A couple of miles east of Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos gets narrow—a mere ½ km (¼ mile) wide—and the sea to the south is dotted with mangrove islets. Here you can find a small dock that marks the entrance to a footpath across the island to Red Frog Beach, one of the loveliest spots in the archipelago, with its golden sand shaded by tropical trees, but undergoing major real estate development since 2012. East of the beach, the island becomes wide again, and is largely covered with lush rain forest that is home to everything from mealy parrots to white-faced capuchin monkeys and countless tiny, bright-red poison dart frogs. The scattered homes of local Ngöbe line the bay to the south, known as Bahia Honda, where an indigenous organization has cut a trail through the forest and built a rustic restaurant for tourists. To the east is Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos and to the south a narrow channel through the mangroves that is the main route to the island's eastern coast and the Cayos Zapatillas.
Our 42-hour vacation itineraries are tailored to your interests—from arts-and-culture escapes to outdoor adventures.More