PHOTO: Overhead shot of Sweet Borcas courtesy of Sweet Borcas
Located in the northwest of Panama, on a private island in the midst of a UNESCO World Heritage Site archipelago known as Bocas del Toro, Sweet Bocas is a tiny, 15 acre villa suitable for those seeking the ultimate private paradise.
Instead of operating as a hotel or an estate, this private villa sits on its own private island, within a UNESCO World Heritage Site archipelago known as Bocas del Toro in the northwest of Panama. The archipelago of Bocas del Toro is located on the northwest Caribbean shore of Panama, close to the Costa Rican border. It consists of more than 68 small islands and mangrove keys and is characterised by diverse ecosystems: from mangrove dominated shallow water to coral reefs and sea grass meadows. Their most famous neighbor is the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Bocas del Toro Research Station which attracts scientists from around the world to study the species-rich marine and terrestrial habitats.
As for the property itself, Sweet Bocas was founded by Annick Belanger who wanted to create a destination where guests experience luxury sustainably and more authentically in absolute privacy. Guests must buy-out the entire villa and, throughout their time on the property, visitors can discover this self-sustaining resort, with the second largest freshwater lake in the archipelago Bocas del Toro, as well as a fully functioning permaculture farm.
PHOTO: The waters of Sweet Bocas courtesy of Sweet Bocas
Each guest has the opportunity to leave a positive mark through sustainability, cultural exchange and life changing experiences. Whether it’s marine conservation of local habitats in the mangroves or reefs with the research station, volunteering with local communities, teaching opportunities or cooking and farming experiences.
This kind of education is one of the cornerstones of a visit to Sweet Bocas, and the team is dedicated to supporting local non-profit organizations that provide education and community development to local indigenous tribes that have populated the area for centuries. One of the local charities includes, Give and Surf, a local organisation that provides education and community development to local indigenous tribes and welcomes volunteers to surf while they give back.
PHOTO: The natural habit of Sweet Bocas courtesy of Sweet Bocas
A surfing mecca, Bocas del Toro has some of the best surf breaks in the world whether its novices or expert waves. Guests are guided by world champion pro surfer Terry Sims and taken to the undiscovered local spots. There is a host of other activities including paddle boarding, scuba diving, tennis, fishing, yoga and more.
PHOTO: Dining at Sweet Bocas courtesy of Sweet Bocas
As for food, elevating the farm to table experience, Head Chef Wilmo Ordoñez is dedicated to sustainable farming and cultivation, growing the food in alignment with his incredible culinary vision. Each day a new menu is prepared inspired by guests desires and the daily harvest of the estate’s farm and green house, which Chef Ordoñez and his team work closely with local communities to source ingredients and bring knowledge and more awareness to better farming practices, organic produce and good nutrition.
PHOTO: The Sweet Bocas Villa courtesy of Sweet Bocas
The accommodations at Sweet Bocas is comprised mainly of a 14-person, over-water villa constructed entirely out of Panamanian teak connected to the island with a 130-meter dock. It has seven suites with ensuite bathrooms, polished tropical hardwoods, vibrant furnishings, original artwork, and stunning panoramic ocean views.
The property is staffed with plenty of housekeepers, chefs, surf and yoga instructors, and even a masseuse.
PHOTO: The deck at Sweet Bocas courtesy of Sweet Bocas
On the island, there are two “glamping – sleeping under the stars” bamboo structures located around the private freshwater lake with the same luxury as the bedrooms in the villa. The island also has an ocean front swimming pool, gym, tennis court, pergola, tented reception and outdoor lounge areas.
The dedicated Sweet Bocas team is on standby 24 hours to ferry guests around the archipelago on the estate’s 30-foot motor yacht.
Sweet Bocas is accessible via a short private boat transfer from Bocas Del Toro International Airport. The team takes care of arranging private flights and paperwork prior to arrival to ensure swift transfer through Panamanian customs. Daily commercial flights are also available.