One of the favourite destinations in Panama is Bocas del Toro. A true tropical paradise lapped by the Caribbean Sea. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, here you can enjoy a unique and unforgettable holiday.
Where is Bocas del Toro?
The paradise of Bocas del Toro is located in the western part of Panama, near the border area with Costa Rica. It’s an archipelago made up of 9 islands, more than 50 keys and countless islets.
How can I get to Bocas del Toro?
Bocas del Toro can be reached in two ways: by road or plane.
By road it takes between 10 and 12 hours from Panama City to Almirante where you have to take a boat which takes you to your destination in the archipelago.
However, by plane it takes less time, but this could increase the budget slightly.
How’s the accommodation in Bocas del Toro?
There is a wide range of hotels in the area, especially on the island of Colon, which is the largest in the archipelago, and on the Bastimentos and Carenero islands.
A great idea is to sleep in overwater bungalows. An experience you’ll never forget.
A world of things to do in Bocas del Toro
If one of your questions is what to do once you’re in Bocas de Toro, check out this summary of all the activities you can enjoy in this spectacular place:
1. Enjoy the tourist atmosphere on Isla Colon. It’s the island with the biggest population. You can enjoy its lively streets, restaurants, shops and parties. It’s the island which has the largest number of accommodation offers.
2. Discover the seabed. Dive or snorkel to enjoy the wonderful seabed that the archipelago houses.
3. Explore Cayo Zapatilla. An islet of incredible beauty with white sands and coconut trees which is located in the middle of the sea. A postcard paradise which you can visit with daily tours departing from Isla Colon.
4. Visit Bastimentos Island, where there is a sense of the origins of the Afro-Antillean culture and you can visit Red Frog Beach, where there are many small red frogs which give the place its name. In addition, it’s a beach where turtles lay their eggs in laying season.
5. Spend a day of total relaxation on the paradisiacal beaches of Carenero Island, very close to Isla Colon. It’s a much quieter island where you can also surf.
6. Enjoy a unique experience swimming at the Playa Estrella in Bocas del Drago in the northern part of Colon Island. You’ll be amazed by the amount of starfish which inhabit its waters.
7. Enjoy direct contact with the wildest and most beautiful nature in the Bastimento Marine National Park. An immense natural area where you’ll find marshes, mangroves, tropical forests, reefs and amazing beaches. It also has a significant number of plant and animal species.
8. Get to know the Ngäbe-Buglé up close, one of the most important indigenous people in the country. To get to your settlement you’ll have to embark on a boat adventure among the mangroves.
9. You can visit Dolphin Bay, very close to Bastimento National Park. A perfect opportunity to interact with these intelligent animals, snorkel and explore some of the nearby islands.
10. Enter Bird Island and enjoy the show put on by the wide variety of birds inhabiting the island.
11. Explore the Virgin Grotto, a cave with many bats inside.
Recommendations to make the most of Bocas del Toro
To calmly enjoy all the wonders that Bocas del Toro has in store for us, it’s best that you take into account the following recommendations:
– If you plan to travel to Bocas del Toro by plane, it’s best to book tickets well in advance. Especially if you’re travelling in high season. They are planes with very limited capacity.
– To move around the island where you are staying, the best option is to rent a bicycle. You can travel everywhere without constraints and with total freedom. You can also rent quads to move from one island to another, although they are slightly more expensive.
– If one of your fundamental goals is to enjoy the beach, it’s recommended that you find out well in advance which hotels are closest to the beaches, especially those with less waves.
– Enjoy Bocas del Toro with package tours. With these tours you’ll be able to visit many places in a very short time, without having to worry about organising transfers, meals and lodging.
A destination to return to
Before travelling to Panama, you will no longer ask yourself: What to do once in Panama? What to see besides Panama City? Nothing’s easier: Panama and Bocas del Toro. It’s undoubtedly the ideal place to enjoy everything the country can offer.