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This morning, we’re wrapping up a few things and bidding “goodbye” to Isla Colon and Bocas Town. We’ve spent 5 nights here and we’re ready for something new!

Today’s Final Destination: Dolphin Bay Hideaway on Isla San Cristobal!

taxi to carenero

We grabbed a water taxi just across the street and were on our way to our first stop: the Cosmic Crab Cafe on Isla Carenero. Joan, the owner of the Cosmic Crab had invited us out the first day we stopped at the Beach Bar. She was so friendly and introduced herself to us and invited us out for their all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch! “Brunch” isn’t a word you hear in Panama. Neither is “all-you-can-eat.” It’s definitely an American thing. We’re excited!

It’s very humid today, so the water taxi ride is like having the A/C on for… 5 minutes? That’s all? Isla Carenero is very close by. In fact, I took many pictures of it from our balcony on Isla Colon.

bye bocas
Goodbye Bocas Town!


We arrived and were greeted by Joan and her husband, Steven. Guess who else was there! Steve and Rhonda from Flying Pirates! The people who live on these islands really are like family. I love that.

We weren’t incredibly hungry so we nibbled on a few things, but the buffet was beautiful and had many of the things you’d expect to see at brunch: French toast, pancakes, cream-cheese filled crepes, ham, scrambled eggs, custom omelets, muffins, bread, rice pudding, deviled eggs, green salad, etc. So many choices and I wish I were hungrier. The food was very good and we all filled up after only a few bites.

karter peeking
Karter’s peeking over the edge


dock view
Walking the dock in front of the Cosmic Crab Cafe

Steven and Joan have twin 9-year olds, so their son befriended Kole and Karter and they ended up running around the grounds, chasing each other, and playing with their 9 puppies.

While waiting for our water taxi to arrive to take us to our next destination, Isla San Cristobal, we met a newly-arrived family from Blanco, Texas! Last June, Mark and Ruth decided that they wanted a change of lifestyle, so they began selling virtually all their possessions, bought a sailboat, and in November, with 6 of their 7 children, set off on an adventure. They’ve been on the waters, stopping in various countries on their journey, for 7 or so months. They arrived in Bocas del Toro yesterday and dropped anchor, looking for a new way to make money. Kristian was more than happy to share with them about the Empower Network and they seemed excited to research if it would be a good fit for them. While we chatted, we learned that they’re homeschooling their children, too! And Ruth likes to blog! Cool!

kids at carenero
Kole and Karter with Mark and Ruth’s kids.

Jose, our water taxi driver, arrived and we said our goodbyes to Steve and Rhonda, Steven and Joan, and Mark and Ruth! Even the bartender from the Beach Bar was there and recognized us and came out to say goodbye (mostly Kole and Karter.) EVERYONE IS SO NICE!!!


Ride to Dolphin Bay Hideaway

We’re excited to arrive at the Dolphin Bay Hideaway, but first we have to make a few stops. Our first stop is for gas:


outhouseOh! And does anyone need to use the bathroom?

Our second stop was back at Isla Colon, to pick up the owner of the Dolphin Bay Hideaway, Erica.

boat ride

Our third stop was at a little fish market back on Isla Carenero where I saw this adorable little boy floating in styrofoam packing material:

little boy

fishThe fresh fish dock

Finally, we’re on our way to Isla San Cristobal. The ride takes about 20 minutes and it’s in a completely different direction. We drove between island after island of mangroves. A few islands had houses, but mostly what we saw looked untouched.

mangrovesA mangrove island

cristobal houses

Dolphin Bay Hideaway!

When we approached the Dolphin Bay Hideaway, I could see a small hut on the water and a larger structure up on the hill, surrounded by lush tropical plants. It’s remote, quiet and beautiful – completely different than anything we’ve experienced so far.

dbh hut

The Dolphin Bay Hideaway is off the grid. They have solar energy with a back-up generator, water collection tanks which they filter, and they eat a lot of food off the land including eggs and meat from the chickens that are free-roaming and organic fruits and veggies.

The rooms themselves are very pretty. I would describe them, but you can see for yourself:

dbh master

dbh master 2

boys room
The boys have their own separate room next door!

It’s late afternoon by the time we get settled, so instead of doing much, we just hang out in the hammocks and chairs on the upper deck, which has an excellent view of Dolphin Bay. I hope we get to see dolphins! Supposedly there’s a great chance! We also met another couple staying here; Marcus and Laura from Berlin, Germany.

The Dolphin Bay Hideaway has just built a pool by the ocean, which pumps filtered sea water and slowly fills it up. It’s a great little 3-foot pool, so the kids spent some time cooling off there for awhile.

snorkel pool

At 6:30, dinner is served! Whole fish, seasoned rice and steamed veggies! Yum! The fish was purchased fresh that day and had a wonderful flavor. The boys were a little freaked out about their fish “with the eyeball still in it!” But I rescued them and pulled off the meat from the bones. Oh man. Everything just hit the spot.

fish dinner
Kole’s look of displeasure at seeing a whole fish on his plate.

Dolphin Bay Hideaway is a B&B, so typically the guests eat together, which we did. We all sat around a big, square table which lead to great conversation about actors, movies, German words, tales of our Panama adventures and more! Laura made a hilarious comment about how German words are so “in your face.” For example, we have this fluttery word for butterfly. “Butterfly.” It’s light and airy and feminine. The German word for butterfly is “SCHMETTERLING,” which she said in the gruffest of voices. We all busted up laughing!

marcus lauraSittin’ around the table with Marcus and Laura

All this social interaction makes one tired, so we wrapped it up by 8:30, showered and hit the sack. Looking forward to our first full day at Dolphin Bay Hideaway!