OK, here's the skinny. I'm getting started early planning our next family get away. Over the last ten years or so my wife and I and another couple have made our way from Cozumel, down to Ambergris, and finally Roatan, Honduras. We have been absolutely in love with Roatan and have been back just about every year for the past 4 to 5 years. Alas, the cruise ship crowd has altered the feel of the island and it just doesn't seem to be what it once was.....either that, or maybe it's just time to move on anyway.
After a little preliminary research, Bocas del Toro seems to be exactly what we're looking for. So here are a few questions; keep in mind that my wife and I and the other couple have both recently added children to our lives, so by the time we get on with this trip we will have 1 to 1 &1/2 year olds in tow depending on when we go:
Interests: Scuba, walk and lounge on white sandy beaches looking out at clear blue waters, swimmin' in the sea, snorkeling, spectacular sunsets with a cold drink in hand, good food, good people, local flare, tropical forests and vegetation, nature watching.
1.) Can anyone tell me how Bocas compares to either Roatan or Abergris? Is there a similar feel (we're more West End than West Bay)? Apples to Oranges? How's the diving really (spectacular in Roatan and darn good in Belize as well)?
2.) Accomodations....it would appear that we would want to be in or basically in the general area of Bocas town. We really like the idea of being just out of town (within reasonable walking distance) but far enough away for some peace and quiet. As we are two families with small children (4 adults 2 babies), we're looking more for a house/cabana/cabin/apartment kind of deal rather than hotel rooms. So far I have Panama's Paradise and Buccaneer Resort (on Carenero Island) at the top of my list. I also really like the house rentals at the Loges at Swan's Cay (though this is nowhere close to town). Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Any other areas around Bocas town we should be looking at? Is Swan's Cay (near Drago) just too far? Another place I looked at was the Koko Resort; this looks like it's pretty much right in town....too noisy?
3.) Prices for accomodations and other activities seem really reasonable......how about food and drinks? We had a little shock last spring when we returned to Roatan to find that food prices had really gone up quite a bit from our previous trips. They seemed pretty similar to prices here at home.
4.) Looks like a lot of little Islands here....how easy is a day or so of Island hopping?