Natural and Marine paradise accompanied by the Afro-Antillean flavor that will make your experience unforgettable
Bocas del Toro captivates you with its incredible nature, its biodiversity and its customs. It is a unique place with exuberant tropical vegetation, fauna that is only found in this part of the world, with opportunities to dive and snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. Added to all this natural beauty you find the great combination of races and ethnic groups, living in harmony: indigenous people, people of the Western Caribbean, Latinos and foreigners, an example of coexistence and multicultural respect for all.
It is the most populated island of the Bocas del Toro archipelago and is home to some of the main destinations in the area, full of ecological wonders, beaches and hotels. If you stay on another of the islands in the archipelago, you are going to have to make trips to this area to find ATMs and grocery stores. This island is where many of the activities that take place in the area are located.
Star Beach (Playa Estrella)
Located on Isla Colon you will find Playa Estrella, a protected ecotourism destination that will captivate you at first sight, because just a few meters from the shore you will find giant starfish, something that few places in the world have. If you like to practice snorkeling you will love this experience even more, there is only one rule: do not touch the starfish for its proper conservation. On this beach you can also experience the Afro-Caribbean culture and food of the area.
After watching starfish you can go to this beautiful golden sand beach also located on Isla Colon. Here you can come to practice first-class surfing, since international championships have been held for its big waves, perfect for this sport. You can also spend some time learning about the efforts of local organizations in the conservation of sea turtles, since many arrive here every year to this beach to nest.
Red Frog Beach
This impressive beach located on Isla Bastimentos has a large number of outdoor recreational activities for you, including beautiful beaches, diving, surfing, hiking and even a zipline canopy tour. You can also discover underground caves and take tours in chocolate farms
Red Frog Beach is named after a frog about 2.5 cm. long that is tiny and poisonous, although it is not of great danger to humans. This little frog is red with black dots, but this species has many other colors ranging from red with blue, to blue or green with yellow, a wonder of nature.
San San Pond Sak
This wetland is a Ramsar site and part of the UNESCO La Amistad Biosphere Reserve. This area is rich in habitat, including Atlantic lowland moist forests, a raphia palm swamp, an attractive freshwater river route, oceanfront beaches, and mangroves of great natural value.
This was where Panama actually built its first artificial canal for the passage of small boats. The Snyder banana company obtained permission to build this canal from the Colombian government in 1899 and construction was completed in 1903. The Snyder brothers used it to transport bananas and it was vital in establishing the United Fruit Company, in what later became Banana Republic.
These wetlands are an ideal site for bird watching. Here you will find many lowland species, northern and altitude migrants, birds of prey and shorebirds. There are also the six known species of kingfishers in America. You will also be able to observe regional endemic species such as the Nicaraguan seed finch, the white-necked manakin (Almirante breed), olive-backed euphonia, black-hooded oriole, canebrake wren, and the three-wattled bellbird. If you are accompanied by an experienced guide, you will be able to see more than 100 species of birds in one day.
The fauna on the surface as well as in the water is not far behind, since you can see up close species such as the mantled howler monkey, crab-eating raccoon, white-nosed coati, neotropical river otter, West Indian manatee and the bottlenose dolphin. Soropta Beach, is an important location for migratory and resident shorebirds, as well as a nesting ground for leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles and green iguanas, basilisk lizards, spectacled caiman and American crocodile.
If you are looking to have a good time, Bocas del Toro is definitely the place. Bocas del Toro nightlife is considered one of the best in Panama. At Isla Colon, Happy Hours usually start around 5 p.m. where you can find cocktails and craft beers in restaurants and bars on the sea. Because of the Afro-Caribbean influence, the bars play reggae, but here you will find all kinds of music. The diversity of options to go out at night and party has grown in recent years, you just have to visit one of the several nightclubs or bars on the sea, which offer theme parties or a quieter place to talk with friends and simply admire the view. If you like live music, some bars and restaurants have this option, always offering you the most original tropical drinks. And if we talk about original, in Isla Colon you don’t only party at night, during the day they have a “party tour”, which is a boat that stops by several islands to enjoy the rumba (party) in different environments. Looking for a good time? Bocas del Toro is the place.
Things to Do
Go to Bocas del Toro Caribbean style painting and cooking classes. All in an environment surrounded by nature and the joyful energy of the people of this natural paradise. Information: www.bocasdeltoro.travel/es/random-art-bocas/
Take a dive into the marine life of Bocas del Toro’s coral reefs with experts who will take you to discover these wonders. Information: www.labugapanama.com.
Learn how one of the best cocoas in the world are produced, taking the chocolate farms tour. This valued and delicious natural product has become one of the main attractions of the area. Especially because you can experience the indigenous culture of the Ngäbe Bugle. Information: www.bocasdeltoro.travel/es/tour-de-chocolate-oreba/.
Visit the islands of Bocas de Toro on a sailboat. Whether on a “day trip” or a “tour” for several days, it is one of the most fun ways to get to know the natural and cultural wonders of this province. Information: call +507-6627-9808 or write to bocassailing@gmail .com.
Relax taking “surf” classes and learn how to ride the waves most sought after by athletes in this discipline from all over the world. Information: call Bocas Surf School at +507-6852-5291.