The only souvenirs we took from Punta were memories, a million photos, and about 250 sandfly-bites all over my body. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though. It would have been good if G shared some of these bites, but unfortunately I am just a lot more sweeter than he is 😀
Here’s my honest take on Punta, both good and bad. I can tell you that I read pages and pages of reviews on tripadvisor and booking.com before we made the reservation. I hope this little write-up will give you a clear idea of what to expect, when you splurge for that special getaway.
We loved the fact that :
View from the boat
a) …..you get transfers provided. So you don’t have to stress about how to get from the airport, to the resort. We got picked up from Bocas Airport at 7:30 am in the morning, to the Punta Caracol dock in Bocas Town. From there we were transferred to the resort (about 15 minutes). Easy as. Just sit back and enjoy the view, which was ….
b) …. just like what we saw on the photos online. You know how you google images and a lot of time it’s been photoshopped to make the water bluer, huts prettier, more magical. Well Punta was just as it is. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. It was actually pouring down that morning, but check out the view in grey skies….
Rainy morning, view of Master Suite from the restaurant area
After checking in, we were told we could have
c) ….full cooked breakfast. Yippee! You could choose anything you want, as much as you want. Just don’t be greedy and finish it all up 🙂 Pancakes, eggs to your liking, fresh tropical fruits, bacon, omelette, french toast, toast, freshly squeezed juices, tea and coffee… are you hungry yet? G and I pigged out in the mornings ay cause it was so relaxing just to chill out under the massive canopy…..
Now, onto the rooms. We had gotten the Punta Suites, which were the ones in the middle. I had read on Tripadvisor that you should choose the ones further from the restaurant if you’re a light sleeper as you can hear the restaurant from the Master Suites. Ours was no.5, and we didn’t have any problem!
The huts were cute, just enough for a couple. We got quite excited when we checked in, especially when we found that…
d) … you get a little deck at the back where you can jump into the water anytime you want to! I have a million photos of G doing the randomnest jumps hehehe, and since you can’t see his face as this was just before the sun went down, here’s one :
If you get bored of doing divebombs, they also
e) provide snorkelling gear and kayaks for you to use… Now I didn’t think we could see a lot near the back of the huts, the fishes were mostly near the restaurants and the walkway, and to be honest the corals were mostly dead… but the water is still great for swimming.. it’s so clear! And, we had a lot of fun with the kayaks… the sunset was so beautiful one evening…. almost magical!
Mr Mustard enjoying time on the kayak as well
That’s me kayaking around, checking out the other suites… trying not to look into their rooms
Now if you get a lil bit hungry around 4-5pm, Punta offers you….
f) … complimentary tea and biscuits around 4-5pm..just be careful to watch your biscuits as there are some naughty but annoyingly cute geckos that would love to share them….hehehe!
Sunset and biscuits…
It was pretty cool as well when you wake in the morning, and you open up the curtains to look out into the Caribbean
Inclusive with your stay is a …
h) 3-course meal provided at dinner.. and we thought it was really good food. First night I was so stuffed from the entree and main that we both skipped dessert, plus the fact that I was seriously jetlag and falling asleep at the table after sharing with G a bottle of sparkling wine!
Local tuna, mmm
The convenient thing was also that Punta offered….
i) complimentary transfers to Bocas Town at fixed times, just check with them on the day… say hi to Alessandro if you see him 🙂
So on the first day we spent the whole day in Punta entertaining ourselves, haha…
On Day 2, we went to Bocas Town and made our way on the shuttles (at Central Park) to Bocas Del Drago (5USD return), then water taxi-ed (1.50USD) to Playa Estrella aka Starfish Beach which I highly recommend. It’s a beautiful beach plus it’s littered with massive orange and red starfishes which are so cute!
Local holding up a starfish (Note, we’re not supposed to do that so don’t touch them if you can resist… as we got told off by one of the guys later on)
You could always book through Punta but it was quite expensive, and I had read online of that prior to the trip so we just did the Playa Estrella trip ourself, which ended up being 16 USD total between the two of us. The only dif I suppose is you spend a bit more time getting there, so it’s up to you. I’ll do a separate write-up on our Day 3 in Bocas 🙂
Okay, now onto the downside….
Now this just depends on your blood and luck I think…because I got bitten by a million
a) sandflies… the local chitras. They are the tiniest thing ever but omg so itchy! I read about this on tripadvisor so I was mentally prepared, and covered myself in repellant but these guys are a strong bunch. I suggest you get the local repellant and marinate yourself with it before sundown and before bedtime!
b) beds were unfortunately not the most comfortable in the world.. maybe we’re just spoilt with good mattresses back home ay 😦 It looked quite cute when we checked in, but those nettings aren’t really nettings so it doesn’t do anything to the chitras to fly it and bite you up..
Because its an eco-friendly resort….
c) plugs don’t work, so you couldn’t charge your cellphone in the room. We would bring our cellphones and cameras to the dining room every morning and evening to charge it while we dined, which isn’t too bad really, just would have been a little more convenient if you could do that in the room. And to add on the eco-friendly bit..
d) you can’t throw toilet paper down the toilet bowl, but into the trash bin which gets cleared everyday. Hmm. I suggest you use the toilets in the restaurant area for any big business, hehe.
e) the water in the huts are slightly salty .. part sea water maybe? So just prepare to brush your teeth with some sodium chloride.
f) lights were really dim at night… also part of the whole eco-friendly thing. So you can’t do too much in the evenings and if you return to your room you just want to go to sleep really
For some weird reason, it was also
g) really humid at the restaurant in the evenings, so G and I were fanning ourselves and wished we brought the fan that B had gifted us last year. This made dining a little uncomfortable… 😦
h) the price… this is the big one isn’t it 🙂 For the time that we went, it was about 500USD a night in the Punta Suites, which was a big splurge. No regrets really, as it was magical… and I had read most of the reviews to know that that would be what I would expect.
How should I put it…. it’s like, we knew all the negatives bits so we went a little prepared mentally, but a lot of the reviews were good as well so we were hopeful, that the good would outweight the bad. And you know what? It did 🙂
Go prepared for all of the above, smother yourself (head to toe, ears too) with insect repellant, bring a portable battery charger, a hand fan, lots of sunscreen and you’ll have an amazing time. I also wouldn’t recommend more than 2 nights in one go, unless you don’t mind a bit of salt with your toothpaste.
So here you go, that’s my two cents on Punta. Go book yourself a room, and let me know how it goes 😀 Cheers to Stephanie, Alessandro, Pilar and all the others that made our stay enjoyable 🙂
For more photos, check out Mr Mustard‘s photo blog. And to end this post, here’s the little guy riding off into the sunset….
- Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge