I just returned from a visit to the Red Frog Rainforest Resort, the former Red Frog Beach Club on Bastimientos Island in Bocas del Toro. The change of name is appropriate. This is the same amazing place with 3 miles of white sand beaches and 1600 acres of pristine rainforest jungle, but with a whole new focus. Red Frog is now focused on becoming a major Bocas tourism destination. To start, they”re building a two kilometer Jungle Canopy Zipline which will be up and running in August. Very exciting news for Bocas-these same ziplines are major tourism attractions in Costa Rica and Boquete Panama- and is sure to be a big hit in Bocas.
Red Frog beach is arguably the most beautiful beach in Panama. To make Red Frog beach an even more attractive destination for day trippers, they have also built an attractive restaurant featuring burgers and barbequed chicken and a bar for sodas and drinks at the far end of the beach.
Good news for all, the “resort community” plans have changed drastically- only a fraction of the homes and condos in the original plan will be built. Red Frog is adjacent to and part of Bastimientos National Park which is a World Heritage Site for its extraordinary nature. The residential “foot print” will be minimal. Instead, Red Frog is developing itself as a nature preserve with nature attractions and activities.
Red Frog has 10 luxury villas for rent. These villas are probably the finest I have seen anywhere in Panama. Many of them have ocean views and pools. They are perfect for romancing couples, surfers and families.
Bocas Bount is another new attraction-a beach/surfing hostel . You can get a bed here for just $13 a day. Several beaches near Red Frog are excellent for surfing. If you just want to sunbath on the most beautiful beach in Bocas and hike thru rainforest- this is the best place to stay for those on a budget.
A marina which is now Bocas most successful marina is operating and a spa is under construction.
I met several of the new Red Frog team who live at Red Frog- they are young, visionary, idealistic and very talented folks . They are determined to make Red Frog Rainforest Resort an oasis of protected nature and world-class tourism attraction. With that location and that team, I am very optimistic about the future of Red Frog.
Finally! Panama has not had an tourism article in a major US publication for over two years.
A delightful Los Angeles Times article with a focus on Boquete and Boca Chica.
Check it out here:
Note that a highlight of the authors trip was a rafting trip on the Chiriqui Viejo which may soon not be possible if the hydroelectric companies cannot be convinced to practice water release as is commonly done in other countries.