Boat Trip to Bahia Honda
Departing from Bocas Town you'll make your way by motorboat through the western channel between Bastimentos and Solarte Island until you enter the mirror flat waters of the mangrove estuary of Bahia Honda. Along the way, you'll be able to appreciate some of Bocas' typical homes built on stilts over turquoise Caribbean waters, some of which are located in front of islets no larger than your own backyard. This first part of your journey takes about 25 minutes.
Up the River through the Mangrove Forest
After navigating through some patches of mangrove vegetation, you'll enter a winding river surrounded by mangrove forest where you can spot lots of crabs, small fish and if you're luck enough a three-toed sloth or two. You'll surely enjoy the magical tunnel formed by the branches of the trees closing the sky above you: it's the perfect prelude to the caving experience that awaits you. This second part of your adventure up the river takes about another 25 minutes until you arrive at a makeshift pier where you get off the boat and start the easy hike to the cave.
From the pier, you'll hike until you reach the cave guide's house. During this hike, you'll walk along some pineapple plants and some banana trees. At the guide's house, you'll be asked to wait a short moment while the guide brings the headlamps for the cave visit. From there, you continue the hike to the cave through a cacao plantation and rainforest. Along the way, you can see birds, sloths and red frogs. It's about a 30 minutes hike from the dock to the cave. A good pair of closed shoes is advisable as this hike can be a bit muddy. You could also use boots, but they might hinder you in the cave as the water comes up to your chest in certain parts.
And finally you'll reach the entrance of the cave. It's time to work up your courage and follow your guide. Don't worry about getting lost as there is only one way out. The temperature of the water varies but it never gets too cold and sometimes it gets up to your chest. Inside the cave you'll see bats hanging from the ceiling and flying around, as well as crickets and also spiders. They like the fresh and humid air in the cave. Besides animal life, you'll also encounter gorgeous stalagmites and stalactites.
Warning to the tall boys and gals: the cave's ceiling in several parts is quite low, so watch your head! At one point, the water becomes chest-high: this is the point where the guide gives you the option of turning around if you have young children with you, or to keep going. Another 5 minutes of walking through the water and you'll arrive at the spring that is the source of the stream. Here you'll find a small natural pool in which you can splash around before heading back to the boat. The total amount of time spent in the cave is about 50 minutes.
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* Prices are in US Dollars. The above prices are per person and do not include Panama's 7% ITBMS Sales. Rates include boat transportation, guide and flash lights. A minimum of 3 guests is required to book any of these tours. Tour itinerary can change depending on sea conditions.
Depending on water levels
, for example if it has rained a lot, this tour might not be possible. However, the only way to find out, is going there. In case you cannot complete the tour, you'll receive a $10 refund. You can talk with your boat captain about going to Red Frog Beach or doing one of the other Bocas del Toro boat tours
if this happens.