Planning Your Time

You're likely to discover that there isn’t much to really “do” in Bocas del Toro since the majority of time is spent just “being.” It might take a day or two to meld into the Caribbean pace, with your vacation checklist ranging from lounging on the beach to napping in a hammock. Reserve at least two days for Bocas Town on Isla Colón, overnighting at one of the colorful, laid-back hotels that line Calle 3. Get a sense of the island life (and layout) by biking north of the town center to one of the more appealing beaches like Boca del Drago, Swan’s Cay, or Playa Bluff. It’s worth heading across the channel to Isla Carenero for the daily catch with a side of fried plantains, before spending one night in an over-the-water bungalow for a bit of forced relaxation. For natural beauty and barefoot luxury, catch a water taxi to Isla Bastimentos and stay at least two nights at an isolated eco-lodge tucked in the jungle. Be sure to visit nearby Red Frog Beach and set aside time for an island adventure like snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, or diving.

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