Bocas del Toro:
Where we stayed:
•Loved this!! It’s a group of islands so you can island hop around for a good week!
• We stayed in Selina (Bocas Town – Isla Colon). 11/10 recommend. So nice again and great craic. If you see a Selina’s anywhere defo stay in them. There are loads around central America and they are all v safe and fun.
• Isla Colon: this is the main island where most of the parties are and airport also here. You can walk everywhere and has nice restaurants too.
What we did:
- We rented a bike to cycle to bluff beach which is a huge isolated beach. It was amazing and had huge waves too!
- You can do boat snorkel tours here, rent quads, paddle boards, but mostly drink so fun!
- Red Frog beach: a beach on Bastimentos island which is much more chilled and relaxing. There is a Selina hostel there too which is gorgeous.
- The other islands are up you if you want to go. There are some gorgeous, isolated hostels on The Solarte island if you want.
- Be there for a Friday! – Filthy friday’s are an all day drinking party which is a pub crawl on a few islands and ends in Selina in Bocas town. Unreal
We flew from Bocas town to Panama City – highly recommend. Cost €109 for 45 mins versus 13 hour bus (unsure of price).
Where to stay:
We stayed in Occidental hotel which was very nice and modern. It had a very nice buffet breakfast and a very cool sushi bar inside. It was a good location and I would recommend a hotel here for more of a safe experience.
*Disclaimer – I was given a discounted rate for us to stay at the Occidental however all views and opinions are my own.*
What we did:
- Shopping! Multiplaza mall for a spot of shopping (Zara, forever 21,Nike, Gucci etc).
- We did the hop on hop off bus tour for a day to see the Panama Canal, Old town and whole city really. I would recommend. If you have time spend a while at the canal museum – very impressive.
Where we ate:
- If you like Thai food – P.F. Chang’s is a restaurant here which was delicious!
- Hard Rock Hotel has a very nice restaurant and an unreal rooftop bar! We went here on our last night.
- For breakfast we were given access to the buffet in the restaurant and it was delicious!
More places to go:
• the main other go to place which I didn’t do was San Blas islands. It’s very difficult to get there and it was either Bocas or that, you wouldn’t need to do both.
• San Blas looks very idyllic but the logistics were better for Bocas and also more nightlife in Bocas. Choice of which set of islands to do is up to you!
• Panama uses American dollar.
• It was more expensive than some Central American countries but not extortionate.
• Costa Rica was by far the most expensive country but it is fine if you don’t eat in the fancy restaurants and make rolls for lunch and do public buses.