Bocas Del Toro is a small island along the Caribbean coast of Panama. It’s a well known tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches, high surf, and crazy party scene. If you’d like to experience Bocas but avoid the hangover; here’s a list of 5 things to do besides Filthy Fridays!
Explore Colon on a Quad or Golf Cart
At around $75 USD per day, a quad or a golf cart can seem expensive and unnecessary at first. From our experience, though, Bocas del Toro is large and being able to explore and go at your own pace is definitely worth it! Head north and hit up a few of the white sand beaches (Playa Bluff and Istmito Beach are some of our favourites!) From there, you can make your way past a castle house made entirely of recycled bottles all the way up to Starfish Beach!
See the Bio Luminescence
Getting to see the bioluminescence is an out-of-this-world experience if you happen to be in Bocas Del Toro at the right time! Even though it occurs every night, you can only really see it at certain times of the month depending on the moon cycles.
There are several tour companies around the island offering a night time boat tour. We would recommend checking in with Diving Pirates when you arrive on the island to see if it might happen during your stay. They are a friendly tour company that only does this tour when the bio luminescence are at their best… unlike some of the other companies on the island.
Take an Island Hopping Tour
Jump on a boat and take a tour out to the jaw-dropping islands surrounding Bocas Del Toro! In particular, Zapatilla Island is insanely beautiful. With the turquoise water and white sand beaches; this island is comparable to the popular San Blas Islands near Panama City.
Most of the island tours also includes pit stops to see sloths in their natural habitat and at Dolphin Bay. This small bay is home to a pod of dolphins that feed on the resident jellyfish. They frequently leap out the water and will even play in the surf of the boat.
Spend the Morning Surfing
Bocas Del Toro is a popular surf spot in Central America drawing people from all over the world. There are many companies on the island that rent boards and provide surf lessons for all levels. Most of the spots are far from shore so if you don’t go with an instructor you’ll have to organize a local boat to drop you off and pick you up. Check out Magic Seaweed for the Bocas Surf Guide.
Experience Starfish Beach
Ah..the Insta famous Starfish Beach. Although starfish aren’t as common as they used to be here, it’s still worth visiting to see a handful of these colourful sea creatures. For the best experience, try to visit in the morning during the week to beat the crowds. The beach is lined with chairs and shacks selling drinks and snacks but unless you want to pay an arm and a leg for a sub-optimal meal, eat before you go!
SIDE NOTE: The starfish are actually dying because of the number of people picking them up out of the water to take photos. PLEASE respect their natural habitat and don’t touch the starfish!