Day 36 to 46: Bocas Del Toro


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Published: May 8th 2022
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Isla ColonIsla ColonIsla Colon

Isla Colon views
After Panama City, I had decided to do Bocas Del Toro, considered by many as the best location on the Caribbean coast in Panama. Many give that credit to the San Blas Islands, I tend to agree. So I decided to do Bocas Del Toro before San Blas (save the best for last logic), even though it's a roundabout way of traveling (follow your heart, not the map).

I flew to Bocas from Panama City and stayed on Isla Colon (the main island). Bocas has multiple islands which are accessible by water taxis.

My first day at Bocas was exploring food, I was craving some India food and found a restaurant run by an Indian lady from Canada. The view from the restaurant was stunning and the food satisfying. Later in the evening I went to a place run by a local family, probably the best food I had in Bocas.

Among the attractions in Bocas, my favourite was Starfish Beach (Playa Estrella). It's a short bus ride from where I was staying, crystal clear waters to snorkel and needless to stay lots of Starfish right near the beach. Despite lots of signs telling people not to touch
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Street Art at Isla Colon
or lift the Starfish (they die if you do), people do it. Hope someday we as a race understand our place on Earth.

I also did a tour to Zapatilla Island (yeah, the islands look like shoes when you see from the top and hence the name, people even call it as the islands that were created when God stepped on earth), where we first went to Dolphin Bay (you get to see Dolphins easily), then are dropped off on the little Zapatilla for a hike/swim on this uninhabited island and later on post a meal in the middle of the ocean, you get to Snorkel. And on your way back you see more starfish. Earlier they used to take people to go see Sloths, but that bit is closed now after a baby sloth mysteriously died. One advise when booking this tour, book with a company that is ecologically sensitive (there are boat captains who chase dolphins, which is just not done).

I also visited Red Frog Beach at Isla Bastiemente and Isla Carenero. Red Frog Beach is named after the Red Poison Dart Frogs. These frogs are tiny (size of your fingernail), but they store the
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Indian food at Isla Colon
venom from what they eat (e.g. ants) and use that as self defence against predators. I was lucky to spot one up close right at the entrance to Red Frog Beach.

Bocas is also knows as a party town, with every night some party going on. I went to Filthy Friday, the most famous of these parties (end to end it's a 16-17 hour party across 3 islands and an after-party), so it takes some doing 😊

I took my time in Bocas and slowed down my trip to experience the Caribbean side (which I had skipped in Costa Rica).

To me Bocas was a mixed experience, Playa Estrella was brilliant, I made some nice friends, the parties were not a must do for me. But overall a nice to do.




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Isla ColonIsla Colon
Isla Colon

A local meal at Isla Colon
Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)
Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)

Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)
Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)
Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)

Starfish at Starfish Beach - please do not touch them
Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)
Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach)

Beauty of Starfish Beach
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Isla Zapatillas

Isla Zapatillas
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Isla Zapatillas

Isla Zapatillas
Red Frog BeachRed Frog Beach
Red Frog Beach

Red Poison Dart Frog at Red Frog Beach in Isla Bastiemente


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