Bocas del Toro, Panama

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Bocas del Toro or “Mouth of the Bull” is an archipelago consisting of 9 main islands, 52 cays, and over a thousand islets. The main islands are Isla Colon, Isla Carenero, Isla Bastimentos, Isla Solarte, Isla Popa, Cayo Zapatillas, Cayo de Agua, Isla Shepard and Isla San Cristobal. Bocas Town, on the main island of Isla Colon, is where you’ll find most of your restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Water taxis are the main transit throughout the the islands. Traveling between islands is relatively inexpensive ($1.00 one way) depending on where you’re going. However, if you plan on going to Red Frog Beach or further islands, expect to pay between $5.00-$20.00 one way. Starfish Beach, which is located on Isla del Drago, costs only $5.00 round-trip from Bocas Town. The name Starfish Beach came from the many cushion stars that surround the beach. Also, there is a small reef located about 100 feet offshore that you can snorkel and enjoy marine life. We saw a shark and 2 octopus! If scuba diving is more your speed, head over to La Buga Dive & Surf for morning, afternoon or night dives. They teach discover scuba diving courses all the way to divemaster. Tony and the rest of the staff are super friendly and are as passionate about diving as we are. During the last few minutes of my second dive, I had a small remora (shark sucker) come up and swim between my legs up until I got back onto the boat! For those who enjoy the nightlife, Bocas is the place to be. Each night, different hostels host parties which go late into the night. I prefer staying in quieter hostels so when I’m ready to go to bed I can catch some sleep. All of the party hostels are open to the public each night, so anyone can enter and when you have your fair share of alcohol you can go back to your hostel. Otherwise, most of the parties go until 4:00-5:00 in the morning so getting sleep can be difficult. Bocas attracts a lot of young partiers, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the serenity of these islands. Now, we’ve made it across the border into Costa Rica where we’ll be spending the next few weeks.

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