Colón Island

Colón Island is named after the discoverer of the Americas, Christopher Columbus, who sailed these waters on his fourth and final voyage in 1502. Located northwest of Panama City and bordering Costa Rica, Colón Island is the capital of Bocas del Toro and the fourth largest island in the country. Off these beautiful beaches, the water is crystal-clear for snorkeling and diving and generates some of the best waves for surfing in the country.

For the visitor's convenience, Colón Island has hotels, restaurants, tourist information centers, bars and various other entertainment venues. In a decidedly Caribbean atmosphere, there is always music playing, and the seafood cooked in coconut milk is simply delicious.

Among the island's many attractions is La Finca Los Monos, a magnificent botanical garden with immense collections of heliconias, ginger, palms, flowers, fruits, spices, and ornamental plants. It is located 10 minutes outside the town of Bocas, just after the Smithsonian Institution. From its perch at the summit of IDAAN's grounds and stretching from coast to coast, the farm provides spectacular views of the Bocas del Toro archipelago to the east and of the westward mountainous peninsula, with the turquoise Caribbean sea inbetween.

How to arrive

  • Plane: AirPanama offers 1-hour long domestic flights.
  • Bus: From the Albrook Mall bus station, there are daily departures at 8:00 p.m. on the fleet of busses that travel the Pan-American Highway.
  • Car: Take the Pan-American Highway to the entrance to Gualaca (404km). Turn right and continue to the end of the road to Chiriquí Grande (98 km) in Punta Peña. Then follow the road to Almirante (68 km), where you can leave your car at a parking lot near the water taxi terminal.
  • Ferry: Boats depart Almirante Bocas Marine at 8:00 a.m. from Monday to Saturday.

What to bring

  • Water bottle
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hat


  • Snorkeling
  • Surfing
  • Cycling