Chocolate. There are several Cacao farms that provide tours and classes in how chocolate is made from the seed pod of the Cacoa tree. An educational and delicious adventure!

Rainforest, Tropical Plant & Animal Tours


Maybe your interests are more focused on the Flora and Fauna. Bocas Del Toro has several excellent rainforest, tropical plant and animal tours that range from a tour of the manicured Finca Las Monas Botanical Gardens to a guided hike through the rainforest. The staff can also arrange professional bird guides for the bird lovers in your group.

Kayaking

Kayaks are available for exploring the numerous mangrove inlands in the vicinity of the Eco Lodge, or for watching the dolphins in the bay. For the adventurous it is a 45 minute kayak trip across the bay to Red Frog Beach.

LOCATION & GETTING HERE

Location

BOCAS DEL TORO

 

The Bocas del Toro archipelago is a collection of ten tropical islands on the Caribbean coast of Panama, near the border with Costa Rica. Warm, turquoise waters, nice beaches fringed by coconut trees, tropical rain forest teeming with exotic birds and coral reefs for snorkelling provide and ideal background to get away from it all. Bocas del Toro has been the shooting location of Survival Series of no less than 12 different countries, including France, Spain and Italy !

 

The archipelago was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 and the main island named after him (Isla Colon). At the turn of the century, the main town, Bocas on Isla Colon, was the headquarters of the US United Fruit Company. Boasting 25,000 inhabitants, the town had six consuls and five newspapers. But its heyday ended in the 1920’s, when banana blight put an end to this once thriving commercial centre.

 

Most of the stately colonial buildings and parks from that time still remain, giving the town its special flair. Bocas has many different European styles bars, restaurants and hotels – most are run by Europeans who have moved to Bocas and started these businesses. The town attract a lot of hippies, backpackers, divers, surfers and ecologically friendly travellers.

 

Climate

Tropical, the weather on Bocas is quite unpredictable. Storms and dense cloud cover are usual, but so are spurts of sun and beautiful calm weather. The most frequent wind direction is NW to NE, and that is fine for many of the breaks in Bocas that have a more easterly or southerly position. As for the weather, the reliability of the surf is also irregular and difficult to predict, because the swells come up abruptly and without much warning, and go down just as suddenly.

Visa

Most countries including U.S, Canada, most of South America, European Union, Australia, New Zealand do not require a visa for up to 180 days. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 3 months.

Check visa specific requirements for your country here: https://panama.visahq.com/.

 

Check with your airline in case you have connecting flights overseas as part of your journey to Panama, that might require a transit visa

Vaccination and Insurance

Courses or boosters usually advised:

Hepatitis A;

Tetanus;

Typhoid.

Other vaccines to consider: Diphtheria; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Yellow Fever.

Traveling with a valid travel health insurance is highly recommended. 

 

Getting Here

 

Flying to Panama

Flying from Europe

 

Direct flights to Panama city available:

Air France – Paris – Charles de Gaulle

Avior Airlines – Barcelona (VE), Valencia (VE)

Iberia – Madrid

KLM – Amsterdam

Lufthansa – Frankfurt

Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas – Madrid (Seasonal)

Turkish Airlines –  Istanbul–Atatürk

 

Flying from U.S and Canada

 

Direct flights from:

Air Canada – Toronto–Pearson

American Airlines – Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami

American Eagle – Miami

Copa Airlines – New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco

Delta Air Lines – Atlanta

United Airlines – Houston–Intercontinental, Newark

 

Flying from South America

 

Copa Airlines pretty much offers flight to Panama from all major cities of both, South and North America. 

Getting to Bocas

Transportation (water taxi) from Bocas town upon arrival and departure included with a stay of 3 nights or longer.

 

Flights are available from Panama City and San Jose (Costa Rica) to Bocas del Toro “Isla Colón” International Airport (BOC). 

The airport in Bocas is just 3 blocks outside of Bocas town, and is easily within walking distance to the center of town. A taxi from the airport will shuttle you to our water taxi dock for $1.00 to $2.00.

 

Air Panama has regular flights to and from Bocas del Toro and Panama City.

Nature Air has regular flights to and from San Jose, Costa Rica. 

 

Warning! Many airlines will refuse to check-in your board to Panama !

PRICES & PACKAGES

 

STARFISH SUITE

 

May 1 – October 31

$138 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

November 1 – December 20 & January 6 – April 30

$165 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

December 20 – January 5

$220 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

  • Additional person(s) $30 each per night
  • Light Caribbean Breakfast Include
  • Complimentary use of kayaks and snorkel equipment
  • Transportation (water taxi) from Bocas town upon arrival and departure included with a stay of 3 nights or longer.

 

POOLSIDE CABANAS 1 & 2

 

May 1 – October 31

$116 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

November 1 – December 20 & January 6 – April 30 

$143 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

Dec 20 – Jan 5

$165 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

  • Additional person(s) $30 each per night
  • Light Caribbean Breakfast Include
  • Complimentary use of kayaks and snorkel equipment
  • Transportation (water taxi) from Bocas town upon arrival and departure included with a stay of 3 nights or longer.

 

BUTTERFLY SUITE

Please inquire about more details and availability. Minimum 5 nights or booked with the whole island.

 

May 1 – October 31 

$220 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

November 1 – December 20 & January 6 – April 30

$242 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

December 20 – January 5

$248 – per night, per 2 persons.

 

  • Additional person(s) $30 each per night
  • Light Caribbean Breakfast Include
  • Complimentary use of kayaks and snorkel equipment
  • Transportation (water taxi) from Bocas town upon arrival and departure included with a stay of 3 nights or longer.

CLIENTS REVIEWS

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