Bocas del Toro – a true taste of Panama’s Caribbean lifestyle.

If you’re beginning your trip at Isla Colón, (Bocas del Toro) it’s worth spending a day or two checking out the place, as its unique blend of people, culture and the natural beauty give you a taste of Caribbean living.

The Bocas del Toro archipelagico is situated along the Northwest Caribbean coast of Panama and lays in the path of the Caribbean seas longest swell fetch. Wind swells and ground swells created by seasonable tropical storms and the trade winds travel over 1200 nautical miles from the Windward Islands or Gulf of Mexico to this wave rich region. There are over a half dozen major islands> Islas Colon, Bastementos, Solarte, San Cristibal, Cayo de Popa and Cayo de Agua are the largest islands all surounded by coral reefs and jungle coastlined beaches. There is an incredible biodiversity of flora, fauna and marine life to be experienced.

Bocas del Toro’s major population is indigenous. The Ngöbe-Buglé  (also known as Guaymies) have their own language, Ngobere. The mixed local population as well as speaking Creole, has its own unique language called ‘guariguari,’ a mix of Anfro-Antillean English, Ngobere, Spanish and even some French words. With the Costa Rican boarder just an hour away and a small international airport, bus terminals, three marinas, and the influx of global expats along with booming tourism growth, Bocas is a crossroads of diverse peoples, natural phenomenas and ocean sports with activities, attractions restaurants and  accommodations for all. The best way to experience the regions secrets and treasures is by catamaran join Nirvana Charters and make your own discoveries and memories to last a lifetime.

Bocas del Toro, (‘Bocas’ for short) is an amalgam of sorts, boasting an ethnic diversity that really gives the place its character. The place is made up of Panamanians, various indigenous Panamanian groups, Afro-Panamanians, expats who now call Bocas home, as well as hoards of tourists that flock to the place for the sunshine, beaches and tranquility.

When you arrive at Isla Colón, you’ll instantly feel the good vibes and Caribbean flair that create a lively and laidback atmosphere. The town is always a buzzing hive of activity, where it’s not uncommon to see folks hanging out in the park, music blaring out of stereos, people rolling by on their cruisers or skateboards and others calling out to one another from across the street.

With a multitude of accommodation options ranging from budget to upscale, there are plenty of places to stay before and after your trip. And if you’re a nightlife junkie, you can enjoy a night of revelry at any of the bars that offer music and atmosphere to suit your style.

Isla Colón also has an endless array of cafes and restaurants serving cuisine from all over the globe. Anything from Panamanian, African, Italian, Mexican, baked goods and healthy choices are available for you to enjoy. Be sure to dine at ‘El Beso del Dragon’, a popular haunt where you’ll see all the locals during busy lunchtimes enjoying large portions of delicious, Caribbean fare including coconut fish, plantains, jerk chicken and more.

But if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of town, rent a bike and head just a few kilometers down the road to set yourself amongst the lush rainforest where howler monkeys, sloths, hummingbirds, coconut trees and other flora and fauna are abundant in the jungle setting.

And if you’re after something less busy than Isla Colón, you’re just a boat ride away to any of the other islands, which are also surrounded by pristine beaches and have plenty of natural beauty to savour.