20 interesting facts about Bocas del Toro Panama
Bocas del Toro were the first islands in Panama I visited. Since my first time there in May 2012 I made my way back already twice in 2014 and I can tell you that it was not my last time, for sure. Not only because there are still so many things to do in Bocas del Toro, and even repeat those I’ve already done there, but also because it is just not difficult to get to the islands at all. Comparing to other tropical islands in the Caribbean, there’s more tranportation options available.
20 interesting facts about Bocas del Toro:
1. In 1502 Christopher Columbus passed around the islands restocking his ships and named some islands after himself – such as the main island Isla Colon.
2. Nowadays, Bocas del Toro are definitely one of the most known Panama’s night life and backpackers hot spot destinations.
3. Did you know that Bocas del Toro has some of the largest rainforests in Central America?
4. The archipelago has 9 main islands, 52 cays, and hundreds, some even say that thousands of islets with coral reefs and mangroves all around.
5. Bocas del Toro is also home to two national parks: La Amistad International Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park, Panama’s first marine park and a nesting ground for hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles. Considered the ‘Galapagos of the Caribbean’ Bocas del Toro is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth.
6. 17 countries filmed Survivor series in the archipelago.
7. Once a trading center for chocolate, bananas and tropical hardwoods, nowadays the very laid-back islands are great for eco-tourism.
8. Starfish, Red Frog Beach and Zapatillas Key are the 3 most beautiful beaches.
9. Red Frog, located on Bastimentos island, has the best marina in Bocas del Toro and rainforest close-by.
11. Bocas Yoga studio where I started practicing yoga has ranked as the number 1 attraction in Bocas del Toro for a lot of times. Unfortunately, Laura Kay, yoga teacher and the founder of Bocas Yoga moved out from Bocas del Toro already.
12. Bocas del Toro are famous for parties, especially the Aqua Lounge where you need to take a water taxi to get to.
13. The islands are more expensive than you might think. The food both in the stores and restaurants is not the cheapest, but no wonder, you are on islands!
14. You will be surprised to see so many small grocery stores, mostly owned by Chinese/Vietnamese.
15. Loads of fruit smoothie stalls along the streets where you pay from $2 to $3.50 per one.
16. Spanish is the official language but English is widely spoken.
17. Souvenir stores found all around Bocas Town. Way too many for such a small place.
18. The streets of Bocas Town are full of different restaurants, hostels, hotels and tour agencies. Most of them are owned by expats.
19. Bocas is definitely one of the most laid-back places I’ve traveled to. Mostly many young people, surfers, raggae rasta guys and couples will be those who you run into on the streets of Bocas Town and all around the Bocas del Toro islands.
20. I heard about a few problems with drugs and prostitutes on the islands and unfortunately many expats in here are drug and/or alcohol addicts or moved in here to cure that addiction. I have not seen that much of it like I’ve heard though, but just be careful who you get in touch with.
Have you heard about any of these interesting facts about Bocas del Toro? Do you know any other facts? Please share in the comments below the article.