After adventuring around Nicaragua and Costa Rica I was in need of a real beach holiday and my friends had set their eyes on this too.
The next beautiful destination that I want to take you is Bocas del Toro in Panama. Bocas del Toro is a famous island group on the Atlantic coast in Panama. It’s located just under the border from Costa Rica. That makes it easy to arrive and I went by bus from San Jose.
Getting to Bocas del Toro
There are two different ways to reach Bocas – either flying of by land and ferry. I went with the second one which is lot’s more time consuming but you’ll see more on the way. The ferries leave from Almirante on the coast and all the schedules are online here. By ferry you first cruise to the main island and from here with another ride to other islands.
If you choose to fly you’ll reach Bocas from Panama City by direct flight in just under an hour.
Being this popular Bocas del Tori is filled with travellers. But you can still find empty islands and beaches to enjoy. I went on a day trip for snorkeling and island hopping that none of the locations were too crowded. Further the boat goes from the main island the more stunning the scenery gets.
Bocas is made of many different islands with one being the main one with all the services. It also has majority of all the restaurants and shops. Mainly all the transport also passes through the main island. We chose to stay on a smaller island to get away from the busy life and this turned out to be a perfect choice.
What to do in Bocas del Toro
Enjoy islands and snorkeling
There are multiple different companies offering day trips that you can choose from. You can enjoy full day in the water or go exploring on the Zapatilla island.
The main island is big enough for a day of cycling. Head to a pretty star fish beach or further inland to see local life. It’s nice active option for chilling on the beach.
Spot wild life on land and in the water
Panama in general has an amazing nature and wild life and Bocals del Toro is popular diving destintion. If you don’t want to go deep you can opt for a boat trip in the wetland. We saw sloths!!
Now I have to tell you that you can’t talk about Bocas without the party. The craziest island hopping party goes on in the Nasty Fridays and there are tons of nightlife around this. Fun fun fun!!
One of the my favourite beaches and island on the whole trip was to the Zapatilla island. It’s just picture perfect destination for a beach day. There were only a handful of other people in the morning which meant plenty of space for everyone. If I had to choose a setting for the rest of my life it’s this kind of place.
Once we got closer this island looked just amazing. Cristal turqoise water and palm trees on the beach, what more can you wish for?
+ Where to stay
We ended up choosing Hostal el Jaguar on the Bastimentos island and it’s great for chilling. They have their own deck with hammocks and sun chairs on the waters edge and all together the atmosphere is super relaxed. There are only private rooms which makes it more couples/groups choice than a party place. AWESOME!
Bocas del Toro sunset
I quite liked Bocas even if it’s touristic. It’s easy to come here to chill and socialize with other traveller in a gorgeous setting. The below pics are taken from the deck at the hostel and the sunsets here were just dreamy. Truly tropical paradise feeling looking at these.