Bocas del Toro

Chapter 12: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Theme Song: “Picture,” Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe

We broke ground on Bocas del Toro Luxury Water Villas and Treehouse Suites on our private island in Bocas Del Toro, Panama on January 15, 2019. Ten months into the project, our amazing team of people from around the globe would like to present you with our progress (there are nine native languages spoken by those participating in the creation of Bocas del Toro). No need for words – just short captions below our not-so-professional random photos. Today you get a break from reading.

Freshly Painted 24 Passenger Boat Manufactured to Our Specifications in Panama City
Four Tenths of a Mile of Boardwalk Completed
Staff House with Capacity for 22 Employees to Live on the Island (150 solar panels on the roof)
The First Seven Villas, The Elephant House Restaurant and the Clubhouse in The Distance
Water Villas Built in Bali Indonesia and Fine Tuned in Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Water Villa Interior Nearing Completion
The Cement Wall Power House Containing the Generator and Batteries for the Solar Power
David (Project Manager) and Virgilio (Primary Builder) With Our 1.1 Ton Generator
The Clubhouse (approximately 8,000 square feet including the deck), Pool and Pond
Our 30 X 70 Foot Fresh Water Pool Ready for the Cement to be Poured
The 100-year-old Elephant House Restaurant Assembled
Inside the Elephant House Restaurant
First Experiment Raising the Land Three Feet, Planting Grass, and Digging a Pond

The End
(more to come in future blogs)

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40 responses to “Chapter 12: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words”

  1. Matthew Johnson says:

    Add me to your list. Looks awesome!

  2. Mike Hughes says:

    Looking good! It’s fun to track the progress via this blow. Wishing you and your team all the best!

  3. Nigel says:

    Looking good Dan – was worried the aerial of the clubhouse in the email was bad news but makes more sense when viewed larger!

    Looking forward to seeing how it compares to the Maldives resorts when you complete it. Elephant House looks amazing.

    • Dan Behm says:

      Hi Nigel,

      Good to hear from you again. Most everything you see here will be completed by March 1. It is crunch time at Bocas del Toro!

      I will be anxious to hear your opinion as to how we compare to the Maldives when our resort is completed. My guess is that the structures will be somewhat similar, but the areas dramatically different. The Bocas Del Toro province is all about Island hopping and spending a few nights in lively Bocas Town in addition to maybe four nights at Bocas del Toro. I am guessing from what I have read about the Maldives that it is more about staying put at the resort for the most part. The pictures I have seen of the Maldives are stunning!! It is clearly one of the most beautiful places in the world. Another difference is the price – we will be about half the price of most resorts in the Maldives and much easier to get to.


  4. karen wood says:

    Beautiful! So much thought, planning and hard work come to fruition! Congratulations. Looking forward to seeing it in person soon. I’ m in Bocas next week- will try to get over there!!

    • Dan Behm says:

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your kind comments. You have been so encouraging since the beginning of our journey!

      Send me an email at [email protected] and I will connect you with David to see if we can get you to the island. It looks so much bigger in person!


  5. Incredible, Dan and team! Love the aerial of the clubhouse and the first seven water villas… Excited to visit one day!

    • Dan Behm says:

      Hi Evan,

      After seeing your incredible architectural designs at Mathison | Mathison it comes as high praise – thank you. We would love to have you and Heather visit someday.


  6. Chad R Allen says:

    Exciting to see these pics, Dan!

    • Dan Behm says:

      Hey Chad,

      Thanks for your comment. I am glad that you like the pics.

      This one didn’t need any editing – ha ha,


  7. anthony says:

    It looks amazing.
    I am the son of Elia Hansell

  8. Dan Behm says:

    Hello Anthony,

    I am so glad that you like it. Virgilio has been incredible! I do not know where he gets all of his energy. He is a great guy to work with.

    Stop by sometime – it would be nice to meet you in person.


    • Anthony says:

      Thank you
      for me it would also be a pleasure to meet you in person DAN BEHM

      I would like to be the creator of content about bocas bali luxury villas on instagram

      • Dan Behm says:

        Hi Anthony,

        We already have a company that we are planning to use for Instagram, but please send me an email showing me the Instagram accounts that you have created. My email address is [email protected].



  9. James D VanderMeiden says:

    Simply awesome, Dan and Scott

    • Dan Behm says:

      Thanks Jim! It is coming along. We still have a lot to do before our soft opening on March 14. Hopefully we will have our solar power, wastewater treatment systems, and water purification systems operational during the next few weeks. We will need time to fine tune them before opening the resort.

  10. Amazing, Dan! Love pondering the similarities between our personal BHAG ventures–both are exhilarating and exhausting! You are a “ChangeMaker” on so many levels!

  11. Dan Behm says:

    Hey Scott,

    Thank you for the confidence in me. Coming from you, that means a lot to me.


  12. Dave Vander Meiden says:

    It’s been very exciting to watch the Bocas del Toro project grow from concept to reality. This update really provides a good taste of what it will be like when it’s finished. Lovin’ it, Dan and Scott, and can’t wait to visit!

    • Dan Behm says:

      Hi Dave,

      Thank you for your comments. I agree with what you are saying about taking shape – when I walked on the island. about three weeks ago, it was the first time I felt like it was coming together. It is exciting, but the amount of details right now are overwhelming for the whole team. We will get there!


  13. Jessica Magnuson says:

    Looks absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to be a guest!

    • Dan Behm says:

      Thank you Jessica. We ook forward to having you as a guest.

      We will be offering packages before the end of the year that will include three nights Bocas Town and four nights at Bocas del Toro. We believe that a combination of lively Bocan Town and serene Bocas del Toro will be a wonderful experience.

      We are hoping for a soft opening on March 14.


  14. CJ says:

    You are really making progress! Love the ceilings.

  15. Larry Finkbeiner says:

    It all is looking great and appears like it is coming together nicely. Hope you are doing well and you have a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.

  16. Dan Behm says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thank you for your positive comments and encouragement.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.


    PS – November is the coldest I can remember in Michigan! I envy your split time between Florida and Michigan.

  17. James says:

    Dan, progress looks great! I think I remember a couple of those photos from the plane…I love the ample head room in the Elephant House Restaurant but where is the sports bar showing COLLEGE sports!? It looks like it will be a truly stunning resort and completely unique in Panama.

  18. Dan Behm says:

    Hi James,

    Nice to have you onboard! Thank you for your kind comments.

    We will have two 70 inch TV’s in the clubhouse bar. It is not easy to get US stations, but we are going to try. We are putting up an 80 foot tower for WiFi. This will enable us to get the bandwidth we need to to hopefully stream college football and basketball:).


  19. Payton says:

    Wow Dan, looks looks amazing! The grass lawn looks very inviting.

    • Dan Behm says:

      Thank you Payton. We have been surprised at how well the grass came in. We are planning for much more grass as we continue to “tame” the island. However, we will leave plenty of jungle for contrast.

      Thank you for your comments:).


  20. Rhonda Gentry says:

    So amazing to watch someone realize their dream!!! Exciting to follow and watch the progress as your vision comes to life! The development looks like it is going to be extra special.

    My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at El Castillo, and look forward to being a guest at Bocas del Toro in Panama. Thanks for allowing us to follow your journey!

    • Dan Behm says:

      Happy New Year Rhonda,

      Thank you for your kind comments and I am so happy that you and your husband enjoyed El Castillo! It was great to have you as guests.

      We have pushed out the opening date a few times, but are now locked into April 1 as a soft opening for Bocas del Toro. We will be in a bit of disarray, but are offering discounts accordingly.

      It is nice to have you with us on this crazy Bocas del Toro journey!


  21. Mark says:

    Aha! I first visited Bocas del Toro in 2002 and have paid attention to all things related to the area since then. Finally, after all this time, someone is doing it right! I look forward to following your venture and even living a little vicariously through you.

  22. Dan Behm says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your encouragement! It has not been an easy road, but we are making incredible progress and on track for our soft opening on May 1.

    Bocas Del Toro has made many positive improvements over the past three years. It still maintains its charm, but the quality and quantity of restaurants is amazing. They have also added some upscale shopping. Over the next few years may be the best time ever to visit the area. I hope you are able to check out Bocas del Toro some time.

    Thank you for taking the time to make a comment and welcome to the blog. I plan to post another chapter next week.


  23. Mark says:

    Thanks Dan,
    You’re absolutely correct, Bocas Del Toro has made many positive improvements over the past three years, I was there last year in March and I was amazed. I predict that your over-the water project is going to put Bocas on the map! I also think that every penny you put into it will be well worth it. Since you have my email feel free to contact me for feedback.


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