Do you Know? Bastimentos Marine National Park

Bastimentos Marine National Park is comprised of a group of islands located in Almirante Bay in the province of Bocas del Toro. The park encompasses a large portion of Bastimentos Island, Zapatilla Cays, in addition to the waters and mangroves that surround the island.

The north eastern side of Bastimentos Island faces the Caribbean Sea. Five beaches are found here along with stretches of cove inlets and coral reef. These beaches are: Wizard Beach, Red Frog Beach, Turtle Beach, North Beach and Playa Larga. The south western side of the island has a mangrove coastline with very calm water year round. The landscape is much more dramatic, with large rock faces, stretches of long beaches, in addition to coves and inlets.

Bastimentos was Panama’s first marine park and covers an extremely diverse 28,600 marine acres.  With a protected corridor no wider than seven miles, its oceanic diversity includes sea fan garden, vibrant coral reef, and over 200 species of tropical fish.  Oceanic formations in the area include walls, freshwater caves, tunnels, pinnacles, coral spires and towers, groove and spur, ocean impact reef, sandy ledges, and protected patch reef.  Bastimentos is one of the few protected areas in Latin America that preserves, simultaneously, the wildlife and habitat of beaches, coral reef and mangroves.