Destinations · Panama · Caribbean · Things to Do
August 16, 2022 Words: Jen Lyons

Panama’s Caribbean Corner

Discover a place where vibrant culture and natural beauty meet laid-back island life.

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An archipelago located off the Caribbean coast of Panama; Bocas del Toro has a way of making you feel like you’re a million miles away—in the best possible way. Historically a tropical outpost for backpackers and expats, and at one time the home base for banana plantations, today this area maintains its feeling of being an undiscovered gem yet offers a myriad of ways to spend a sunny day.

Tucked up against the border of Costa Rica, Bocas del Toro encompasses both a piece of Panama’s mainland and a chain of islands surrounded by impossibly turquoise waters. The three main islands are Isla Colon, Isla Bastimentos—one of the largest islands in Panama—and Isla Carenero, a forested island just a two-minute boat ride from the provincial capital of Bocas Town.

Arriving in Bocas del Toro on a Seabourn voyage you’ll discover rich culture, unspoiled nature, and beautiful beaches. With so many places to explore, it’s hard to know where to begin. Consider this your sneak peek.

Isla Colon
The most populated island in the archipelago, Isla Colon is a wonderful hub for starting your Bocas del Toro adventure. From the main city of Bocas Town, you’re within easy reach of incredible eco-tourism opportunities. Visit Swan’s Cay, home to a bird sanctuary. Gaze through crystal-clear waters on Starfish Beach to see hundreds of starfish on the sea floor. Learn about sea turtle conservation efforts at Playa Bluff (save enough time to watch the impressive maneuvers of local surfers). You may also choose to explore the Soposo Rainforest for wildlife spotting and the chance to learn more about the Naso culture—this indigenous group is the only one in North America still governed by a king.

Isla Bastimentos
Just 10 minutes from Isla Colon by water taxi, Isla Bastimentos is a world away. Blissfully free of busy streets and crowds, this island delivers everything you could want out of a jungle paradise. Hike a jungle path to the golden sands of Wizard Beach. Sink your toes in the sand at Polo Beach—with some luck you may have the whole place to yourself. High atop the island you’ll find an organic cacao farm that delivers 360-degree views of the archipelago—and plenty of opportunities for tastings.

Perhaps the most popular way to spend a day on the island is exploring Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park. Encompassing over 32,000 acres, it is home to over 250 species of fish and marine mammals. It’s a popular snorkeling and diving destination with 80 species of coral, some believed to be over 10,000 years old.

Isla Carenero
Tiny Isla Carenero is the perfect place to explore if you’re short on time—you can trek the whole forested island in about an hour, or circumnavigate it via kayak in about the same amount of time. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’re in luck. Isla Carenero is known for having some of the best seafood in the region. Sample freshly-made ceviche, local fish, lobster, and Caribbean-seasoned shrimp—often served up with ocean views.

Explore Bocas del Toro with Seabourn
Ready to set sail with Seabourn through the Panama Canal and discover Bocas del Toro? Delight in a full day to explore Bocas del Toro either on your own, or on a Seabourn shore excursion. On land, you can cook flavorful dishes alongside a local chef while learning about the history and culture of the islands. Or, spend your day surrounded in an enchanting 24-acre private botanical garden, complete with tropical flowers and local wildlife like monkeys and sloths. Prefer to explore by sea? Opt to spend a few hours exploring the lush mangroves and open waters of the archipelago by kayak. However you choose to spend your day in Bocas del Toro, you won’t be ready to say goodbye.

Ready to set sail?

Consider these upcoming voyages:

14-Day Central America & Panama Canal Pathfinder

ROUNDTRIP: Miami, Florida, United States
 

from $5,869*

Explore Itinerary

*Per Person, USD. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses are included. Additional terms apply.

14-Day Central America & Panama Canal Pathfinder

ROUNDTRIP: Miami, Florida, United States
 

from $5,439*

Explore Itinerary

*Per Person, USD. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses are included. Additional terms apply.

Mangrove above and below water surface with fish and a jellyfish underwater
People crossing a hanging bridge in the jungle of Panama
Wild sloth hanging on a tree in Panama

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