Bocas Del Toro, Panama
You couldn’t build a town like this today. Part of the magic involves the 50-plus restaurants, hotels, and bars extending on wooden stilts over the Caribbean Sea. The United Fruit Company, aka Chiquita Banana, erected many of these colonial-style buildings 100 plus years ago. An evening sipping a cocktail in one of these establishments while watching panga boat taxis zip by is nothing short of enchanting.
Traveling to this region still feels like an adventure. However, direct flights depart daily from Panama City, Panama, and San Jose, Costa Rica to Bocas Town. The 5,000-foot runway, located on the edge of town, easily accommodates 40-passenger jets. Once you land, it’s an easy 10-minute walk to the main street in Bocas Town. Once Bocas Bali completes construction, our guests will take a 10- to 20-minute boat ride from downtown Bocas Town to our island.
Once a sleepy little community, Bocas del Toro is transitioning rapidly from a millennial adventure destination to a more upscale vacation paradise-for-all. You won’t lack for lodging and food. TripAdvisor lists 244 properties, including 32 hotels, 125 “specialty lodging” accommodations, and 87 B&Bs and inns. Prices range from $15-$600 a night. TripAdvisor also lists 123 restaurants—half of them reside in Bocas Town, where live music provides the soundtrack for a vibrant nightlife year-round.
Once in Bocas Town, you’ll discover endless activities. Young people from around the globe bring energy to the town, and walking down the main street will reveal a wide range of ages and ethnicities. Downtown Bocas has experienced dramatic improvements over the past few years, but not at the expense of its charm.
Twenty years from now people will say, “Remember the vibrancy of Bocas Town in the old days? The streets bustled with young people from around the world; wealthy tourists were just discovering the area, and you could take a local boat to a nearby island for just $5.” It feels like Bocas is in a “golden age” when everything is just right.