Bocas del Toro Province lines Panama’s northwest Caribbean coast, just south of the border with Costa Rica.

Much of its’s mainland is swathed in jungle and banana plantations.

Bocas del Toro is also home to dozens of sunny islands, welcoming visitors to the region with warm sands and clear water.

Lush green forest lining the white sand beach of Bastimentos island, off coast of an Island in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Isla Colon

A handful of villas and boutique hotels operate on these islands; most are located near the main town on Isla Colon.

Regionally, Bocas del Toro Archipelago is synonymous with good times and great surf.

Surf spots such as Dumpers (left break), Silverbacks (off Isla Bastimentos) and the northern tip of Carenero Key (a left tube reef break) are generally uncrowded and rideable for eight months of the year.


November to April are the most popular months for surfing.

Beaches and Reefs: Red Frog and Wizard

Visitors also appreciate the unspoiled beaches and reefs.

Two examples are Red Frog Beach and neighboring Wizard Beach—featuring pale sands and cool forest trails.

Perfect brown sugar sand, clear light blue Caribbean water and lush green shore the Beach, photographed on a vacation in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Snorkelers and divers can observe colorful starfish, sponges, sharks, and rays.

Over 70 coral species have been identified here.

Some of the best marine habitats are located within the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park, which protects 32,000 acres of reef and forest along with the Zapatilla Cays.

PTwo over water bungalos on stilts, one pink with a brown roof, the other brown with a red roof. Over the water of Bocas del Toro

Birdwatching in Bocas del Toro

Birdwatching is another popular pastime in Bocas del Toro.

The coastlines of Isla Cristobal and Isla Popa are protected by mangrove habitat—home to Magnificent frigates, Brown boobies, and a wide variety of herons and egrets.

The forested island interiors are populated by parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, and kingfishers.

Fligth from Panama City to Bocas del Toro

Active Adventure: Hiking, Sportfishing, Kayaking, and More

Other Bocas del Toro activities include:

  • Visits to Nearby Ngobe Indigenous Communities
  • Hikes Through Mainland Cloud Forests
  • Sportfishing
  • Sea Kayak Trips
  • Cruises in Dolphin Bay
  • Moonlit Sea Turtle Nesting Tours

The best time to visit is from January to May when sunshine is most plentiful.

Three dolphins sighted on a private boat tour of the ocean around Bocas del Toro, Panama

November, December, June, July, and August tend to be the rainiest months, although July and August are the best time to observe nesting sea turtles.

Temperatures are warm year-round (mid-80s) with light ocean breezes.

Getting to Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro can be reached by air in 50 minutes from Panama City, or in 30 minutes from Limon, Costa Rica.

Lush green forest lining the white sand beach of Bastimentos island, off coast of Bocas del Toro, Panama

Thinking about a holiday in Bocas del Toro? Let us turn your dreams into memories. LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. We’ll create the most exceptional trip of your life.

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