Since the age of four, on the slopes of Banff and with Panda the teddy bear stuffed into her skiing jacket, Kerry-Ann has been at one with Mr Travel Bug. Following several stints around the world she settled in London to work as a journalist specialising in travel but also covering music, food, politics and current affairs. She is internationally published.
Some of her off the beaten track travel moments involve interviewing a hip hop band in Kibera, Kenya's largest slum; frog fishing with Cambodian farmers and a close shave with a croc in a dugout canoe in Nepal. She has reviewed some of the world's most elite hotel brands such as Oberoi, ITC and Claridges. Where will the world take her next?
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I have been a travel journalist and photographer since 2005 for the likes of Teletext, ABTA, World Travel Guide and iVillage. I am currently a trusted supplier of high-end images to Rex Features, while I also write features for The Weather Channel. I visit Italy more than any country outside England, however I travel all over the world in search of enchanting places and incredible people.
Andy Mossack has been writing about world travel for over 20 years. He is the founder and Managing Editor of www.tripreporter.co.uk and you can read him in national press, consumer and airline magazines and travel web sites. He is the Travel Guru on BBC radio’s Late Show and presents Where in the world is Andy most weeks, a fun quiz where listeners try to guess just where in the world he is! Andy has appeared on BBC 5 Live and BBC News 24 and is a featured writer in the book 1001 Escapes to Make Before You Die. Andy also regularly lectures on world travel destinations for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and provides consultancy services for hotels and tourist boards.
Matt DeJong is a writer and producer with credits in both feature and documentary films. He also co-owns the video game/app franchise Zorbit's Math Adventure. As a travel writer, Matt's focus is often how to travel the world with children in tow.
The Garden of Eden in Bocas del Toro is a hidden, pristine and very private getaway, that feels very remote in this archipelago of ten islands on the Caribbean coast of Panama - yet it is easily accessible. Only a few places around the world have been able to retain the particular atmosphere and authenticity of Bocas del Toro: seductive, primitive and unforgettable. It is a haven for snorkelers and divers, with crystal-clear impossibly turquoise waters and rainforest ecology; it's also one of the most multi-cultural places in Panama. In Bocas, you have the option of staying on the main island, Isla Colon - the site of the only real town, Bocas Town, and its selection of bars, restaurants and shops. Although Bocas del Toro has become quite popular with indie travelers in recent years, relatively low-key development has left an authenticity an unpolished vibe that is highly appealing to those looking to escape beach destinations full of mega-resorts.
Or, you can take a water taxi out to one of the other islands which are quieter and more secluded - some more than others. A 20 minute water taxi ride from Bocas Town will bring you to the Garden of Eden on Isla Solarte - a small three-room property that offers a true getaway-from-it-all in paradise. Technically, Garden of Eden is not even an actual part of Isla Solarte, but its own tiny island connected to Solarte by mangroves.
Stepping out of the boat onto the Garden of Eden dock, you will likely be met by Kip the owner and Zeus, the exuberant dog. The grounds are small but lush and gorgeous, with little paths that wind up to the rooms, dining area, pool, game room, and also down to a boat dock on the back side that is good for swimming and kayaking.
The three rooms are simple but comfortable, and offer private decks with that essential island item: hammocks. At Garden of Eden you can have all the remote downtime you want; but it's also relatively easy to make your way around the Bocas archipelago to do activities. Keep in mind that it's a 20-minute water taxi ride to Bocas Town if you want some shopping or nightlife, and you need to arrange for a ride ahead of time. You can also take boats to neighboring islands for beaches and other restaurants, or if you're up to a 30-45 minute kayak trip you can take the property kayaks across to Isla Bastimentos where there is a marina, restaurants and several beaches. Isla Bastimentos is also home to the Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos, Panama’s oldest marine park. Tours of all sorts are available for snorkeling, diving, fishing, jungle exploration and cultural experiences with indigenous villages.
And of course, just hanging at the peaceful Garden of Eden or swimming in the pool are laudable pastimes. The property is Adults Only, and with just three bungalows it's easy to rent the whole place with a few friends. The Garden of Eden offers quiet, upscale accommodations , free hi-speed internet access, and a full service bar and restaurant. Two cabanas are located adjacent to the pool, with queen size beds and a futon that can open to a full size bed; private bathroom with hot and cold rain water showers; and a veranda with a hammock and chairs to enjoy a fabulous panoramic view of the bay. The third room is a suite with both a king and a queen sized bed, private bathroom with hot and cold rain water shower, and a large deck with a hammock, lounge chairs and a ceiling fan.
Rates are $150-170 per night for two people, including continental breakfast.