Just a couple of hours from Puerto Viejo, across the border in Panama, is the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, a unique bustling set of islands where a boat is an ideal way to get around. The restaurants, bars, and hotels are built on stilts right on the water and the island lifestyle rules.
Our Bocas del Toro trips include round trip transportation from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro via shared van and then on by boat to the islands and your choice of accommodation – either an midrange option with stunning views on Isla Solarte, a superior option on the main island, or a deluxe option with over the water suites. Breakfast is included and depending on how many days you stay, an afternoon activity or a full day tour is also included. Our deluxe option also includes dinner. For an extra charge, it is also possible to return to San Jose by land or air.
After picking you up at your hotel, you will travel to Sixaola by microbus, which is a town on the border with Panama. You will cross the Rio Sixaola, pass through immigration and then take another minivan to Almirante. Finally, a small passenger boat will take us to Bocastown on Isla Colon. Depending on where you stay in Bocas, you will have to take another taxi boat ride to Isla Solarte or Punta Caracol, or you walk to your hotel on the main island.
If you stay one night, you can either go snorkeling or deep boarding in the afternoon (deep boarding is not available for the deluxe option) before enjoying an excellent dinner in Bocastown or at your lodge. You are free to discover the islands or relax on a secluded beach the next morning. At noon, you will commence the trip back to Puerto Viejo.
If you stay two nights, you will have the rest of the day available to relax, discover one of the nearby islands or walk around town. On the second day, you will go on a full day tour. You can chose between the following options:
Colon Expeditions: Swim and have fun at the beautiful Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach), snorkel on the best reefs around Isla Colon, explore a hidden jungle river by boat, visit the “Jurassic Park-like” Isla Pajaros (Bird Island) and fly underwater with the Anfibia board
The Big Tour: Experience a culture immersion into an indigenous community, hike into the jungle and see an incredible diversity of wildlife, discover astonishing secret beaches where it will just be us, savor a traditional indigenous-made lunch and snorkel around the best Bocas coral reefs
After a day on and in the water, you can enjoy the evening in Bocastown or at your lodge, returning to Puerto Viejo the next day after breakfast. If you require an additional morning to explore the world of Bocas, we can also schedule you for the afternoon shuttle (not possible for San Jose).
If you stay three nights, you will have one day to explore Bocas del Toro on your own or just relax on the beach. For an extra charge, we can also pick you up and drop you off in Cahuita and San Jose. Or you can choose to fly from and to San Jose, although flights are not available every day.
You choose the grade of luxury
Our standard package comes with the choice of a more midrange option, the upgrade to a more luxury option or spoil yourself with our deluxe option. All places have charm, and we believe that you get good value for your money. The midrange option is on Isla Solarte and offers a mix of hostel and hotel with a great pool, water slide into the sea and spectacular views for sunsets. Our superior option is in Bocastown but has all the amenities you could want with a fantastic view over the water. The deluxe option is a real getaway and you can not only enjoy dinner under the stars but also sleep over the water.
Bambuda Lodge – Midrange
Bambuda Lodge is on Isla Solarte, just a 5-minute taxi-boat ride from Bocastown. It overlooks a private bay with a coral reef and provides incredible views of the mountainous spine of mainland Panama. The lodge is on 14 acres of pristine tropical rainforest. The main building has large spacious decks out front for lounging or sunbathing around the massive swimming pool. The lodge offers a mix of dorm and private rooms. The private rooms are located in the second house at the back of the property, away from the front building. They also offer Jungle Bungalows, which are little domes hidden away in the jungle. Breakfast and free WiFi are included. Children under the age of 16 are not accepted.
The accommodation offers spacious rooms, private bathrooms, handmade wooden beds, deluxe mattresses and hot water showers. The wrap-around veranda has a huge day bed and offers views of the ocean and jungle.
Tropical Suites – Superior
This oceanfront boutique hotel offers 16 suites with either inland or ocean view. It is ideally situated in the heart of beautiful Bocas del Toro. Resting on the tranquil Caribbean shoreline, the hotel is a short stroll to fantastic, over the water restaurants, and an eclectic mix of shops. In addition to incredible ocean view suites, the hotel’s modern concrete construction provides a quiet and comfortable refuge for the discerning traveler. it is a great choice for everybody who likes to try out restaurants, enjoys a drink in one of the various bars but still have a room with certain amenities.
All rooms come with two double beds or a king size bed, private balcony (built over the water or with a town center view), generous bathroom with double sink vanity, premium LCD flat screen TV, fully equipped kitchen with mini fridge, coffee maker, air-conditioning and complimentary WiFi. It also includes an over the water, cooked to order breakfast.
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge – Deluxe
Deep within the heavenly waters of the Caribbean, Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge brings the easy-going rhythms of the secluded Islands. Learn how to coexist with the advance systems of renewable energy like the solar panels that provide electricity to the cabins or the bio-digestor that debugs sewage waters avoiding any type of pollution impact on the environment. At night, the restaurant’s impressive palm leaf roof creates the perfect surrounding for a candlelight dinner that offers a variety of Caribbean and International dishes.
Enjoy one of its exclusive cabins where you will have access to crystal clear waters from your private terrace or you will be able to observe the impressive sunset interrupted only by playful dolphins. Feel immerse by the sounds of nature while laying down on a colonial style bed at the second level master bedroom, or just relax with a hot water shower on your private bathroom after an exited tour of the area.
|Duration:||2 days/1 night, 3 days/2 nights or 4 days/3 nights|
|Cost per person:||2 day/1 night package: from $185 p/p (midrange), $225 p/p (superior) or $345 p/p (deluxe)
3 day/2 night package: from $285 p/p (midrange), $345 p/p (superior) or $655 p/p (deluxe)
4 day/3 night package: from $365 p/p (midrange), $465 p/p (superior) or $915 p/p (deluxe)
Note – Rates are not valid for holiday seasons and are based on low season prices
|Includes:||Round trip transportation from Puerto Viejo area hotels to Isla Solarte, Bocastown, or Punta Caracol in Bocas del Toro, Panama • Lodging in one of our partner hotels • Deluxe option includes all meals • Local activity or full day tour • Gecko Trail Costa Rica service charge|
|Not included:||Exit fee ($8) to be paid on Costa Rica side of the border • Bocas airport departure tax ($15 – $20) for those choosing to travel on by air option • Additional charge for pickup in Cahuita or San Jose • Single supplement if single room(s) needed • Transportation to and from tour(s)|
|What to bring:||Change of clothes, bathing suit, sunglasses, sunscreen, towel, repellent, passport and onward ticket leaving Costa Rica (or Panama if you are ending the tour there) for border crossing.|