This Bocas del Toro One Day Tour is an excellent way to go island hopping along the beautiful Caribbean coast off southern Costa Rica and northern Panama. You’ll enjoy a traditional indigenous BriBri breakfast at the border and all your immigration paperwork will be handled for you so you can cross over the Panamanian border. Then you’ll go by boat to various islands including snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of Basimento National Park.
Your day begins with pick up service from your hotel in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo before being driven about an hour to the Panamanian border. Near the border, you will be served a hearty BriBri traditional breakfast prepared from freshly grown produce by this interesting local indigenous tribe.
Your immigration paperwork will be taken care of for you at the border. Bocas del Toro, which translates to “Mouths of the Bull”, is a province of Panama made up of nine islands in a chain, or archipelago, along with a section of the adjacent mainland. There are many exotic beaches including, Starfish Beach, named for the many starfish and sea stars on the ocean floor.
For the historian, Bocas del Toro is said to have hosted Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1502 while they were searching for a shortcut to the Pacific. Columbus originally called it Isla del Drago and at that time it was part of Costa Rica. After several territorial disputes, Bocas del Toro became its own province in 1903 and later was incorporated into Panama.
You’ll continue to Almirante Bay which is where the water taxi departs for Bocas Town on Isla Colon, one of the many Bocas del Toro islands. From here you will change boats and head over to one of the islands comprising Bastimentos National Park for some of the best snorkeling you will find. In this area where the water is typically crystal clear are found live coral reefs, many varieties of brightly colored tropical fish and lots and lots of starfish.
Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park is Panama’s first marine park which was created in 1988. It shelters animals such as sloths, monkeys, crocodiles and caiman as well as over 25 species of reptiles and amphibians. This national park includes Playa Larga (Long Island) which is the nesting place for four species of endangered sea turtles.
Next, you’ll go over to Coral Island for a fabulous sea food lunch before embarking on your return trip by boat and minibus all the way back to your hotel. This full day action packed tour includes roundtrip minibus and boat transportation, bilingual guides, immigration paperwork, an indigenous breakfast, park admission, snorkel equipment, lunch and snacks.