Boca Brava

Boca Brava is an island in the Gulf of Chiriquí in the Pacific West of Panama.

Get in

From David’s Enrique Malek International Airport: Boca Brava can be accessed by boat from the small fishing village of Boca Chica, just 5 miles from Boca Brava over water. Boca Chica is less than an hour from David's Enrique Malek International Airport. Alternatively, a five minute car ride from David to the nearby port of Pedregal will enable travelers to board a boat for the 50 minute scenic ride to the island. Construction has begun to expand David's airport to accommodate direct regular flights from the United States and Canada.

Access by public transport involves several stages, but is not difficult. (1) From the bus terminal in David, most buses heading East on the Interamerican will take you to the crossroads with the road to Horconcitos -- ask around at the terminal, and explain that you are headed to Boca Chica. The bus trip typically takes about half an hour, and costs about $1.50. (2) Taxis pass by the Horconcitos turnoff fairly regularly, and one will take you to Boca Chica (about 15 km, 20 minutes) for about $15 per carload. This can be difficult at night. If no taxi can be found, walk the 4km to Horconcitos and ask someone to call a taxi. (3) From Boca Chica, regular water taxis make the five-minute trip to Boca Brava for $3 per person ($5 at night).

Get around

By boat, water taxi or foot.


It is covered in untouched rain forests and home to multiple families of howler monkeys, as is the neighboring island, Isla Palenque. They are near the Chiriqui National Marine Park, Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriqui (just one of Panama’s 15 nature refuges). The Marine Park is home to many of Panama’s 900 species of birds, 1200 orchid varieties and 100 butterfly varieties.


Due to the estuary of the Pedegral, Boca Brava cannot boast of nice beaches. The waters become beautifully clear just past Boca Brava on Isla Palenque, however.

A supreme venue for aqua tourism, Coiba National Marine Park's [] marine reserves are a convenient day trip away from Boca Brava, featuring huge coral reefs that are breeding grounds for orcas, dolphins, whales, sharks, manta rays, barracudas, three kinds of marlin and moray eels. World-class sport fishing and diving can be found around the Islas Ladrones and Islas Secas.

Water taxi operators in Boca Chica will often arrange a full-day tour that includes whale watching, a beach visit, and snorkeling for a large enough group for about $20 per person. The current rate is $100 per boat for the day. The boats may be rickety, and most of the operators speak only Spanish.

Visit Saino island about 15 minutes away by water taxi. It is a deserted island with its own beach. Boats will drop you off and pick you up a few hours later for $25 to $30 total.

There are hiking trails dotting the island, though it is not large.


This largely uninhabited island has no stores of note.


Bar and restaurant can be found at Cala Mia Resort, as well as at Hotel y Restaurante Boca Brava.


Bar and restaurant can be found at Cala Mia Resort, as well as at Hotel y Restaurante Boca Brava.


Solar powered green resort Cala Mia [] can be found on Boca Brava, which offers 11 bungalows and practices environmentally responsible tourism. Also on the island, Hotel y Restaurante Boca Brava is formerly a backpacker hangout (Cabanas Boca Brava) commonly known as "Frank's Place." It is under the new management of Americans Kelly and Brad; it has gone slightly more midmarket, but still has hammocks available for backpackers. If water taxis are not available at the dock, press the hotel to take you to the docks in their own dock.

On neighboring Isla Palenque a boutique eco-resort development plans to break ground at the end of the year.

Panama Big Game Fishing Club has just finished a multi-million dollar re-furbishment and now has a five star rating and a Certificate of Excellence at Tripadvisor.

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