The Knight Family tells us about their trip to Bastimentos Island in Panama and all the local experiences they enjoyed, thanks to their host, Marcel.
How did you find your exchange?
I contacted Marcel after browsing for homes available in Panama in March.
What attracted you to this exchange opportunity?
This location really appealed to my family as we had never lived on an island before. The accessibility to snorkeling and kayaking was what we were really looking forward to. We also wanted to show our daughters a different part of Panama that most people would not see.
How was your arrival at the home?
We did get to meet our host a few times on this trip. Marcel is the owner of the eco-lodge so was there to greet us on our first day, checked in with us a few days into our stay and we even had a chance to say our good byes as he met us at the docks. Marcel as very welcoming and informative in terms of what we had access to and what he would recommend doing during our 7 day stay.
What did you see or do during your exchange?
We did something different every day we were on the island. One day we did a self guided walk through the rainforest where we were lucky enough to spot a sloth. Another day we spent most of our time snorkeling right in front of our house where we saw lots of coral and tropical fish. Kayaking and paddle boarding was our mode of transport on our third day which allowed us to get to some beautiful beaches.
What is your favorite memory from the exchange?
Our favourite memory would probably be the day Capuchin monkeys came to our kitchen window. We had been searching for monkeys our entire trip and in the end they came to us. It caused a lot of excitement in the household, so much so they did not stick around long, but we did manage to take a few pictures. This place was phenomenal as each day we saw a new animal which included a stingray, a starfish, many hummingbirds, lots of hermit crabs and many leaf-cutter ants.
How would you describe home exchange to your family and friends?
Home exchanging has allowed our family the accessibility to places we would either not have known about and/or be able to afford. It has become our new way to travel almost exclusively.