I went to Bastimentos because Bocas Town has a reputation as being loud and noisy, especially at night. The Island was tropical delight, but evening music followed me.
The Island has a small town of the same name. A sidewalk runs the length of the town. There are no cars. People don’t seem to do much of anything–except party at night. Originally they were banana workers that moved from Jamaica but after the Panamanian banana blight, they were out of work. In any event, there are private parties at night with large loudspeakers broadcasting music across the Island. Unfortunately, it’s not reggae, just bass, techno drums and yelling (regga?). I stayed at Beverly’s Hill in their “premier” accommodation–a two-story hut at the very top of a long hill. It had a hammock on the balcony with a great view.
They speak Guari Guari which is a mixture of English and Spanish. I thought that would be perfect for me because that is what I speak, Spanish mixed with English. But I often could not understand either their English or Spanish.
I hiked several kilometers to the north and east and visited Wizard Beach and Red Frog Beach, which is in Parque NAcional Marina Isla Bastimentos. Both have that Castaways feeling with the jungle creeping up to the white, coral sand. The water is many reflective shades of blue; it is warm but refreshing. There is a dangerous rip-current. I observed numerous coconuts fulfilling their destiny. They roll upon the beach at high tide, get stuck in the mud, sprout a green stalk and begin to grow. Quite amazing, really.