Up In the Hill | Organic Shop Bastimentos | Coconut Oil

A don’t miss experience while visiting Bocas Del Toro or Red Frog Beach is a hike “Up the Hill” from Old Bank to the organic shop “Up in the Hill” in Bastimentos.

Up in the HIll Cafe & Store

Up in the Hill is an organic farm shop selling coconut oils (scented for your body or cooking), balms, shampoos, soaps, etc. as well as crafts,  seasonal fruits and vegetables and of course chocolate!  They also have a selection of drinks to cool down with after your hike up the hill including homemade chocolate milk, noni juice (good for whatever ales you – I went up with an earache and tummy ache and came back feeling great after a tall noni juice with chocolate and honey), lemonade, etc.

They also serve up delicious brownies and truffles along with a few other menu items.

For those looking for a remote setting during their visit they also have a cabin for rent.

“Up in the Hill” is run by a lovely family.  Jeannette, from Scotland and her husband from Argentina along with their adorable three children.

The hike to Up in the Hill is about 20 minutes from the Old Bank main boat dock.  A lot of locals in Bastimentos don’t know where it is so here is some detailed information on how to get there.

If you are coming from Bocas or Red Frog or anywhere else via boat ask to be dropped at the main dock in Old Bank.  (We were dropped at a restaurant and finally found the path “up the hill” – if this happens to you walk towards the main doc/town center and grocery store where you will find the path going up the hill).

The path takes you buy some houses and then forks at the school and church.  You can go either right or left as they take you right around to the path up the hill.

Once you start up “Co-Co” hill you will pass more houses and then finally get into the jungle where the path veers to the left up the hill.  At this point you will see signage for “Up the Hill” and “Mantis” restaurant.

Red Frog on Island of Bastimentos

Heading up the hill to "Up in the Hill" organic farm & Mantis restaurant

The jungle walk is pleasant, we even saw a few red frogs along the way.  The path is clearly marked and easy to navigate.  There are several short cuts but apparently only save you about 5 minutes but takes you through a lot of mud.

Our newly turned 3 year old and almost 5 year old easily made the climb to the top of the hill (the highest point on the island of Bastimentos.

As you approach you will get breath taking views of the ocean and there are several signs telling you how far you have left to go until you reach the shop.  You will also pass the restaurant and guest house called “Mantis.”  At the time of writing this (June 2012) Mantis was open but only serving a few drinks and Panamanian set plate menus on a limited basis.  You should call ahead if you are planning to stop there for a meal or break on the way up or on the way back down.

You are rewarded with a breathtaking views and a welcoming pathway covered in flowering plants as you approach “Up in the Hill.”  Once you arrive you realize the “wow” factor of this place and what the owners are able to do.  They bring everything up the hill themselves and make scented oils with the produce on their own farm, have built everything by hand and even have a composting toilet.  If you want to experience “off the grid” this is your place. If you just want to taste some of what Bocas del Toro has to offer and take in the beauty of the island of Bastimentos then this is your place too!

Beautiful path into "Up in the Hill"

Signage on the way to "Up in the Hill" and "Mantis" restaurant

Three and Four Yearl Old Hiking "Up in the Hill" - nice easy climb