Bocas Del Toro's

CARENERO ISLAND

see the rating for the whole area at Bocas Del Toro

 

Description :  The tiny island, opp. Bocas Del Toro, with a colorful village, a few good beaches, lots of palm trees and the best sunset point !

Comments :  This island is overlooked by most of the travelers. Considering the lack of accomodation for individual backpackers, it may indeed not be necessary to stay there. But it provides a great escape from Bocas Del Toro and could easily be combined with a trip to Bastimentos Island.

What to do ?  See Bocas Del Toro section. 

What you may not like ?  The very dirty & smelly village, contrasting with the spotless resorts and the luxury yachts  / The lack of good path round the island (see below) / The boatmen overcharging attempts /  The rather narrow beaches / 

How long ? A couple of hours if you have limited time. Half a day to enjoy the beaches. A few days if you are based here with friends.

Where to stay ? The choice on this tiny island is limited to two expensive resorts (from $35 up for room w. AC, TV & HW) and Pargo Rojo ( (7579649, bbahary@hotmail.com), by the pier. The Iranian owner offers big room on two floors (up to 5 people so perfect for friends), for US$25. The bar/restaurant is very relaxed and it offers the best sunset point ! The snorkeling equipment is also the cheapest of the area at $2. 


An expedition around the island ?  

I had been told that there was a path going round the island and that it would require one hour walk. The guy obviously had never done it ! Nor did the guy that I met on the way who said that I would need a couple of hours. It took me 1.5 hours but it was very tricky and quite adventurous in parts : if you do not wish to cross barbed wires, follow muggy path inside dense vegetation, crawl on rocks and get your foot wet, stay at Pargo Rojo and have a beer ! Or follow part of the path only...

Going clockwise (turn left from the pier), you realize soon how dirty and smelly the village is. It is not without charm however, thanks to a few flowered garden. The thousands of crabs hiding at your approach are also an interesting & weird sight. A bit after the lovely Careening Cay Resort & Marina (previously Palm Beach Cabins, US$45 for 2) and its new Sunset Grill Restaurant, barbed wire !  Cross them if looking for adventure. Go back otherwise. Indeed, reaching the east side of the island would require at least 30 exciting minutes up & down, on rocks, vegetation, mug or water... You can not really get lost as the sea is nearby but you could get muggy, sweaty, scared or even hurt. Better not to do it on your own.  

It was therefore a relief to reach the beach. Tiny, it is, but the setting is lovely : forest with big roots trees on the right, crystal clear water on the left and palm trees on the sand. A taste of paradise ? After such an adventure, certainly !  The water is partly wavy (good surfing ?) and partly calm (good swimming ? As usual, always ask before venturing too far and do not swim alone). You could reach this section in about 45mn from the pier (turning right) : an easy and very enjoyable walk via a lovely resort set among coconuts trees 

Back at Pargo Rojo, get the beer we were talking about previously and enjoy the sunset ! 

 << Discover a few palm scenery