Bocas del Toro, Panama is a unique place to visit in the southern Caribbean with dreamy beach and surf and resorts, and plenty of things to do.
THE SURF SEASON
The surf season in Bocas is from mid November until April. The rainy season in July and August can bring some great waves too and can also provide some short but intense swells. The weather on Bocas is unpredictable. Storms are common place, as is dense cloud cover, but so are spurts of sun and beautiful calm weather.
Much like the weather, the surf is also unpredictable… as the swells come up suddenly without much warning, and go down just as suddenly. The surf can as easily be 1ft or 10ft. Unlike the Pacific where one is dealing with ground swells generated by distant ocean storms in the Pacific, surf forecasting is not as accurate or reliable inside the Caribbean, the swells can come up relatively quick and unexpectedly. To maximize your chances of hitting some good waves, plan on staying at least 10 days. There is so much to do, you will enjoy yourself no matter what!
www.surfline.com Caribbean charts provide a 120 hour simulation which provide short term swell forecast models.
Dumpers – A reef bottom left hander. Steep drops and super powerful with a tube you could fit a dune buggy in. There is an inside break that is a longer ride, but not as tubular and it only breaks when Dumpers is about 7 to 8 feet. You can normally surf here alone with your buddies. Bring your surf booties because the reef here is pretty gnarly for getting in and out of the water. Dumpers is a 10-minute walk from Tesoro Escondido.
Punch – A reef bottom right and left break. It can get really good here, and you can get slotted in the tube on certain sections or hit the lip or do roundhouse cutbacks or airs. We have surfed it as big as 12 feet. This wave holds size well. The bigger the more perfect with an incredible tube section. Punch is located about 20 minutes away, on foot, from Tesoro Escondido.
Bluff – A sand bottom beach break, breaking very close to the beach. This place is normally surfed by bodyboarders. The wave is super powerful and pitches some of the most amazing spitting tubes you will ever see. It has been compared to Hossegor in France. This wave snaps lots of boards. It normally gets about 2 feet bigger than Dumpers and Punch. It is the furthermost break on the main island of Bocas, but only a 5-minute walk from Tesoro Escondido.
DISCOVER the LIFE UNDER THE SEA
On a calm day, the crystalline waters at or around Tesoro Escondido, make it a perfect snorkel spot. Snorkel equipment is available for rent.
You will be able to see turtle and a lot of different fish hiding in the rocks around the beach. Be ready to have some fun and to explore a totally new world.
BIRDING AROUND BOCAS AND BLUFF
MORE THAN 900 RECORDED BIRD SPECIES
122 occur only as long-distance migrants. We are still learning about the birds around the archipelago and are happy to share them with you as we continue to explore and discover new species who either live or migrate here. Among the residents here are the Red-Lored Amazon whos noisy and religious flights every day to their feeding grounds always give us a reason to smile. There are also regular sightings of Blue-headed parrots, Olive-throated parakeets and an occasional Keel-billed Toucan.
Also among the regulars here are the spectacular Montezuma Oropendola, the Golden-hooded tanager and the Lineated Woodpecker. Of course, we love to see the snowy egrets every day whose perfectly white images seem almost magical as they fly together to feeding grounds each day and home again each evening. And, who can miss the beautiful groups of Brown Pelicans flying in with perfect precision, their graceful synchronized flights taking them scaling just inches above the waves. Living near the sea allows us to see the great Osprey and Ringed and Green Kingfishers diving and fishing every day.
The most common Hummingbird where we live is the Black-throated Mango who raises their babies very close to our windows. One of our favorite birds is the Brown Booby, found on Swan Cay. We caught them nesting and raising their babies in mid March. Also on Swan Cay, you can enjoy the Red-billed Tropicbird with its graceful long central tail feathers often extending 1-2 feet in length. These Tropicbirds are not reported anywhere else on the Caribbean coast.