Built along a mile-long coral reef, Punta Caracol's construction is typical of the archipelago: wooden cabins sit over the water on stilts and are covered by a palm leaf roof.
Punta Caracol was born out of the idea of creating a lodge in a totally virgin and natural environment. The idea is to offer guests a pure and intimate experience with nature in a place of singular beauty where they can relax in comfort.
At night, the restaurant creates the perfect surroundings for a candlelight dinner; the menu including a variety of Caribbean, Mediterranean and international dishes.
Activities include visits to deserted beaches around the Bocas del Toro archipelago, snorkelling, boat and canoe trips, rainforest hikes and excursions to Bocas town for some souvenirs.
Why We Love It
The Bocas archipelago is rich in wildlife, from tropical fish to monkeys and dolphins.
Tranquilo Bay is located on the island of Bastimentos, part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago in western Panama, close to Costa Rica.
Isla Bastimentos itself covers an area of about 20 square miles and is mostly forested with no roads, cars, or airstrips. The lodge overlooks the Caribbean Sea and the Panamanian jungle. Accommodation is in air-conditioned cabanas, each with a covered veranda with a hammock and ceiling fan.
The main lodge houses the dining room and bar. On the upper floor, a large terrace wraps around two sides of the building offering great views over the jungle canopy and the sea beyond. Good quality food, using local ingredients such as fruits and seafood, is served by the restaurant.
The hotel has over 110 acres of land including a long stretch of coastline with sandy beaches. Activities include snorkelling and diving on the reefs of the adjacent Bastimentos National Marine Park, sea kayaking in the lagoons and mangrove forests, and good surfing at certain times of year.
Other activities include birding, hiking and beachcombing, while on the nearby mainland there are the cloud forests and wildlife of the Talamanca range to explore.
Why We Love It
Visited by Columbus on his final voyage to the Americas in 1502, the Bastimentos islands are one of the most biologically diverse places on earth and have been dubbed the 'Galapagos of the Caribbean'.