Bocas del Toro, which translates to “Mouth of the Bull” or “Bull’s Mouth”, and nicknamed Bocas Town, is a hub of tourism for Panama. Located on the southern tip of Colón Island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, the town is an eclectic mixture of brightly-colored shanty buildings, rustic wood structures and antiquated Spanish Colonial architecture.
Locals conduct boating tours to nearby islands, especially those in Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos, known in English as Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park, or simply Bastimentos, for diving, snorkeling, swimming and exploring. Bastimentos was designated in 1988 as Panama’s first National Marine Park. The territory stretches from Playa Larga to Cayos Zapatillos, two islands or keys named as “Little Slippers” or “Little Shoes” as they look like two shoes standing in the ocean waters, and over to Coral Cay, comprising an area of almost 33,000 acres. This National Park is described as “protecting forests, mangroves, monkeys, sloths, caiman, crocodile and 28 species of amphibians and reptiles”. Playa Larga is also an important nesting site for endangered sea turtles.
Bocas del Toro is a cultural melting pot of Panamanians, Ex-Patriots and Tourists, each bringing their own traditions and tastes. There are many unique and creative restaurants boasting daily fresh local catches such as barracuda, lobster and snapper. Bocas del Toro is also a Spring Break destination, becoming a bustling center for young enthusiasts wishing to celebrate the holiday (we will check the dates before our next booking!). Bikes are available for rental; ride out to Playa Bluff and enjoy a freshly caught lunch at the lively rustic restaurant on the beach.