Guide to Bocas del Toro, the Caribbean paradise of the coast of Panama

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Spectacular beaches; deep forests where the lazy lives; coral reefs peppered with colorful fish and the open and warm culture of the Caribbean. This is the so-called Esmeralda of Panama.

The Caribbean mixes with the fresh waters that descend from the hills in the Laguna del Chiriquí, a gigantic cove halfway between the lagoon and the bay that occupies the northeastern sector of the coast of Panama.

This part of the coast, in which the Panamanian territory is already looking for the border with neighboring Costa Rica, is a true labyrinth of waters, rocks, beaches and coral reefs that form a unique ecosystem. As we told you, many rivers drain into this area and the Caribbean also contributes its own through the 'golas', natural mouths of sea water that are located between the nine large islands, 51 coral keys and more than 200 small islets that They form this true labyrinth of water, beaches and deep forests that serve as a gateway to one of the most amazing national parks of Central America: Isla Bastimentos.

Isla Colon is the destination and departure point of the vast majority of travelers who arrive to Bocas del Toro, a name that is not only attributed to everything in the Archipelago but also is the name of the main population of the area and most important tourist center (next to the adjacent Isla Carenero (just a few minutes by boat from Bocas del Toro) and what to see in Colon.

The main attraction of the island are its beaches.The north coast has real gems like Playa Escondida and Playa Bluff, One of the most paradisiacal in all of Panama, a little further on, and only accessible by private transport is La Piscina, a great place to take a dip and snorkel on the other side of the island. population of Boca del Drago, located right on one of the goles between Isla Colon and the continent (Punta Cauro).

A few kilometers from Boca del Drago is Playa Estrella, one of the most celebrated beaches in the island, and also a good place to put on your glasses and the tube. The interior of the island is covered by a thick tropical forest in which you can see white-faced monkeys, parrots and many species of multicolored frogs, some of them very poisonous. In the center of the island is the Cueva de los Murciélagos. When falling of the sun, hundreds of these animals leave the cave offering an impressive spectacle.

EATING IN BOCAS DEL TORO CITY: The offer is quite limited and there is nothing that can be called local cuisine. Most of the places offer hamburgers, pizzas and things like that. But there are a couple of good exceptions. In El último Refugio there are very good dishes with lobster as a protagonist and also interesting fusions of Caribbean and Asian cuisine. Another recommended is Raw Fusion, with very good sushi. Taco Surf Bocas fish tacos are more than recommended and for lovers of Indian cuisine there is the Om Cafe.

CUPS IN BOCAS DEL TORO CITY: One of the advantages of staying in Bocas del Toro is that you can go out at night to have a drink after dinner and take a dance a few meters from the beach. We especially liked La Iguana, with a great atmosphere by the sea, and El Toro Loco, where you can also eat something.