How much is it?
It costs $30 per person per night to stay on Jinja Island.
What’s the accommodation like?
I have spacious private cabana (cabin) with either a queen-sized double bed or up to three singles.
What facilities are there on the island?
The cabana comes with a AC power, light and fans. The beds are all well built and comfortable. You’ll have 24/7 access to a hot shower and a flush toilet located a few dozen feet away from the cabana.
A hot shower? Really?!! An actual hot shower?!!!
Yes. It also provides a splendid view of the island. And the occasional giant butterfly.
Sounds awesome! What about food?
There are no shops or restaurants on Jinja Island… it’s a private island (lol). But don’t worry! We provide a daily menu for guests using fresh local ingredients at a cost of around $5-$8 per person for breakfast (includes all the British tea and Panamanian coffee you can drink), $5-$8 for a light lunch and $8-$15 for an evening meal. We’re very happy to tailor the menu to your dietary requirements. You can also purchase soft drinks and alcohol all at additional cost – you just relax and enjoy your holiday!
Okay, what do I need to bring?
You can bring your own food if you like, but you will not have access to any refrigeration. There is no 7-Eleven on the island or anywhere nearby so make sure you bring all your toiletries as well as some decent insect repellent.
How do I get there?
I can arrange a boat taxi to come and pick you up from Bocas Town for $10-$15 per person.
What excursions do you offer?
$10 per person: Dolphin Bay, Valley of the Frogs (transportation only, half day)
$15 per person: Rana Azul pizzeria and bar (includes Dolphin Bay) transportation only, Sunday afternoon only)
$20 per person: Bocas Town for Scuba, surf, quadbike etc. (transportation only, full day)
$25 per person: Trip to Red Frog Beach (does not include Entry Fee, full day).
$30 per person: Chocolate Farm Tour (includes Entry Fee and Dolphin Bay, half day)
NB: All excursions are minimum two persons.
To hire a local boat and driver for the day will cost between $100 and $130.
You’re also free to use local boat taxis to make your own excursions, I can give you phone numbers.
Can I go out to Bocas Town at night and come back drunk at 4am?
Well… yes you can, but boat taxis can be expensive and organising will be your own responsibility. If you’re after the Bocas Town party scene, you’re better off staying in Bocas!!
What’s the WiFi like?
Being perfectly honest, it’s rather slow. You’re not going to be able to stream Netflix, but you’ll be able to pick up your emails.
Will I have cell phone reception?
So long as your phone can connect to Claro, Mas Movil, Digicel or Moviestar, Yes.
What cooking equipment do you have?
Fridge-freezer, 6 gas ring cooker with oven, plenty of pots and pans, utensils, dishes and cutlery.
Do I need to bring my own drinking water?
You don’t have to, my drinking water comes from the rain, but I would advise it, yes. You can use the tap water for cooking, cups of tea, showering, brushing your teeth etc. no problem.
Do you have Air Conditioning?
Hell no, this is the jungle baby! But don’t worry, all rooms come with fans.
Do you have laundry facilities?
Absolutely not. We are on limited water and power on the island. You can get a large load done in Bocas Town in just two hours for $5.
Do I get bed sheets? A towel? Soap?
Yes, yes and yes.
Is Jinja Island Gay-Friendly?
Absolutely. Jinja Island does not tolerate intolerance.
I’m vegetarian / vegan / gluten intolerant / allergic to certain foods / fussy eater, will that be a problem?
Not at all, but please let me know your dietary requirements in advance in case I’m planning on making a big group meal.
What’s it like for bugs?
Let’s not beat around the bush: Jinja Island is in the jungle with everything that entails. There are mosquitoes and biting ants, but the biggest headache are the tiny flying ‘chitras’ or ‘no-see-ums’ which come out mostly at dawn and dusk. They bite like hell. So… long trousers are recommended, and insect repellent (with Deet) is a an absolute must. I have plenty of mosquito coils which I will light in order to deter the bugs, but some people will get bitten more than others.
Do I have to wear clothes?
Not if you don’t want to. But bear in mind what I just said about the bugs.
Are there dangerous animals on or around the island?
There are no snakes, crocodiles or big sharks. If we’ve had a very hot few days then there might be a few jellyfish in the water. There are a few spiders dotted around the island, but none that can cause any serious harm. They also don’t get anywhere near the house: the geckos won’t let them! Occasionally we’ll find a scorpion scurrying about – always check your shoes before putting them on.
What if I get ill/injure myself?
There is an ER at the hospital in Bocas, 20 minutes away by boat. I’ll take you over there in an emergency. Access is 24/7.
What activities are there on the island?
Jinja Island is a chill-out destination, it’s all about disconnecting from the world for a few days. You can snorkel the reef (I can provide masks, flippers and snorkels), float in the bay, listen to music, drink cocktails on the hammocks.
If you’re feeling energetic you can try getting into a coconut with a machete.
What’s the weather like?
It’s either sunny and hot or raining and hot. It’s ridiculously changeable and fairly unpredictable… however, the temperature never drops below 20°C and hardly ever tops 30°C. We don’t have major storms here and many yachties use the Bocas Del Toro to store their boats during hurricane season in the rest of the Caribbean. If you want to see an hourly forecast, head to http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/l/PMXX0001:1:PM
I’m on a boat – what is the latitude and longitude of the island?
Nice! It is 9.252532, -82.233897 or 9°15’09.1″N, 82°14’02.0″W in old money. You can also find it on Google Maps by searching “Jinja Island, Panama“.
Splendid! I’m on my way. Where can I park my boat?
Pangas can pull up on the main boat dock, yachts can anchor around the leeward side of the island, about 50m from the East (Stone) Dock. To check tides, head to http://www.tide-forecast.com/locations/Bocas-del-Toro-Almirante-Bay-Panama/tides/latest.
Can I swim around the island?
The warm tranquil bay around the boat dock is perfect for swimming, as are the two coral reefs that fringe the northern side of the island. The mangrove forest to the south west of the island extends over 1km into Dolphin Bay and speed boats plough through the channel at a great rate of knots… I would not recommend swimming that far.
Do you give refunds if I change my mind?
My refund policy is strict and AirBnB are in control of it. If you cancel with over a week to go before your arrival date, you’ll get a 50% refund. If you cancel within a week of your arrival date you’ll get no refund whatsoever. So think before you book!!
Where’s the beach?
It’s a mangrove island, and the mangroves are protected by law, so there’s no beach. Well, not yet…
Do you take credit card?
Ha! God no.
Is it true you have proper British Tea?