ABOUT BOCAS DEL TORO

The archipelago of Bocas del Toro is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea which is located northwest of the Republic of Panama. This group of islands separates the Almirante Bay and the Chiriquí lagoon, from the opening of the Caribbean Sea. The archipelago is located in the district of Bocas del Toro, in the province of the same name. The main city is Bocas del Toro, also called the town of Bocas, on Isla Colón.

Here is the Isla Bastimentos National Park, which was created in 1988 and occupies a large part of the island.

Transport
Instead of noisy cars, locals and tourists alike use motorboats to navigate its crystal clear turquoise waters, where starfish and tropical fish greet all visitors just by looking at the shoreline, covered by white sand.

It is possible to move to the islands by famous water taxis (water-taxi) and private boats. In addition, Isla Colón is accessible by plane, ferries, and private vessels.

Dolphin Bay is located southeast of Isla San Cristobal, and is an important breeding and feeding site for the bottlenose dolphin. It is one of Bocas del Toro's most popular attractions, as dolphins swim up to catch air while eating, which allows visitors to take a closer look at these beautiful animals. 


Bastimentos International Marine Park is a protected marine park located in the Bocas del Toro District. It was created in 1988, and was Panama's first national marine park. The area covers a total of 13,226-hectares of which 11,596 are home to a variety of plants and animals such as forests, mangroves, birds, monkeys, sloths, caimans, crocodiles, and 28 species of amphibians and reptiles. The Bastimentos Marine Park stretches all the way from Playa Larga to the Zapatilla Cays and over to Coral Cay. 

 

Cayo Coral (also called Crawl Cay) is a small island surrounded by mangroves, and is located at the southern tip of Isla Bastimentos, between Bastimentos and Isla Popa. As the name suggests, it’s famous for its coral formations and shallow water, making it ideal for snorkeling.
 

Isla Perezosos is a small island right off of Isla Bastimentos, surrounded by mangroves, and which is the home of the endemic sloth. It’s unfortunately not possible to walk around the island as the mangroves block the access, but you can observe the animals from your boat if you’re lucky!

 

Boca del Drago is a gorgeous beach situated on the northwestern side of Isla Colón, on the opposite side far away from the town center and surrounded by nature. A few restaurants and budget lodging options is all you’ll find there, so it’s ideal if you like to stay away from the city buzz and the beaten path. It’s also where you’ll find Starfish Beach, which attracts hundreds of visitors every day.

 

Starfish Beach at Boca del Drago is by far one of the most stunning beaches of Isla Colón. The beach’s clear shallow waters make it perfect for swimming, all while observing the many starfish that naturally gather there (please do not touch them, even under water!). On the beach, you’ll find a few local restaurants to enjoy a meal or a cold beer, and some vendors who sell local handcrafts.

 

Bird Island (Isla Pajaros), also known as Swan’s Cay, is a rocky formation of approximately 70 meters and is any bird watcher's paradise. It is also the only known nesting place of the Red-billed Tropic Bird (Phaeton aethereus) in this area. Bird Island is home to the brown booby (Sula leucogaster etesiaca), the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis), and the frigate (Fregata magnificens), as well as many types of gulls and terns.

 

Hospital Point is located on the western tip of Isla Solarte, and is one of the most famous and closest snorkeling spots in the archipelago. It received its name from an old hospital built by the United Fruit Company to treat plantation workers suffering from yellow fever and malaria. There are a few homes behind Hospital Point, and there’s also a small indigenous community, however most of the island is not developed.
 

Red Frog Beach can be reached in about 10 minutes by boat from Isla Colon. You will arrive at the Red Frog Marina, from where you will need to pay a $6 entrance fee which goes to the maintenance of the National Marine Park. From there, you’ll need to hike for about 15 minutes through the jungle until you reach Red Frog Beach. With 0.75 miles of white and golden sand, Red Frog Beach is one of the most stunning and popular beaches of the archipelago, ideal to spend a full day because you will find a good selection of restaurants and bars. Red Frog Beach was named after the tiny red poison-dart frogs that are abundant on the island.