Vacationing in the Bocas Del Toro archipelago, you will find a wide range of different holiday and accommodation options and locating the ideal vacation rental accommodation can make or break your holiday experience.
Finding the right location is often the hardest aspect of your search, particularly when you don´t know both the pros and cons of staying on any of the different islands, suburbs or areas where vacation rentals are available.
Our Bocas Del Toro Vacation Rentals Guide will help you decide where to look for the best accommodation options that the islands have to offer so that you can be confident that are getting exactly the type of holiday experience you really want – be it with us, or elsewhere!
Holiday Rentals on the Big Island
There are various vacation rentals available on the Isla Colon, the big island, and each has its own set of pros and cons. The various areas that you may find of interest include Drago Beach, Bluff Beach, Big Creek, Saigon Bay and Bocas Town.
Drago Beach is located on the north side of the island, approximately 20 miles from the Airport. Cycling to Drago Beach is a challenge with many hills to navigate. Buses run to the north end from town on a daily basis every two hours with return buses running until 5pm in the afternoon at just $5 round trip. Many of the rentals homes may be a distance from the village, so ensure that you are close enough to be able to catch the bus if you want to do a bit of sightseeing.
- The beaches at Drago are of the best on the island with Starfish Beach being the most popular.
- There are a couple of restaurants in the local village
- The area has fantastic bird watching and howler monkey sighting
- Off Grid, isolated with plenty of private beaches and coves
- Town is at least a half hour away by taxi, costing $15.00 one way on average
- Limited amenities such as wifi
- No local grocery stores
Bluff Beach is located on the east side of the island, approximately 15 miles from the Airport. While it is possible to cycle to Bluff Beach, it is not for the faint of heart, particularly on hot and humid days or after a couple of drinks in town. Taxis are expensive, but can be caught in town. Find out from your rental accommodation owner if they offer a mobile phone for ordering taxis to get into town, as they don´t drive up to the Bluff all that often, so you may need to order them if you are staying in that area. Also enquire if there are bicycles available with the rental so that you can get around if the mood takes you.
- Bluff beach is a long beach with great beach brakes for surfing and is well documented as one of the best surf beaches in the area
- The beaches are large and spacious so that you can find your own personal stretch
- On grid living, so not as many electricity issues, but not all the properties will have access to wifi
- No local grocery stores
- Requires taxi service to town costing around $30.00 (to go and come back)
Big Creek Rentals
Big Creek is located just ten minutes out of Bocas town and offers both beachside rentals as well as jungle accommodations. Rentals in this area are both convenient for being close to town, around a ten minute cycle, yet being far enough out of town to feel secluded and idyllic. Big Creek gets its name from a creek that runs into the sea and there are a number of little beach areas that you can swim in, but the better beaches are Paunch (another great surf beach) and Bluff, which are down the road. Taxis to Big Creek are far less expensive at around $2.00 and run regularly.
- Big Creek has a few hotels with restaurants nearby
- On grid living, but still some limitations on wifi access – ask your vacation rental owner if they have internet set up on their property.
- Both jungle and beachfront rental accommodation
- No local grocery stores
Saigon Bay Rentals
Saigon Bay is located on the outskirts of Bocas town and is just a $0.60 taxi ride from town whilst feeling a world away. Situated on the quite bay of Saigon, it is the ideal location for kayaking and offers the best sunset views. Saigon is only a short walk into town with Ismito Beach located across from the bay.
- Saigon is close to Bocas town without being in the hustle and bustle of the town centre
- Various local and world restaurants in the area catering for all budgets and tastes
- On grid living with extensive wifi connectivity
- Ideal for kayaking in the secluded bay
- Numerous local grocery store within walking distance
- Weekends can be a little livelier with music being heard from various locations on the water and beach.
Bocas Town Rentals
Bocas town is a collection of accommodation options and backpackers as well as various restaurants, bars and eclectic shops. Taking a taxi around town will cost you $0.60 except if you catch it from the airport to town which will set you back $1.00. Bocas town comes alive at night as people return from the beaches and set about enjoying the night life. With a wide range of restaurants to choose from, you will find something to suit your palette, while not breaking the bank or you could choose to splurge and enjoy what the island has to offer by tempting your taste-buds in some of our favourite restaurants.
- Close to the airports if you have an early morning flight
- Within walking distance of all the shop, restaurants, bars and grocery stores
- Access to various wifi spots in town.
- No beaches within walking distance worth visiting
- Loud and noisy at night in some locations
Finding vacation rentals on the other islands brings with it a range of different experiences as each of the islands has a feel and character of its own. Rental accommodations can be found on Carenero, Bastimentos, Solarte as well as many of the other smaller islands.
Carenero Island Rentals
Carenaro Island has a distinctive Indian flavour and there are a range of great surfing spots to be found. While the beaches are limited to just a few small ones dotted around the island itself, this island has a wonderful tropical feel with large numbers of palm trees lining the beaches. Taking a taxi from town to the island will cost you $1.00 and they run regularly from various docks.
- Many beach restaurants and bars to choose from
- Small local grocery stores on the island
- Easy and cheap access to Bocas Town
- Although only 100 meters off from Bocas Town, the island feels a lifetime away
- Some rentals may offer limited amenities
- Beaches are small and can be somewhat crowded
Bastimentos Island Rentals
Bastimentos has a strong creole population in Bastimentos town with some Indian villages to be found on the far side of the island. Taxis to the island cost between $2-$3 and water taxis can be hailed from any dock along the waterfront. Bastimentos has a collection of excellent beaches, some fantastic bars and restaurants. Due to the strong creole influence, this island feels very different from the others in the archipelago and with its remote access, can be a challenge if you wish to get around and island hop.
- Some of the best beaches in the archipelago
- Easy access to Bocas Town – except on bad weather days
- Plenty of Restaurants and bars to frequent
- Small local grocery stores found in Bastimentos Town
- Limited internet access on the island
- Remote location means any trips will require taxi costs
Outer Lying Island Rentals
There are numerous outer laying islands such as Solarte, Popa and more. Although the accommodations on these islands will vary considerably, the advantages of staying this remotely are relatively the same, no matter what island you choose to stay on.
- Remote locations with idyllic retreat accommodations
- Remote locations require more boat taxi fares should you wish to sightsee
- Not always located near beaches
- Seldom are there grocery stores nearby
- Limited amenities
Finding the right location for your vacation rental in Bocas Del Toro includes knowing a range of information such as what additional costs you may face by being remote, or not having internet access or not being able to pop to the shops to pick up some beers for the bbq. Finding the right location and the right accommodations will make your holiday experience that much more enjoyable and relaxing and will allow you to enjoy your holiday in Bocas Del Toro that much more.