10 Best Things To Do In Bocas del Toro Panama

2 Traveling Lovers

Bocas del Toro was our first stop after our month-long stay in Costa Rica. If you are looking for a relaxed Caribbean vibe Bocas del Toro is the perfect destination for your next tropical vacation.  Leave your troubles behind and let us show you the 10 Best Things To Do In Bocas del Toro Panama.  You will learn where to go & what’s fun to do when you arrive in beautiful Bocas del Toro Panama.  

Bocas del Toro Archipelago consists of the mainland and nine main islands in the Caribbean Sea, all named by Christopher Colombus. We stayed on the main island of Isla Colon, which is the most developed island and where Bocas Town is located which is the capital of the Bocas del Toro province.

Most of the hotels, restaurants, and bars are located on this Isla Colon; although, the other islands are just a short ride by the water taxi. We spent most of our time on Isla Colon, and we also stayed a few nights on Isla Bastimentos. Here is a list of the top things to do and places to go while vacationing on the Islands of Bocas del Toro.

 1. Visit Starfish Beach by water taxi or in a cab on land.

We took a taxi through the center of the Isla Colon to Starfish Beach which cost $20 for 4 of us. Once you are dropped off, you will walk along the shoreline for approximately 20 minutes before coming to Starfish Beach. There are chairs, a few restaurants, and huts where you can buy food, tropical drinks or beer. You are not supposed to bring your own alcohol or food to this beach; however, we did see a few people bringing there own food and drinks so I suppose you take can your chances. It wasn’t very crowded when we were there.

If you walk along the shoreline, you may not see many starfish because they are out along the reefs. Be sure to bring your mask and snorkel so that you can see all the fantastic creatures such as starfish, lobster, conch, beautiful fish, and stingrays. Please don’t pick up the starfish; they can not live longer than 10 seconds out of the water. From what I understand, a few years ago there were hundreds of starfish and now because of people disturbing their habitat in order to take selfies their numbers have greatly diminished. We only saw 8 to 10 during our visit, because of humans handling the starfish. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH! 🙂

2.  Go scuba diving or become PADI Open Water Diver certified.

The cost to become PADI Open Water certified is one the lowest we have come across in our travels. One of the best places to scuba dive or snorkel is on the western edge of Solarte Island at Hospital Point and Wreck Coral Garden. We recommend Bocas Diving Pirates for scuba diving or to become PADI Open Water Diver certified in Bocas del Toro. Their prices are reasonable, and their service is excellent. If you are interested in more information regarding diving with the Bocas Diving Pirates, click here

3.  Rent electric bikes or a golf cart for the day.

We rented both while staying in Bocas del Toro. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to explore the island. We recommend Bocas E-Bikes for the electric bikes and Bocas Carts for the golf cart.  We even had a mechanic issue with our golf cart during our rental time, and the owner came out right away to fix it.

Bocas Carts is in the same building as Island Kitchens which serves breakfast, lunch, ice cream, and even family-size meals to go so you don’t have to cook, and you can eat at home one night. While we were there, she had a platter of homemade chicken enchiladas or lasagne to go. I think it was around $15 for the tray. 

4.  Spend an afternoon at Skully’s Beach Bar.

Skully’s Beach Bar is a local hangout right on the ocean, they have an inground pool, pool tables, music, hammocks, tree swings, ping pong, great drinks, food, and beautiful views of the ocean. If you want to stay outside of the main town, Skully’s has a hostel located on the property. If you’re looking for a stiff tropical drink be sure to try the Tropical Jumbie it’s delicious!!

5. Go surfing.

The best months to surf in Bocas is October through March with the best months being January and February for the most consistent swells and a mini-season in June and July. According to some of the local surfers, the best places to surf Careneros, Bluff, Red Frog Beach, First Beach, and Silverbacks.

Filty Friday Bocas!!!

6.  Sign up for Filthy Fridays Bocas.

If you are visiting on a Friday and you are looking to make new friends while attending a huge island party, make sure you sign up for Filthy Friday Bocas. It’s a weekly party crawl which happens every Friday.  There’s swimming, dancing, drinking, and wild fun.  The party starts in on Isla Colon; the first location is a 10-minute boat right away on a secret Island, the second location is the Blue Coconut on Isla Solarte, with the party ending at the Aqua Lounge on Isla Carneiro.

Your ticket includes a Filthy Friday T-shirt, entrance to the three bars, boat transportation between islands, music, and shots throughout the party. You can sign up at this website click here. We had a great time but make sure you pace yourself. The party starts around noon and goes into the night. If you want to check out our video of our day at Filthy Friday, Click Here.

10 Best Things To Do In Bocas del Toro Panama

7.  Take a water taxi to Red Frog Beach on Isla Bastimentos.

We took a water taxi to Red Frog Beach while staying on Isla Basimentos. To be totally honest, it was a little disappointing; there was a lot of the red seaweed on the beach, similar to what we saw a couple of months ago in Tulum. There are a couple of restaurants and bars to hang out at; however, don’t go on a Monday like we did, as most of the restaurants are closed. We spent a relaxing day walking along the beach and swimming in the warm water.  Had we went when most places were open I’m sure we would’ve had a better time.

8.  Head Isla Carenero to Bibi’s on the Beach.  

Bibi’s on the Beach is on the water and they serve locally caught fresh seafood and great drinks!!  The fresh seafood is farm to table with local ingredients. It’s a 3-minute boat ride from Isla Colon. Happy Hour is from 4 to 7 pm. They are closed on Tuesdays. Their margaritas, ceviche, and calamari are amazing!!

9.  Take a day trip by water taxi to the beautiful, unique island of Isla Zapatillas.

The unique Isla Zapatilla is fantastic for relaxing on the white sand beaches and for great snorkeling. Make sure you bring a cooler with food and drinks, there’s not much on the island for purchase.

10.  Buy fresh fish to cook at home.

If you are looking for fresh fish to cook at your Airbnb check out Tutty N Fish. They have big freezers in the back, and they will let you go in and pick out the fish you want. The fish is frozen after it’s caught and from what have found this is safer than buying it alongside the beach from a fisherman; although, this option is available in the central part of town. We tried the albacore ahi tuna and mahi-mahi. The ahi was fantastic, and the mahi-mahi was pretty good. He sells steaks, pork, chicken, and many types of fish.

I hope you are excited to visit Bocas del Toro and our information helps during your visit.  We are spending a month traveling throughout Panama, so check back for more blog posts to come.

Bocas del Toro – Romantic Getaway Couples Series

By the way, if you are looking for a good tour company, we heard many good things about Under the Sea. Full disclosure, we did not use them ourselves, as we explored this area on our own.

We used Hello Panama for our transportation from Bocas del Toro to our next location in Boquete, and everything went well. Hello Panama also sells local tours along with transportation for reasonable prices. I’ve included a price list in the photos section of this blog post.

More 2 Traveling Lovers Article & Video links from Panama:

We spent a month traveling throughout Panama.  If you’re interested in visiting the area, we hope you will find our articles and videos helpful.  All of our posts have a video included, and we have new videos on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too so you won’t miss a video.

Below are a few articles and videos from our stay in Panama:

12 Best Tips You Need To Know Before You Visit Panama

Best Casco Viejo Food & Nightlife (Panama City)

The Ultimate Travel Guide – Boquete Panama

Bocas del Toro – Couples Getaway Series

Cost Of Living For A Couple In Panama


Where to stay in Panama. If you are looking for a list of top rated properties in the towns, we stayed click on the links below to check it out.

Bocas del Toro

Click here to see the latest prices on booking.com.


Click here to see the latest prices on booking.com.

Panama City

Click here to see the latest prices on booking.com.

If you are interested in checking out Airbnb prices, click here. You will receive a $40 travel credit after your first booking.


Best Things to do in Bocas Del Toro

This video shows a day in Bocas Del Toro and a few of the 10 best things to do while visiting! Enjoy the video


Closing Words

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If you are interested in checking hotel prices we have found booking.com to have the most competitive prices.  Click here to check out hotels.  

All of our video footage is taken with GoPro HERO7.  It’s a waterproof digital action camera for travel with a touchscreen.  We use this camera daily, and we love it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here.

The drone we use is the DJ Spark with Remote Control Combo.  We like this drone because it’s compact, it’s effortless to take on trips, it’s easy to fly, and it shoots 1080p.  All of our drone footage on our blog posts and youtube videos are taken with this drone. We highly recommend it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here.             

Another item we use daily is our Primocean Backpack with an insulated cooler bag.  We use this as Christie’s carryon bag on the plane and as our cooler at our final destination.  We used to use a different backpack and we switched to this one because it’s better made of durable material with quality zippers.  We love this backpack!! The cooler section is smaller; however, all the compartments and the quality of the backpack make it a much better choice for basically the same cost.  We wish we would have thought of this item a long time ago. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link: Click Here.  

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