Red Frog Beach is one of those places that you read about and it sounds incredible, but when you are actually there, it kind of doesn't live up to the expectations and isn't as incredible as you had read.
I mean, there is nothing wrong with it, don't get me wrong, but I have been to nicer beaches and wouldn't rate this as a must-do whilst in Panama or Bocas.
We were spending a week on the island of Bastimentos and decided to get a boat round to the famous beach for a morning explore. We paid $10 each for a return boat trip. And then he dropped us off at a little harbour and we paid $5 each to use the private path to walk to the beach.
I learnt the week later that if you say you want to go to the Red Frog Beach resort, they drop you off a little further up and there is a path to the beach which you don't have to pay for. I really dislike people who aren't honest, or people that take advantage of tourists.
We paid $30 in total for a return boat trip to the beach and the entrance fee. And to be honest, it felt like money we had wasted. I always try to make the most of experiences, even if they are expensive and not what I expect. I try to see the positive and enjoy myself. But it did seem a little much to pay $30 to see a beach.
The main attraction and the reason I wanted to visit the beach was to see the famous Red Frogs but unfortunately we didn't see any. And believe me, we looked!
Red Frog Beach - Entrance
So, as I said above, we arrived at a mini harbour and paid the $5 each entrance fee. I felt a bit like we had been ripped off after later hearing that you can be dropped off 5 mins away and go to the beach for free. Anyway, the walk down the path was nice, but not worth $10, that's for sure!
Red Frog Beach - The Beach
The beach was fine. There was sand, water and palm trees but it wasn't anything amazing. I have seen much nicer beaches in my time and so it wasn't anything worth raving about. However, there were some resorts on the beach that could be a nice place to stay for a couple of nights if you wanted a quiet beach resort. I would recommend either this place or this place. Both of which look incredible!
Red Frog Beach - WildLife
Even though I didn't like paying for the entrance fee, it was nice to walk down the path surrounded by nature. There were lots of flowers, plants, fruit and animals. Although we didn't see the frogs, we did hear them (video at the bottom!) and that was nice. We also saw a little lizard crossing our path which was fun.
Red Frog Beach - Exploring
As I have said several times, the beach wasn't anything special so we walked down the beach to explore the surroundings. The sections of the beach further up were covered in drift wood, palm leaves and coconuts. You can tell that the sections of beach next to the hotels are looked after and kept clean by the staff. It was a totally different landscape and it felt more wild and untouched.
Just a heads up though, after exploring this end of the beach, we went back for a sit in the shade on the tourist section of the beach and some police men were going around talking to all the tourists saying not to walk down there as men hide in the bushes with machetes looking to mug people of their possessions. So, be careful!
So to summarise our experience of Red Frog Beach, it was fine. I don't know if I would recommend it to everyone, just because it cost us $30 to see a beach. If you do go, don't expect to see any red frogs.
Apparently it's a good place for surfers, so if you're a surfer and not bothered about the quality of the beach, then it might be a good place for you.
It might be a nice place to stay for a couple of days like I said above, to be next to the beach and listen to the waves etc. If you do want to stay there, check out these places here.
Here is a short video of our morning at Red Frog Beach - enjoy!
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