Surfing in Bocas del Toro: my first wave and Isla Bastimentos

Second day in Bocas del Toro we decided to have surf class and for me it was the first time with a board under my feet on the waves.

Thankfully no pics has been taken so the only witness could be LoveOfMyHeart, his bro, a couple of English who were having class with us, the teacher (he was the one who deserved some pics :D) and a very cute little local boy, Iddy (or something similar), who used to surf almost everyday after school…what a lucky boy!

But this was during the afternoon. In the morning, we rent a boat with its boatman…well actually in Bocas is more like taking a water taxi rather then rent a boat. Anyway the taxi brought us at the beautiful


The taxi leaves you at the yacht marina, where there’s the entrance of the natural reserve of the island. At El Parque National Marino Isla Bastimentos (which includes also the Cayos Zapatilla) you need to pay couple of $ to enter. Then you can choose to take a jeep to get to the main beach or have a 15 minutes walk, crossing the island  and its beautiful nature:

Isla bastimentos bocas del toro panama

At some point you cross a corner and find this:

Isla bastimentos bocas del toro panama

You can enjoy the beach as long as you want, as you usually find a taxi boat on the other side of the island. But you can also warn the boatman who brings you there, what time you like to come back (if you’re able to leave this heaven on earth, at some point)

Isla bastimentos bocas del toro panama

Surfing in Bocas del Toro with Escuela del Mar:

We had to leave for our surf class. So we moved to the Carenero Island, in a nice restaurant (Bibis) where we meet Manuel, our instructor.

Surfing in Bocas del toro escuela del mar panama

The only problem with this island is the colony of kind of mosquitoes: I was covered with these little bites all over my bodies till my return in Italy (2 weeks later). They also didn’t let me sleep for several nights because I needed to nervously scratch myself! I was waiting for some spiders to come out from my skin like in the classic urban legends (as I’m very paranoid and with the glass always half empty). But nothing happened…just annoying mosquitoes!

Anyway the course was very good and Manuel was a perfect teacher and a very kind and patient boy. I’m still wandering how he managed to stay under the waves and keep on swimming to help us to get on the waves for about 2 hours. And I have to report that I surf my wave almost immediately. But just one, like the perfect one in Point Break. It’s a bloody laborious sport. And dangerous: paddling, paddling, paddling. Then watch out the coral reef, the waves. Don’t do it too fast. Not even too slow. Paddling, paddling, paddling… damn, I was exhausted in the end!

But if you’re looking for some surf class in Bocas I definitely suggest “La escuela del Mar“. You can find them directly at the Bibis restaurant at Carenero Island, or book your lesson in advance in Bocas village (Isla Colon) at La Escuela del Mar surf school, in front of the Police Station.

The next day it was raining, so we decided to spend the day resting a bit and walking under the rain before to take the flight back…a day like that:

raining day in bocas del toro panama

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