Want to know if we are what you are looking for in a stay?
The Firefly is for you if:
*you enjoy nature and adventure (or just kicking back with a book & a cocktail)
*you want a local experience, not to be stuck behind walls where you never really see the local people
*you are a foodie who is always looking forward to their next meal. Our restaurant is tops in Bocas for a reason and we believe in sourcing locally and organically whenever possible.
*you enjoy traveling to rustic, off the beaten path types of places in a beautiful, natural setting yet you want to return to a super comfy memory foam mattress ,a hot shower and a room where attention has been paid to the details.
*you enjoy the intimate feeling of staying in a small, laid back, eco B&B as opposed to a 24 hr hotel with a large staff. Keep in mind this is a home that has been opened up to guests. Our staff, although small, are always willing to help should you need it.
* you appreciate the planet, taking care of it and the often fragile ecosystem of an island
*you are laid back and understand that “island time” can be an amazing concept in which to de-stress
* you want a hip environment in affordable rooms where attention is paid to design and comfort
*you are not bothered if the internet decides to not work one day or if the power goes out unexpectedly (because this does happen)
If this sounds awesome to you….keep reading about us!
The Firefly is a small, 5 room, eco bed & breakfast on Bastimentos in Bocas Del Toro, Panama geared toward couples who love the outdoors, a local experience, amazing food, and adventure. We are also a great option for a girlfriend getaway, yoga retreat or surf vacation. Please note, we are an adults only property. We have opened up our home to allow others to see the beauty of Bastimentos and we run it ourselves with the help of a few Bastimentos locals. Our style is boho chic, surf-beach house with comfortable interiors, quality linens and a fun vibe. Our open air waterfront restaurant, bar, infinity pool and lounge area complete with sun loungers, daybeds & hammocks is the perfect place to spend the day with a book or an evening with sunset cocktails. We sit directly on the Caribbean and water access can range from tricky to impossible to easy depending on the time of year and the swell. It is rocky and water shoes are recommended. We have a small, infinity plunge pool for our guests & a covered yoga pavilion that is used for classes, retreats and private dining.
Our ocean front location is close to everything, just a 7 minute, $3 boat taxi from touristy Bocas Town, yet far enough that you feel like you are in your own island paradise. We are located just out of Old Bank, the Caribbean town in Bastimentos; just a 10 minute walk from the public boat dock. Our location, referred to as “Oceanside”, is private and serene, has the best breeze on the island and is away from the noise of Old Bank YET the bars & restaurants of Bocas Town are only minutes away . We are in the middle of everything, including Bocas best beaches, hiking trails, surf breaks and snorkeling. Red Frog is known as the most beautiful beach in Bocas and it’s located on Bastimentos, a 5 minute boat ride away. Basti also has Bocas only jungle zip line tour and our favorite excursion, the Bastimentos Bat Caves. Old Bank ( 5 min walk) offers some of the best food in Bocas. If you want a cheap local plate with rice and beans, head to Alvin & Kecha, or for something a bit more creative than the local plate of the day, we love the fusion caribbean style of Chavela. It’s our favorite jungle restaurant! The Sea Monkey offers a mexican/italian menu with housemade ravioli and enchiladas. There are also convenience stores and a police station minutes away from us.
The Firefly strives to be earth conscious and eco friendly. Sustainability is high on our priority list as much of The Firefly was built out of plantation grown hardwoods, fallen trees and reclaimed lumber. We use a rain water catchment system to provide all of our water. We even use biodegradable, compostable straws in our bar made from a plant-based plastic. We compost as much of our refuse as we can in our quest to not create a lot of trash. We ask guests to bring a travel container for water as we do not sell bottled water in order to not contribute to the growing plastic problem on the islands. We do provide you with a carafe for your room with endless filtered water. We will be happy to re-fill your personal container with filtered water for less than the cost of buying a bottled water. All of our other water needs (showers, sinks & toilets) here at The Firefly are provided by the rain. In keeping with our eco friendly mentality and water being a precious resource, your linens will be changed only if requested during your stay.
We built the restaurant/bar ourselves with the help of our friends and our local Panamanian builder, Augustine Vidal. The Firefly is a place for those with a respect toward our planet who still want stylish decor, a cool vibe & comfort. We are not a 5 star resort or large hotel chain preferring a more local, intimate island experience. We do not have ac or tvs, preferring the sounds of the ocean and jungle life. The house was constructed in a rustic manner & the geckos will still find their way into your room. Never fear, they eat the bugs! :) Bastimentos is a bit rustic and we wouldn’t have it any other way. You will walk through the local village to get to us. The people here are kind and love a wave hello. We live amongst the local people and we love our neighbors! We think you will find the people on Basti to be super friendly. Everybody here knows everybody and their way of life is much simpler than most of us are used to. If seeing the way locals live isn’t your thing, then we are not the place for you.
Here in Bocas, we have the occasional power outage. Bocas also tends to have a water shortage certain times of the year in the dry months. This is an island wide issue as we can go without rain for more than a month. Most of the time, these are not issues and the rain can be plentiful, however we ask guests to be responsible with their water usage. Please realize that we are on an island and life is much slower here. Leave the pace of life at home, enjoy yourself and relax. None of the excursions/tours need to be planned ahead of your arrival time except diving if you are planning to get certified. Everything else can pretty much be arranged the morning of.
We provide an amazing breakfast that is included for our guests. Everyday is something new, whether it’s banana pancakes, breakfast tacos, or french toast with coconut or mango from our yard, it’s all fresh & yummy. Coffee is grown in the mountains of Panama and smoothies are made with local fruit. We believe in using local food & organic produce whenever possible and everything, sauces and ice cream, in our restaurant is made in house.