What to do in Bocas del Toro Panama

Mini guide to Bocas del Toro (Panama) – Islands, beaches and activities not to be missed

Just 32 km from the border with Costa Rica is theBocas del Toro archipelago composed of 6 large islands, numerous uninhabited islets and a National Marine Park.

Bocas del Toro, also amicably called just Mouthsis the main tourist center of Panama and, despite the ever-increasing number of tourists, it still manages to maintain a certain authenticity.
The islands are covered by forests and palm trees and all immersed in this blue and crystalline water typical of the Caribbean and from my point of view the last in the area. To find this water you will have to get to the Corn Islands in Nicaragua.

Unlike the iSole There is YalaBocas del Toro is now on the tourist circuit and if today you can still enjoy some desolate beaches, where you can also do excellent surfing, you cannot predict the future given that the first resorts are springing up.
On the other hand, the increase in tourism, in particular backpackers given the low costs and the beauty of the archipelago, has led to the creation of numerous hostels where you can sleep starting from $8 a night,

The main islands are Isla Colon e Isla Bastimento. The beaches where you can swim and then those where you can surf can be reached by bicycle as the inhabited centers are unsuitable. From the islands you can then take boat tours lasting about 6 hours for just $15 per person.

If you are planning a trip to Panama read the posts – Panama travel itinerary (three weeks) ed San Blas Archipelago, Panama’s Caribbean paradise

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: Where to sleep on the San Blas Islands Panama

Bull's mouths

The best beaches on Isla Colon

Boca del Drago
Famous for the high number of position marine, quiet beach where you can swim and tan without having too many people around. It too snorkeling it is excellent especially when the sea is calm and the water is clear.
To reach Boca del Drago you can take a shuttle ($2.50) or a water taxi which however costs $25 return.

El Istmito Beach
Also called La Cabana Beach it is the closest beach to the town. It’s not the prettiest but it’s easy to get to on foot.

Playa Punch
Dangerous for swimming but perfect for surfing.

Playa Bluff
Here the waves will not disappoint the most avid surfers. Don’t swim because the waves are big and it would be better to enter the water with a surfboard.

Bluff Beach Bocas del Toro

The best beaches in Isla Bastimento

Wizard Beach
Also known as First Beach which you can reach on foot (30 minutes walking) is the most beautiful on the island.

Playa Segunda and Red Frog Island
These beaches are beautiful and in theory abandoned. If the weather doesn’t help you can reach it Red Frog Island with a water taxi costing $2. In the Red Frog island you can find the famous red frog (a small red poisonous frog). Here you can also do the canopy tour, 2 hours of fun in the trees of the island’s forest.

Marine National Park
Created in 1988, it was Panama’s first marine national park.
For those who want to surf then the spots of Wizard Beach and Red Frog Beach are perfect for beginners and intermediate surfers.

bull's mouth frog

What to do in Bocas del Toro

In addition to relaxing under the Caribbean sun, there are numerous activities here.

  • Diving and snorkeling – The emerald and crystalline water is home to numerous species of tropical fish and corals, barracudas, dolphins and sharks.
  • Tour in barca – A typical tour costs $15 per person and you typically go to Dolphin Bay, Cayo Crawl, Red Frog Island, Slipper Island e l’Hospital Point.
  • Beginners can have great surfing at Playa Punch. Pros can take a chance at Playa Bluff and the break known as Dumps.
  • Bicycle – You can rent a bicycle to go around the island and reach the main beaches. Beautiful panorama and almost all on the plain.
  • Climbing – One of the most famous is Mimbi Mimbi next to Boca del Drago. To finish the climb it takes at least 6 hours, don’t forget the water!
  • Canopy Tour – If you want to discover the forest from above by flying from tree to tree then this is what you have to do. In Bocas del Toro the only place where it is done is at Red Frog Island and the cost is $50 per person if there are fewer than 5 people, $35 if there are 5 or more. I had a lot of fun and recommend it!

Take part in the Bocas del Toro sea turtle protection project

In Bocas del Toro the Ministry of Labor is carrying out a project to protect and safeguard sea turtles. To take part in a guided tour it is necessary sign up for the official tour (from March to August, nesting months), you must book at the offices of Ministry of Labor .
Guided tours take place at night and start at Playa Bluff Beach to 9:00 pm and end around 11:00 pm, costing only $15.00.
Transportation to Playa Bluff is not included.

Bull's mouths

Which island to sleep on in Bocas del Toro?

The islands are all beautiful, for those who want something very wild then Frog beach, Bastimento, is ideal, I remember that the waves and currents are very strong, while swimming I didn’t realize how much the current had carried me away and it was It’s difficult, and also quite scary, to get back to shore, so be careful when you swim!
I personally stayed before at Isla Colon in Bocas town, al Selina Bocas and then move to Frog Beach, Palmar Beach lodge ($15 per night), beautiful and quiet away from the chaos of the other two islands.

How to get to Bocas del Toro

Simple and well organised, for all budgets and all needs

By bus from Costa Rica
Dal Costa Rica take a bus to the border town of Sixaola – the MEPE bus company connects Sixaola with San Jose, Limón and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
From the Costa Rica side you have to pay an exit tax (US$7 if you pay by card, or US$8 in cash). We walked on foot to then obtain the entry visa to Panama, and crossing the bridge we entered Panama.

At the first office across the bridge you will have to pay US $4 to continue there‘immigration office.
Remember that an exit ticket from Panama is required, if you don’t have it, make a reservation that you can cancel, but use it. The border is open from 7am to 5pm Costa Rican time and 6pm Panamanian time.

From here take a chicken bus for Changuinola and here change to another bus for Almirante. Alternatively for about $6 more you can take a shared taxi which takes you directly to Almirante. From here, there are frequent boats to Isola Colon, approximately 30 minutes by boat, cost approximately $6.

In autobus da Panama City
From Panama City just take a bus to Almirante, a night bus, and then take the boat to reach Isla Colon.

Airport of Panama City
There are several daily flights with Air Panama to Bocas del Toro. The flight takes approximately 1 hour and costs $80 each way plus $3 environmental fee tax payable in cash upon arrival at Bocas del Toro airport.

Nature Air instead it flies from San Jose 4 times a week. The cost is $110 one way plus $26 international departure fees and $12 per entry stamp in Panama. With taxes and fuel the actual price is over $250.

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Read also: Traveling by bus in Costa Rica

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