My Favorite Places to Eat, Sleep and Beach in Bocas Del Toro, Panama

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My Favorite Places to Eat, Sleep and Beach in Bocas Del Toro, Panama

I am just a Hippie Island girl at heart, and nothing has ever made that more apparent than my stay in Bocas del Toro, Panama this month.  My heart felt so full as we first arrived on the Caribbean side of the mainland in Almirante.  It was the first time I’d seen the Caribbean!  We hopped into a long tail boat that reminded me of the ones I became so accustomed to in Thailand, and already I felt at home!
Our first stop was the island of Bastimentos where I stayed for almost two full weeks.  The first thing I really appreciated was how much my sleep improved!  I thoroughly enjoyed being lulled to sleep by the ocean waves.  Sleep is so much better near or on the water, don’t you think?
It’s easy to get to and from the main island (Bocas) from any of the neighbor islands, like Bastimentos where I stayed first. It cost $3 one-way before sunset and $5 after (incentive to get home early and get your rest!) and I did so every other day.
There are a few shops on Bastimentos but not rich in selection like you can find on the main island, so it’s worth the trip if you need to pick something up.  Prices are just slightly less than in the states, which surprised me a bit. Word of the wise if you’re coming to Panama: budget more than you did for other countries in Central or South America.  There are many expats living in Panama so you won’t find low prices like in Colombia, for example, but you will find paradise and that’s worth the cost!
There were many highlights of my time here on the islands, but I wanted to put together a favorites list since many of you have messaged me and for info about the islands.
Below are my favorite places to eat, sleep and beach- all the fundamentals for beachside happiness if you ask me!

Favorite Restaurants

El Último Refugio ($$)

Fun vibe (live music almost every night) and absolutely delicious food.  We had the roasted beet salad, snapper fillet, gnocchi and lobster risotto.  Each dish was mouthwateringly delicious and I couldn’t stop eating, even when I was full!

We finished everything and then Katharine, the owner, suggested we try their famous dessert Snickers peanut butter pie, and I could not stop eating it, even though I was stuffed full.  My only regret was not fasting the entire day before so I could eat more!  

My favorite cocktail on the islands was here at El Ultimo Refugio- the Maracuya Margarita. Absolutely delicious! [wpvideo 5vHBvYKh ]

Buena Vista ($)

Great place to have a laid back, comfort food packed meal and a fruity cocktail while looking out over the water.  Mexican food and a “Margarita Fuerte” are a big YES in my book.

Buena Vista has a great staff and location (right on the water in Bocas Town).  

La Rosa, Red Frog Beach Resort ($$)

Pure bliss accompanied by beautiful dishes and views for days.  The Executive Chef is a former fashion designer turned food connoisseur, and his dishes are more than delicious, they are beautiful too!  I could eat here every single day, but that would really put a damper on my travel plans because I wouldn’t go anywhere! The appetizers, decked out in edible flowers, were almost too pretty to eat. Then the cocktails were icing on the cake.  

Leaf Eaters ($)

When you really need a delicious and healthy meal after too much fun in Bocas Town.  This place felt really relaxed and the food was reenergizing.  Vegetarian and vegan options can be hard to find in Panama, so this place was quite a treat! Francesca, the owner has lived on the islands for about 14 years. She’s a complete sweetheart with quite a life story. I throughly enjoyed chatting with her while we tasted all the amazing dishes.
The cafe is a two minute boat ride from Bocas Town ($1 one way) and has dock access. How great is it to take a boat straight up to your lunch spot?!

Favorite Hotels

Isle Bastimentos

Favorite Beaches


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Bocas del Toro certainly lived up to “the hype” in my opinion.  I’ve been wanting to come to Panama for what feels like forever and I was so happy to spend most of my time in the country on the islands.  For me, island life is THE WAY of life.  I have so much love and respect for the people that live on these islands and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them.  
Thank you for sharing your special islands with me people of Bocas!  I’ll be thinking about this experience for many years to come.
Be sure to watch the YouTube episode from my time here, and subscribe to my brand new channel @ She Goes Global.

By |2018-08-07T21:48:42+00:00December 16th, 2017|Destinations, Reviews|7 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. Wiola December 17, 2017 at 5:05 am - Reply

    WOWW what a great blog post. SO much information here, great beaches, yummy restaurants, blue drinks!! Awesome pictures. WOW that’s a great article and I wish I could travel to Bastimentos. Good to know Panama won’t be too cheap as well. Also nice list of accomodation options to choose from! Very helpful!

  2. socialoutwork December 18, 2017 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Nice one thanks for sharing it..!

  3. Jas December 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    The Maracuya Margarita looks UH-MAZING!!!!! Oh mannn I feel like if I ever visit, I’d be drunk all the time because of their yummy cocktails hahaa. And all the food looks absolutely to die for as well. I’m definitely going to be adding these places to my foodie bucket list for Bocas del Toro. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. […] water temperature is just refreshing enough to feel crisp but without the bite of the Pacific.  Caribbean living is SO for […]

  5. socialoutwork December 23, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Awesome: ) I really enjoyed reading your blog, you have lots of great content, Thanks for posting this interesting article.

  6. Cesar_PTY February 16, 2018 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I´m so glad to know you liked it and I know this is one the most beatiful places that panama has. I usually visit places like this and I higly recommend Taboga Island as well. Thanks for sharing!

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