Bocas del Toro is an island paradise, comprised of bays, mountains, rivers, and all the variety of flora and fauna that make this area on the Caribbean side of the Panamanian Isthmus a perfect setting of tropical splendor.

TRANSPORTATION IN BOCAS ARCHIPELAGO
You don't need a car while staying in the Bocas area. You can easily walk anywhere you want to go in town. The only roads are on Isla Colon and in Bocas town, and every other car and pickup seems to be a taxi. Prices are very reasonable. There is also a very inexpensive, comfortable bus going from Bocas town to the other end of Isla Colon. Bocas has been called "the Venice of Central America", as most transportation is on the water. Commercial water taxi companies are easily found on the waterfront, and can be called to pick you up from anywhere. Getting back and forth from Casa Coco Loco and Bocas town is easy at nearly any time. Many private pangas are available to take you back and forth. Take a water taxi to Bocas for dinner and back. It's romantic and magical. Our property managers will give you private water taxi numbers we use.

SHOPPING
Most any foods you want are available in Bocas, although possibly not in the variety you would find at home. Fresh fish, excellent chicken, pork and beef, all other regular staples including things like soy milk can be purchased in Bocas. Food is less expensive here than in the States. As Bocas grows we are seeing more and more small boutiques and shops. Local arts and crafts can be purchased along the streets and in numerous shops.

RESTAURANTS
There are a wide variety of excellent restaurants in Bocas and the surrounding islands. Two of the very best are on Isla Carenero. Because Bocas is a tourist area prices are somewhat higher than in other parts of Panamá, but a good restaurant meal still is significantly less expensive than in the States.

 

CLIMATE
We get lots and lots of sunny glorious days with the average temperature between 80-82°. The water temperature is lusciously warm and refreshing year-round. It is always comfortable on and in the water! We almost always have a lovely breeze in the afternoon waifing through the house and over the dock and front yard, and we find the weather wonderful!

The Lonely Planet gives average rainfall and temperatures in Bocas. That is a reasonable starting point, but the weather is highly variable here and one December can be very wet and the next quite dry. This is low land rain forest tropics. It rains more at night than in the day. The sky can open up and deliver more water than you thought possible, sometimes with very dramatic lightning and thunder -- -- it can be a very thrilling, but not dangerous -- part of the tropics experience.

The next morning can come sunny and calm or it could be overcast and then sunny in the afternoon. Just pick the activities that fit the weather. Often the sea is remarkably still and glassy during and after a good downpour, but sometimes there can be dramatic swells and winds --- more excitement in the tropics. One needs to be flexible here.

PEOPLE
The people of Panama are wonderful- friendly, good spirited, and hardworking (though much more relaxed than most Gringos!). They take time to enjoy their lives in paradise. There is a very comfortable mix of Spanish, Caribbean and indigeneous folks who graciously accept us Gringos into their communities. There has been and continues to be a comfortable meeting of the ethnic groups.

There is very little crime. What little there is is mostly petty theft. It's important to lock the house and don't leave valuables laying around. We have a safe for your valuables. Violent crime is extremely rare and we have never felt threatened, or endangered. We comfortably walk the streets anywhere at any hour without safety concerns. However, we don't hang out in the clubs or the bars 'til 4 in the morning, either! For a more detailed look at the cultural ethnic mixture, try Panama's World Headquarters.

The Bocas Breeze is the monthly English paper, available in hard copy or online at TheBocasBreeze.com. It is an excellent source to get a pulse on what is happening in and around Bocas.

SURROUNDING AREAS
Guide books and promoters tout the islands as "the Galapagos of the 21st century." Hundreds of species of fish, parrots, toucans, monkeys and sloths live on the islands, which include a 20-year-old national marine park to protect endangered manatees and sea turtles. USA Today

Bocas Del Toro is the name of the major town on Isla Colon, but it's also the name of the entire province and includes all the surrounding towns of the Archipeligo. Visit Bocas.com to get a good feeling of the other islands. You will want to explore the area and it is very easy to do with a local guide.

HISTORY
Columbus was here in 1502 (he had some boat repair to do), and the main town of Bocas Del Toro, on Colon Island, was a banana boomtown a century ago. The heyday ended in the 1920s, but some of the stately colonial buildings and parks from that time still remain, part of a landscape that seems stuck in time.

If you have an interest in the history of Panama and Bocas, visit the History of Bocas Del Toro.

Mostly Bocas Del Toro is safe and beautiful, with plenty of things to do!

For more information:
- Bocas del Toro Ecotourism
- Bocas Smithsonian Research Station
- Paradise Off the Coast of Panama

- Bocas del Toro, Panama

 
 
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