If you come to Bocas Del Toro and do not go on a boat trip through the archipelago you have missed the whole reason for coming. There are nine big islands and maybe a thousand small islands and they are beautiful.
Two companies in Bocas Del Toro do a great job taking visitors on all day boat tours. There are also all kinds of “boat boy tours” which I do not recommend. These boats operate off the street and do not have established offices. The captains are not always licensed and the price they quote may not be the price you pay. The Tour Companies and are not really more expensive and they know how to get you there and back safely.
Transparente Tours is Panamanian owned and operated with four great tours, we recommend their tour ”Number One” if you are in Bocas for a short time. This is a smorgasbord tour that allows you to see the dolphins, go snorkeling twice, go to Red Frog Beach and eat at a Panamanian Restaurant over the sea for lunch all in one day. The tour lasts from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm and the cost is $ 26.25 per person (credit cards are accepted). Transparente’s other tours are great if you have more time.
Jampan Tours are another great tour company. The Canadian couple who run it are always coming up with interesting tours. Their “Number One” tour includes seeing the dolphins, lunch, Punta Solarte for a jungle tour, snorkeling and Red Frog beach. This tour is $25 per person and leaves Bocas at 9.30 am and returns around 4.00 pm. Their Chocolate Plantation tour is great and you meet Willy Wonka, priced according to number of people, just ask.
Jampan will also arrange private trips for your family or group. These trips go where you want to go. Ask them for a price. It will depend on how far you are going, for how long and the number of people going.
The Catamaran Tour features sailing and snorkeling on a large Cat that leaves every day at 9.30 am and returns at 4.30 pm. This tour includes lunch, all gear and fruit and goes to different reefs for snorkeling than other tours. Prices are $44 adults, $37 students and $33 children. They are located downtown past the ferry.
The above recommended tours are run by licensed and experienced Bocas people and their tours are always fun and worth the money. Other tours are available but check them out and make sure you are comfortable with the owners and staff before you sign up.
There are private boat captains who will arrange private tours just ask for references and make sure they are licensed captains. The price will vary depending on how far you are going, for how long, and how many people. Many of the hotels and bed and breakfasts will help you arrange a tour with a licensed captain.