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Guide to Bocas Town, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Beaches, places to eat & drink and things to do in Bocas Town, Panama.

Bocas del Toro is an archipelago and group of islands off the cost of Panama. Isla Colon (Colon Island) is the most populated and developed island in Bocas del Toro and it's a great starting point for your time in Bocas. This island is the busiest and I would say has the most going on out of all the islands in Bocas. Here you can find loads of great restaurants, cafes, clubs, bars, shops and also ATMs.

Here is a guide to Bocas Town and Bocas del Toro, Panama:

Bocas Town Panama

Where to Stay in Bocas Town

We stayed at the Tropical Suites Hotel on Isla Colon which was an ideal location as it's on the waterfront and it's great waking up each morning and looking out to the sea. Since we have stayed they have added a pool to the hotel which is such a bonus as you can't really go swimming around the main area of Bocas Town.

Tropical Suites Hotel Bocas del Toro

Restaurants in Bocas Town; Where to Eat and Drink

I'd say the food in Panama is one of the many highlights. We had a lot of ceviche and fresh fish & seafood as well as dishes that were heavily Mexican influenced. Here are some of the best places to eat and drink on Isla Colon:

Cafe del Mar

A must visit for breakfast or lunch, I think we went here three times because we loved it so much. They have a mix of pancakes, omelettes, smoothie bowls, wraps and juices.

Cafe del Mar Bocas Panama

Bibis on the Beach

Great for lunch or dinner. We went here several times too. It's a short boat ride from Isla Colon and situated on Carenero Island, but it only takes 5 minutes to get there and there are loads of taxi boats that will take you. We loved going here in the afternoon to sunbathe on the stunning beach and then heading to Bibis for cocktails and dinner to watch the sunset.

Bibis on the Beach Panama


Fun vibe for drinks and they have an area of decking cutout as a swimming pool you can go in.

Islands and Beaches to Visit Around Bocas Town, Isla Colon

Whilst Isla Colon has loads going on, if you want to experience the true beauty of Bocas del Toro you need to get on a boat and go to the surrounding islands.

Red Frog Beach - Bastimentos Island

I've been to a lot of beaches in my time and I can honestly say that Red Frog Beach is one of the most amazing beaches of all time. The water is crystal clear and the sand is so white, it's a pure paradise! This beach is also quiet enough that it feels tranquil but also has a couple of restaurants and bars so you can spend the whole day here. The sea is quite calm and nice for swimming and you can hire sunloungers on the beach, or just sit on the sand if you prefer.

To get to Red Frog Beach its about a 20 minute boat from Isla Colon and a taxi boat will take you there. I would advise planning with the taxi boat what time you want to come back (and they will pick you up) because there aren't really any boats waiting at Red Frog and you don't want to get stranded there.

Red Frog Beach Bocas Panama

Starfish Beach / Playa Estrella - Isla Colon

Whilst this beach is on Isla Colon, it's best to get a boat there and it's worth it (takes about 20 mins). This picturesque bay-shaped beach gives you the wow factor as soon as you approach it and looks like something out of Castaway. The beach is lined with palm trees and the sand is narrow but there's plenty of room to sunbathe. It's really quiet and serene on Playa Estrella and it makes you feel like you are on an island in the middle of the sea.

Starfish Beach Playa Estrella Panama

One of the biggest draws to this beach is of course the starfish that are all in the sea. The water is crystal clear and you can see all the starfish at the bottom of swimming along.

Boat Trip to the Smaller Islands

Doing a boat trip to see the smaller islands should be top of your itinerary whilst in Bocas. So many of them are tiny and you can walk around them in about 10 minutes. The boat stops and gives you time to spend to explore each island as well as chill out and relax. You can book boat trips at loads of places on Isla Colon.

Bocas del Toro Panama

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