AZUL PARADISE | ISLA BASTIMENTOS, BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA
September 12, 2016
If paradise is what you’re looking for (and who isn’t), then do I have the perfect (and my most favorite) place for you! Situated right off of the melting pot surf town of Bocas del Toro, Panama, lies Azul Paradise, a little slice of heaven boasting over the water bungalows, crystal clear turquoise waters, gorgeous reefs with various marine life, endless soft, white sand beaches and their own pet monkey Rafiki. Paradise I tell you. Bocas del Toro is known for it’s surf, floating hotels, boat taxis and surrounding tropical islands. Since arrival to Azul Paradise on the Island of Bastimentos is by boat only, we were welcomed to Bocas airport with smiles and greetings from Azul Paradise’s Tony and our boat driver. We were golf-carted to the dock where our boat welcomed us with inviting lounge chairs, already setting the mood for the rest of the trip. We spent the 35 minute boat ride admiring the turquoise waters, reefs, lush islands and taking in the Panamanian vibe. We met a great group from Germany on one of our pick up stops who became quick friends, before making our way to our little piece of paradise.
As we turned the corner, we gushed over the luxurious over the water bungalows of Azul Paradise from a distance. As we got closer, I was squealing inside and out, giddy with excitement for the next 4 days ahead and ready to “accidentally” fall overboard into the inviting turquoise waters. As we docked, we were greeted by Lara, the hotel concierge, who gave us the breakdown, showed us to our bungalow and delivered fresh coconuts with our names engraved into them. Yes, seriously. I got my camera out and immediately started snapping pictures and videos exploring the amazing hotel grounds but it wasn’t long before I was in my new bikini, running out onto our private deck and jumping into the ocean. And oh was it glorious! I'm an ocean lover by nature so as you can imagine, you had to physically and forcefully go get me out of the water, heaven forbid i needed to eat or something. Whether it was kayaking, surfing, swimming, snorkeling, free diving, paddle boarding, I had become Ariel, you know, before Ursula granted her the wish of human legs. Who wants that?!
Days were spent in the sweet salt of the ocean, adventuring, exploring the soft white sand beaches, basking in the tropical sun, delighting over coconut mojitos and Panamanian fare, telling stories with our new friends from Germany and falling asleep on our private bungalow’s deck under the stars. The #4 bungalow was the perfect place to relax and enjoy our time with a comfy queen bed, glass floor to admire the ocean life below us, private deck with sitting area, watering hole, luxurious bathroom and outdoor shower. Imagine being awoken by an insanely gorgeous sunrise peeking over the ocean from bed every morning. Now imagine rolling out of bed and jumping into warm, turquoise water…. paradise. The hotel offers free usage of any kayaks, surf boards, snorkeling gear, paddle boards and other equipment for the adventurer in you as well as massages and other spa treatments for those wanting to relax.They also offer great tours and excursions should you want to do some island hopping, scuba diving and surfing, just to name a few. We did a private boat tour with Captain Marvin who took us to all the surrounding islands and middle of the ocean reefs for the best snorkeling in Bocas. Since Azul Paradise is an off the grid resort, the only food and restaurants near are those located within the resort. Thus, the resort offers an all-inclusive dining deal during your stay with the delicious menu changing daily.
If you're planning a trip to Panama, don't miss out on this incredible spot. Not only will you have the experience of a lifetime, but you will also get to hang with the only monkey on the island, Rafiki, who loves a good belly rub, to play and hang out with Azul Paradise's guests.