Dancehall Party Fluffy Divas on Bastimentos Island, Panama

“Shell down”, said the rasta DJ to all the locals somehow able to free up time to go to the local dancehall party on a Monday night.

The guy next to explained that what the DJ was saying meant that he thought he was doing a fine job and was just congratulating himself. During my latest trip through Panama last month I took a few weeks to laze away on the beaches in Bocas del Toro. One of the smaller islands with less tourism and mostly locals was Bastimentos. Each of the Panamanian islands had a distinct culture. Carinero Island is more indigenous while Bastimentos Island has a more Afro-Caribbean influence. Hence, the Monday night Dancehall parties which drive the level on electricity prices

through the roof with the souped up sound systems blasting Makano and Wayne Wonder.

I took the boat over from Red Frog beach where I was staying at the famed Bocas Bound Hostel

. But the island really shuts down at night and so escaping on the staff boat at 10PM back to the main island is the only way out. With the cooks and receptionists we made a quick stopover at the Bastimentos.

As we exited the boat we noticed two other tourists who led the way down to island’s one street to the party. They were experts – the girl from America and other from Costa Rica. They lead us down the part pavement / part dirt road down the stretch of the beach to one of a few venues with music blasting. I could tell this was going to be an exceptional dancehall party

from the sound of the music.

As I kept on walking my Haviana flip flop tore apart. Now with just one sandal I entered the party to find it devoid of anyone. We were almost the only ones there. Low season can do that I guess. Or Monday nights.

What a bust. So we walked back after a couple drinks to the docks in search of a boat. No dice. So I took a nap on the dock since I saw another guy doing the same in town.

A few hours later when the girls were ready to go we hitched a ride on their taxi. I still can’t claim to have been to a real dancehall party. But I will.
Jason Bartoli
Jason Bartoli

"Jason is the best person you'll ever meet here. He's just a ray of sunshine. An adventurer, businessman, and has a 4.9 Uber rating. Lovely person inside and out. I say, go message him" - My Mom

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