Dinner at Hotel Bambito Bocas del Toro

I’m now writing from our very relaxing house on Bastimentos island in Bocas del Toro. I have a few days to catch up on, so let me just say we went to dinner at Cafe Essencia in Volcan on Saturday, and it was not good! (The first “bad” food we’ve had in Panama). The bread was very stale, and fell apart on our sandwiches and hamburgers. However, the raspberry shake was good. So after that, we had a second dinner at Hotel Bambito in Volcan, which is probably the fanciest restaurant in Volcan (actually closer to Paso Ancho). The food and service were both superb! Lovely setting as well, in the mountains. The only thing we didn’t like is the tv in the bar which was playing Spanish rap music during our dinner.

Sunday we went to church again in Volcan (we decided to stay one more night at Las Plumas rather than two nights in David). I got a bit more out of the lessons this week because I had my iPhone dictionary, but the girls chose to stay with us rather than go to Primary. We had a great time there, and said goodbye to some friends we’d met.

We spent the night in Hotel Iberia in David, which was just perfect for what we wanted. They had a decent restaurant, wifi connection, and hot water (after it was running for about 3 minutes).

The small airplane we flew in

The small airplane we flew in

The next morning we headed out for Bocas del Toro. We flew on a small airplane from David, which unfortunately wasn’t good for our stomachs. Emily and I both threw up (even though I took some motion sickness medication before we left). There were beautiful views, but it wasn’t a fun ride for us. Jen and Marie did just fine, though.

Once we got to Bocas, we were greeted by Gregorio who’s taking care of the property where we’re staying. We got some groceries, got in his boat, and he took us on about a 30 minute ride to the east side of Bastimentos island. The place we’re staying (Sal si Puedes) is heavenly! It’s so peaceful with the sound of the waves gently rolling in, soft sand all around, and an open and breezy house with light-colored furnishings.

This is where we're staying

This is where we're staying

When we arrived at our house, another couple workers greeted us and carried our luggage in the house. They then proceeded to work on the grounds. There was a woman in the house who had just finished cleaning. She comes three times a week. There was also a cute little boy who was fascinated by my video camera.

The girls immediately wanted to play on the beach, so we got their swimsuits on. The sand is so soft and the water is warm. It feels great here! It is a bit cloudy though. We haven’t seen the sun since we arrived, and it looks like it will be this way all week, along with some occasional rain. Oh well – at least we won’t get as badly sunburned. :)

It got a little rainy and windy that night, causing intermittent problems with the television and Internet, but they’re working now. The girls also played ball with some neighbor kids in our front yard until it started raining.

Getting ready to play in the water

Getting ready to play in the water

This house is fully equipped and definitely up to U.S. standards. It even has a large refrigerator and full-size oven, which is rare here. Oddly, it’s missing a microwave.

The girls slept on an air mattress in the living room, and we slept under a mosquito net in our bedroom. We burned some coil by the girls that should keep the mosquitoes away. We also turned all the lights out, and stumbled around in the dark getting ready for bed – we were told that using as little light as possible would keep them from coming. They had some little lanterns but none worked, so the girls brushed their teeth by the light of my iPhone. And I think I only saw one mosquito all night, maybe two. And I’m not sure they were mosquitoes. Maybe it’s not as big of a problem here as they say…

Anyway, we had a great night’s sleep, listening to the sound of the waves and the animals and insects outside. What a beautiful place!

Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in each moment.


  1. I’m happy you got a picture with all of you together! Even if Marie didn’t want to look at the camera :)

    That sand crab is really cute. And so is the gecko…

    That place looks like paradise… Wow… I hope to see lots of pictures, there.

    p.s. Cloudy skies do not prevent burning… I’ve been WAY burned playing out under cloudy skies at the beach… so still beware. Love you :)

  2. Just when I think your vacation couldn’t get any better… it does!

    Both the indoor and outdoor space are fabulous! So glad you’re getting some time right on the beach in such a lovely location.

    And yes – don’t let cloudy skies fool you into not slatering on the sun protection! You don’t FEEL as hot, but those rays are just as strong…

    (and I feel your pain on the discomfort on on the plane ride….. http://silenceoftheclams.com/blog/archives/405 )

  3. BTW – the trees growing in the water are mangroves. They play an important role in the ecosystem.


  4. I felt so bad for you and Emily on the plane! I’m really glad I didn’t get sick too, because I had my hands full taking care of you guys. :) This house is so nice, the grounds are so beautifully landscaped, and I love the location a few steps from the beach and ocean!!! It really is like a little piece of heaven. I love how the water feels like a warm bathtub. I wouldn’t expect that, since we haven’t seen much sun here so far. I’m glad you spotted that cute little crab too. :)

  5. It all looks wonderful. We are happy you are enjoying your stay in Bocas. Hugs to all of you.

  6. ah yes It looks like you have found paradise ! So beautiful and such great experiences you’re having.
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, BUT I’m ready for you to come home now :o)

  7. Brandon, I thought it was just hilarious that you two got airsick but that Emily and Marie did just fine. Sorry, but that struck me as funny. I guess because I saw some of their little dramas when they were here in Volcan.

    When I was telling you what to expect on the flight, I spent all of my time telling you about the views available – never even thought of airsickness.

    It looks like you found a beaut place to stay. I’ll have to get the reservation information from you to try the place out. But, church attendance sounds expensive.

  8. @Rich – Thanks for the comment. I have updated the post to link to the website of the place we stayed in Bocas (Bastimentos). It’s called “Sal si Puedes” – http://sal-si-puedes.com/

  9. You were too polite to note that I got it wrong. But I really do know the difference between Jennifer and Emily.

    Mea culpa and disculpen por favor

  10. Hi,
    Read your post and was glad to see the pix and your take on Sa-Si-Puedes. We are going there in Feb. Do you have any suggestions as to anything to bring that you were glad you did, etc? Also, did you get a rental contract from the owner?
    Thanks in advance.

  11. @Ursula – Food is a little tough to get there (a long and expensive boat ride to another island), so bring all the food you need before you get there. Didn’t really bring much that was super essential. We only rented for a week, but I don’t remember signing a contract or anything, but it was a couple years ago now…

    Have fun on your trip!

Leave a Reply

Recommended Posts