Probably one of the most popular questions regarding Bocas del Toro is how to get here. We decided to show the best ways to reach the Bocas islands.
There are two ways to arrive to the Bocas islands.
By plane is definitely the fastest way. On Bocas del Toro you will find the Bocas del Toro International Airport, flights arrive from both Panama City and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Air Panama from Albrook Airport in Panama City has two flights daily, and will sometimes add more flights during the high season. There are also direct flights from Tocumen Airport several times a week, check with Air Panama for the latest schedule and rates.
Nature Air from Pavas Airport in San Jose, CR flies to Bocas del Toro 3 to 4 times a week depending on the time of year.
Another my economical option is by bus.
There are direct buses from Panama City that leave 2 to 3 times per day from Albrook Terminal and stop at the bus stop in Almirante for $28 per person. From the bus stop in Almirante you will need to take a taxi to the water taxis for about $1 per person and then take a water taxi for about $5 per person to Isla Colon. Don’t forget to bring a decent jacket or blanket; these buses are famous for turning up the AC to the point of refrigeration.
There are also regular buses that leave from David, Chiriqui about every hour from the bus terminal to the bus stop in Almirante for about $8.50 per person. From the bus stop in Almirante you will need to take a taxi to the water taxis for about $1 per person and then take a water taxi for about $5 per person to Isla Colon.
From San Jose, Costa Rica: The Bocatoreño bus leaves from in front of the Hotel Cocorí in downtown San Jose just half a block (or 50 metros in San Jose speak) from the Alfaro Bus Terminal at 9AM every day. The bus costs $14 per person and takes you to Changuinola. You will have to walk across the Sixaola bridge and pass the immigrations on both the Costa Rican side and the Panamanian side of the border, but you will not have to take you luggage off the bus. From Changuinola you can either take a bus to the water taxis in Almirante for $1.45 per person or you can take a taxi for about $10 – $15 per person. Then take a water taxi for about $5 per person to Isla Colon.
The easiest way to arrive from San Jose, Costa Rica is with Caribe Shuttle, a shuttle service. This package will include everything: lunch and all transportation fees. The Caribe Shuttle guide will assist you with the immigration process leaving Panama and checking into Costa Rica and vice versa.
Enjoy lunch at Banana Azul where you will spend an hour or two having lunch and enjoying this beautiful little resort hotel on the beach in Puerto Viejo. (Order anything you like on the menu, drinks not included).