Bolaños, Paradisiacal Island in the Archipelago of Las Perlas

bolaños island
Photo: Josías.

The Archipelago of Las Perlas (Pearl Islands) is in the Gulf of Panama, it has 39 Islands and 100 Islets (One of them is Bolaños Island), and as you can imagine, there are or rather there were many pearls at the time of the conquest by the Spanish.

The famous Pearl was also found there, Pilgrim that belonged to King Felipe II of Spain, then to other queens and personalities such as Elizabeth Taylor.

Contadora may be the most famous of all the islands due to the great tourist boom that it had at the time.

However, it is not the only one with great beauty, this time visit Bolaños Island, a small island, ideal for people who want to disconnect from the bustle of the city, it is a destination that has little time to offer itself to the public.

The Catamaran

I left my house very early, like 5:40 a.m., since you have to be at 6:30 a.m.

Booking.com

At the dock, seriously, you have to check in (there may be a line). Then go to the catamaran and at that time with sunrise, the sky is very beautiful that makes you want to take, even if it is, a photo.

dock
On the dock on the way to the catamaran.

After the process, it was time to board, the catamaran looks in very good condition, they have benches and fixed tables, as if it were a restaurant, ideal for talking with friends.

There may be about 50 people, so do not take a large table if you are only a few and you want to be alone.


You can also go outside, there is space for 10 people seated.

When you are in the archipelago area it is remarkable, because the islands and islets begin to appear in front your eyes, it was the first time that I went, so for me it was like discovering them.

It was a trip of approximately 2 hours, with a small stop at Contadora Island, some people were staying there (but only can get off people who has a trip to there).

Once we get to Bolaños Island, we get off the catamaran to take a boat that leaves us on the shore of the beach, there is no dock, so it is better to get off barefoot or in flip-flops.

Arriving to bolaños island
Arriving to bolaños island.

Bolaños Island

We arrived and at Sony Island Resort (it´s the name of the resort, no the island) they gave us a little orientation of the services that are on the island and the activities that can be done.

You can safely leave your things, only the workers who came with you on the catamaran are on the island.

Take a snorkel gear and the things you needed to enjoy the beach, glasses, cap, sunscreen and of course, the cameras, the rest such as clothes and a towel, leave them.

We went to see the other beach of Bolaños Island, you walk a path of maybe 100m and you reach it.

On both sides there are beach chairs, all under the shade of the trees, of course you can move if you want to lie down Sun.

beach of bolaños island
Beach on the other side.

Some of my friends went snorkelling, they informed us that starfish are seen, but that day the water was cloudy so nothing was seen.

Then we walk along the beach to see the cave, it is super small, but above it, going up the rocks, there are beautiful views.

It is not advisable to continue hiking on the rocks, it is very dangerous, just get there.

Rocks that are above the cave on  bolaños island
Rocks that are above the cave. Photo by Josias.

After spending a while on the beach and touring that side of the island, I started to get hungry and it was time to go eat (note, when they arrive they will ask you what you are going to eat, that day they offered hamburger or tilapia fillet with rice, salad potatoes and pasta).

Lunch is started at 11:30 a.m. like until 1:00 p.m., we went at 12:30 p.m. one personally looks for the drinks, but the food is brought to your table.

Restaurant on bolaños island
Restaurant overlooking the sea.
lunch
My lunch: tilapia fillet, pasta, rice, and potato salad.

Once we had lunch we went to the first beach of Bolaños Island, we wanted to do Paddle and we only thought about that, the weather was not good, because the board is paddlesurf and there were some little waves.

So, there was no person who did not fall or go dragged hahaha, for my part, I’ll be honest, pose for a photo, sitting on the table and, even so, I lie down.

Bolaños island
Beach where the boat arrives.

Some guys decided to play volleyball and others a game that I don’t know what it is hahaha.

It’s like throwing a bag and it enters a hole that is at the other side and the one who has more points wins.

People enjoying beach games
People enjoying beach games.

Facilities

On Bolaños Island, the camping is also offered (they are very beautiful and have ocean views), they will soon have cabins (I want to stay there), also with ocean views.

The stay includes lunch (the same as the day trip), and if you want to have dinner, there is a restaurant where you can do it.

There is an open shower, just like in the beach clubs, great for getting rid of some sand and there are toilets.

There are also several benches with tables under the trees.

Camping
Campsite overlooking the sea.

I was one of those who wanted to enjoy the island until the last moment and I almost came back in a bathing suit, hahaha, because there is only one shower and 2 toilets, one for men and one for women, so there were several of us in line.

Surprise on the way back

On the way back, inside the catamaran it felt a bit hot and that was making me dizzy, so I went outside and stayed there.

The breeze was really nice and the sun was already going down, plus I was in the shadow.

Yet the sea was a bit wild, so it might you get all wet.

On the other hand, it was great because we saw a lot, really a lot of dolphins, like about 20 more than I have seen in the sightings.

It was like the finishing touch of the trip, the captain slowed down so we could see them and was literally swimming right next to us.

Summary

  • The beaches are beautiful, with slow waves and white sand.
  • It is a relaxing, quiet place to enjoy it in peace.
  • I recommend the place for people who want to disconnect from the city and go to a beautiful and quiet place.
  • It is ideal for couples and adults in general.
  • Also, you may see dolphins and whales along the trip.

Note: there is a cell phone signal on the island, I had a signal for most of the trip.

bolaños island

Advices

  • Use sunscreen,
  • Sunglasses,
  • Wear shoes that can get wet, when getting off the boat your feet will get wet,
  • If you want to snorkel, bring your mask, although there is complete equipment, the one you have may not fit you,
  • Do not wait until the last minute to remove the salt or change, there may be lines in the shower and toilets,
  • The bag or backpack that you carry with your things, make sure that it has a closure, since from the catamaran to the island you can get on the boat and in the change of transport you can drop something into the sea.

Hours

  • From Thursday to Sunday,
  • 7:30 am. to 3:30 p.m. (time of departure from the ports). It is a day trip.
tables on bolaños island

Prices

  • $98 adults – day pass *.
  • $20 pets.
  • $118.00 Camping (day trip, tent and inflatable mattress) *.
  • $132.00 camping delux (day trip, tent, inflatable mattress, pillow and sheets) *.

* Includes: catamaran trip, lunch, snacks, water, soda, use of the facilities and aquatic equipment such as snorkeling and paddle boarding. There are also drinks on the catamaran.

You have to book in advance.

Sea Las Perlas is the only company that offers trip to that Island, more information can be visited on its website.

Spanish and English.

How to get to Bolaños Island?

The departure port is in Flamenco Island, arrive at the photographic parador (huge Panama sign and walk to the left.

You will pass some parking lots and at the end of the right side is the entrance to the dock (from the parador it is about 100m).

Then You must do the Check In, then go down to take the catamaran, be careful, there are several, ask which is the one that goes to Bolaños Island.

Other places you may like

One of the views along the way
One of the views along the way.



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