When it comes to choosing the right location for a Valentine’s Day getaway, it can often be difficult to choose the place that will offer everything that you are looking for in a special, romantic location. For many people, the Panamian archipelago of Bocas Del Toro will tick many boxes, with plenty of things to do for beach lovers and a range of beautiful sandy beaches to choose from. It is also easy to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing romantic break in Bocas, with a selection of one-of-a-kind retreats.
An introduction to Bocas Del Toro
Bocas Del Toro is a province on the east-facing coast in north eastern Panama, with most visitors drawn to the archipelago of beautiful islands and beaches on the Caribbean coast. The climate in the area is one that is generally hot throughout the year, with temperatures rarely dropping below twenty degrees Celsius. The area can be prone to heavy showers, though for those going for Valentine’s Day February is usually one of the driest periods of the year.
Where to stay and enjoy a Valentine’s dinner
Choosing where to stay in Bocas Del Toro will depend on your holiday preferences, as Bocas town is the largest settlement offering the best selection of bars, restaurants and hotels. Those looking for a quieter and more relaxed place to stay might enjoy staying at The Firefly in the village of Old Bank on Isla Bastimentos. The Firefly offers superb food and cocktails in a wonderfully romantic location.
There are also several unique places to stay dotted around Isla Bastimentos such as the Palmar Tent Lodge and the La Loma Jungle Lodge. Palmar Tent Lodge offers a luxurious “glamping” experience with safari tents situated a few steps from the beach.
Last Valentine’s Day, I stayed in one of La Loma’s open-air luxury bungalows with views of jungle canopies from my bed. Aside from the insane accommodation, this eco-lodge treats its guests to delicious meals prepared using local ingredients. My Valentine’s dinner included a perfectly spiced pumpkin soup, freshly-caught Snapper, yams & potatoes dressed in a homemade almond pesto and beetroots drizzled in a balsamic reduction. To finish: tres chocolates – a chocolate & ginger shortbread, a dark chocolate truffle and a chocolate rum shot.
Scuba diving and other activities
One of the real attractions of a visit to Bocas Del Toro is the natural surroundings, with a portion of the islands and the surrounding waters protected by the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park. The warm waters of the Caribbean make both diving and surfing a pleasant experience. Scuba diving is certainly one of the most popular activities to enjoy.
Spend your Valentine’s Day together with La Buga, a popular PADI certified dive center, exploring life unda da sea. Get your PADI open water diving certification or try a night dive. Bocas del Toro also offers great waves for surfing.
Transport in and around Bocas Del Toro
When it comes to getting in to Bocas Del Toro, most people arriving by air will either fly into the larger regional airports of Panama City or San Jose in Costa Rica. There are flights from Panama City to Bocas Del Toro twice a day and these are usually cheaper than the option of flying from San Jose, which is a flight connection that operates four times a week. Those on a limited budget may want to consider taking a bus from Panama City to the area, which is certainly cheaper, but does take considerably longer.
If you are staying in Bocas town then it is easy enough to walk to anywhere you need to go, while taxis are cheap enough for getting around the island. When exploring the islands, there are plenty of water taxis between the main settlements that will usually offer round trips for just a few dollars.