Bocas del Toro is the perfect destination where to spend a weekend surfing, snorkeling, or just have a break sailing around the amazing islands of the archipelago.
It is a province of Panama with a mainland and nine main islands. The capital is the city of Bocas del Toro on Isla Colón part of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, in the Caribean sea and about 80 km to Costa Rica (so you can easily find taxis or boats available to bring you across the border).
You can fly to Bocas from Panama City in about 1 hour. Then it’s a 5 minutes walk to the city center. In the small city you can immediately smell the surf mood in every corner.
Some may say Bocas is a bit dangerous, but I think it’s in the average of every places, so just use your common sense and don’t accept candy from strangers.
The first day we chose a slow start renting a boat to the Cajos Zapatilla. You can find lots of boatman ready to bring you to every island.
These are two beautiful uninhabited islands over the coral reef of the Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos, about one hour from Bocas, where turtles come to lay their eggs. Who can blame them!
Before to get to the main island you can have a break at the Laguna Bocarito where dolphins used to enjoy the quiet water (but not the turist boats around, for sure).
The boatman can bring you to another island also where you can reserve your lunch in the only restaurant around (or remember to bring your food&drink, as there’s nothing over the islands you’re going)
Then you get the Cayo Zapatilla and enjoy a couple of hours of white sands, waves from the coral reef and peace (not during high season). After lunch at the restaurant you can have the chance to snorkel at one of the best spot Acróporas where you can find 5 little underwater islands and lots of beautiful corals.
We back in Bocas just in time to get one of the bar on the main street before a typical afternoon summer caribean storm
We went to Guari Guari (which is the name of the local dialect, a mix of english, spanish and local Guaymí language) for dinner with a 10 minutes taxi ride from Bocas and it really worth a visit!
You can only have a set menu with 6 course. All you have to do is to let Ossi (the very friendly german owner, who also serves the tables) introduces you into his world and fabulous kitchen of the spanish chef. Very good experience. Don’t forget to reserve your dinner, it’s mandatory!