Lodging Review – The Dolphin Bay Hideaway in Bocas del Toro
A place where you can leave the rest of the world behind…..
“Hideaway” is the perfect description of one of my favorite bed & breakfast destinations in Panama. Dolphin Bay Hideaway is not the place to stay if you want to go bar-hopping or immerse in the hustle and bustle of Bocas Town. Instead, Dolphin Bay is the perfect place to go to truly relax, regroup, and rediscover your inner calm.
Dolphin Bay Hideaway is located on the island of Isla Christobal in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Getting there requires a 20-minute boat ride from Bocas Town (once you take the plane to Bocas) or a roughly 40-minute boat ride from Almerante on the mainland. The B&B owner, Erika Bakk, provides a complimentary boat to pick you up when you arrive and return you at the end of your stay. There is a fee for additional trips to town or other excursions.
A couple of boats are also available for private tours. Erika definitely knows the best places to visit! One of my favorite activities is to take one of the two canoes that guests can use and leisurely paddle around exploring the bay. The water is usually very calm and is clear enough to see fish and starfish along the way.
Dolphin Bay is so named because it actually boasts one of the world’s few year-round populations of dolphins, which can sometimes be seen right from your balcony or the hammock on the boat dock. There are small indigenous Ngobe villages and a handful of gringos scattered about the large island, but otherwise there is virtually nothing but nature surrounding you here.
One really cool thing I love about Dolphin Bay Hideaway is that there are no disruptive lights at night, yet everything sparkles around you like a fantasy scene. There are millions of stars visible in the sky, fireflies flit among the jungle trees, and sitting on the end of the dock you can see sparkling luminescent algae in the water. It’s a great place to meditate!
Only four rooms are available, including a family room that includes a children’s quarters. The rooms are immaculately clean, and every morning you will find a fresh flower atop your newly made bed as well as floating in the toilet – yes, really! Flowers are everywhere, in the rooms as well as throughout the lush gardens that surround the two-story home.
Erika is the perfect hostess. She makes sure all of her guest’s needs are met, providing entertaining conversation for those who like to visit. Every morning there is a hot breakfast served on the large balcony overlooking the bay. There are usually complimentary fresh coconuts and bananas for snacking on throughout the day, and a gourmet meal is served in the evening along with three complementary cocktails per guest.
I had my first taste of conch at Dolphin Bay, and it was fabulous! The only meal not included with your stay is lunch, which can be arranged for about $5-7 extra. Additional cocktails cost about $3 each. We usually bring a few things from Bocas for our stay, such as wine and beer, some snacks and maybe a roasted chicken and salad from the market that we can eat over several days.
Considering all that is included with a stay at Dolphin Bay Hideaway, the price is very reasonable at about $125 per room. Everyone needs to de-stress from time to time, and this B&B has become my favorite ‘hideaway’ when I am in Bocas del Toro. I have stayed here several times now and look forward to my next visit when I can kick up my feet, enjoy nature, and totally relax for a few days.
Additional photos, current pricing, and details are available at DolphinBayHideaway.com.