Bocas town is located on Isla Colón, one of the islands of the archipelago on the Caribbean Coast of Panama, close to the border of Costa Rica. From Panama City, it takes a one hour flight directly to the island or an eleven hour bus ride to get to Almirante from where you take a 30 minutes boat ride to the island. Food, architecture and language in Bocas del Toro (also simply called “Bocas”) originate from other parts of the Caribbean and are therefore different from the rest of the country. In town you can find hotels, restaurants, tour operators, a bank, internet cafés, bars, shops and an airport. In Bocas everything still goes slow, but relaxed as it is, the town is experiencing a development boom and tourism is the most important business sector at the moment. The archipelago is also called Bocas del Toro and is a biologist’s fantasy. The national marine park is protecting mangroves, reefs and other important reserves for many species of the Caribbean wildlife. Four of the world’s eight sea turtle species nest on the beaches of the archipelago, but are threatened with extinction.
Bocas del Toro is perfect for adventurous people that like diving, surfing, sailing, kayaking, hiking and snorkeling. With the official PADI dive courses you will not only learn to breathe underwater but also get a certification for diving elsewhere in the world. The surf in Bocas del Toro is perfect the larger part of the year and the beach breaks great for learning this sport. Biking next to the ocean is also lots of fun on Isla Colón, the main island. The Smithsonian Institute in Bocas del Toro is a site for education and research, providing scientists and students access to an extraordinary diversity of marine and terrestrial life and offers free tours as an introduction for interested tourists. The Oreba Chocolate Tour not only highlights cacao cultivation and chocolate production which is quickly becoming one of Panama’s most coveted exports, but also lets visitors experience life in an indigenous Ngobe community. Nightlife is also great and every night it is a special night, for example in El Barco Hundido (sunken ship) or La Iguana that are open until very late to attract tourists.