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Hiking from Wizard Beach to Red Frog Beach on Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

I first read about Red Frog Beach pretty early on in my research about what there was to do in Bocas del Toro. At first, I filed it away in the back of my mind as a place that we could take a water taxi to for a lazy beach day. A little later on in my research, I read that it was possible to walk from Wizard Beach along the shore to Red Frog Beach. Since Wizard Beach was only a short half hour hike from our base in Old Bank on Isla Bastimentos, we figured that we might as well make a day out of it. And so off we went.

The Hike to Wizard Beach

We started off our morning with the short, half hour hike from our guesthouse of Isla Bastimentos to Wizard Beach. Although Google Maps marked the path, in real life it was a bit harder to find. At one point, we were pretty sure that we were walking through someone’s backyard – as was pretty common for us in the town of Old Bank. Luckily, a young boy quickly recognised us as the confused gringos that we were and pointed us in the right direction. Apparently we weren’t the only tourists who had attempted to find the path to Wizard Beach and had run into some confusion. Soon enough though we found ourselves on the forest path that we had been expecting.

Our guidebook warned us that the path could be muddy after it rained, but we figured that it wouldn’t be a problem. After all, it hadn’t been raining since we had been there. Little did we know, you could still find patches of mud even if it hadn’t rained in some time. The stuff was completely covering our shoes, feet, and legs by the time we arrived on the beach. The sight that spread out in front of us quickly distracted us from that though. Aside from the few people dotting the horizon, the only real hint that there had been anyone there before us were the footprints in the sand.

Wizard Beach

After setting up our blanket on the barely touched sand we ventured out to stick our feet in the water and try to clean a little bit of the mud off our shins. Since we had been warned that the waves on Wizard Beach could be rough, we didn’t want to wade out much farther than that.

Feeling at least a little bit more clean than we had before, we took some time to just chill out on our beach blanket and take in the beautiful surroundings. I laid back and closed my eyes for a while, and Daniel did what he does best and made some funny faces.

The Hike to Red Frog Beach

(aka the beginning of the end)

After feeling sufficiently relaxed, we started off on the walk from Wizard Beach to Red Frog Beach, shoes in hand. The walk began pleasant enough. The only real complaint I had at that point was that my feet kept sinking into the sand, which was easily remedied by moving over to the wet sand closer to the waves. Soon enough, we had the whole beach to ourselves. Palm trees were jutting out over the water and I couldn’t help but remark that it felt like we were on an episode of ‘Survivor’.

Looking back on it, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned Survivor. Pretty soon after I did, things started to get a little bit messy. When we came across a large grouping of trees, my first thought was ‘pretty!’ Then, I realised that we were going to have to find a way through them.

Although the way through these trees was pretty easy to find, it wasn’t exactly the easiest to walk through. We had to put our shoes back on to make sure that we didn’t cut our feet open on a stray branch. Still, though, I was optimistic.

The walk continued on like this for some time, and although we were getting pretty hungry we didn’t completely mind the few little detours through the trees. We were having an adventure, after all.

Then, we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a muddy swamp. On the other side, we ran into another group of travellers, and continued our walk with them. While we were talking and getting to know each other, we ended up in the jungle, slowly trudging our way up a hill. Our good old friend the mud was there with us too, and sometimes let us sink all the way up to our knees in him. All of it was just a little bit Jurassic Park-esque, and we had no idea where we were going. Daniel and I were also completely starving by this point, so it was a pretty miserable ordeal.

By the time we finally saw the light, everyone had taken their shoes off and had a few new cuts in their feet to show for it. When the ocean came into view, we all ran towards it with huge grins on our faces. We had been sure that we were never going to see the light of day again, so it was a pretty exciting moment.

Red Frog Beach

Once we had reached Red Frog Beach, the first thing on our minds was food. We settled in on the outdoor deck of Palmar Tent Lodge’s restaurant, and I gorged myself on Spaghetti. We then slept off our food comas on some nearby lounge chairs before venturing into the ocean for some much deserved swim time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take any photos while at Red Frog Beach. But, I was once again blown away by the beauty of the place – even if there were a few more people there than there had been at Wizard Beach earlier in the day. Once we had gotten our fill of the beach, we walked the short ten minutes to the water taxi dock. There, we made our way back home, glad to have the chance to rest for the night after a much more adventurous day than we had expected.

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Hiking from Wizard Beach to Red Frog Beach on Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro


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