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When you visit Surf Break at Paunch, not only are you visiting an amazing tropical paradise with tons of unique wildlife, beautiful plants and landscapes, but also an epic surf spot right at your front door - with more amazing beaches and surf spots just a short walk, bike or boat ride away!
The rooms in Surf Break at Paunch are comfortable, but simple and rustic - with the hopes that guests feel comfortable and take the opportunity to focus on the beauty all around us and enjoy all that Bocas has to offer whether that be an adventure or complete relaxation.
All of rooms are simple with all handmade, custom furniture, small detailed amenities to make your stay comfortable, yet each has a unique look snf feel.
Each room features queen sized comfortable beds with high quality linens, beach towels, private bathrooms with large stand up hot water showers, mini-refrigerators, coffee makers, mosquito nets and room safes. Ceiling and/or floor fans come in each room - combined with the breeze from the ocean up to our hill helps you stay cool at night. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, including in the guest rooms.
There are four rooms in total. Two rooms feature a kitchenette equipped with table top burners and all the cooking and eating utensils might need, as well as basic pantry items (oil, salt, pepper, dish soap). One room features a sitting area with sofa bed. There is also one room that’s a stand alone, separate cabin for 100% privacy.
The Tree Cabin is the most romantic room - perfect for birthdays, honeymoons and other special events. It has an amazing and unique view, different from most you will find here on Isla Colon in Bocas del Toro. With tall windows to your sides, queen size bed with gel memory foam mattress that looks out beyond large folding glass doors onto your private deck and beyond over the jungle canopy. With an open roof concept, screened windows and open air shower, you’ll be sure to get an amazing experience with the jungle and ocean sounds all around you.
This room features a unique surf and wave theme. Open your large four panel glass doors to relax on your large semi-private 10 feet x 12 feet deck area which includes a part that is uncovered if you’d like to layout or sit in the sun. Enjoy a good night rest on a cooling, gel memory-foam queen mattress while listening to the ocean waves nearby. The kitchenette includes a mini refrigerator, electric two-burner stove top, coffee maker, plates, bowls, cups, glasses, pots, pans and cooking utensils. Additionally, the room is pre-stocked with selected items you might need for cooking (salt, pepper, oil, sugar, coffee, and paper towels).
The Tree Bungalow is a side by side two room house that can be rented separately or together. This room is one of only two rooms available on the property with a kitchenette. The deck space is larger than that of the Tree Cabin and is only partly covered - which is perfect for those guests that are interested in sun-bathing - however it is a shared deck space, separated by a curtain for a bit of privacy.
This room features a unique recycled wood theme on a large accent wall that spans the entire room. Relax in the indoor or outdoor seating areas. Indoor seating area features a retro-style sofa bed, coffee table and mini-refrigerator. This room opens up through large 4 panel glass doors to a semi-private 10 feet x 12 feet deck area which includes a part that is uncovered if you’d like to layout or sit in the sun. Enjoy a good night rest on a cooling, gel memory-foam queen mattress while listening to the ocean waves nearby.
The Tree Bungalow is a side by side two room house that can be rented separately or together. This room is the largest room - and can fit up to three guests comfortably. The deck space is larger than that of the Tree Cabin and is only partly covered - which is perfect for those guests that are interested in sun-bathing - however it is a shared deck space, separated by a curtain for a bit of privacy.
Located on the first floor of the main house, this room provides a rustic charm in a serene setting on our hilltop on the edge of the jungle and the beach. Relax in your private patio area or join others on the dining area and lounge deck. Enjoy a good night rest on a queen sized semi-orthopedic mattress, listening to the ocean waves nearby. The kitchenette includes a mini refrigerator, electric 2-burner stove top, coffee maker, plates, bowls, cups, glasses, pots, pans and cooking utensils. Additionally, the room is pre-stocked with selected items you might need for cooking (salt, pepper, oil, sugar, coffee, and paper towels).
Surf Break at Paunch is conveniently located approximately half way between Bocas Town and Bluff Beach. Bocas Town is about six kilometers away, which is only a 10-minute taxi ride or 30-minute bicycle ride. Bluff Beach is about the same distance. Surf Break at Paunch provides bicycles for guests to use at no charge, so that you never feel isolated and are able to stay mobile and enjoying our surrounding attractions and venues. There are three restaurants within walking distance (10 to 20 minutes), another four restaurants in biking distance (30 to 40 minutes).
Bocas Del Toro is one of the most beautiful snd romantic archipelagos in the world, and is only recently starting to be noticed! Come see yourself! It is difficult to express in a few words what you can feel when you visit the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Only some places around the world keep this particular atmosphere, seductive, primitive and unforgettable. Bocas del Toro captivates its visitors because of its amazing vegetation, its biodiversity, its ancients customs: it is a real biological fantasy.
This is the ideal moment to visit these islands, to time travel and get lost in one of the hundreds of wonderful places that you can enjoy. It is a unique place to find yourself; its lush tropical vegetation, fauna only found in this part of the world, opportunities for diving and snorkeling the unbeatable Caribbean ocean, the possibilities and opportunities for an amazing experience are unbound.
With an indescribable and overwhelming natural beauty, added to the great combination of races and ethnicities, living in harmony with indigenous, Western Caribe peoples, Latino’s and extranjeros, Bocas del Toro is not just a beautiful archipelago lost in time, blessed by nature - Bocas del Toro is an example of coexistence and multi-cultural respect for everyone. You will be amused and amazed, tempted beyond belief and for certain you will to take with you priceless memories of a different world.
Located at Playa Paunch is one of the most popular surf breaks in Bocas. Just 15 minutes from Bocas Town on Isla Colon, here you can experience the best of Bocas!! Playa Paunch or Punch, depending on your native accent or what map you read is one of the more popular surf breaks in Bocas del Toro.
Although best known for its surf, Playa Paunch is lovely in and of itself. Its white-sand beach is pleasant and surprisingly uncrowded, and its shoreline affords wonderful views of Isla Colón and Isla Carenero in the distance. It may be one of the island’s best and most convenient places to spend the day lounging in the sand or swimming in the sea.
In the Paunch area (and beyond), you are away from the hustle and bustle of Bocas Town. Here you can see tons of wildlife on a daily basis - most of which you’d never see in town. Toucans, sloths, iguanas, and two species of monkeys (Howler and Capuchin). The area is excellent for bird watching and you can take a tour through the jungle if you want to become more familiar with the abundant plant life on this tropical island.
Still, most people come here to surf. The waves break both left and right and tend to vary in size, making it perfect for every skill level. The left is popular for its large barrels when the swell is big. The wave can get very powerful, hence the name - Punch! Be aware, though, that a coral reef lies just beneath the surface - surfers are advised to wear booties while shredding Paunch’s waves (or you can arrange for a water taxi or boat to take you out to the waves if you want to avoid the coral).
Breakfast for guests is provided each morning from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the elevated dining area overlooking the jungle canopy. Included is your choice Panamanian coffee or tea, fresh fruit with yogurt, granola and honey, a smoothie made with fresh local fruit, and your choice of a breakfast taco or a more traditional but still fun main breakfast course.
Surf Break at Paunch caters to all dietary needs - gluten free, lactose intolerance, vegetarian, vegan, etc. And when they say this, they don’t just mean you get the left overs of what was made from the regular breakfasts. All menu items are custom created to be delicious and filling, with exactly what you need to get started on the right food - and maybe even keep you full past lunch!
The menu changes regularly, but guests always have between three to five choices for their main breakfast platter each morning. The dining area is open as a public restaurant two to five days a week - with the schedule changing by season. Given the fluctuations of what can be found on any given day here in Bocas, there is a chalk board menu that will change regularly.
Within an archipelago like Bocas with so many fun, beautiful and adventurous things to do, your only problem will be trying to figure out what to do each day! Come discover tranquility, romance, adventure, passion, flavor and natures beauty. The archipelago has something for everyone. Learn about the natural treasures of Bocas at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the only Smithsonian Research Center outside of the United States!
Jump on an ATV, pack a lunch and explore hidden lagoons and secret romantic beaches. Take a guided horseback tour through lush tropical forests with the sun peeking through the trees showcasing the wildlife that flourishes here. Toucans, sloth, iguana, frogs and different species of monkey all call Bocas Del Toro home.
Take a bicycle and cruise through the charming streets. Enjoy the colors of Bocas as you get to know the people who live here. Listen to their stories of days gone by. Stories of pirates and hidden treasure, the growth of an industry with the ever present banana farms, and even stories all the way back to the discovery of the island chain by Christopher Columbus and how some of the names he gave the area still remain.
Experience life in the aquamarine Caribbean Sea. Snorkel over vivid coral reefs and take in the splendor of the life that thrives within it. Iridescent, colorful fish will dart around before your eyes in the search for food and hiding places. Take your experience a bit deeper and become a certified diver at some of the lowest prices in the world, by some of the most qualified dive instructors. Come face to face with some of the incredible inhabitants like dolphin, shark, sting rays and octopus.
The excitement in the sea continues as you grab a board and head in the direction of one of our world famous surf spots. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, Bocas Del Toro has the perfect wave. Explore the magnificent mangroves in a kayak or canoe, or hire a boat and have them tour you around to the gorgeous uninhabited natural parks.
The island chain contains what geologists believe could be the largest array of known caves in Central America, full of fresh water, beautiful rock formations and bats. After cave touring take a quick scenic hike across the jungle through the cacao and coconut trees to see how chocolate and coconut oil is made from the freshest ingredients ever. Meet Ngobe Buglé Indians in traditional clothing selling colorful, artisan crafts.
As the warm bright sun sets into the turquoise blue Caribbean Sea, watch as the colors of a Bocas sunset takes your breath away. When night falls and stars shine brightly, book an encounter with the intriguing giant sea turtles as they come ashore, after traveling thousands miles, returning to the place where they were born, to continue the circle of life and deposit their eggs in the sand of the beaches in Bocas.
Enjoy the up and coming art scene, with local and foreign artists sharing their inspiration in galleries and fabulous restaurants that offer unique tastes from around the world. Or enjoy some of the best fresh seafood, slowed cooked coconut rice and delicious typical Panamanian food at one of the many local run eateries.
Dance! Dance the night away at one of the famous Bocas Del Toro Bars, where music is the focus. You can hear the good vibration of roots, culture, dancehall and reggae. Or enjoy the Latin sounds of traditional Panamanian tunes where you can learn to dance the merengue and salsa. Make it home just as the brilliant sun brings on another day of romance, adventure and tranquility.
Juan Santamaría International Airport
Transfer not provided
There is not a huge airport in the archipelago, so the first step is to get to our area of Central America. Take a flight to Panama City, Panama or San Jose, Costa Rica. Once you are close there are a few options on traveling to Bocas. There are choices for all tastes and budgets.
Both Panama City and San Jose have airlines that have daily or weekly flights to Isla Colon and Bocas Town. This is the fastest way to get your vacation started. A flight from Panama City or from San Jose is usually about an hour or an hour and a half and it brings you right into Bocas Town. This is a popular option because the flights are so short. If an additional flight is not in your budget, or you prefer to see more of these countries you can try something else.
If you are coming from Costa Rica, you can hop on a bus in San Jose or any other small town in Costa Rica, and go to the border town of Sixaola where you will cross the border into Guabito, Panama. There are a few things you will need while making the border crossing: your passport (of course), proof of leaving the countries, (both Panama and Costa Rica require proof that you will be traveling onward) and entrance and exit fees (usually between 3 and 10 USD. There is also a Keep Bocas Beautiful fee of 2 USD if you arrive by bus and 3 USD if you fly into Bocas). Once you cross over into Panama you can find either a taxi or bus that is going to the Port town of Almirante, there are many people coming and going so finding a ride is easy and safe.
The bus is also an option when coming from Panama City. There is a very big bus terminal in the city, Albrook Terminal, where you can purchase tickets to Bocas Del Toro. There is an express bus that can get you to our lovely islands in about 10-12 hours with only 1 rest stop halfway. You can catch one early in the morning which is great because you can see first-hand the incredible and diverse country of Panama, with beautiful cloud forests, lush fields and banana trees. Or you can opt for the night bus, which some people prefer because you can sleep while traveling, which gets you to Almirante (the port city) around 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. Sometimes the bus gets a bit chilly so it is recommended that you bring a jacket for your journey.
When you get to Almirante you will take a short boat ride from Almirante to Bocas Del Toro. There are two big companies that transport people back and forth and there are boats that run every 30 minutes or hourly. It is only about a 25 minute ride and you can see some of the smaller uninhabited islands, and maybe catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two while enjoying the sea breeze.
There is also a big ferry that makes two trips daily from Almirante to Isla Colon. The ferry takes about two hours to make its way to Bocas and usually is bringing trucks and supplies to the archipelago. Of course if you rent a car in Panama City you can bring it to Bocas on the ferry, the drive between the two places would be exciting and fun filled, but once you get to Bocas you will see that a car is not at all a necessity.
Bringing a rental car from Costa Rica is not recommended, because it requires a lot of paperwork to cross the borders with a car. You can rent one in Changinola, a town about 20 minutes from Almirante.
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