Bastimentos is magical. It’s a tiny Panamanian island in the Caribbean that can only be reached by boat and is 100% car free. People get around the island entirely on foot, via steep, narrow paths.
My introduction to the region was admittedly jarring. A man tried to get friendly with me on the boat taxi, offered to carry my bag, and ignored when I tried to say no. I should have been more firm… I’ve learned to be a bolder traveler since then. He carried my bag with me desperately trailing in tow all the way to his hostel, where he then tried to pressure me into buying a room. It was nice enough, on a pier above the water, but empty. And I was thoroughly creeped out, as you likely can imagine, I grabbed my bag and gave a firmer NO and walked on to where I could locate more people. I landed at Hostal Bastimentos and was not disappointed.
The main hostel on the island is fantastic. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Populated by tanned, fascinating, happy travelers who have spent varying times around Central America. And crawling with geckos. I was a happy girl.
The next day, a group from the hostel put together a number of custom local tours and I jumped in. We hiked to the beach, ate exotic tropical fruits, spelunked in a bat cave, viewed sloths on an island, boated through the mangroves, saw red poison dart frogs and snorkeled on a tropical reef. I’m very sorry to say I didn’t get photos of most of these adventures. What I have, I’ll share below.