Sustainable stilted huts that entice with a direct staircase into the aquarium-like sea, adorned with corals and cool mojitos on the terrace, but above all, offering tranquility to enjoy nature. Punta Caracol is about peace, hammock vibes, and who gets in the water first.
And it is quite easy to get in the water at Punta Caracol. It gently laps just below the rustic stilted hut, and as you lean over the railing, you will gaze directly down to the sea's sandy bottom. Small fish and red starfish emerge in the turquoise-blue water.
The silence is evident because the stilted huts in this part of Panama are located far from the tourist trail. Therefore, you should appreciate water, seafood, and the sea breeze (as there are only fans in the huts). However, you do not need to bring snorkeling equipment. It is included in the package on Isla Colón, the small island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, where Punta Caracol is peacefully nestled.
A floating eco-adventure
A lodge on water does not suffice to describe Punta Caracol. A collection of stilted bungalows over transparent water does actually not fully describe this place either. Nor is the view of coral reefs from colorful hammocks. Punta Caracol is a floating eco-adventure that beautifully showcases how tourism, consumption, conservation of natural resources, and exclusive accommodations can be created through local efforts.
It took two years to certify the construction of the hotel as a sustainable building that would not impact the surrounding corals
Sustainable hotel with local roots
Here, nine vibrant huts with thatched roofs are lined along the pier, snaking out into the water. It took two years to certify the construction of the hotel as a sustainable building that would not impact the surrounding corals.
Vegetables are grown in the organic garden. Fish and seafood are sourced directly from the sea. Electricity is generated from solar panels. All the staff members are local Panamanians. And Punta Caracol is nestled within a private nature reserve, where the hotel occupies only a fraction of the reserve. The rest is nature on its terms.
It will take you about half an hour to sail from the mainland to Punta Caracol. Along the way, you will notice breathtakingly beautiful beaches on smaller islands that glisten like tiny diamonds in the Caribbean Sea.
Punta Caracol is the experience of being almost alone on the water, not at sea in the traditional sense, but floating above Panama's Caribbean Sea. There are no tourists beyond those you share the hotel with. And there are not many of them. A group of dolphins may appear, and rays sometimes swim by as well. The best part is that you often notice these visits from the marine animals because you are so close to the water.
For families, couples, and adventurers
There is plenty of space for a family in the bungalows. And many couples appreciate the secluded "aqua-lodge," as Punta Caracol refers to itself. What unites those who visit this tranquil aquarium is that they forget about time and place.
There is limited electricity out here on the water. Although there is Wi-Fi, it is only available in one of the hotel's common areas where you can charge your mobile phone. So, for once, the feeling that time and place are absorbed by the present moment is truly present. It is exclusive in an unconventional way. And Punta Caracol is charming, exceptional, and unlike many other places we know.
Punta Caracol is located about a 30-minute boat ride from Almirante, the main town in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. The nearest airport is on the main island of Bocas del Toro, and it just under an hour's flight from Panama City or San Jose (Costa Rica). Combining your stay at Punta Caracol with a tour of Costa Rica is highly recommended.