Frequently Asked Questions
We strive to create the experience of a lifetime.
How do I get to Casa Cayuco?
The most common option and quickest way to get here is via Air Panama (www.airpanama.com). When booking your flight with Air Panama, Panama City – Albrook (PAC) will be your departure airport and your destination will be Bocas del Toro – ISLA COLON (BOC). **We highly recommend that guests book FLIGHT 982 to Bocas del Toro and Flight 983 back to Panama City via Air Panama. These flights coincide with our regular arrival and departure schedule.
First, fly from your country of origin to Panama City (PTY – Tocumen International Airport). From there you’ll take a 35-45 minute taxi ride to Albrook International Airport (PAC – Air Panama). Next you’ll fly to Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro (BOC) – the hub of the islands. The flight is about an hour. Our normal pickup is for the afternoon flight from Panama City, which arrives around 3:30-4pm daily. If you are arriving on this flight and heading straight to Casa Cayuco, one of our captains will be waiting for you at the airport with a sign. If you choose to take an earlier flight, we have a few businesses that will store your bags while you explore the bustling streets of Bocas Town. Once we pick you up – it’s about a 35 minute, beautiful boat ride through the protected, mangrove islands of the Bastimentos National Marine Park.
A second flight option is available via Nature Air in Costa Rica (www.natureair.com). Nature Air has daily flights directly into Bocas del Toro. If flying from your city of origin into San Jose, Costa Rica is a better option for you, the flight from San Jose to Bocas del Toro is an easy 45 minutes.
There is also an overnight bus that goes from Panama City to Almirante, Bocas del Toro (leaves daily at 8pm – arrives at 6am). From Almirante, you take a 30 minute water taxi to Isla Colon. This is a much more inexpensive option.
Most of our guests stay a night or two exploring Panama City before and/or after they stay at Casa Cayuco. There are many things to do, great restaurants to try, tours to take and sights to see (visiting the Panama Canal is probably tops on that list). During your booking correspondences with us, please let us know if you need suggestions while staying in Panama City.
If you need assistance setting up a tour in Panama City or simply reliable, comfortable transportation, we have several partnerships with tour/transportation companies in Panama City and can help you organize all tour and hotel/airport transfer needs.
UBER is also a great, inexpensive way to get around Panama City. If you have an international data plan, we highly recommend using UBER.
As always, please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mosquitos & Vaccinations
Malaria is not a concern in our region of Panama. We recommend not taking the pills, as they only cause worse sunburns and often times make people feel sick. Malaria has not been a concern here for over 30 years.
Zika is also not a concern in our islands. The CDC mentions Panama on the list of Zika countries. However, there have been less than 5 reported cases, all on the other side of the country (Darien & San Blas). Zika needs a dense, unsanitary population to thrive. Casa Cayuco is about as remote as it gets so mosquito borne illnesses have a very hard time taking hold. We also regularly spray and take necessary precautions to control mosquito populations.
Critters & Insects?
The good news is that we really don’t have many mosquitoes around Casa Cayuco. Occasionally there may be a “hatch” and they are around, though this is not a frequent occurrence.
The chitras/sand fleas/no-see-ums tend to be on the beach around dawn and dusk. They can be easily eliminated by spraying the ankle area or simply wearing very light-weight pants and socks. Some folks are more reactive to the chitras, while others are not bothered at all. Our bug nets are tightly woven to prevent chitras from penetrating.
Other cool and interesting creatures seen around our island are little boas, small caiman, poison red dart frogs (just the name is scary), white headed capuchin monkey’s and two-toed sloth.
Isla Bastimentos as a whole, is a very benign island. That being said, we are open air and technically in the rainforest, so if you have any particular creature/bug phobias, email us and we can give you more details on what to expect
Dangerous Ocean Wildlife?
Nurse sharks are the only sharks that occur in and around our bay. They are harmless. Spotted Eagle Rays and Southern Rays are commonly spotted in our bay. They are amazing creatures and also harmless. All three are breathtakingly beautiful from above and below the water.
We are fortunate that we rarely have jellyfish, and those that we see are the small ones that are more a nuisance than painful. Stingrays are common right off our beach however they can see you coming a mile away and are not threatening. The’ll quickly swim away if you get too close.
Crime at Casa Cayuco?
There are no safety concerns at Casa Cayuco. We are located at perhaps the most remote part of the archipelago. All of our employees walk to work from our local indigenous village, Salt Creek. Casa Cayuco is very involved with this village and there is a great sense of community and family on our point of the island. That being said, all of our cabins are equipped with safes where you can store your valuables. We also keep watchmen during the evening hours – mostly to keep our boats from sinking or disconnecting from their moorings, but they’re also keeping an eye on the property as well.
Unlike Bocas Town, our area is a very tight-knit community where everyone knows each other. Casa Cayuco is known and highly respected in the community. We take great pride in our staff and try to be a big part of their lives. This community involvement makes Casa Cayuco an extremely safe environment.
What should I pack?
- Bug Spray
- Rain Jacket (light weight is best in our tropical environment)
- Flashlight or headlamp/s
- Quick-dry clothes (not necessary, but highly recommended)
- Closed toes shoes for hiking (Keens also work great!)
- A spirit for adventure!
Throughout the year, our typical daily weather patterns consist of late morning and afternoon sunshine, clear evenings and rainy spells late at night into the early morning. This is a great combination, since the nightly rains are great for sleeping and continue to fill our water tanks.
Situated in a rainforest climate, we do get rain all year round; although, there are two dry seasons in the Bocas del Toro Province, February through April and August through October.
Mid-November to mid-December and July are generally our rainiest months. We do experience dramatic thunderstorms, however, these “Temporales” are usually short-lived.
For surfing, the best time of year is November through April, when the swell is higher.
For swimming, offshore fishing and snorkeling, August, September and October provide extremely calm conditions. However, we have several protected snorkeling locations throughout the islands that are great regardless of weather conditions. The beach we are situated on ranges from calm to extremely calm. It’s the only beach in Bocas that is always calm and swim-able.
What is a ‘Cayuco’?
Odd as it may sound, we get this question a lot. Cayucos are the hollowed logs that the locals have been using for their boats for centuries. What struck us was the culture that is intrinsically linked to these amazing craft. From birth, the Ngobes use cayucos for cradles and playpens. Once the children are old enough, they paddle to school in smaller cayucos, which are their equivalent bicycles. With the need for fishing, diving and transportation of goods, these vessels increase in size, until some are well over 50 feet and deeply drafted in order to ferry tons of material. There’s nothing more inspiring than to witness the locals standing while paddling these very unstable boats, and little more amusing than to witness a cow being transported across the waterscape by one either. What ceases to amaze are the intrepid fisherman paddling miles offshore to fish in oftentimes huge seas only to return under “sail” with their sprit rigs formed from old sacks and other discarded material. Out at Cayo Agua we have a friend who surfs pretty large breaks with us, except he’s doing it in his cayuco!!