All the tips and information you need to arrive at this ocean paradise
How to actually get to the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro is one of the most frequently asked questions that so many of our world travelers ask themselves before deciding whether or not to visit us. In this article we unravel the travel complexity and outline the simplest and easiest routes to arrive in our little nook of paradise:
To start at the very beginning, the path you choose to get to the island is going to depend on both …
- Your time, that is, how quickly you want to arrive.
- Your money, the budget you have calculated for this adventure.
Taking both of these variables into account, you can begin to weigh your personal pros and cons regarding which route will be best for arriving in Bocas del Toro. The two most straightforward and uncomplicated options are taking a plane or a bus.
A one-way flight from Panama City to Bocas del Toro costs between $110-130 USD, and if you buy a round-trip it will ultimately come out to being somewhere between $210 – 250 USD. ( Discounts are sometimes available, but I wouldn’t count on it!). To make your reservation with AirPanama you just have to enter www.airpanama.com and set the flight path to BOC from PAC.
AirPanama flies to Bocas del Toro from Albrook Airport (PAC, also known as Marcos A. Gelabert Airport), so it is absolutely vital to clarify that you would like a flight originating from this airportand not Tocumen (PTY), the international airport you use to get to Panama.
To get to Albrook, Panama’s domestic airport, from Tocumen International Airport we recommend that you download and contract a ride across the city using the Uber application on your smartphone. Uber will provide transportation for the 30-minute ride at a much cheaper rate than the typical city taxi and can be quite handy if you don’t have any US currency on hand, as taxi drivers tend to usually take only cash for their fares.
Now that you have decided to travel to the island via plane, you have another choice at your disposal: how to finally arrive at your hotel/hostal/lodging. You have two options:
– Walk. Small and homey, Bocas del Toro is enjoyable to so many because of its easily walkable layout. There are high chances that if your lodging is located in town, the walk will not be very long, likely only about 10 minutes! But, if you are lugging heavy bags, exhausted from the travel, towing a surfboard or aren’t in the best physical condition, perhaps this is not the most comfortable option for you.
– Take a taxi. The bright yellow trucks that zoom along our streets should cost you only $1 USD and they are frequent visitors at the airport, ready for you when you need them. However, if you do not find any or all are full, we recommend that you walk to the 2 minutes from the airport to our local central park where you will find many taxi options to get to your final destination.
– Take a water taxi (if your lodging is not on Isla Colon). Whether you are headed to Isla Solarte, Isla Carenero or Isla Bastimentos, water taxis are very easy to catch and run almost as often as normal land taxis. All you have to do at the dock is tell the captain the name of your lodging, load up your bag, and off you go! Distances vary depending upon location but the 2-10 minutes rides will likely cost between $2-5 USD per person.
If flying isn’t for you or if you want to save quite a bit of money, a night bus from Panama City will be your best option. It costs $30 USD each direction and lasts around 10-11 hours. Don’t be afraid of the hefty travel time, we are confident that the blasting AC, reclining seats and overnight element will lull you to sleep in no time at all!
Once the journey is over, you will get off the bus at the last stop on Panama’s mainland before entering the archipelago, Almirante. From the bus stop you must take a $1 USD taxi to the boat station. From there, you will take a water taxi to the island of Isla Colon. The boat trip lasts around 30 minutes and costs $6 USD. We recommend that you do it with the company Taxi 25 for ease and reliability!
During the day, water taxis leave every 30 minutes. But, when planning your travel, it is very important that you make sure that the bus you choose will reach Almirante before 6pm since that is the time the last boat leaves the island.
So, how do you buy this night bus ticket?
Tickets are sold at the Albrook Mall terminal. The best way to get to the terminal from the international airport (PTY) is using the Uber smartphone application, or via taxi as a second resort.Departure times are 6pm, 6:30 pm and 7pm. You can buy your ticket the day of, just remember not to cut the timing too close in case space runs out or you miss the last bus and end up having to stay over in Panama City an extra night! .
Hopefully this information will help you and you can visit our beautiful island soon!
If you are interested in making any reservation with our hotel you can easily do it online by clicking here
Written by Martina Alvarez
English edition by Maria Mc Donough