Upon the first arrival the little town on Isla Bastimentos of ‘Old Bank’ was almost creepy. Sure there is some trash, initially a feeling of where the hell am I and a few dogs that may make you feel a little uneasy, but all that quickly faded away as the hours went by here on the island. Raw jungle and shoreline, eating worm-filled guavas, making smoothies from jackfruit and indulging in a superfood green that grows on the island known as ‘chaya’, this place is ethereally beautiful, vibrant and colourful, sounds and tastes so pure. You can see it in the people here too, their way of life just so real and seeming to just give off this essence of ‘human’. Hostel Bastimentos is home for now, with comfortable and airy dorms set on top of a hill overlooking the water. If you take the back door and continue up the hill you will come to ‘Coffee up in the Hill’, a little organic coffee shop in a prime location that serves up delicious coffees, teas, fresh fruit juices and crazy good chocolate brownies. They also sell raw cacao, homemade coconut oil body products and lovely handmade jewelry. Try the chaya empanada, it’s worth it. The perfect place to spend a bit of time before heading over to Wizards Beach, a 20 or so minute walk from here, where swimming and surfing are both possible, just be careful of the strong rip currents. The island has a couple of grocery stores but not too much so if you want anything special it’d be better to get it at nearby Isla Colon, or Bocas town, a short and fun 3 dollar boat trip. Although Wizards Beach in all it’s glory is kind of hard to escape, another amazing spot is Polo Beach. Straight out of an ‘Islands’ magazine for sure. This beach features the clearest water I have ever swam in hands down. So surreal and mythical, backed by the jungle and kissed by the sun, it’s rays dance off the glassy waters. We were so lucky to have a group of local jungle boys sweep us there by boat with their cute dogs, where they ripped out into the jungle to find us iguanas. They didn’t come back with iguanas, but their friendliness and willingness to help really resonates the feeling of this island. If you don’t feel like making the trip to the big island for some restaurant eats, there are a couple little ones here that have been tried and tested by many. ‘Alvins’, just to the left of the town’s ‘park’ is right on the water and has decently priced casado like dishes, and of course fresh seafood. I have yet to check it out, but apparently there is a Thai restaurant up in the hill cooking up tasty concoctions. If I get tired of eating chaya and beans I will have to try it out. If you’re looking for ‘nightlife’, you won’t really find it here, yet a quick ride over to Caranero Island or Colon will satisfy the party craving. The other night we hit ‘Blue Bar’ a bar over the water with a huge deck where they just so happened to be featuring a live band. Live and extremely loud, and actually quite good. Locals filled this place, and it made for a fun night of sipping rum ‘n’ such under the bright moonlight and hanging with awesome people. There are no cars on this part of the island, so a quick hop down the footpath to the sanctuary of the hostel makes for a perfect evening. Bastimentos is truly magical. Being so close to the earth and surrounded in it’s loving embrace, time doesn’t like to make itself known here. And you just can’t beat making dinner to an amazing view, watching dolphins jump in the bay as your chaya boils.