Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro or Bocas Town is a town in the Caribbean West of Panama.


Bocas town on Isla Colon

Bocas Town is located on the southern tip of Isla Colon and is part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago of islands. The town has an interesting mix of islanders, ex-pats and backpackers and is the most developed in the region. The town boasts an abundance of restaurants, hotels and bars. In recent days, Bocas has developed a reputation for been a party town with a number of bars and clubs that sit on the stilts over the water.

Further afield on the island of Colon, are a number of white sand beaches and nature reserves. Bocas also makes a good base for doing tours around the other islands.

Get in

By plane

There is a small airport on Isla Colon with serveral flights from Panama City and San Jose. From Panama City, AirPanama flies to the island twice a day everyday (45 mins) for US$115 (as of March 1, 2012). From San Jose, Nature Air flies to the island 4 times per week. The cost is $119 each way plus $26 international departure fee and $12 for a Panamanian entry stamp.

By car

It is actually possible to take your vehicle on the island using a car ferry. The ferry leaves Almirante port every morning at 8:00am Monday to Saturday (no service on Sundays). Cost per car is US$15 and there is an extra US$1 charge per passenger. The same ferry goes back to the mainland on the same days at 4pm. If you wish to leave your car on the mainland, there is a secure parking available next to where the water taxis leave in Almirante. Cost is US$3 per day.

By bus and boat

The town is located on Isla Colon and you ll need to take a boat to access it. Boats departs frequently from the towns of Almirante and Changuinola. If you re coming from the Costa Rican border it is faster to take the boat in Changuinola (7 US $), if you re coming from David, it will be cheaper to take the boat from Almirante (6 US $).

Get around

Water taxis in Bocas del Toro

Bocas town is small enough to walk all over. If you need a ride, cabs are plentiful and usually only cost 60 cents or so to get around town.

Bicycle rentals run approximately $2/hr or $10/day. The roads are flat and in good repair, which makes getting around on a bike very easy.

Scooters can be rented for approximately $70/day.




There are four scuba operators in Bocas town, Bocas Water Sports, Starfleet Scuba, Labuga and Dutch Pirate. They offer identical dive options at the same price ($60/two tanks, all equipment included), with the same types of boats. Starfleet as of July 2012 is offering a $199 certification course.

Stafleet is under suspension by Padi until August 13, 2012.

The diving may not be adventurous enough for seasoned divers as most of the dives are fairly shallow (15–20 meters) and the wildlife not as rich as some of the more mainstream Caribbean dive destinations. There is also another scuba operator on Isla Bastimentos, scuba6diving. They do not hire contract dive masters. All dives are lead by the owner. Scuba 6 is the only shop in Bocas with all five star reviews on Trip Advisor.





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