Escape the Winter to Bocas del Toro, the Caribbean side of Panama

Are you looking for a family vacation that gives you the ability to visit an incredible variety of ecosystems, altitudinal life-zones and habitats all rich in distinctly different flora and fauna? Do you want to explore from the continental divide of Western Panama, to the edge of the mangrove forest, without ever changing hotels? Unpack, settle in and do what you came to do. We’ll take care of everything else in Tranquilo Bay Ecolodge.  This owner-operated, family-friendly eco lodge is located inside the rainforest overlooking the Caribbean Sea and the beautiful Panamanian jungle. We are adjacent to Bastimentos National Marine Park. This park covers a large portion of the archipelago of Bocas del Toro and is home to a variety of ecosystems which thrive at or around sea level. Our central location within the archipelago of Bocas del Toro allows you to explore some of the most biologically diverse areas of Panama and Central America.

7 Night Pacakge from $1850 per person / double occupancy – 3 days offsite excursions included

AVAILABLE FROM FEBRUARY 1 – 28, 2014

Day One Arrive Tranquilo Bay – afternoon arrival
A representative from Tranquilo Bay will meet you at the airport in Bocas Town and assist you with
your entry into Bocas del Toro. Upon arrival at Tranquilo Bay you will leisurely settle into your
cabana.

Day Two Snorkel & Beach trip to Zapatilla Cayes
These two unspoiled islands are protected by Bastimentos National Marine Park. These pristine white sand islands are covered in coconut palms, tropical hardwoods, sea grapes, and almond trees draped in a collage of bromeliads, ferns, orchids and other epiphytes. It is possible to walk around these islands while stopping to explore the white sand beaches and reefs covering the entire circumference. Snapper, barracuda and vivid tropical fish abound on the beautiful reefs surrounding
the area.

Day Three Tranquilo Bay Trails & Canopy Observation Tower
Tranquilo Bay’s grounds include over 200 acres with several kilometers of forested trails covering different habitats. This forest and its edge are home to many of Isla Bastimentos common favorites including multiple raptors, Montezuma Oropendolas, Red-lored Parrots, hummingbirds, 5-species of kingfishers, Green Ibis, tityras, woodpeckers, honeycreepers, tanagers, pigeons, antbirds, manakins, seedeaters, and herons, and, in season Three-wattled Bellbirds. White-faced Capuchins, three and two toed sloths, green iguanas, basilisk lizards, butterflies and poison dart frogs are also common on these trails. After dinner try to spot some of the local nocturnal residents such as the Common Potoo, Owls, Western Night Monkey, Four-eyed opossum, Wooly opossum, Crab-eating raccoon, Speckled Caiman and bats.

Day Four Cacao Plantation Tour
Following breakfast, we will deploy by boat on a 15-minute passage trek across Dolphin Bay for the Green Acres Cacao Plantation. Guided by Robert & Julie Peters, the owners and operators of the facility, we will tour their gardens as Robert presents us with extensive information about his farm. It is here where one of the rarest strands of cacao plant in the world, the Criollo, is grown. Details of his modest but extraordinary chocolate manufacturing techniques will accompany; including growth of the trees, a step-by-step process of how chocolate is made from bean to bar and a sample of the farm’s product. The day trip includes lunch onsite at an immaculately built stone-structured home, surrounded by grounds with an exotic collection of tropical plants from around the world. Multiple varieties of tropical birds and the dendrobates auratus (black and green poison dart frog) all live onsite for your discovery. This humble couple and their unique project of growing cacao to save the
rainforest, while making unparalleled chocolate, are not to be missed.

Day Five Kayak & Snorkel Jellyfish Lagoon
You may decide to take today’s excursion either in the morning or in the afternoon. Our biologist guides will take you on a kayak to a nearby jellyfish lagoon. You will search out water life above and below the surface focusing on the beautiful upside down jellyfish. Once you make your way out of the lagoon, you will snorkel at various spots in the bay near Tranquilo Bay to see a wide variety of underwater animals.

Day Six Cave Nivida Exploration
Following breakfast we will leave the facility in a support boat for a 15-minute ride across the Bastimentos National Marine Park. In kayaks we will meander through the glassy calm backwaters of Bahia Honda. Following the jungle’s edge of Isla Bastimentos we will paddle through channels, deep bays, mangrove cayes, and patch reef. Dolphins like the deep water of Bahia Honda and can often be seen breaching the surface for air. Many birds can be seen feeding near the waters edge, and the jungle is home to white-faced capuchins, two- and three-toed sloths, green iguanas, and caimans. In the back of Bahia Honda we will paddle up a small creek through lush vegetation. A short jungle walk leads to the entrance of cave Nivida. Entering the cave with lights, we will explore this subterranean phenomenon while wading through cold spring water and passing nectar bats. A support boat will be waiting at the mouth of the creek for our return to Tranquilo Bay.

Day Seven Explore Tranquilo Bay & its surrounds
Today, you have the choice in the morning or the afternoon between a guided hike on our two-mile nature trail watching for wildlife or a leisurely kayak and snorkeling session.

Day Eight  Depart Bocas del Toro

Packages includes:  Transfers between Town and Tranquilo Bay, Meals and beverages at Tranquilo Bay, all meals, snacks available all the time, deluxe air conditions cabanas, access to water and land activities, activities daily as designated in the itinerary.

Advertisements

Panama – a trendy & booming destination

 

By Clémence Rouleau

Panama is a small tropical country, but it is growing more and more in terms of tourism. Its strategic position makes it possible to drive from one coast to the other in short time, it is bordered by two oceans, and has a connecting position between North and South America. The mix of cultures as for instance indigenous & urban cultures, and the diversity of natural resources are significant advantages. 

The main objectives of the government are to produce economic and social prosperity through the development of national and international tourism.

Because of this, Panama seems like an emergent destination in Central America, which can compete with its neighbor Costa Rica. Luxurious forests, pristine beaches, the diversity of the flora and fauna, and indigenous peoples characterize the country. At Tocumen airport, the number of arrivals in the first trimester of 2012 increased to 19,1% in comparison to 2011. The percentage is constantly rising due to newly created facilities and investments in tourism businesses through the opening of a lot of Convention Centers.

But what should tourists do in Panama?

The answer is not easy, since there are many things to do and many places to visit. Each experience is unique here and you meet friendly people who can help you during your visit. The most popular destinations are Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Boquete, and San Blas Archipelago; but many other provinces are worth a visit as well. A lot of activities can be practiced, as for instance hiking, scuba diving, horse riding, bird watching, kayaks, rafting or just relax in paradisiacal beaches.

In addition to this, the mentality and tourism tendencies have changed in the world and tourism is taking a new track. The Authority of Tourism in Panama (ATP) and the Panamanian Association of Sustainable Tourism (APTSO), as well as the touristic infrastructre in Panama are involved in ecotourism -“responsible travel to natural areas conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990)

Ecotourism is now developing quickly in the whole country.

Ecotourism in Panama is a necessity. In order to keep the variety of traditions, the country has to maintain its natural resources and the indigenous cultures and lifestyle. This – I would say – is one of the main touristic attractions, since it makes a great difference to Costa Rica for example. Costa Rica is well developed in ecotourism but indigenous peoples have almost completely disappeared. Moreover, with 950 species of birds, 15 natural protected parks, and 11 000 species of plants, Panama offers exciting possibilities to enjoy your vacation.

Partnerships of touristic businesses and local communities are common, and don’t only permit the development of the local economy, but also the maintenance of traditional cultures. The company Ecocircuitos is a part of the economic development of ecotourism due to its ethic values and its involvement in the tours.

If you want to help protect Panama´s environment and traditions by travelling sustainably, feel free to contact us !