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Caribbean West

4,806 bytes removed, 00:17, 24 March 2012
added listing Urraca Private Island
* There are two '''road''' routes into Bocas del Toro Province, one over the lush, jagged mountains from Chiriqui, the other from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. '''Buses''' travel both of these routes. If you are traveling from Costa Rica, take the bus to the border.
===Option one===
From the border in Panama (closes at 6 pm Panamenian Panamanian Time and 5 pm Costa Rica time as there is a time difference!) you can take a 10 US mini bus to [[Almirante]] and a 25 minutes boat from there to [[Bocas del Toro (town)|Bocas town]] (4 US$).
===Option 2===
==Get around==
* '''Water taxis''' travel to Bocas del Toro town from both [[Changuinola]] and [[Almirante]]. Almirante is the quickest route, but the boat to Changuinola travels the route of an old canal and is a fun ride. As of April 2010, the canal route from Bocas Island to Changuinola is still closed.
* Taxi's Taxis are fairly cheap- use them!
==See==
* Bocas del Toro has great '''beaches''' on the Caribbean
* Diving and Scuba
* Surfing [http://www.panamaprivatetours.com/tours/surfBocas.php]* Boating [http://www.panamacruise.com.pa/page-BOCAS+DEL+TORO-10.html]
* Fishing
* Snorkeling
* Yoga [http://www.holaguide.com/biz/bocas-yoga-bocas-del-toro-172]
==Eat==
True to the history of the region, the food of Bocas del Toro has a lot more Caribbean influence than the rest of Panama. For one thing, you will find coconut used a lot more here than in other parts of Panama. While there are places you can find more traditional food (platos típicos), for the most part the majority of restaurants have American style dishes (pastas, pizza, sandwiches, etc...).
*Take a water taxi to the "Pickled Parrot" on Isla Carenero and sip on the best Pina Colada around while dining over the water. It's only $2 per round trip and has very tasty appetizers, drinks, and entrees. The owner, "Crazy George," as we called him, has been in Panama for 13 years and is always interesting to converse with. This restaurant also has a hotel on the beach.
 
* <eat name="El Ultimo Refugio" alt="Ultimo Refugio" address="Avenida Sur, Isla Colon" url="http://www.ultimorefugio.com" hours="6pm -10pm" tags="restaurant, bar, bocas del toro">On the South end of town, just around the corner from the ferry dock. Ultimo Refugio is located right over the water and has some of the tastiest dishes in Bocas. They serve up great seafood, chicken and salads. The menu changes frequently, but I would highly recommend their buffalo-style calamari and their peanut butter pie dessert is fantastic!.</eat>
 
* <eat name="Island Time" alt="" address="Bastimentos" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.islandtimethairestaurant.com" hours="12pm - 8pm" price="" lat="" long="" tags="restaurant, bocas del toro, thai"> Island Time is is a bit out of the way, but the food is awesome! To get there, you must take a water taxi to [[Bastimentos]], then ask where you can find the trail to Island Time. After a short climb (10 mins or so) you'll find Island Time on the left-hand side of the trail. Their Thai food is completely authentic and delicious. The view from their restaurant is just as spectacular. Arrive early to make sure you get some of their famous Pad Thai before they run out for the evening. The restaurant is quite small, so it is probably smart to call ahead and make sure you can be seated when you arrive. They also have a small cabin for rent overlooking the rain forest.</eat>
==Drink==
Local beers include Balboa, Panama, and Atlas.
*Barco Hundido, or the Ship Wreck Bar, as an awesome set up with a dock that encircles an actual ship wreck. After a few drinks it is not uncommon for people to take a dip and have a look around.*Mondo Taitu is the local gringo backpacker hangout, with a nightly happy hour and great company.* Hacienda del Toro a thatched roof gem on a horse ranch on Isla San Cristobal. The Water Taxi from Bocas Town is worth the price.One of a kind jungle bar.Best stocked bar in the islands 40 different rums,cold Coors beer,as well as all domestic beers.Caribe Country*<drink name="Bahmfalk's" alt="" addressSleep="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A great gringo bar run by an American couple from Key West, Florida. It has a fantastic atmosphere, cheap drinks, frequent poker games, and usually has american sports on the TV. The owners Bill and Susan are great and it is not uncommon to see Bill out and about around town taking advantage of other drink specials. Highly recommended...</drink> ==Stay==For a cheap stay try heading to '''Mondo Taitu''' or '''Heike'''. It is about $10 a night to stay and the hospitality is amazing. You also get to meet travelers from all over the world including Europe, Israel, US and Canada. They don´t take advance bookings, it is very noisy, not all that clean and not located on the water, but if you are up for a party you will probably have a great time. Another very cheap place, and the hippest hostal and bar, is '''Aqua Lounge''', the only hostal on the water. Located just 1 minute water taxi drive across from Bocas town, in Carenero. Has the best party scene. Several suites have been added right next door to the hostal, for more upscale and roomier sleeping accommodations. About 1/2 mile out of town is La Coralina''[http://www.LaCoralina.com]''' it is right on the beach and away from the problems of staying in "town". The owner and chef "Stacey" will make you feel like family and she is hands down the best chef in all the islands. When heading out of town, past La Coralina, just before getting to Bluff Beach is a very reasonably priced Lodge, '''Tesoro Escondido Eco-Lodge and Cabinas''', with 5 rooms in the main lodge and 3 cabinas. They are located right on a bluff overlooking two small but very nice sandy beaches and are steps away from Bluff Beach proper, 7 kilometers of deserted beautiful beach. They have a restaurant and a small bar. Eco-lodge, casual atmosphere. Close to all major surf breaks. For a wonderful out island escape try '''Hacienda del Toro''' on Isla San Cristobal, a guest ranch with swimming pool and rest/bar,horses to rent,and kayak with the dolphins. (note in 2009 this place was closed, be sure to check prior to going there). Nearby, Urraca Private Island (http://urracaprivateisland.com/) is perfect if you’re looking for paradise and history right in the heart of the Caribbean. This island where Mangroves are surrounded by a green-hued sea, with nourishing marine plant life, phosphorescent waters and protective coral reefs, will offer you a panoramic view of the Cayos Zapatillas, a site much treasured by true lovers of natural beauty.
Look at local guides for accommodation listings.
<!-- NO LISTINGS IN REGIONS - FIND THE APPROPRIATE TOWN/CITY -->
*<sleep name="Urraca Private Island" alt="" address="Isla Popa" directions="" phone="" url="http://urracaprivateisland.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Urraca Private Island, in the heart of the Caribbean, is perfect if you’re looking for paradise and history. This island where Mangroves, are surrounded by agreen-hued sea, with nourishing marine plant life, phosphorescent waters and protective coral reefs, will offer you a panoramic view of the Cayos Zapatillas, a site much treasured by true lovers of natural beauty. Is nearby a community of Ngobe indians.</sleep>
<!-- NO LISTINGS IN REGIONS - FIND THE APPROPRIATE TOWN/CITY -->
==Get out==
* Bocas del Toro is generally a very safe and peaceful destination. The locals are exteremely tolerant of the rapidly growing tourism scene. Any one will stop to help in an emergency. As with any travel spot it is wise to be careful with belongings. Evenings can get roudy at a few Bocas Town bars.
 
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