Laguna Azul, Eco-Boutique Hotel in Bocas del Toro, Isla Popa, Panama
Global Yodel recently had the opportunity to experience the amazing eco-boutique hotel Laguna Azul in Bocas Del Toro, Panama.
The lodge is located on its own private island near Isla Popa. When sitting on the infinity deck you overlook an active coral reef with water so clear you can see the bottom. Behind you is an endless mangrove forest.
This is a place where you can let go, relax, and feel the rhythms of nature (without sacrificing any creature comforts).
The meals provided by two private chefs are fresh (like out-of-the-water-that-morning fresh) and delicious. The service is perfect. You will feel like you are at home, only a lot better.
We sat down with Laguna Azul manager Fernando Quevedo and asked him about life on a private island and the hotel.
Place you live: Laguna Azul, Isla Popa, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Can you sum up Bocas Del Toro? There are only a few places around the world that offer the seductive, primitive and unforgettable experiences of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Here you’ll find spectacular white sandy beaches, a breathtaking array of flora and fauna unequaled anywhere else in the world, and a variety of places to go for the traditional forms of entertainment.
Occupation: Hotel manager
Tell us about Hotel Laguna Azul: The Laguna Azul Eco Boutique Hotel is built right on the sea, surrounded by untouched mangrove forest. It has a spacious and ambient living room and dining room, and a beautiful terrace facing the open sea.
Our guests’ favorite spot at the hotel is the floating deck/solarium where they enjoy sun bathing, reading or simply spending time sipping delicious cocktails and drinks.
We have only eight exclusive rooms with private terraces and restrooms, and the cuisine that we offer is customized to the demanding tastes of our guests.
What is unique about Hotel Laguna Azul? Definitely the atmosphere of relaxation and wellness that guests can experience during their entire visit.
Tell us a little about the history of Hotel Laguna Azul: Laguna Azul was built to support creating sources of employment for people in the community who worked for the hotel construction industry. Today, some of these residents remain employees of the hotel and have been trained to provide service according to international hotel standards.
During construction, we took all the preservation measures to keep this paradise as pristine as possible! Rain water is collected through the room’s special ceilings, then stored and treated with an ultraviolet lamp in order to fulfill our guests’ needs. The hotel was designed to benefit from the Atlantic breeze so A/C is not necessary. The hotel produces its own energy with a 15 kW generator and a solar panel that supplies 24-hour energy.
What is a perfect day in Bocas Del Toro? The perfect day starts with a healthy breakfast followed by morning snorkeling, then enjoying the white beaches of the Zapatillas Cays. The best snorkeling and diving in Major Zapatillas can be found towards the southeastern coast, about 300 meters from the beach in a spot known as Coral Islands. This spot is relatively shallow and has beautiful coral formations whose crevices hide many lobsters, crabs, eels and an immense amount of tiny sea invertebrates. For lunch enjoy some snacks right at the beach of Zapatillas and then come back around 3:00pm to our hotel, rest and enjoy our happy hour at 5:00pm followed by a spectacular lobster dinner!
If someone was visiting Bocas Del Toro, what must they do? The Archipelago of Bocas del Toro offers visitors endless opportunities in terms of beaches and water sports. Secluded golden and white sand beaches and emerald waters await any guest. With kilometers and kilometers of uninhabited coasts, it won’t be difficult to find the perfect stretch of beach. With uncrowded waves, colorful coral reefs, abundant marine life (dolphins, turtles, tropical fishes, manatees) and a vibrant island nightlife, Bocas del Toro is truly a Caribbean Paradise!
What do you love about Bocas Del Toro? Bocas del Toro is an example of coexistence and multi-cultural respect for everyone, its natural diversity is only surpassed by its cultural diversity. When you visit it you feel alive!
What do you dislike about Bocas Del Toro? When I leave!
What is a little known fact about Bocas Del Toro? Unknown to many tourists are some historical facts that identified Bocas at one time as a trend-setting spot in Panama. For one, Bocas del Toro was the first province on a national level to have a race track, to have consulates from various countries, to have a modern hospital, and to have hosted the first drawing of the National Lottery.
Few people, however, know that Bocas del Toro was home to the first artificial canal, the Snyder Canal. The banana production company by the same name obtained permission to construct the canal from the Colombian government in 1899.