Bocas del Toro has quickly become one of Panama’s biggest travel destinations. With so many new hostels, beach bungalows, surf camps and other accommodations opening on the many Bocas del Toro islands its no wonder that Bocas is THE backpacking destination in the Caribbean Central American coast.
Bocas del Toro, being so remote from the rest of Panama makes it more expensive than other places to visit. But with the right advice you can travel and explore this incredible archipelago on a backpackers budget.
Here are some tips on staying beachfront and enjoying Bocas del Toro on a backpackers budget:
Tip #1: Where to Stay
Pukalani Hostal: Located just 5 kilometers out of Bocas Town, Pukalani Hostal offers shared and private rooms for rent. Shared dorms with air conditioning and private bathrooms are only $15.00 a night. With that you get a beachfront pool, a delicious restaurant (with the best coffee on the island) and you get to enjoy their many activities such as surfing tours & lessons, kayaking, and of course their famous Full Moon Parties.
Gran Kahuna Beach Hostal: Just a quick 2 minute boat ride from Bocas Town is the new Gran Kahuna Beach Hostal, located at the old ‘Doña Mara’ hotel on Carenero Island. Once located in the center of Bocas Town, this hostel took everything and moved to an even better located right in front of a white sand beach. With beds starting from just only $10– Gran Kahuna Beach Hostal is a real bargain. Walk to the surf, go snorkeling, try stand up paddeling and explore the reef of Carenero Island– Gran Kahuna has everything that every backpacker is looking for.
Tip #2: Where to Eat
El Ultimo Refugio: Over the water and probably one of the most charming restaurants in Bocas, El Ultimo Refugio offers specials for backpackers in Bocas del Toro. Delicious salads made with fresh local, organic greens, fresh local caught tuna seared to perfection, and hosting one of the best bars in Bocas del Toro, El Ultimo Refugio is a BocasDelToro.Travel favorite.
Om Cafe & Bar: The only Indian restaurant in Bocas del Toro, Om Cafe & Bar, started operations in 2001. Located in the heart of Bocas Town, overlooking the municipal building, Om Cafe offers a wide variety of breakfast and dinner options, both spicey and non-spicey. Special deals are offered to backpackers staying in hostels.
Tip #3: Where to Play
Finca Los Monos – Botanical Garden: This beautiful tour offers guests the chance to really appreciate the beauty of Bocas del Toro’s flora and fauna. Nested in the isthmus of Isla Colon Bocas del Toro, Finca Los Monos has a pool where guest can splash around and enjoy a natural setting. Go on tour and see the many plants and wildlife that make up this majestic garden.
BocasSailing.com: The most environmentally friendly way to explore the Bocas del Toro archipelago: on a catamaran. Daily tours leave at 9:30AM and explore all the key spots in Bocas del Toro. Come with your friends, jump on board, and let the captain take you to some of the best snorkeling spots in Bocas del Toro. Special rates are provided for guests at hostels. Just ask!