Review: Hotel Caribbean View | Bocas del Toro, Panama

My first week in Bocas del Toro was calm, pleasant and surrounded by water. In other words, it was heaven, for me.

For the first six nights I stayed at Hotel Caribbean View on the island of Bastimentos, home to the always nearly empty (and stunning) Wizard and Red Frog Beaches.

This island is less touristy than the main island in Bocas (Colon), which I really appreciated. Quiet slowness was exactly what I was craving.

From check in at Hotel Caribbean View, I felt comfortable and welcome. We got to pick our room as there weren’t many guests yet, which was awesome.  After being shown 2-3 different options, we settled into a room upstairs with a balcony.  It was refreshing to know we’d be in one place for a almost a full week finally and I could unpack my bags and relax.

After traveling all day in buses, boats and local vans, a girl just wants to kick feet up, swing in a hammock and breathe- and that’s exactly what we got here.

It rained the first two days on the islands but as soon as it cleared, we hightailed it to the nearest beach (Wizard).

If you follow my live updates on Instagram, you probably laughed with me as I posted video footage from my muddy jungle trek on the way there from the hotel. It’s a “20 minute walk” through the jungle which is an experience by itself. When you do reach Wizard Beach, covered in mud, the water looks so good it could make you cry tears of joy. I almost did.

It was such a breathtaking view to take in after a somewhat hectic trek.

After a couple hours here, I trekked back to Hotel Caribbean View.  Going back there actually felt like going home- maybe I’m just used to living in hotels now, but I think it’s more than that.

The owners are a family and they are some of the most friendly people you’ll ever meet.  Luis, the Patriarch, and Sylvia, the Matriarch, have really created something beautiful.  They make sure you’re completely taken care of. I thoroughly enjoyed walking back into the hotel everyday to Luis and Sylvia’s smiling faces. The staff, at any hotel, can make or break the whole experience, and these two and their children (and adorable grandchildren!) made mine great.

The room we stayed in was spacious with a queen size bed and a twin, which meant Tyguenne and I didn’t have to share a bed this time! 😂 <<<<<<<<<<<
ozy- and the air conditioning helped fight the Caribbean humidity.

We had a nice little balcony overlooking the ocean, where I spent lots of time writing, meditating and thinking about life.

g routine while I stayed here that started with coffee every morning on the deck downstairs by the water, book, journal and laptop nearby.

My whole week at Hotel Caribbean felt like a short visit to a new home-away-from-home and I’d definitely recommend this place to my fellow travelers.

A few things I loved about the hotel…

  • GREAT staff and friendly owners.
  • Convenient location (Bastimentos town). The hotel was close enough to get a short taxi boat the main island and far enough to enjoy the peace and quiet.
  • Wizard Beach.  “Twenty minutes” walking through the jungle and worth every step.  One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen in Central or South America yet!
  • Hammocks.  You all know I love my hammocks, right?  There is no better place to sit overlooking the water with a good book.
  • Comfortable Beds

  • Amenities.  All of the amenities were clean and the wifi pretty great, considering we were on an island. I don’t need much to make me happy other than hot water for a shower, air conditioning if we’re in a hot climate and a comfortable bed. I had all of the above (plus morning coffee!) so I was a happy girl through and through.
  • Fresh (and affordable) food.  

  • And the beautiful views, of course…

If you’re planning a trip to Bocas, definitely check this hotel out. They’re also opening up a jungle apartment called the Bamboo House which looks incredible and has its own farm. I will definitely have to stay there next time!

Where you can find Hotel Caribbean View:

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