Situated on the breathtaking Isla Colon in the heart of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, Bocas del Toro is a lively town with modern comforts.
Travelers from around the world come to this town for its upbeat atmosphere. It also makes for a great launching point for expeditions all around the island.
The lush islands melt into tropical blue waters at Starfish and Red Frog Beach, offering plenty of chances to relax, swim, and enjoy the sun.
There are numerous dive companies in town, including Scuba 6, that take divers into shallow waters.
Many visitors come through to Bocas del Toro to take advantage of the town's many waterside bars, such as Iguana and Buena Vista.
As the most developed town on the islands, Bocas del Toro feeds hungry adventurers at restaurants such as Om Cafe and El Ultimo Refugio.
The nearby islands abound with secluded resorts like the Dolphin Bay Hideaway.
The region sees heavy rains throughout the year, but October, January, and March are relatively dry.
A small airport, Bocas del Toro Isla Colon International Airport (BOC), on the island has daily flights to Panama City and San Jose. It costs about B/. 130 to get to Panama City in 45 minutes. You can walk from the airport into town.
The town must be reached by boat, and ferries run from Almirante for about B/. 5.
It's possible to get into town on a car ferry, which leaves Almirante at 8 am every day but Sunday. The price is B/. 15 for the car and 1 additional Balboa for each passenger.
Buses run from Sixaola in Costa Rica as well as David. If you leave from Costa Rica, expect an B/. 8 exit fee and a B/. 4 entrance fee. Buses from David to Changuinola cost B/. 9 and take four hours; ask the driver to stop when you hit Almirante.
Lots of cheap (and pricier) accommodation can be found in town. Budget accommodation includes Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, while Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge offers luxury above-water bungalows.
Isla Carenero - a quiet walking path encircles this nearby island, home to some top notch restaurants like Bibi's on the Beach.
Isla Solarte - this large island is almost entirely covered in lush jungle, and is popular for snorkeling.
Isla Bastimentos - a quick boat ride from Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos is home to some stunning coastline, which partially frames the Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos.
There is no public transport in town, as the entire area is quite small.
Taxis abound and are quite cheap. Expect to get from one side of the town to another for B/. 0.60.
It is very easy to drive in town. While there are no car rentals, an ATV rental from Flying Pirates costs B/. 140 for the day.
There isn't a whole lot of shopping in Bocas del Toro, but there are a few surf shops, such as Aguamala. Prices for consumer goods are a bit higher than elsewhere in Panama.
Super Gourmet grocery store is located near the beach. Local food is priced competitively compared to other places in Panama, but imported items can cost a bit more.
Travelers looking for local eats can dig in at Bongos Cafe, which serves up Caribbean specialties. La Ballena is a pricey restaurant serving pizza and European wine. Expect to pay around B/. 6 balboas for an quick meal and much more at an upscale establishment.