About Bocas

Quick facts about Bocas Del Toro 

Bocas del Toro (meaning “Mouths of the Bull”) is a province of Panama. Its area is 4,643.9 square kilometers, comprising the mainland and nine main islands. The province consists of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Bahía Almirante (Almirante Bay), Laguna de Chiriquí (Chiriquí Lagoon), and adjacent mainland. The capital is the city of Bocas del Toro (or Bocas Town) on Isla Colón (Colón Island).

Christopher Columbus and his crew first visited the area in 1502. Bocas del Toro borders the Caribbean Sea to the north, Limón Province of Costa Rica to the west, Chiriquí Province to the south, and Ngöbe-Buglé Comarca to the east.

The province contains two national parks, Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park and La Amistad International Park.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute operates a research station on Colón Island just northwest of Bocas Town.

 

CLIMATE

The average temperature in Bocas Del Toro is 27 Centigrade or 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Living both on the Caribbean and in a Rain Forrest means that .. yes we get rain, the rainy seasons runs from May to August and from December to January and the dry seasons from February to April an September to November. However don’t be put off, December and January were very dry on the whole this past season. Also remember that ATV’ing/4 Wheeling in the wet is so much fun. The Archipelago is very much a Micro Climate; as such it can be raining in Bocas town and dry and sunny out at Bluff Beach (and vice, versa)

 

LANGUAGE

The official language in Panama is Spanish but English is widely spoken in Bocas del Toro.

 

CURRENCY

Balboa: equivalent to the American Dollar. The American Dollar is freely used in the country. There are not Balboa bills, only coins, that are equal to the american coins in size and value.

 

POPULATION

9.883 inhabitants (2000 census) is the population of the islands.

 

ELECTRICITY

110 VAC/50 cycles. Some places have also 220 VAC/60 cycles.

 

BANKS

There is only one bank in Bocas del Toro, a branch of the National Bank of Panama, in the Government House street. Open Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Cash can be obtained through one of their two ATMs

 

CREDIT CARDS

Many shops and stores accept credit cards and although some restaurants do take credit cards, however, many only accept cash.

 

IMMIGRATION – Visa

It’s not difficult for tourists to enter Panama, especially those coming on flights from North America or Australia. All foreign nationals need a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Tourists must also be able to prove that they have at least US$500—a bank statement, travelers checks, or a credit card usually works. Finally, all travelers entering Panama must have a return or onward ticket out of the country.

Visas

Panama divides tourists into two groups – those that need a tourist visa, and those that only need a passport.

Citizens of the following countries only need a passport to enter Panama: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. It is important to note, however, that this list can change. Check with your home embassy for the current requirements before traveling.

There are two types of visas for Panama, “stamped visas” and “authorized visas.”

The so-called “stamped visas” let some travelers enter Panama several times throughout the year. This type of visa is only available through a Panamanian embassy or consulate, and the Panamanian authorities decide the length of the stay, which is usually 30 days per visit. Anyone who is eligible to visit Panama on a tourist card can apply for a stamped visa instead, although citizens of some countries are required to have a stamped visa. These countries include the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Peru, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. As with other things in Panamanian officialdom, this list is subject to change.

Citizens of some countries are required to have an “authorized visa,” the most restrictive type of tourist visa. Like the stamped visa, this kind is only available through a Panamanian consulate or embassy. The officials will choose to either approve to decline the visa application, and will determine the length of stay. The majority of countries on this list are in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or eastern Europe. These include Bangladesh, Cuba, Haiti, India, Pakistan, China, and South Africa, although the list is subject to change. The requirements can vary by consulate, so it’s a good idea to check with one before beginning the application process. It’s recommended to begin the application process at least a month before the start of travel.

Click HERE to find out more detail on Visas

Driving

It is not recommended to hire a car in Bocas, there are not many roads and Taxis are very affordable and abundant. If you wish to hire a car then you can drive with your driving license. Be sure to bring with you License and Passport  when you are driving.