Everything from low budget beachfront hostels to luxury adult-only resorts, Bocas del Toro has it all. This 2015 there are plenty of reasons why you should visit Bocas del Toro. If you’re not sure where to stay check out our selection of the top Bocas del Toro hotels in 2015.
Choosing the Right Island for Your Panama Vacation
There are a wide variety of Bocas del Toro hotels perfect for a Caribbean vacation. On-the-grid accommodations include Isla Colon, Carenero Island, and Isla Bastimentos. Most of the Bocas del Toro hotels, hostels, camping lodges, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals and on one of these islands.
Bocas Town is the hub of the archipelago and has most of the stores, bars, and tour operators. Outside of Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro life is quieter and nature is more abundant. Almost all the roads on the island are paved and it’s easy to call taxis to move around during most of the day and night.
Carenero and Bastimentos islands have similar hotels, hostels, and accommodation options of Bocas Town. The main difference is the lack of roads making getting around more difficult. However, if you want to be close enough to enjoy the nightlife, but far enough to be in a natural, small town setting, try out these islands.
The remaining islands are mostly off-the-grid accommodations and are much more remote. There are fewer restaurants and no nightlife. These accommodations will provide an experience rich with lots of daily activities in nature and quiet, peaceful nights.
Top Luxury Bocas del Toro Hotels
Popa Paradise Beach Resort – Isla Popa
Popa Paradise is an all-inclusive resort that is not only among the best in Bocas del Toro but also adults-only – so you can enjoy some R&R without getting interrupted by squealing kids. Stay in their variety of accommodations ranging from private beachfront casitas just for two to plush luxurious suites perfect for a group of friends. Enjoy their white sand beach all to yourselves or hang out at the infinity pool sipping on a delicious tropical cocktail while soaking in views of the world-famous Cayos Zapatillas islands.
What to do here: Private sailing tours, Zapatilla islands tour, spa services
Palma Royale Hotel – Bocas Town, Isla Colon
Looking for something in Bocas Town with all the extras? Look no further- Palma Royale has it all. Ask about their 2-bedroom penthouse- it just doesn’t get better than this. Complete with 2 designer bath rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, jacuzzi tub and a spacious wraparound balcony with hammock, the only thing this hotel overlooks is the sea. Before heading out to dinner stop by the bar for some of the best cocktails in Bocas Town.
What to do here: Go diving and sailing tours
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa – Red Frog Beach, Isla Bastimentos
Red Frog Beach is not only one of Panama’s top beach destinations but also home to Panama’s #1 luxury beachfront community. Stay in one of their modern, private villas and enjoy the best of what Bocas del Toro has to offer – really. This tropical paradise boasts the best views, the most natural surrounding possible, and all the commodities you would expect in any luxury accommodation. The panoramic views and beaches of Red Frog are some of the best in the islands. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway for two or rent a large 6-bedroom luxury villa for you and your friends, Red Frog has it all.
What to do: Zipline the forest canopy, horseback riding, jungle tours, beach hikes, surfing, yoga
Top Value Bocas del Toro Hotels
Turtle Beach House – Bluff Beach, Isla Colon
One of Bocas del Toro newest bed and breakfasts, this charming 4-bedroom beachfront accommodation is located in front of Bluff Beach on Isla Colon. If you haven’t heard of Bluff Beach then you should know that it’s one of Panama’s top beaches closest to Bocas Town. About 30-minutes out of Bocas Town, this bed and breakfast offers comfort, relax and adventure all in one package. The owners are very helpful and can set up any activity you want. If your looking to unplug from the rest of the world, this is the perfect option.
What to do here: Go horseback riding, ATVing through the jungle, jungle hikes, advanced surfing
Hotel Tierra Verde – Isla Carenero
Only a few minutes boat ride from Bocas Town this small Caribbean style family-run bed and breakfast offers a real island experience. Hotel Tierra Verde offers standard rooms but if your coming with a group of friends ask about two-bedroom suite with views of the Caribbean sea and Carenero island jungle. The owners are helpful and if your looking for the top activities in the islands they will provide the best advice you can find- and it’s no wonder- they have been here for over 15 years surfing Bocas and enjoying the best it has to offer.
What to do here: Walk to the surf, go island hopping, stand up paddle to Hospital Point
Sand Dollar Beach Bed & Breakfast – Isla Colon
Only 5-minutes outside of Bocas Town is Sand Dollar Beach Bed & Breakfast, a great choice for couples and families. This beautiful, charming Caribbean style home has colorful, comfortable rooms all complete with large ceiling fans, big decks and only steps away from the beach. Go on a boat tour and explore the islands from this B&B or stay here and learn how to paint and cook. It’s location is perfect for people looking to get away from it all.
What do do here: Painting and cooking classes, private Spanish lessons
Monkey Tree Bocas – Big Creek, Isla Colon
Monkey Tree is a group of small jungle vacation rentals just outside Bocas Town and only steps from the beach. Each home has a deck looking out into the jungle- don’t be surprised if you see monkeys, sloths, parrots or any other type of wild animal right from your bedroom’s window. Monkey Tree is a private retreat for nature lovers.
What to do here: Surfing, skating at nearby ramp, hang out at nearby beaches
Up in the Hill – Isla Bastimentos
Located at the highest point of Bastimentos island are the ‘Up in the Hill’ eco-lodges, all hand made by the owners. The two cabins sit on a bluff overlooking Paunch and Bluff Beach on Isla Colon and the Caribbean Sea. The cool Caribbean breeze and the shade from the tall trees will provide a comfortable setting. Disconnect from the rest of the world and reconnect with nature at this beautiful yet rustic location.
What to do here: Organic farm tour, hike Bastimentos beaches, surfing
Top Budget Bocas del Toro Hotels
Pukalani Hostal – Big Creek, Isla Colon
Located outside of Bocas Town, Pukalani Hostel offers shared and private rooms with a pool and beach. Only a few minutes walk to the surf this is the perfect place to stay if you want to stay outside of town but enjoy the natural beauty of Bocas del Toro without leaving the main island of Isla Colon.
What to do here: Standup paddling, snorkeling, surfing, private island boat trips
Tungara Hostels – Bocas Town, Isla Colon
In the heart of Bocas Town is Tungara Hostels, one of Bocas del Toro’s best quality budget hostels in Panama. This budget hostel in Bocas del Toro with affordable rates and an international backpacker vibe is also home to Tunga Bar- check out live surf competitions, soccer games and live DJs while drinking the best and coldest imported beers in Bocas. This hostel has shared dorm rooms and private rooms.
Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel – Isla Carenero
Isla Carenero is the closest island to isla Colon and the perfect getaway for visitors looking to enjoy a small island experience without being off the grid. Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel is an excellent choice- learn to surf with their in-house surf school, enjoy their beachfront restaurant, ask the owners about volunteering in their organic garden or just stay here while exploring the Bocas islands. Imagine waking up, grabbing a hot cup of coffee and watching the sunrise at the beach- it’s totally possible from this beachfront hostel. There are shared and private rooms available.
What to do here: Learn to surf, hang out on the beach, gardening