Travelling with friends is one of my favourite things to do in the world, especially when you’re not only going to a beautiful place but also a place where you can meet people, have fun and above everything, go to the most amazing parties ever. I think that a great place that has all this is Bocas del Toro, Isla Colón in Panamá. I went there last year (From the end of December to the beginning of January) with a group of friends and I totally recommend it.
How did I get to Bocas del Toro
Well, as every blog on the internet is going to tell you, there are many ways to get to the island. I am going to tell you my experience. At the middle of the year, I started organizing the trip with my friends. We live in Argentina so we learnt that we needed to get to Panamá city first because there were no direct flights to Bocas del Toro, but when we checked the availability, there were none. One important recommendation to take into account
is that if you want to travel to the island by plane make sure to buy your plane tickets early because there are very few flights. Moving on, we needed a plan B, so when we arrived in Panamá City we took a bus to Albrook and there we took another bus to Almirante (8 – 9 hours). Finally, when we arrived at Almirante we took a boat to Bocas del Toro. Yes, the journey was much longer, but on the bright side it was also cheaper than plan A and the fact that we were among friends made it easy going. Another recommendation:
If you choose plan B, then you should know that every bus, as well as every boat, has its own schedule, so make sure to check on that before the trip.
Where did I stay
There are many options when talking about lodging, but when travelling with friends, every single person you ask recommends the same place: Selina, Isla Colón, and I will be no exception. I stayed there and it was the best experience ever. Every one of our age (21 – 23 years old approximately) stayed there, so it was a great place to make friends or meeting with people that we have already known (Believe it or not that happened a lot, especially being Argentinian people)
Things to know about Selina:
It has a Gorgeous restaurant with an amazing ocean view, where it has a pool table to play whenever people want and a bar which is open all day until late at night and has happy hour. At night the most fun parties take place in here with excellent music that makes you want to dance all night. The hostel also has different activities such as yoga, surf lessons, surfboard rental, canoes rental, etc. Upstairs it has the most beautiful terrace where you can read books, listen to music and chill out.
What places did I visit
Apart from the activities that you can do on the island, there are lots of excursions outside of it. We went to Red Frog, an island very nearby Isla Colón which is named like that due to the red frogs that live on the island. Here you can find a beautiful beach with lots of places where you can eat a delicious meal and also get tanned and take lots of pictures with your friends. To bear in mind:
If you are staying at “Selina, Isla Colón” you can use the facilities provided by “Selina, Red Frog”. This will be useful if you want to go to the bathroom or use the shower after swimming in the sea.
The other place I went is Cayos Zapatilla, trust me, you need to go there. It is a breathe taking virgin island that has nothing except the amazing view. The ocean is transparent as a mirror and the sand is as white as it possibly can. Recommendation:
make sure to
pack a lunch and lots of water bottles because there is no place where you can buy them.
What about the weather
Well, this is the downside of choosing such a tropical location, the tropical weather, of course. Don’t misunderstand me, when the sun comes out, the beach is incredible: getting tanned, swimming in the ocean, scuba diving, etc. The problem is when it rains, and it rains a lot. So although there are many places to visit, you will most likely miss visiting many of them, that was what happened to me, so make sure that you seize the sunny days and that you do as many activities as you can. However don’t panic, there are lots of other activities that you can do. I remember we played pool in the hostel and also cards, and it was a great opportunity to get to know people and spend time with my friends. We enjoyed every day whether it rained or not. Another recommendation:
If you are a girl take your hair straightener, humidity is hair’s worst enemy!
Bocas del Toro at night
As I said earlier in Selina at night they host the most awesome parties, but there are other places where you can go instead or even if you don’t want to choose, you can attend to more than one party in one night. There is a place called “Summer” that it is a nightclub, we went after Selina’s parties and it was great, amazing music and a very big place. Another option you may want to consider is a hostel located in front of Selina (but you have to take a boat) called “Aqua Lounge” that it also threw awesome parties. Obviously, wherever you go, you are going to have fun because there are all fantastic parties. To conclude I think that if you decide to go to Bocas del Toro, Isla colón in Panamá you are not going to regret it at all, especially if you go with friends. I think that as long as you grow up the opportunities to travel with your friends are becoming fewer, so try to embrace and travel with them as much as possible now that you can. Believe when I tell you that these memories will last forever.