Bocas Del Toro has earned quite the reputation over the years as a must "go and see" region for the world travler. It has been called the "Galapagos of the Caribbean" due to the protection of the ecosystem through the creation of the Marine Park around Bastimentos. Some 30,000 acres of the island and reefs are protected. The Smithsonian has a headquarters here with a focus on the many unique species of wildlife and plants. There is just a ton of amazing things to do and exotic places to see.
We offer tours on a first come, first serve basis and tailor the tours to suit your interests, and focus our attention on you only. Yet, if we are booked, don't worry, we'll help you arrange another tour operator as there are plenty in Bocas Del Toro town. Also, we work with select locals and organizations who have reputations as guides who know specific areas in detail given you are interested in something beyond our experience.
The following is just a sampling of the tours we offer:
Soropta Canal (also known as the Changuinola Canal) was built to ferry bananas between Bocas and Changuinola when the plantations were the primary business in this region. The canal now is a great place to see birds and the jungle from the water. The canal skirts under the Soropta Peninsula and the beaches leading to the San San PondSak. San San PondSak is a protected wetland with a board walk that runs through it. Given some luck, manatees and crocodiles will be about.
The canal was flooded during the great storm of November 2008 so tours into the canal are based upon times when the canal is clear of trees and log jams. This area is the original "Jungle Boat Ride"........... only this is for real.
Bird Island (also called Swan Cay) is off the northwest coast of Isla Colon and is the only home in Central America of the Red-billed Tropicbird. Primarily for this reason, you can't go on to the island (a very good thing given it is endangered). However, on calm days, it is a good place to snorkel. This small island is an amazing place that is filled with varied bird life.
Bastimentos is a large island just a short boat ride from Bocas town. The major town is Old Bank, on the western edge of the island. Old Bank's culture is Afro-Caribbean and the local dialect is Guari-Guari, a form of English that you'll likely not understand. There are some funky places to eat in Old Bank and the vibe is pure Caribbean.......enjoy.
Old Bank is also where the trail leading to Wizard's Beach (also call First Beach) starts. This is a great "beach day" destination.
Red Frog Beach is also on Bastimentos Island's north coast. This beach is accessed through walking the trail at "the cut". The beach here is one of the nicest in Bocas Del Toro and is famous for its species of strawberry poison dart frogs.
Cayos Zapatillas are two small cays (islands) at the mouth of the vast Chiriqui Lagoon, on the far eastern end of Bastimentos. Being within the marine park, these islands are protected from development and are a great place to snorkel when the surf is down. There is a hiking trail through the middle of one of the islands.
Cayo de Aqua is the farthest major island east in the Boas Del Toro archipelago. It is home to a Gnobe-Bugle Indian village. Also, Island Path Panama owns land out here. Camping options are available for those that truly want to get away from it all. There are some amazing fossil walls and the reefs here are undamaged. We know local Indians that call Cayo de Aqua home and can guide groups through the primary rain forest.
In the future, Island Path Panama will be building an off-the-grid resort based upon the Indian architecture. Cayo de Aqua is an over-looked, but highly exotic island in Bocas Del Toro.
Bahia Azul (also called Bluefields) is large body of water that cuts into the northern tip of the Peninsula Valiente. The primary reasons for coming here are the beauty of this mainland peninsula, which differs greatly from the islands, as well as it is the start of the path that leads to Playa Avispa and Ensenada.
The indians out here are rarely visited and welcome tourists warmly. The hike across the peninsula only takes about 30 minutes and the beach at the end is absolutely untouched. You will never feel more "out there" in your life, and happy for it.