frequently asked questions


I have an early flight

You can hire a water taxi at any time to Palmar or to return to Bocas (we'll organize the return). This means you can check in late, until 10:30 pm, or be in town to make the earliest flight. For more information on getting here, please visit our Getting Here page.

What should I bring / not bring?

Please see General Info page.

How do I get there?

For information on getting to Palmar, please visit our Getting Here page.

What is the atmosphere like?

At Palmar, we love diversity. Our guests include world-traveling backpackers, adventurous families, professionals on vacation, honey-mooners, and everything in between. You can always count on meeting some amazing people. During the day, most guests spend time on the beach or go out on a tour. When it rains, some people read and play board games inside, while others take advantage of cooler temperatures to explore the island. At night, most guests socialize at the bar and beachfront deck, taking advantage of one of our daily activities. Some play games, some sample our cocktail menu, others just relax and read. When the time is right, we'll make a bonfire and enjoy the light of the stars and moon. We do our very best to cater the experience every night to the profile of our guests. On most nights, our bar closes around 11:30 pm. For those who like to stay up late, Bocas town is only a 15 minute boatride away.

Is there hot water?

All of the water is at Palmar is fresh, filtered rainwater with natural gas heating. There are absolutely no chemicals, metals, or other additives. Prepare for your softest hair and skin! As our natural water source is limited, we ask all of our guests to be conservative in their usage.

The forecast shows rain every day! When is rainy season?

First of all, let's clear the air: there is no weather forecast for Bocas. It always says thunderstorms every day. Bocas has a very warm, tropical climate all year long. There is no real "rainy" season, but November and July are normally wetter months. There is plenty of sunshine and rain year round. If it is particularly wet during your stay, don't worry. You and your belongings will stay dry inside the tents and rooms, and there is still plenty to do. Rain also usually means good swell, so you can grab a board and go surfing. The ocean in Bocas del Toro is always warm. Red Frog Beach can range from extremely calm to choppy with large waves. Under rare circumstances, the beach is not swimmable. There are four other beaches accessible by foot, one of which is virtually always perfectly calm and swimmable.

Is there electricity in the rooms?

Each Bungalow has 110v outlets. Every tent and dorm is equipped with fans, lights, and USB outlets. You can charge your larger electronics in the restaurant, bar, or upstairs lounge at any time.

Is there WiFi? Does it reach the rooms?

Yes. However, we encourage you to disconnect and immerse yourself in the beautiful location while you are here!

Do you rent surfboards, kayaks, paddleboards or snorkel gear?

We have snorkel sets available for rent for $5 per day. You can rent surfboards at a nearby hostel (10 min walk).

Is there crime?

Palmar is isolated, and so it is one of the safest places in Bocas. Like anywhere else, it is advisable to take standard precautions against theft. There is a locker inside every tent, and we always advise our guests to keep their valuables locked.

Do I need to reserve tours in advance?

All tour reservations are made at the hotel. We can go over all of your options when you arrive.

Are there bugs? Dangerous animals? Do I need to worry about any diseases?

Yes, there are plenty of bugs! We are in the jungle. However, because of the lovely ocean breeze and some preventative measures, we don't have many mosquitoes. Chitras (sandflies) only come out at dusk and sunrise, and are concentrated around mangroves. Most people don't find them to be bothersome. For those that do, a quick application of coconut oil or bug spray will keep them away! All do have mosquito nets available, although few people use them. Of course scorpions, snakes, and tarantulas do live in every jungle. They are extremely rare and hard to find here. There are no poisonous snakes at Palmar. Malaria is not a concern in this area of Panama. We strongly advise against taking any malaria medication, which can have moderate to severe side effects, and increases susceptibility to sunburn. There are no dangerous snakes, or anything else to worry about!

Is the ocean safe for swimming?

Red Frog Beach can either be crystal clear and flat as a lake, or rough with large waves. On rough days, red flags may indicate unsafe swimming conditions. Please be sure to read through our swim safety card upon arrival.

Don't see an answer to your question?

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What's nearby? Are there other food options?

Palmar is located on Isla Bastimentos, about a 15 minute boat ride from Bocas town. We are located right next to the Bastimentos National Marine Park, which you can easily walk to. There are also a few other businesses nearby, such as Nachyo Mama's Restaurant, the Point, Selina Red Frog, and the Market. We can also arrange transportation for you to visit some of our favorite restaurants by boat.

Are there vegetarian / vegan options?

Yes, we have plenty of vegetarian and some vegan options. While we will do our best to accommodate your dietary restrictions, please remember that we are on a remote island.

Do you have a public kitchen?

No, we do not. Please do not bring any food as they can attract insects and animals (except if you are in a unit with kitchenette and refrigerator).