The day of travel already included driving in the rental car, crossing the border between Costa Rica and Panama on foot, taxis, water taxis, a private boat, and now we were in a golf cart. We found the situation hilarious, even though we were hot, tired and hungry. Or maybe we were just delirious.
At any rate, our first glimpse at Villa #13 was pure magic. Perched high on top of a jungle-covered hill with stunning views of the famed Red Frog Beach, our private villa at Red Frog Beach Resort was impressive, to say the least. I hope this Red Frog Beach Resort review will be helpful as you plan your family’s next getaway!
Red Frog Beach Resort Maximizes the Views
From the infinity pool to the covered patio with overstuffed furniture set under a large ceiling fan, the villa was made for enjoying the amazing scenery in maximum comfort.
Red Frog Beach Resort is made up of 41 private villas. You won’t find a central pool or any other common areas besides the main restaurant, Punta Lava. Red Frog Beach Resort is built around the villas, which are so nice you’ll love just hanging out and enjoying the homey atmosphere (while not at the beach of course.)
About the Family villas at Red Frog Beach Resort
Each of the villas at Red Frog is unique. However they are all constructed more or less in the same way. Stucco walls, tile roofs and floors made of large, travertine tile to keep things cool. The high ceilings and air conditioning ensure maximum comfort.
Our unit had Ralph Lauren bedding, the towels were fluffy and white, and the furniture was cozy.
We’d ordered food in advance of our arrival, and were thrilled to walk into a kitchen stocked with our family’s favorite drinks, snacks and the necessary ingredients to prepare dinner on the first night.
Basically, these villas could have been picked right up from Scottsdale, Arizona or Palm Springs, California and plopped down on this island in Panama.
They are made with American ideals of comfort in mind. And you can even safely drink the tap water!
Things to do at Red Frog Beach Resort in Bocas del Toro Panama
Red Frog Beach Resort covers an entire hillside. The resort is quite spread out, so to move people around each guest is given a golf cart to use during your stay. This is, of course, a most excellent way to get around a jungle island!
Once you’ve had a chance to fully enjoy your private pool, splash in the waves at Red Frog Beach and bounce around in a golf cart for a few days, you may be keen to see and do a bit more. There is an activity desk at the reception area who can arrange everything for you.
The zipline experience at Red Frog Beach Resort is an absolute must. Kids do need to be a certain height, but our petite 4 year old made the cut so the whole family was able to enjoy this fun activity.
I was impressed with the security and safety of the zipline operation, and our group of 10 had 3 guides along. There were 8 ziplines in total, along with a few “ropes course” activities in the middle. On some of the longer lines my kids were accompanied by a guide (to be sure they had the weight to make it the entire way), but on shorter lines they could go on their own.
I’m not going to lie, at first I was a little nervous. After a safety briefing, we were set up for the first line. I almost backed out, and took my freaked out 4 year old with me, but the guides insisted and I’m glad they did. After one zipline everyone was all smiles, and stayed that way until the end.
Gliding through the trees, below the jungle canopy yet hundreds of feet off the ground, is a true bucket-list experience and something everyone should do while you’re traveling in Central America.
About Bastimentos Island in Bocas del Toro
Red Frog Beach Resorts shares Red Frog Beach with a small backpacker hostel operation and 2 small restaurants. The scene is friendly and laid back.
We enjoyed walking up and down the beach, and grabbed lunch at the American-run restaurant adjacent to the hostel (which is really tents set up just off the beach) one day.
Other than these two relatively small operations, there is very little else on the island. No mega resorts or town centers. Bastimentos Island is a remote, island-lovers paradise among the archipelago of Bocas del Toro Panama.
You will arrive at a marina area, where there are many boats parked. There were even a few mega-yachts there when we arrived. Consider having lunch or dinner at Castaways, a boat that is permanently parked in the marina. Fernando, the Columbian who owns and manages the restaurant, is charming and most accommodating, especially for families with children.
Overall, my Red Frog Beach Resort review is a hearty two thumbs up and it remains a high point on our family’s summer adventure through Central America.