Banana Hill

Live the Caribbean Dream for Just a Few Coconuts

Is Isla Bastimentos the last unspoiled island paradise in the Caribbean? It may well be, and titled lots there very rarely come on the market. As of this moment, there are only nine lots left in the pristine Banana Hill section, located on the highest point on Bastimentos in the Bocas del Toro island chain, each with a view from heaven.

At only $38-49,000 USD each, one can invest like Warren Buffett and live like Jimmy Buffett.

From the airport in Bocas City (population about 5,000) on the Island of Colon, you can take a one-dollar taxi ride to the waterfront, lined with local hostels, hotels, shops and restaurants and bars. There isn’t a franchise in town, and you’ll soon see why many call the Bocas Islands “like Key West 30 years ago.” There you can catch one of the ubiquitous water taxis for your 5-10 minute ride across the calm, crystalline bay to the tiny town on the west end called Old Bank, home of 500 or so native souls and no cars.

Main Street Bocas

After paying your boatman $3, a 5-minute walk northward through the jungle takes you to your home site on Banana Hill. On the way, you will pass over 50 species of native plants, including breadfruit, guava, mango, lime, water coconuts , cacao, sweet plum and avocado trees, as well as a variety of coconuts palms. Banana and pineapple plants dot the path beneath the trees. It seems that everything blooms, and a variety of bromeliads cover the branches of the taller hardwoods.


As evening grows late, the sound of Caribbean music from a local band may filter through the trees, as stars light the water and the gentle Bocas breeze eases the tropical warmth. Hungry? The only commercial enterprises near Banana Hill happen to be "Mantis", a popular Thai-Asian fusion restaurant operated by former yacht chefs and the wonderful little organic coffee/juice/chocolate shop called Up in the Hill.

Carribean Joe and the Bastimentos Beach Boys

The beach? Walk down the north slope from Banana Hill, and you’ll find yourself on a beautiful, unspoiled, essentially private reach of white sand and breaking blue water waves. Although the Bocas Islands are a popular destination for surfers from around the world, they generally flock to the more accessible beaches such as those on the north side of Colon or Wizard Beach and Red Frog Beach farther west.


Bastimentos has two things going for it that most Caribbean islands don’t. As we’ve mentioned, it remains entirely unspoiled. That isn’t because it’s undiscovered, as the dozens of huge yachts moored nearby will testify. It’s because nearly all of the rest of the island is a Panamanian national park, and home to an astounding collection of interesting wildlife. Parrots, small monkeys, tiny red frogs and 3-toed sloths are just some of the exotic creatures you’ll encounter in a short stroll.

Three Toed Sloth

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Red Frog)

The other thing that makes Bastimentos special is its proximity to the previously mentioned Bocas Town and its small companion island of Carenero. Bocas Town may be the most interesting small town in the world. In Panama, it takes two years to become a lawyer and four years to become a chef. This is reflected in the dozens of local dining establishments. Food for home? Bocas is home to the Super Gourmet, a sort of mini-Whole Foods.  About ten percent of those who live in Bocas are expatriates, about half of them American, the rest mostly European. Like the natives, they are friendly and most like to bend an elbow. Like the food, drinks are cheap. Beer is a dollar in most places and well drinks are a buck fifty. Nearly everyone speaks some English.

Delicious Meal from Roots in Bastimentos

Super Gourmet Deli and Grocery

Bastimentos is also the home of one of the most exciting annual events in the islands. THE BASTIMENTOS BOAT RACE WEEKEND held every year the last weekend in March. Every floating craft from surfboards, cayucos, water taxis to panganitas are raced. Several thousand spectators enjoy food, music and races.

   Panganita Race

15 HP Panga Water Taxis

Tourists from all over the world provide interesting people-watching in Bocas Town, mostly of the young and good-looking variety. During the day, they are mostly preoccupied with their ecological tours and surfing, diving, sailing and fishing trips, but they come out at night. Like the expats, almost half are American and half European, but with a smattering of chic South and Central Americans.

Main Street Bocas

One other thing about Bocas: Panama sits below the hurricane belt and it has not been touched by a hurricane in over a hundred years. Panama is the safest and most stable of the Central American countries. Health care is excellent and inexpensive, both locally and in Panama City (a one-hour plane ride away.) The Panamanian currency is the U.S. Dollar. The Panamanian Pensianado program also grants discounts of up to 50% on things like utilities, hotels, entertainment, food, public transportation (including airfare) and their already dirt cheap – by American standards – health care.

Bocas Del Toro Archipiélago

Are you ready for Paradise yet? Ready to live the Dream? Local builders can help you design and build your multi-level hillside casita in paradise, quickly and cheaply. Electricity, along with reliable cell and fast internet connections, is available on Banana Hill, on low-maintenance hillside lots ranging from 500-1,200 square meters (about 5,400-13,000 square feet). Some residents like to grow their own organic vegetables and spices on their lots, as the soil is so rich that fence posts literally sprout branches.

One of the Amazing Views from Banana Hill

Some people are looking to live a tropical dream and escape the stress and stay young. Others want a vacation home in a safe, friendly paradise. Some want an escape hatch in case U.S. or EU political and economic woes worsen dramatically. Others simply want a second chance to invest in a Key West-type property before prices reach today’s astronomical Key West rates. All these should take a long look at these Banana Hill lots.

Sunset at Bastimentos Point

If you are seriously interested in a place for yourself on one of the last unspoiled islands in the Caribbean, then you should think about a site on Banana Hill. Just don’t think too long. These may be the finest lots available in the Caribbean, and at only $38-49,000 these ten remaining prime lots will not remain on the market for long.

Banana Hill Entrance

Contact Capt. JB now to retain your place in paradise.

or you can call direct 011-507-6583-0037
(If you are already in Bocas, just dial 6583-0037.)


Banana Hill, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro, Panama
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