The beaches of Bocas del Toro are so beautiful that you don´t want to leave.
From the moment you arrive, you feel the relaxed atmosphere, you see the calm and crystalline waters, the bright colors of the hotels and the boats, it is like getting in another world.
Imagine leaving at night, 7:00 p.m. from Panama City, with the traffic jam, the noise of the horns and to wake up in Colón Island, it is like having a new beginning.
Even, there are many foreigners who have decided to stay, live and work there and of course with that paradise why not?
What to see or do in Colón Island?
You can do a tour by boat and with stops at some spots (cost range from $20.00 to $35.00), also, you can take the public transport, bicycle or quad.
Playa Estrellas (Seastars Beach)
On the shore of this beautiful beach, of crystalline waters, you can appreciate the starfish, you can take a photo with them, please do not take them out of water and do not touch them.
Unfortunately, the tour leaves you on the beach´s shore, you get fascinate with them, you take the photos and then when you go out to eat something, you realize there is a signal with the indications.
I already knew, I couldn´t take them out the water, not even a bit, because they die, but I didn´t know, that they couldn´t be touched.
It is better if the previous day it has not rained because, if it rains, they go to deeper waters and you may see a few starfish or none.
If you are lucky, you can see dolphins and sloths, in my case, the first time that I went I could see dolphins and this time, I saw a sloth.
Aquí puede paHere you can spend an afternoon calm, there are also several restaurants, the meals are about $13,00, beware of the vegetarian meal, believe it or not, it is just rice and salad.
It is a quiet beach, you can spend half a day, enjoy its waters, it also has restaurants.
It is one of the sought-after beach for surfing, and if you don´t know how to surf and you would love to do it, in the Isla colon Town offers courses.
In this place, the sea turtles also nest, if you are interested in this activity, you can ask in a tour operator or in your hotel for a guide, you will need special light, because you can scare away the turtles, for which they would go back to the sea and they would not lay their eggs, you can do this tour in July and August.
Fair of the Sea in Colón Island
It takes places in mid-September, month in which it rains Little in the Bocas del Toro Islands, it is the opportunity to visit the Island, go to the fair, enjoy the activities with the locals and taste those delicious Bocas meals
Although it another island, it is very close to Colón Island, which is why it is normally included in the tour for the island, it is very small and it is prohibited to hike on it because of it is a protect Island.
The best time to go is at 6:00 a.m. and at 6:00 p.m. which is when a big number of birds can be seen, but there are no tours at that time, also, the number of birds depends of the date, due to migration.
Pájaros island is one of the 10 wonders of Panama.
Isla de los Deseos (Wishes Island)
It is a few meters from Colón Island, on the other side of the town, you can get there by swimming.
However, you cannot go to the island, due to its own shape, you practically have to climb it, also it is really close to Pájaros Island.
There is one option, to come inside the cave by snorkeling, yet you have to know how to swim very well. It is not mentioned in the tours, and although you can see it in Google Maps, it does not say the name.
Botanical Garden or Monkeys Farm
Linda and Dave´s private garden, you will see a variety of edible bananas and fruits, tropical fishes, frogs, dragonflies, birds, howler monkeys, among others.
They bought the land as their home, they arranged it, in such a way they have made this jungle a beautiful garden, they did not destroy it, it is apt to walk and to appreciate the place, with the greatness of nature.
La visita se puede realizar los lunes a 1pm y los viernes a las 8:30 a.m.
- $10.00 general entrance fee.
- $5.00 for resident and retirees entrance fee.
This is a good way to explore the island, you can know the town, it is not very large, yet you can go to other nearby places and even to beaches.
Cost: $2.00 per hour.
Quad (4 wheels motorcycle)
If you like adrenaline a little more and you want to go into terrains that you otherwise could not, you can rent a Quad and tour the island.
Cost per Quad
- $110 per 4 hours.
- $140 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- $50.00 per day (but the cost is from the second day of the rental).
- $10.00 additional person on the Quad (a passenger).
Snorkeling at Punta Caracol
It other options that the tours usually have, you can see the coral reefs and colorful fishes from the Caribbean.
The guide/boatman will provide you with the necessary equipment (ask for the equipment before to take the tour) and if you do not how to swim, do not worry, they put you the life jacket on you, so you can use it to snorkel and enjoy this activity, my mother, she is 60 years old, did it and she was regretted to do not having done it on the other tours.
Although Colón Island is a really quiet place, it also has its own parties spots, the most famous is Barco Hundido, also, there are others.
Others things you can do
- Horseback tour,
- Visit to Smithsonian,
- Cooking courses,
- Painting course,
- Yoga workshops,
- And probably many others things that I still do not know.
How to get to Colón Island?
It is the best option, by the moment there is only one airline, Air Panama, that makes flights from Panama City, it takes one hour.
The departure is from Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport (PAC) in Albrook (not Albrook Mall), the cost is about $205.00, round trip.
They are at Albrook Bus Terminal (Gran Terminal Nacional de Transporte de Albrook) (it is a few meters from Albrook Mall), the trip takes 11 hours, the buses are not uncomfortable, but it can be tired.
The trip until Almirante costs $27.80.
- Panama- Almirante 6:00 p.m., 6:30p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
- Almirante – Panamá 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
It is better to consult for the Schedules, they can change
- Albrook (Panama): (+507) 303-6326
- Almirante (Bocas del Toro): (+507) 758-3278
- Changuinola (Bocas del Toro): (+507) 758-8455
- Chiriquí Grande (Bocas del Toro): (+507) 756-9631
From there you take a taxi to the dock, $1,00 per person, the taxi drivers know at what time the buses arrive and they are waiting for the passengers to take them to the dock.
The taxi is shared with other people. The trip takes 1 or 2 minutes.
Then you have to take a boat to Colon Island, the trip takes 30 minutes.
For Panamanians, the ticket costs $5.00 and $6.00 for the foreigners.
This is a total of: $33.80 each way, $67.60 round trip.
You can buy the round-trip boat ticket, $8.00 for Panamanians (you save two dollars), you only have to keep very well the ticket and to be very early to the trip back, because if you miss the boat, you will miss the bus, the boat leave every 30 minutes.
I recommend you to buy the bus ticket (to arrive), the day before, you can only do it at Albrook Bus Terminal and you can buy the back ticket in Colón Island at Taxi25, also you must buy it previously to your trip, it is just to make sure your trip, especially in the high season.
This is the option the one that I recommend the least, because of the way from Chiriquí to Almirante is just for expert drivers on this road, it has precipices and for what I have heard, many people have gone downhill.
Yet, if you decide for this option, you can even take your car to Colón Island or leave it at a parking lot for these cases in Almirante.