Bocas del Toro Panama is the perfect Caribbean vacation

Laguna Azul eco-hotel, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Laguna Azul eco-hotel, Bocas del Toro, Panama

As I am flipping through the website for Laguna Azul eco-boutique hotel in Bocas del Toro, Panamá, I am more and more captivated by the images of turquoise Caribbean Sea, water that is impossibly clear, coral reef, dolphins, Caribbean beaches … and the beauty goes on and on. I want to go there. Now. Forget whatever it was that I was supposed to do this weekend, or next week or next month. I want to be at Laguna Azul, jumping off their sun deck into that gorgeous green-blue water. Maybe I’ll stay the rest of my life.

Sun deck at Laguna Azul hotel, Bocas del Toro

The description I like best is: “The romance and isolation of staying on a completely uninhabited island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. Of course, the silence and isolation of Laguna Azul is at the heart of its appeal, so leave time for a swim out to the anchored platform at dusk — it’s a memory that will linger long after you return to the grid.”

The six-suite luxury eco-hotel is located on the blissfully remote Popa Island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago off the Caribbean Coast of northwestern Panama, very close to the border with Costa Rica. It is an area of incredible beauty, blue water, green jungle, and abundant animal and plant life. Thanks to the fact that Bocas del Toro Panama is outside the Caribbean’s “Hurricane Zone”, the coral reefs here have some of the best preserved hard and soft coral in the world – over 95% of the coral species found in the Caribbean Sea.

Snorkeling in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Most of the population of Bocas del Toro’s nine islands is concentrated on Colon Island, the largest and most developed island and the capital of the province. The town of Bocas del Toro is located here. Popa Island is 35 minutes away by boat.

Laguna Azul eco-boutique hotel is built on the edge of a beautiful, clear blue lagoon. All around are virgin mangroves, coral reefs and an endless stretch of translucent blue water. The nearest beach is an easy 15-minute boat ride. It is ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, swimming and relaxing, and there are plenty of fun day tours to do in Bocas del Toro.

Coral reef in front of Laguna Azul HotelVisitors from all over the world have discovered this hidden gem, rated with 5-star excellence by TripAdvisor.

“I cannot find the right words to describe this secluded portion of paradise. The place itself, the people just ready to help you always with a smile, the food, everything is just set to relax,” wrote one traveler on TripAdvisor. “If you want to unplug and get away from everything, this is the best place to do it. Amazing location, excellent service. Best place ever! Like heaven on earth! Will go again with my family as soon as possible,” wrote another recent traveler.

Laguna Azul Hotel lobby, Bocas del Toro, Panama

With only six rooms, it’s nearly like being at your own private island resort. Service is attentive with a personal concierge. Meals are all-inclusive. There are many open lounge spaces to enjoy the views and sea breezes. There is a really large swimming pool – it’s called the tranquil Caribbean Sea! You can enjoy sunbathing on the floating deck, or stargazing on a clear night. The hotel also has a Spa, TV lounge, pool table, table tennis, a fully-equipped gym and complimentary Wi-Fi in the lobby.

I’m going as soon as I can. How about you?

Map of Bocas del Toro, Panama


Reservations: Check availability and make reservations online.

How to get there: From Panama City, Air Panama flies to the Isla Colon International Airport on Colon Island. From there it is a 35-minute ride by private boat to Popa Island to Laguna Azul Hotel. From San José, Costa Rica, you can fly Nature Air to Colon Island in Bocas del Toro.

Article by Shannon Farley

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