Red Frog Beach Receives International Property Awards

Bocas del Toro, Panama

November 2015

Red Frog Beach Island Community Recognized by the International Property Awards: Top Honors for Best Leisure Development and Best Residential Landscape Architecture in Panama

The International Property judging committee in London (chaired by two members of the House of Lords) reviewed hundreds of developments and Red Frog Beach located in Bocas del Toro, Panama has been awarded as a finalist in these categories for


  • Best Residential Landscape Architecture
  • Best Leisure Development


Panama has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies in the world that has attracted the attention of foreign investors because of the dollarized currency, 1st class healthcare, political stability and one of the best residency incentives for people looking to buy a vacation/retirement home.

Because of the country’s quiet boom, numerous real estate projects are attracting people from all over the world. Red Frog Beach stands out among all these developments because it is the most successful island resort in Panama and located on the Caribbean side of the country with the best beaches and world-renowned tropical forests. Few Caribbean locations can offer real estate in a setting as unique as this one with 1st class infrastructure and all the incentives that Panama has to offer.

Oceans Group International took over the island project in 2009 is proud to be recognized internationally for the resort’s Landscape Architecture and as a Top Leisure Development. The resort includes a large protected Nature Preserve adjacent to the National Marine Park on the island and the company has completed a reforestation project of over 60 acres caused by cattle grazing. Hence, there is more vegetation and tress at the resort than before the resort development began!

Red Frog Beach recently announced the beginnings of implementing a solar power project that will make the resort one of the largest centralized solar resorts in Central America. They also announced an affiliation with the University of Minnesota for students to study in this unique part of the world.

Steven Bolton of Oceans Group International is pleased that the island property has received this recognition: “This award recognizes that the resort compliments the natural beauty of this unique archipelago community. As the largest employer in the region, we credit our employees for their commitment to create something beautiful that invites people from all over the world to visit this special place.


Island Real Estate, contact: 888.220.5602

Vacation, contact: 888.655.9573


The International Property Awards is in its 22nd year and the largest and most prestigious property competition in the world. This year in excess of 2,000 companies from over 100 different countries took part.

Judging is carried out through a process involving a panel of over 70 experts covering every aspect of the property business. The judges not only look for the most impressive and innovative projects, they also examine the sustainability and eco-friendliness of every property and development.

The Rebirth of Red Frog Beach

Nine years ago the Red Frog Beach Island Resort project started. A small group of individuals purchased the land bordering Red Frog Beach, Turtle Beach, North Beach and Cayman (coves) Beach. Most of the land was sold by the Motta family who for 18 years had taken care of the land and improved it with tree plantations, bridges and pathways. However, the cattle grazing on the island caused deforestation on a large section of the island that was leading to erosion problems. It was on this deforested section of land that the Red Frog Beach Resort would build individual homes, and by removing the cattle, allow the natural vegetation to grow back.

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7 Frequently Asked Questions When Traveling to Panama

Here are 7 of the most frequently asked questions about traveling to Panama to help you make plans and enjoy your trip! Please contact us with any questions you have about traveling to Panama or Bocas del Toro.

Is Panama safe?

Yes! Panama is safer than most big U.S. cities. It is the safest country in the region and one of the safest in Latin America.  That said, use common sense and don’t wander in poor areas at night, use only authorized yellow taxis, and do not leave your valuables unattended at the beach.

7 Tips for Panama tripsWhen is the best time to book my visit to Bocas del Toro?

Panama is a year-round attraction. The temperature hardly varies, hovering at about 80 degrees fahrenheit.  The sun shines everyday, all year-round.  We like to say October thru November is the “green” season for bringing the most rain to nurture our thriving ecosystem, but there is still some sun everyday, and possibly some rain, too. Contact us to discuss how the best time for you might vary based on particular activities such as sport fishing or surfing.

Will it be a problem if I don’t speak Spanish?

Not a problem!  Most Panamanians in Panama City and Bocas del Toro speak English, along with other languages.  Panama is an international crossroads where English has been established. Panamanians who cater to tourists are especially comfortable with speaking English.

Do I need a visa/passport to visit Panama?

Not typically.  A visa is required if you intend to work/study/live here.  A passport is required for trips of up to 180 days.  Note: a law requires people entering Panama to have at least 3 months before the expiration on his/her passport, so plan accordingly.

What’s the best way to get to Panama?

From the U.S. there are many direct flights to Panama: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, TX, Houston, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, NJ, Orlando, Tampa, and Washington D.C..  From Canada, Copa has direct flights from Montreal and Toronto.  KLM flies direct from Amsterdam, and Iberia from Madrid. There is also a direct flight from Paris. As of 2014, Southwest flies direct to San Jose, Costa Rica which is very close to Bocas del Toro by regional airline or chartered boat transportation.

What is the currency?

The U.S. dollar, also referred to as a balboa.  No currency exchange hassles!  It’s one of Panama’s great conveniences.

What is the number of the Tourism Hotline?

Just call 311. Operators speak English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. They will advise you if you are having a problem and give you general tourism advice.

Things to do: Isla Bastimentos’s Chocolate Farm

Where chocolate grows on trees!

If you are visiting Panama, touring the chocolate farm on our island is a must.  CNN says it’s one of Panama’s top 11 things to do.

The History of Chocolate in Panama

things to do in Bocas del toro: cacao farm

Visit local, organic, cacao farm on Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

To early Central American Tribes and even the ancient Mayan and Aztec communities, the cacao plant was very valuable, even used as currency.  As immigrants came to Panama from the other Caribbean Islands, they bought land and employed the native peoples in the production of the plant.  Then, with the discovery of America, chocolate was introduced to Europe and there it was transformed into the product we know today.

In recent times, Ngobe natives have bought back their land and continued production themselves.  At present, about 30 indigenous families own the Oreba Cooperative…Oreba meaning “chocolate” in the Ngobe language.  The Oreba Shop is located on Bocas del Toro on Isla Bastimentos.

Panama’s Chocolate Today

Oreba Chocolate is considered by Swiss experts to be among the finest in the world.  Mix the paste grinded from seed with some sugar and milk, and you’ll get milk chocolate, or leave it without and you’ll get dark chocolate.  These Ngobe families pack all of their products by hand and export them to Switzerland or sell locally.  For a fascinating “plant to product” presentation visit:

Chocolate Farm Tours

On Isla Bastimentos, at the top of the highest hill just above the rainforest canopy, you’ll find Oreba Chocolate Farm.  From Red Frog Beach, it’s about a 25 minute hike.  Get ready to roast, grind and sample the goods!!…..and don’t forget to take home some chocolate nibs!

Dive Panama: 2 Oceans in 1 Trip

Dive at the "Galapagos of the Caribbean" in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Dive at the “Galapagos of the Caribbean” in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama is easily one of the top 5 diving destinations in the world.  Worldwide experts have called our region in Bocas del Toro the ”Galapagos of the Caribbean.”  Its rich biodiversity comes of its privileged geographical location. 1600 islands comprise Panama and from it’s mountainous interior flow 500 streams and rivers draining into both the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. Bocas del Toro (one of the 9 main Islands) is the most popular dive destination in the country.

What You’ll See Diving Here

On the Caribbean side (our side), say hello to over 250 reef and gamefish, 52 kinds of different coral and more than a dozen species of sea turtles! You’ll fin past nurse sharks, stingrays, dolphins, lobster, starfish, seahorses and vase sponges–all thriving among the dramatic and diverse reefscapes of Bocas del Toro.

On the Pacific side, look for whales, dolphins, black marlin and even the 400-pound jewfish!  Enjoy amazing volcanic formations and abyssal drop-offs.

There’s more.  Weather permitting, it’s possible to dive the famous Panama Canal and see the first sunken trans-isthmian railroad and the 19-century trains that ran on it to build the Canal.

All in all, your diving experience exploring Panama’s underwater worlds should leave you astonished, amazed and “sea”duced!

How You’ll Get Here to Bocas del Toro

You decide:  Fast and convenient or slower and less-costly. There are 3 main options with Panama City as your start point:

  • a flight from Panama City to Bocas del Toro (45 minutes.)

  • a bus from Panama City to Almirante (10 – 11 hours) and a boat to Bocas del Toro (30 minutes.)

  • driving from Panama City to Almirante (10 – 11 hours) and then a Ferry to Bocas del Toro (2 hours.)

Experienced diving instructors and friendly local companies will help advise and design the perfect tour for you and your party.


Love to hear about what you are looking for when you dive! Underwater architecture? Swimming mammals? Bright coral and reef fish? Join the discussion!

11 Reasons to Say “I Do” to Beach Destination Weddings

After experiencing a destination beach wedding in Bocas del Toro, Panama, it’s hard to imagine another wedding venue that compares.

Destination beach wedding in Bocas del Toro Panama Caribbean

Make your vows on a secluded Caribbean island with a romantic Red Frog Beach wedding.

Think about experiencing something like this. The wedding begins at 5:00 pm.  Guests walk on the sandy pathway through the tropical forest towards the sparkling Caribbean Sea.  Everyone has enjoyed breathtaking scenery, lively coral reefs, Panama’s colorful birds, dolphin families and maybe a monkey or two.  As you now approach the beach, waves gently wash to shore in rhythm. You feel  the soft breeze of ocean’s air  and see a stunning sunset spreading through the sky.  All of this beauty fills you and the people you love most. All are transported into sublime, pure, natural beauty.  It’s just one of those moments that will never be forgotten. Cradled in this moment, in this dreamy, far away place, two hearts are bound together.

Cut! — Switch to indoor wedding scene at the clubhouse in your hometown…

Which wedding celebration connects with you?

Here are 11 more reasons for a destination beach wedding:

  • Less expensive than you think.
  • The couple only pays flights for themselves.
  • Guests pay their way.  (After all, it’s a vacation for them, too!)
  • Stay a few extra days in paradise in a private villa for your honeymoon. Booyah!  2 birds with one stone.
  • Stunning, unforgettable venue. Nature’s price tag? 0 dollars.
  • Fewer guests.  Close family and friends make an intimate and memorable event for everyone.
  • Stress-free.  A wedding planner is always provided at your destination of choice. Any worries for your all-inclusive destination wedding are handled by them.

  • Plan several days of fun events for your guest to choose. Try SCUBA or snorkeling, the zipline, hiking to secret beaches, oceanside bonfires, a massage on the quiet beach, or Yoga for the group.

  • Once-in-a-lifetime experience, in a once-in-a-lifetime place.

  • Red Frog Beach weddings are out of the hurricane-zone in Panama, so you can come any time of year!

  • Getting the most romantic, beautiful back-drop ever.  That’s E-V-E-R!

What makes a beach wedding special for you?


That’s Swell! An Epic Surf season in Bocas del Toro

We thought last surf season was big.

Surfing is incredible right now in Bocas del Toro, Panama…and when the swells are here, you can count on some of the best waves and breaks the Caribbean has to offer!  You might also be surprised by who you run into–Sonny Garcia, former world surf champion, and his friend and pro surfer, Kelly Slater are here.  What kind of Surf Report would bring these guys to Bocas? Check out this.

world-class surfing in Bocas del Toro Panama

World-class surfing in Bocas del Toro, Panama

surf in the Caribbean

Waves for beginners and pro surfers near Red Frog Beach

The most popular wave, known as “Silverbacks,“ is located on the NW corner of Isla Bastimentos which is less than 10 minutes by boat ride from Red Frog Beach docks.  How do you describe these Silverbacks?…Magicseaweed says, “Silverbacks (off of Isla Bastimentos) is Bocas’ big wave spot and it’s the only right reef break in the zone. The ride is short, but the drops are long as the wave ledges up into a large barrel. Boards over 7′ are recommended to surf this spot. It needs a good size swell to start breaking and will hold over 20 ft (6m).”

Sunny Garcia says Silverbacks is likely the “heaviest wave I’ve ever tried to surf….and that is why I’ve been surfing a few other spots around Bocas :)  The waves of Bocas are varied, some for the beginner and some for the expert.”

                 Slater and Garcia (Jan. 2015)

Come meet up with these guys and score some of the largest and heaviest, right here from Red Frog Beach in Bocas del Toro, Panama!


Surfing hot-spot! Red Frog Beach, Panama

Surf with the best in Panama’s Caribbean at Bocas del Toro

Panama Flag - Can't miss it on Flag Day

Panama is the Best Place for Your Well-Being

For the Life that You Will Feel Good About: Move to Panama

Should we credit it to our seco, over-the-top holidays, or our multi-cultural heritage? In a recent study where the United States, England, Japan or France didn’t rank in the top 10, Panama tops all countries as the best for your well-rounded physical and emotional well-being. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows that Panama is the most likely place for you to enjoy living your life.

The poll evaluates worldwide responses from five general areas:

  • Purpose
  • Social
  • Financial
  • Community
  • Physical

Not only does Panama have the best overall scores, but it also has a significant margin over runner-ups Costa Rica and Denmark for the percentage of people who are thriving in at least 3 categories, according to the poll.

Here are the top 10 results:

  1. Panama
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Denmark
  4. Austria
  5. Brazil
  6. El Salvador
  7. Sweden
  8. Guatemala
  9. Canada

USA Today broke down the numbers from the poll here.

This means that we would be happy to have you as our neighbors, and you wouldn’t regret it either.  If you aren’t ready to move to Panama, at least come visit as often as you can.  It is, after all, for your own good.

Look What People Are Saying

Alex had the Massage at El Susurro Spa

Alexandra Kovacova had a rejuvenating massage from our French Masseuse, Ludo.  Here’s what she thought about our El Susurro Spa in the tropical island forest:

At the Spa

When walking up the steps, I was amazed by the spa design completely blended into the natural landscape. Such a peaceful place. You can just listen to the stream and noises of the jungle and observe the beauty of huge jungle leaves surrounding you.

It sounds like it was good for the muscles, the skin, and the spirit! You can read more about her experience at El Susurro Spa at Red Frog Beach HERE.


Reinventing an Island Bar & Grill: Punta Lava

New Owners and a Menu Makeover at Punta Lava Bar & Grill

We are excited to introduce two dedicated owners at Punta Lava Bar & Grill and a menu makeover!

With a location one of Panama’s favorite beaches, Punta Lava Beach Bar & Grill offers stunning views, beachfront access, and sea-to-table freshness that satisfies guests day and night.  Recently, Punta Lava has been reinvented by two innovative, dedicated and energetic owners.  We are excited to introduce Rich Littlefield and Kristie Craven, each with 20+ years of valuable experience from Tahoe restaurants to hot bars on Waikiki.  They are the ones bringing the goodness to your plate, and your glass, right here on Red Frog Beach.

Here’s the scoop from our Q/A with them about their love for Bocas, why they relocated here from Hawaii, and how they are making Punta Lava better for guests and the island community.

Inside Punta Lava Restaurant in Bocas Del Toro

Order a Coco Loco at the bar, or the day’s catch of Lobster–you won’t be disappointed

What attracted you to Bocas del Toro & Red Frog Beach?  What attracted us to Bocas and Red Frog is the natural and unspoiled beauty that exists here.   We were enamored by the panga boat taxis to get around, the clear warm tropical waters, the surfing, the diving and the variety of animals found in the jungle here.

We could also clearly see that tourism was relatively new to the area and growing and that Bocas was becoming a destination that people were discovering worldwide.   We thought that Panama was the new Costa Rica and very much like Hawaii must have been fifty to sixty years ago and that the timing was right to locate opportunities here.

When did you know you wanted to run a restaurant as a career? What is the best part?  Kristie and I [Rich] both knew that we always wanted to work for ourselves on a dream or project that we could have direct effects on.  The corporate mega hotels in Hawaii are too ingrained with red tape, bottom lines and corporate policies…  The “best part” we both believe is being able to create nightly exciting specials that we feel the guests will enjoy and then chatting with the guests to hear their feedback and stories about where they are from and how they, too, discovered Bocas.

Eat at Punta Lava on Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro

Get five-star service at this beachside bar and grill

Who is in the kitchen on a typical night? Our executive Chef Kinga Samudia is in charge with his Sous Chef Yasir creating incredible food combinations and sauces.    Kinga is from Bocas and has owned his own restaurant here in the past.   He also has cooked in Italy for four years, Thailand for two and Malaysia for one year before returning to Panama.    With this wide variety of cooking knowledge coupled with his incredible ability to speak five languages he is truly an asset and superstar that we are proud to have and showcase here at Punta Lava.

What’s Chef Kinga cooking tonight?  Though we change up our nightly menu every night here we strive to have Lobster on the menu as much as possible.   In addition to that we also have local caught octopus (pulpo) and sashimi grade yellow and black fin tuna on the menu most nights of the week.

What is it like behind the scenes at Punta Lava? A typical day and night at Punta Lava is much different than most restaurants in the states or surrounding developed areas.   We work with over 25 different local fisherman, farmers, bread bakers, and jungle fruit collectors in order to write our menu daily and keep our guest coming back for more.

What has impressed you about Bocas del Toro? What has impressed us the most about Bocas Del Toro are the friendly people: local people as well as the array of tourists from around the world who also love Bocas.  In addition to that is the bountiful availability of seafood and produce found in the surrounding ocean and jungle.

What do you hope to add to the island? We hope to bring … consistently great food and five star service.   This combination back in Hawaii, coupled with the aloha spirit, has made the Hawaiian islands a legendary destination location…We hope to see happen here in gorgeous Bocas Del Toro.

Restaurant in Bocas del Toro Red Frog Beach

Refresh at Punta Lava

What is the Fan-Favorite drink at Punta Lava? Our most revered drink here at Punta Lava would be a toss-up between “Snappers Rum Punch,” which has six fruits and two different rums in it and has a phenomenal balance and texture to it, and our famous “Coco-Loco Surprise,” which is one fresh coconut opened, the water blended with coconut puree, Malibu rum and Seco Herrano (local sugar cane liquor) and then poured back in the coconut and topped with a garnish of toasted coconut.  Yum!