In recent years, Bocas del Toro has developed into one of Panama’s most famous tourist destinations. Although the construction of new hotels and other facilities slowly expand, the relaxed, typically Caribbean vibes are still there. On Bocas, you will find great shops with handmade souvenirs, cosy restaurants and not to forget the beautiful beaches.
Bocas is also a great surfer’s destination. Both beginners and more advanced surfers are being challenged here. The mangroves and jungle on the mainland offer another kind of adventure, thus making the islands even more interesting.
You will stay at Isla Bastimentos, a smaller island located next to the busier, main island of Colon. On Bastimentos you will not only find Red Frog Beach, but also mangrove forests. Sea turtles are also often spotted here. From Bastimentos you can easily (and cheap!) travel by water taxi to the other islands to surf, snorkel, dive or to go on a kayak tour.
The main island of Isla Colon is the largest and most developed island. Colourful wooden houses exude the relaxed Caribbean atmosphere and here you will find various nice restaurants and bars. It’s great to rent bikes here and explore the beaches and town in your own tempo.
As mentioned, hire the most popular means of transport in Colon, the beach cruiser, and cycle in about forty minutes to the beautiful Playa Bluff on the other side of the island and go starfish spot on the beach of Boca del Drago.
There is more to do. For example, plan a day trip to Red Frog Beach, where you can find small red poison frogs and book a snorkel tour. You can also visit the Dolphin Bay and try to spot wild dolphins. If you’re lucky you’ll see them swimming and jumping around your boat.
At Bocas del Toro we had great accommodation with very friendly staff!
Unfortunately we didn’t have great weather. There was a lot of wind so it wasn’t very clear. We had dinner one night at the Firefly restaurant, which was very good! It was an adventure to get there, but definitely worth it!
We stayed at a beautiful hotel on one of the smaller islands. If you like peace and quiet then this is what you’re looking for. Friendly American owners. Great cook. Keep in mind that you need to book a water taxi for all tours, you are very dependent on transport by boat.
Our stay at Bocas del Toro was awesome! Great experience to sail all the way to the mangrove island. It’s wonderful there and we stayed at a great lodge. They prepare delicious food! Then back to Bocas and with the shuttle bus to the border with Costa Rica. Quite a special experience again, crossing such an old railroad bridge by foot!
The trip to Bocas went smoothly and we stayed in nice rooms on stilts above the water. Lots of snorkelling and swimming. While hiking the beach, we also saw a traditional Indian settlement. They had just caught a huge fish. The trip to Panama City was delayed due to a tropical rain shower of almost two hours. That was also special. Until then, we had practically no rain.
Do you travel from Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro (or vice versa) and you want to save time and energy when crossing the border? Let us then arrange a guided transfer for you. Our trusted guide Salomon picks you up at your hotel in Manzanillo or Playa Cocles helps you at the border crossing and takes you to Isla Bastimentos (or vice versa, of course). It is a relaxed and fun way to get from A to B.