Where I stayed this week: Bocas del Toro, Panama

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Where I stayed this week: Bocas del Toro, Panama

One of the oldest hotels in Bocas and full of charm, Gran Hotel Bahia is a must-stay when visiting Bocas Town, in Bocas del Toro, Panama.  I stayed for 8 nights and felt relaxed and completely at home.
The hotel sits facing the waterfront docks full of bars, restaurants and shops so when you  walk outside there’s not shortage of things to do.  It was quite a change of pace after staying on the nearly secluded Red Frog Beach Beach Resort on Bastimentos, which I appreciated.  With every step on the main street of Bocas I heard lively music, locals laughing and the sounds of island life.  I loved it.
I will stay at Gran Hotel Bahia every time I come back to Bocas, especially if I’m staying on Island Colon, the main island.
A few highlights:

  1.  Ownership.  Jose is 82 years old and purchased the hotel decades ago.  He is the most friendly and welcoming man.  He told me about his life working all over Panama, including time spent on the canal.  It was fascinated to hear about this man’s history and the history of the hotel.  Which leads me to the next highlight…
  2. History.  Gran Hotel Bahia used to be the Chiquita (bananas) headquarters years ago.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve had many a Chiquita before so it was interesting to see the place where so much of their work was done.
  3. Comfortable rooms. The rooms are all equipped with airconditioning, which is extremely important in the Panama heat, hot water showers (also a treat on an island) and cozy beds.
  4. Breakfast included (with lots of coffee).  You know me, coffee is an imperative![wpvideo rWtbCcCS ]
  5. Location. 7518833648_img_4509Right on the waterfront, surrounded with shops and restaurants.  There were so many awesome eats and drinks, I made a whole YouTube episode about it!  What more do you need in a location?  A beach with a  good cocktail in hand?  Well that’s in walking distance.  😉

[wpvideo ApmiWFpR ]

By |2018-08-07T21:41:10+00:00December 21st, 2017|Central America, Reviews, Solo Female Travel|2 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? SheGoesGlobal.net 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. Elaine J. Masters December 22, 2017 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Makes me wish we’d decided to visit Panama instead of exploring other spots in South America. I’d love to see the old headquarters and explore the island. The diving is pretty good too, I hear!

    • Heather Ditmars December 25, 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply

      You should definitely visit Panama when you have a chance, but don’t ever regret your travels! Every place, even the bad ones, teach us something, right? haha I always say (about countries I’d rather not have been to) “Well, at least it’s great writing material.” haha Happy holidays Elaine! <3 HMD

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