As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore.
Printable map to take along.
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The Bocas del Toro Archipelago consists of nine islands, 52 keys and some 200 tiny islets. The largest and most developed island is Colón Island, where the capital of the province, the town of Bocas del Toro, is located. The total population of the archipelago is around 9000 people, of whom roughly half live in the town of Bocas del Toro.
Bocas Town itself has lots to offer, including the province's best selection of dining, nightlife, and accommodations. It's a typical Caribbean village of pastel rooftops, fresh seafood served in waterfront restaurants on stilts, fishing boats in bold, primary colors, and docks stretching over the patchwork waters. Playa Bluff is the town's most dazzling beach.
Bocas town is small enough to walk all over. If you need a ride, cabs are plentiful and usually only cost 60 cents or so to get around town.
Biking is also an option. Simple bikes can be rented for $6/day, or ones with electric pedal assist from the bigger hostels for more.
Water taxis offer swift rides from the Almirante port on the mainland to Bocas Town on Isla Colon, as well as between islands.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Scuba diving is popular in the area, as are eco tours to the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park.
There is a lagoon a few miles away from Bocas Town with a resident population of wild dolphins. Many day tours of the islands include stops here, and it's also possible to take a water taxi.
Traditional Panamanian crafts can be found most cheaply at artesian markets. In Panama City, the best are found at the market in Balboa, with the Panama Viejo market coming in as a close second. Panama's best-known craft is the mola, intricate reverse-applique handwork made by the Kuna. Molas can be bought at either of these craft markets or from vendors on the seawall in Casco Viejo.
Panama uses the Balboa and the US Dollar as its currencies. The balboa is equivalent to the US dollar and has exactly the same value, but in reality the Balboas only exist as coins that are equivalent to the US coins.
Languages Spanish (official), English 14% note: many Panamanians bilingual.
Shopping hours vary, but most of the stores and shops open from 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. and some even up to 10:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.
Holidays in Panama
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