SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 14, July 2016 - Page 84

1. Scuba Diving

Whether you’re looking to explore the coral reefs around Bocas del Toro as an experienced diver or you’re excited to take your first breath underwater and become scuba certified, you have many options when it comes to scuba diving in the waters around Bocas del Toro. Many dive shops are located right in the town of Bocas del Toro, making it convenient to schedule both half-day and full-day scuba diving tours. Shops like La Buga Dive & Surf (http://www.labugapanama.com) offer tours and courses in both English and Spanish.

2. Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities in Bocas del Toro. Companies offer excursions on a boat to get to more remote areas to snorkel. However, it is also possible to access great snorkeling spots by bus from the town of Bocas del Toro. For example, Starfish Beach gets its name from the abundance of starfish that inhabit the clear waters next to it and can be accessed by bus and a short walk. Other frequented snorkeling spots include Hospital Point, Mangrove Point, and Crawl Key, amongst others.

3. Sailing

The Bocas del Toro Archipelago contains a maze of islands, cays, and islets. The best way to see as many of these as possible is through a daily sailing tour. Many companies, such as Bocas Sailing (http://www.bocassailing.com), offer full-day tours where tourists can go to watch dolphins, to snorkel, or to relax on one of the many beautiful beaches.

4. Hiking and Caving

Hiking through the jungle is a popular activity on Isla Colón and throughout other islands in the Archipelago. On Isla Colón, it’s easy to catch a public bus from the town of Bocas del Toro to La Gruta Cave. A short hike brings you to a cave full of roosting bats. There are other, longer caves on Bastimentos Island that require a wade through deeper water. The hikes to get to these caves are more strenuous, but they are through the jungle and offer views of the spectacular wildlife that can be seen in Panama, such as monkeys, sloths, and frogs. Tour companies also offer hikes to visit indigenous communities and plantations.

Top 5 Adventures to Take in

Bocas del Toro

Panama

Writing by Alexandra Yingst

Photo by Yusan Yang

84 - SEVENSEAS