SUMMERTIME’s Operations Director Mark Gilmartin and Belmar Manager Wolfy recently went on a trip to Panama searching for warmer weather and good surf. They based themselves out of an area called Bocas del Toro, an archipelago found on the Caribbean side of Panama just south of Costa Rica. The two surfers found that getting to a small island off the Caribbean side of Panama is quite the mission. After three flights and a 4×4 taxi ride, they finally arrived at their destination, Tesoro Escondido Eco lodge. A beautiful retreat, the lodge sits in a rainforest environment overlooking the ocean. The staff at Tesoro Escondido consists of some of the nicest local’s you will ever meet (pictured below) as well as a friendly mix of international travelers.
Bocas del Toro has three main islands (Bastimentos, Colon, and Carenero), and each is very different and unique in it’s own way. The main town of Bocas del Toro is located on the Isla Colon. For only $3 you can island-hop via the local water taxis to find empty surf or score some of the freshest seafood you have ever tasted.
Bocas has been getting a lot of coverage in the surf world as of late. A week before Mark and Wolfy got there, Kelly Slater and big-wave veteran Greg Long went to Bocas and scored what was probably the biggest swell of year there. The islands of Bocas have a good variety of waves, but it was the heavy beach break that Mark and Wolfy really took a liking to. Believe it or not they both compared the beach break waves of Bocas to a really good winter day back home in New Jersey minus the 5-millimeter wetsuit and snow covered beaches. Below is a picture Mark took with his GoPro from inside the tube during one of their first days in Bocas.
Mark and Wolfy have been traveling together for years now. Escaping New Jersey during the harsh winter months is something that most New Jersey surfers strive to make happen year after year. It’s what keeps us stoked to come back every summer and share these experiences and our passion for surfing with our local communities. Mark and Wolfy are always looking to travel to new destinations in search of world-class surf and getting to see new cultures in the process. Enjoy the video they put together using a GoPro to capture the better moments of their trip.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and help you reach your goals in and out of the water. With out our participants, none of this would be possible.