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How to get to Bocas Del Toro

Getting to Bocas is not exactly the easiest thing. There are no direct flights. The only airport in the area is on Isla Colon and it can only handle mid-sized prop planes.

No matter what country you are coming from, you will need to fly in to Panama City or possibly San José Costa Rica. From either of those two places, you can take a 50 minute flight to Bocus Town or you can take a 10+ hour bus ride. The choice depends on how much time you have and how much you want to spend. Time is money so if you take the cheaper bus ride, you pay in time spent getting there.

The trickiest part when planning a trip is to leave enough overlap between your landing time when you get to Panama City or San José and when your next flight or bus leaves. In both cases, you land at a major airport then need to take a taxi to the next flight or bus. And keep in mind that you have to do the reverse on the way back. Flights can land late on the way in and busses can experience delays on the way out too. You usually want to leave a minimum of 3 hours of overlap for the flight in and 4 hours of overlap on the way out if you are taking the bus. If you fly out, you can usually get away with 2 hours of overlap on the way out. It is always better to be bored in the airport for a couple hours than it is to miss your flight.

So far, we have only flown from Panama City to Bocas Town (and back). But we hope to try the San José route soon. And at some point when we have lots of time, we may try the bus route mainly for the experience. After all the bus could save us several hundred dollars. But while we are just visiting, the time lost on the bus is more than we are willing to deal with.

For more information on travel options, you can check out this travel blog that we found useful.  Sol Bungalos Bocas Blog 


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