For any avid surfer, Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean coast of Panama is a bucket list surf destination. This island paradise has everything you could want in a surf vacation, including warm, clear water, a wide variety of world-class waves, and a tropical beach town vibe with plenty of cold beer and good food.
One of the more popular surf resorts in Bocas is the Red Frog Bungalows Resort. Located beachfront on Bastimentos Island, the past guest list at Red Frog reads like a who’s who of some of the world’s best surfers. Kelly Slater, Tom Curren, Filipe Toledo, Mick Fanning, Josh Kerr, and many more have all made their mark there. That alone gives you an idea of what type of waves are featured.
Red Frog Bungalows is an all-inclusive eco-resort that is low on frills but high on thills. Their rates are by the day and include airport reception and transfer to and from Bocas del Toro Isla Colón International Airport. Along with that, you’ll receive breakfast and dinner, wi-fi, and accommodations. Room options are either the Bungalow (Superior Balinese Home), Casa Del Mar (Beachfront on Red Frog Beach), or Cabina (Lodge in Tropical Forest). The more people in your group, the better your rate will be.
Surf tours and other activities are not included in the price. Guided surf trips are $50.00 per day and surf spots and departure times are all driven by swell and tidal conditions. Red Frog Bungalows touts their deep knowledge of the area as a major asset for putting surfers in the best conditions possible. Bocas Del Toro consists of dozens of small islands. There are no less than 10-15 world-class waves within 20 minutes of the resort in their high-speed pangas.
Some of the more reputable breaks you’ll have access to include Paunch Lefts and Rights, Bluff, Silverbacks, Carenero, La Costa, Inner Dumps, and Outer Dumps. This surf resort definitely caters more to the intermediate, advanced, and expert surfer and not so much to novices or beginners. Red Frog Bungalows has partnered with awayco.com, which they say allows you to demo boards for a better price than traveling with your own surfboards.
Being on an island in the Caribbean, Red Frog Bungalows Resort is surrounded by tropical reefs, clear water, and a plethora of marine life. Non-surfing activities include diving and snorkeling trips, fishing trips, stand-up paddleboarding tours, and excursions to hidden lagoons and beaches. Ziplining, a staple of Central America activities is also available.
The on-site place for food and beverages is the Nachyo Mommas Restaurant. The restaurant sits beachfront and you can even enjoy your fish tacos and cold cervezas with your toes in the sand. Ingredients are sourced from local farmers and fishermen, which gives you an opportunity to taste the best of what Bocas del Toro has to offer.
You’ll want to consider seasonality when looking into Red Frog Bungalows, as there are generally very few waves to be had in between swells and during the low season. Surf season is considered December through March, with December and January being the busiest months both for swell and other surfers. You can expect higher rates during this time period.