To round out our Panama vacation, we spent some time in Bocas del Toro, a beachy set of islands on the Atlantic side. It was a mostly relaxing few days, and it gave us yet another side of Panama to enjoy, since we had already experienced Panama City’s urban landscape and Boquete’s forests and mountains.
Bocas del Toro beaches
On our first full day, we boated to another section to have lunch and check out the beach. Our lunch turned out to be pretty good, but Andy and I got attacked by sand flies at the beach. It was yet another reminder that we are not beach people. I love being near the sea or the ocean, but I don’t necessarily need to be right in the sand.
Even still, it was quite pretty.
Boat tour around Bocas del Toro
One day we did a boat tour around the islands that included a lunch stop and a snorkeling stop. We saw dolphins swimming around and jumping out of the water at the beginning of the trip, and at the end we got to see a couple of sloths up in the trees. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get photos of either the dolphins or the sloths, but it was still cool to see them.
The snorkeling stop wasn’t great, and after lunch the weather turned ugly. Strong winds kicked up the waves, and water pelted us constantly in the boat. Between the water thrashing me and the rocking of the boat, I was really tense by the time we made it to our final island stop on the tour. At least the scenery was still pretty!
Zip lining in Bocas del Toro
Andy’s mom wanted to try zip lining (just a few months after hip replacement surgery…impressive!) and Bocas del Toro had some great options. I was interested in trying it out, but Andy and his dad opted to do a chocolate tour on the mainland that day.
Zip lining turned out to be one of the most fun things I did in Panama! It was a little scary at first because you go pretty fast, but once I got the hang out it, I really enjoyed myself. We even got to see the famous tiny red frogs.
Visiting Bocas del Toro
Overall I didn’t love Bocas del Toro as much as some other travelers who have raved about it, but I’m glad we went. There’s plenty to do for those who like beaches and adventure activities, and even a little culture with the chocolate tour. You’ll find lots of bars, restaurants, and hotel and guesthouse options in different price ranges. I can’t really recommend the hotel we stayed at, but you can check out the best places to stay in Bocas del Toro here.
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