How to get to Bocas del Toro

How to get to Bocas del Toro

Many people traveling through Panama and Costa Rica have in mind visiting the beaches of the Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama, one of the most beautiful and tourist places in the Central American country. In Bocas del Toro you can enjoy its beaches, the breeze and the delicious cuisine offered to national and international tourists. In addition to a wide variety of options to develop different activities such as swimming, diving, boat trips, hiking, camping among others.But how to get to Bocas del Toro ?.

To travel to this paradise province, you can go by road or by plane. However, this will depend on the budget of the traveller or the willingness of the tourist to enjoy the journey by land. Below, we show you how to get to Bocas del Toro from Panama and Costa Rica.

By Plane

How to get to Bocas del Toro

From Panama City:

From Panama City, 4 daily flights depart to Bocas del Toro.

The value of the ticket is between 200 and 250 dollars. The airline that operates them is Air Panama.

Flights depart from Marcos A. Gelabert Airport (PAC), in Albrook. Flights arrive at the Isla Colon airport. The flight takes 1 hour. On weekends and holidays they usually add daily flights. Prices increase from December to March. The airport is 2km from the centre of Isla Colon.

To get to your hotel in Isla Colon in Bocas del Toro, the taxi usually costs U$1 per person. If your hotel is in the centre and you don’t carry much luggage, you can walk.

If your accommodation is on another island, you will have to go to the port and take a boat to the island you want. The port is also very close to the airport.

From San José de Costa Rica:

There is a service provided by the company Nature Air. It is worth noting that they are small planes, type of light aircraft, and that the flight takes less than an hour.

By Bus

You can reach Bocas de Toro by bus from Panama City, David or Boquete:

The only company that provides this service is called Tranceibosa and leaves from the Albrook Terminal *. The trip takes at least 10 hours. There is no online sale, so you should go to Albrook to buy tickets at least one day in advance, between 7 in the morning and 6 in the afternoon.

When buying tickets, you must show all the documents of those who are traveling. Otherwise they don’t issue you the ticket.

The ticket costs almost $30 one way and the same back.

Demand on holidays and weekends is high.

You have to buy the ticket in Almirante. From there the boats leave to the archipelago.


The bus does not enter Almirante because its final destination is Changuinola. You have to get off at the crossroads between the route to Changuinola and the street that goes to Almirante. The drivers know and many people get off there.

The return ticket, you cannot buy it at Albrook. You can buy it at the crossroads or at the Tranceibosa office in Isla Colon.

There are usually changes in service schedules very frequently. Here the phones to call and find out both schedules and anything else: in Albrook (+507) 303-6326 and in Almirante (+507) 758-3278.

From the crossroads (where the bus stops for you to get off) to the port, it is best to go by taxi for $3 per trip or for $1 per passenger. The final price will depend on the tourist appearance you have. I do not advise you to walk. Almirante is not a very friendly city.

A part of the bus ride is in height and with many curves.

They turn on the AC to super cold levels. That’s why you should wear a coat.

From Panama City to David

There is an even more eternal option that is to go from Panama City to David and from there to Almirante. The advantage is that there are more services (transport companies and schedules) for both sections and can be combined to make it more practical. From Panama City to David there are 8 hours of travel and from David to Almirante 4. To this we must add the stopover. Once in Admiral it is the same as with direct service.

From Boquete it is the same story because it is the bus that must be taken, it is the one that comes from David.

You can get to Bocas del Toro by bus from Puerto Viejo, in Costa Rica.

If by chance you are in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica and your destination is Bocas del Toro, it makes no sense to go to San José de Costa Rica or Panama City. From Puerto Viejo buses leave to Sixaola at the border and, after the immigration procedures, you have to take a bus to Guabito, already on the Panamanian side.

From there, another bus to Changuinola and, from there, another bus to the junction in Almirante. At the crossing, take a taxi to the pier or to the hotel according to the time. If you are a bit old for this and you got tired of just reading it, take a direct transfer from Puerto Viejo to Bocas that includes the boat, all for about 30-35 dollars.

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