Spent two weeks traveling around Panama with my wife and two boys ages 17 and 15. We had a great time exploring the Panama Canal zone, Lago Gatun, the Boca Chica region, Boquete and Bocas del Toro, however we all enjoyed our stay at the Pacific Bay Resort (PBR) the most. We probably saw and did more at PBR in two days than we did anywhere else
It had a great balance of natural scenic beauty, invigorating activities, relaxation, amazing wildlife and solitude. Early one morning sipping some excellent coffee, I observed a group of howler monkeys making their way from tree to tree around the main lodge, whilst taking in spectacular views of Volcan Baru and nearby island beaches dotting the serene Pacific waters.
One afternoon, while my wife was reading on a swaying hammock strung between coconut palms on her own private beach, and while my boys were catching nice waves on boogie boards at the adjacent beach, I decided to explore the other side of the bay. Walking along the soft yet firm sand, climbing a few rocks, peering into small caves and crossing a shallow sandbar at low tide, I came across some fascinating geological formations where there were about 7 different colored parallel plates of rock jutting out of the sea. I wanted to explore the interior of Frank's daughter's jungle island but felt that would be better left for another time. So, I had to settle for collecting some beautiful sea shells and swimming in the warm ocean waters.
Frank led us on a private guided tour around the "island" perimeter searching the tide pools for octopi or crabs. Later we kayaked in the calm open ocean amongst sea turtles and we wanted to kayak into the mouth of the river and venture upstream searching for small caiman and sloths but the tide was too low. We had hoped to snorkel at nearby Isla Seca or dive for a lobster dinner, but just did not have enough time.
Late one evening on our cottage porch we viewed directly overhead both northern and southern hemisphere constellations, while simultaneously enjoying a spectacular lightening storm over the distant Chiriqui highlands, the combination which was uniquely breathtaking.
Despite what I have written, this place is not for everyone. These are not five star accommodations although very clean, spacious and comfortable. Thankfully there is no TV or internet. My biggest complaint would be the slippery cart paths one has to negotiate to get around the property. However, if you are somewhat able-bodied and are not too pampered, if you enjoy natural scenic beauty and a little adventure this may be just the spot for you. Frank is a delightful character of innumerable talents who passion is to ensure that you enjoy this island playland as much as he does. We certainly did and we all hope to be back someday!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.