"This is my life. It is my one time to be me. I want to experience every good thing" ~ Maya Angelou

Bocas Del Toro

After the boat ride into the main dock, you’ll get on the boat going to the main island.

From that dock, there will be a main street. Walk to the right and on the opposite side of the street from the central park you’ll see Hotel Zapatilla. It shares a wall with a small grocery store.

Where people will tell you to stay: Mondu Taitu–You sleep in little storage closets and it smells of hung-over guys that need to bathe.

Where to Stay: Hotel Zapatilla- $12/night, sleigh bed, a/c, cable, hot shower, wifi (from the balcony in the kitchen), quiet at night. Close to everything.

view from Hotel Zapatilla

Hotel Zapatilla- wifi outside of the kitchen

Where to Party:
At the bar at MONDU TAITU! haha Just don’t stay there..the front bar has 50cent beers. Cool lighting and the bathrooms are unique..they have beautfiul quotes from the travelers on the stalls. There is a contest there for people that stay there..If you drink 100 beers before the end of your stay, you get your photo on the wall. Now you understand why the back rooms smell of hang-over.
BARCO HUNDIDO-the sunken ship- If you walk across the park from the main street, at the little dock by fire station, you’ll see the bar. It gets packed late, around 10 or 11. It has a dance floor and sand and good music and drinks. You can see sunken ship parts on the ocean floor and it’s all lit up so you can see the fish etc. Really cool.
AQUA LOUNGE-Day time here is amazing. Certain nights it’s busy at night there. This is the place with the ocean swimming pool, diving board, swings, and trampoline to jump from into the water.
For NEW YEARS EVE: Aqua Lounge. You must contribute to the firework supply in order to get to the lounge. Usually it costs $1 each way to take the 1 minute boat ride across. There are 2 different docks you can take.

We had so much fun at Aqua Lounge

I stayed in BDT for 9 days and it rained for about 5 of those days. They had sunny days, thankfully, but for the DIVING, it was murky.

Where to DIVE: At the main street walking toward Mondu Taitu you’ll see a diving shop next to a swim wear store. (So if you stay at Zapatilla, take a left, it’s at end of the road when it curves left.) These guys were great, very professional, good prices.
For surfers, they have a boat that tows you to a wake.
If you go after a few sunny days, the visibilty should be good.

Snorkel: There’s a snorkel tour that stops at a few places. Dolphin bay is cool, you stop there for a few minutes to see dolphins, and then it takes you to a restaurant with hammocks, a park, and a bar. You basically only snorkel at this bar and they expect you to snorkel under the building to look at some gray fish.
It was a waste of money if you want to snorkel. If you go around the rainy time, we were all cold and miserable. A few of us paid another boat to bring us back early because it was freezing and rainy.

Where to Eat: Don’t order Chinese food in Panama, haha There is this place maybe 3 blocks off of the main street called, “So good BBQ” or something like that. You can write your name on the wall which is fun. I did 🙂 The food there is definitely “so good”. On the main strip there is a restaurant with white linens hanging and live music. I went there for Christmas dinner and had lobster and shrimp dinner. It was decent. John’s bakery has pretty good pastries if you are craving a fresh, sweet meal.
The hostel kitchen at Hotel Zapatilla is nice. I would just make food.
THE BLACK OLIVE is a MUST. They actually have bagels w cream cheese and lox, amazing omelets, the pizza is amazing. The prices are very reasonable. It’s on the way to Mondu Taitu, so main street toward the park, the road curves left. It will be on the left.

Yoga is right past that on a side street, small purple building near a bank. It’s $5 per class.

Bike rental is near the park next to a book store. Lots of great books there btw..Rent a bike and head to the beach. It’s past The Black Olive. On the way, you’ll see an RV w table and chairs on top of it. They have great smoothies.

Untitled from Hay-Lee Maklary on Vimeo.


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