Bocas del Toro does is not famous for its museums and galleries: it is the hundreds of beaches surrounded by lush jungle that makes Bocas your ideal getaway.
Snorkel tours are offered all over Bocas del Toro and some hotels will offer discounts if you book through them! Panama is known as a hot-spot for oceanic biodiversity and wildlife, so take a day out on the water to see the tropical fish and untouched coral reef. If you’d like to see the bottlenose dolphins that frequent the bays year round, see if you can boat out to one of the bays after snorkeling for some close-up sightings.
There is no better way to see the jungle than hiking the trails. Panama plays host to incredible wildlife, including 125 animal species found nowhere else in the world. Expect to see exotic birds, several species of monkeys, frogs, and sloths. Bring shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty, it often rains in the afternoon so you may be stomping through some mud. Don’t forget your camera! Ask your accommodations some local trails, they are everywhere!
3. Water Sports
The infinite number of beaches to explore begs the question: which water sport is for you? While the relaxed traveler can paddle board close to shore, the adventurous can try surfing on Red Frog Beach, where the beach-lifestyle reigns supreme. For a boating venture, canoes and kayaks are often offered by hotels and hostels for free, so take advantage of the opportunity to see Panama from a breathtaking ocean view!
4. Visit Indigenous Communities
You can’t visit Bocas del Toro without spending some time learning about the indigenous communities that live in the area. Ngobe communities are scattered across the islands you will visit, and we find that the best way to learn is to volunteer. Organizations like Give and Surf offer opportunities to volunteer for long or short stays in Bocas del Toro, contributing to sustainable projects in the community.
Rio Oeste, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 162, Panama (website)
Perfect for the culturati who want a literal taste of Ngobe life, the Oreba Chocolate Tour includes a thirty minute hike through the jungle amongst sloths and monkeys, which ends with a demonstration of how the cacao plant is harvested, roasted, and grinded. The guides are enthusiastic and experienced, and in addition to a day of tasting chocolate and experiencing culture, the lunch served is delicious!