If you are backpacking this wild caribbean Panamá archipielago, there are plenty of dream places to get lost. Each of them with amazing biodiversity, vegetation, sealife and good vibes
People normally arrive to Isla Colon and go for the day to visit the other islands. First, I recommend giving yourself a gentle introduction to the central area by exploring the streets and meeting this latin culture and then start knowing the other regions of the Archipielago.
Where to go?
This little paradise has been my home for the last 7 months. I can easily give some tips and advices of the attractions that everybody MUST know if they wanna have an unforgettable vacation in this Panamá province.
For the lazy ones who wake up late but still wanna go to a nice beach this is the perfect point. It is only one minute distance from Isla Colon by taxi boat. The transport costs between 1 and 2 usd.
The best spot is the beach next to Bibi´s restaurant. It has lots of palms and flat water. Great for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding!
* Bonus note: Take coconut oil to avoid the biting chitras
Warm water, softer sand and rain forest makes this beach one of the favorites chilling points for tourist in Panama. It is at Isla Bastimentos, which is 10 minutes from Isla Colon by taxi boat.
There is one little restaurant at the beach where you can eat some tacos or sea food.
Go Scuba diving!
The beautiful coral and sponge formations make Bocas del Toro one of the best diving points in the Caribbean.
Lobsters, seahorses, crabs, puffer fish, nurse shark, parrot fish, squirts and eagle rays are only some of the sealife that you can find there. Even if the rain can affect sometimes the visibility you can still have a great dive.
There also is a trimaran and a wreck for the explorer souls.
Bocas Diving Pirates and La Buga are the best diveshops to get your certification, both with good vibes, cool people and professional instructors.
Bocas Diving Pirates 6233-4120/ +50768193198
La Buga +507 7579534 / +507 67810755
Cycling to Bluff Beach
It is inadmissible to come to Isla Colón without visiting Bluff Beach. The nicest way is to rent a bike in town and head towards Bluff. You can rent one for 5$ or 10$.
The road takes about 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your speed. While you pedal along, take your time to enjoy the Caribbean view!
Although it is one of the best beaches in Bocas you need to know it is not always swimmer friendly.
*Bonus note: On your way to Bluff, you can stop at Paki Point restaurant to have lunch while you enjoy the sea view.
Surf in Bocas
For waves lovers, the best season goes from November to April and from June till Agost.
The Caribbean sea offers warm, crystal blue-green water and swells for every surfing level. Here are some of the Bocas most popular points:
-Bibi´s, Carenero Island
– La Bomba at Saigon, Isla Colon
- Paunch, Isla Colon: It has left and right breaking waves, you need to be careful with the reef.
- La Punta , Carenero
- Tiger Rocks, Isla Colon
- Bluff Beach, Isla Colon
- Wizard, Isla Bastimento
- Silver Backs at Isla Bastimentos. This wave was surfed by the great Kelly Slatter in 2014. It can reach peak face heights of over 20 feet during Panama´s winter month
*Bonus note: If you are not a surfer yet but you wanna take some lessons contact Mono Loco Surf School : 760-9877
Wild and Huge beach at Isla Bastimentos.
There are two different ways to arrive: The easiest? Go straight to the point by taxiboat.
For those that are into adventure, I suggest going by boat to Isla Bastimentos and walking to Up in the Hill, a beautifull finca where you can have an organic meal and enjoy the green view.
Once you are there, you can take the road that goes through the tropical rain forest to Wizard Beach. The way is indicated by recycled flower so tourist don´t get lost. It takes between 30 or 50 minutes, depending of your speed and wildness.
*Bonus note: Try the cacao Brownies at Up in the Hill, trust me, you will not regret it!
Star Fish Beach
Amazing beach with clear water and of course starfish that go to get feed! You are aloud to snorkle and it is a great swimming spot because the water is always flat.
The cheapest way to arrive is by bus, but is also possible to go by boat or taxi.
*Eco- note: Please don´t take the starfish out of the water if you wanna keep them alive=)
Cayo Zapatilla Excursion
Zapatilla is a small piece of heaven with crystal water and golden sand. It is uninhabited and the best way to visit it is on a tour boat.
The excursion normally includes: A stop in Dolphin Bay, where you will see some Dolphins jumping around your boat, followed by a stop in Cayo Coral to do some snorkeling and have lunch in a nice restaurant with ocean view. It finishs with a last quick visit to Isla Oso Perezoso, where you can meet the sloths or better known as “lazy bears”.
Live Music at Bookstore
This bar rocks the island! Everyone is drinking unthinkable amounts of alcohol while a cool band is playing. The best musicians of the island are always there. They play reggae, ska and rock & roll. It is well known for the great cocktails and yeah.. is full of books everywhere that someone must read… or it is just for decoration (?)
You need to go out at least one night to enjoy the Caribbean vibes and mix up and dance with the local people.
The best Clubbing options are La Iguana, Summer and Aqua Lounge. They all have sea view and the beer is 2 usd. They normally open at 10 pm and they close between 3.30 and 4:00 am.