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We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years. So search our blog to plan your vacation. From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss. You'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while on vacation!


Escape to Carenero | Bocas Day Trip: Beach, Paddle Board, Kayak, Snorkel…

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This is the third post of a series of 10 things to do in Bocas del Toro, Panama for less than $25. So let’s get straight into it!

You wake up and it is a beautiful Bocas day. Sun shining, not a cloud in the sky, already hot at 8AM, you know, the perfect beach day!

Hey, you're in the Caribbean: get out there and explore all of Bocas del Toro's stunning beaches
Hey, you're in the Caribbean: get out there and explore all of Bocas del Toro's stunning beaches

But as you get ready, you think to yourself “Where do I want to go? I have already been to Bluff beach a couple times and Starfish beach, what now?”

Well, I have a perfect solution, escape to Isla Carenero!

Isla Carenero is less than 5 min by boat and is the perfect way to get off Isla Colon without wasting travel time or money (only $3 round trip to get there by boat).
Isla Carenero is less than 5 min by boat and is the perfect way to get off Isla Colon without wasting travel time or money (only $3 round trip to get there by boat).

Just go to any of the boat docks along the water and say “Bibi’s”. All the boat drivers will know what you are talking about.

They will drop you off right near Bibi’s on the Beach and Escuela del Mar, and here is where the fun begins.

Bibi's on the beach, one of the best restaurants in Bocas del Toro, certainly has one of the best locations
Bibi's on the beach, one of the best restaurants in Bocas del Toro, certainly has one of the best locations

I would recommend starting the day off with a little workout. One word, stand up paddle boarding! Ok, 4 words, but you get what I am saying.

Fun and easy, it will take you a few minutes to get used to how to balance yourself, but once you get the feel for it, you will be gliding along the water in no time! Take a trip to the point and maybe you will even catch some waves (a whole new challenge if you have already mastered the paddle board itself).

Now, if you are like me, you have seen people stand up paddle boarding around the different islands in Bocas del Toro, and thought, wow, that looks pretty fun! And you would be right!
Now, if you are like me, you have seen people stand up paddle boarding around the different islands in Bocas del Toro, and thought, wow, that looks pretty fun! And you would be right!

But you don’t have to know how to surf in order to enjoy stand up paddle boarding. The first time I tried it, I had only gone surfing 2 times, and it is not necessary to be a good surfer to do this activity. You just need a positive attitude and the desire to try something new =)

I will tell you, it is definitely a good workout and by the time you finish with the paddle board, you will be ready for some food!

So, drop your board off and head up to Bibi’s. With everything from platters of shrimp, to ceviche that is to die for, to juicy burgers, your palate will not be disappointed. Not to mention they offer drinks that are simply delicious. My favorite is the passion fruit blended margarita!!

Fresh seafood with coconut flavored rice and fried plantains, simply DELICIOUS!
Fresh seafood with coconut flavored rice and fried plantains, simply DELICIOUS!

After lunch, I would recommend relaxing off your food coma on the beach next to Bibi’s. There are lounge chairs if you prefer or just throw your towel right on the sand and soak up that blazin’ Caribbean sun! There is even a great little spot off the beach where the water is gentle and perfect for swimming.

Once you are feeling well rested and ready for another adventure, grab a kayak and some snorkel gear from Bibi’s and head back out to the water. If you head up and to the left out of the beach by Bibi’s you will be at black rock. If the waves are not too big, there is some great snorkeling to be had in this area.

What a better way to explore Bocas del Toro then by kayaking and snorkeling?
What a better way to explore Bocas del Toro then by kayaking and snorkeling?

If the waves are small, it is possible to tether your kayak to the buoys that are near black rock or the point (the far end of the island). Both of these areas have some beautiful coral.

Or if you would rather not tether the kayak, you can just leave it on the beach by Bibi’s while you snorkel out around by black rock.

Bocas' underwater world awaits to be explored... get out there!
Bocas' underwater world awaits to be explored... get out there!

If you need any suggestions on where to paddle board, kayak or snorkel, just ask the staff at Escuela del Mar. Luis, Manuel or any of the other guys are experts on all the spots around the island and would love you help you (or maybe even go paddle with you! :)

When you are ready to head home, just have the staff at Bibi’s call you a boat and have one of their fresh fruit juices while you wait (all of them are excellent!)

What a better way to say goodbye to Carenero then by experiencing this view from inside Bibi's on the Beach
What a better way to say goodbye to Carenero then by experiencing this view from inside Bibi's on the Beach

So, don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray and enjoy your escape into another piece of paradise!!

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BOCAS DEL TORO, THE IDEAL PLACE TO LEARN SPANISH BY THE BEACH... »

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We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years. So search our blog to plan your vacation. From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss. You'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while on vacation!


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