Bocas del Toro, Republic of Panamá
The Bocas del Toro Archipelago (Archipiélago de Bocas del Toro), a little over 90 miles, located in the province of Bocas del Toro is truly a hidden paradise, recently discovered, at the north-western part of the country, and visited by thousands every year. Bocas del Toro borders Costa Rica and the province of Colón (Panamá), where the international famous Free Zone is located.
Bocas del Toro has excellent tropical weather all year round, the same as the rest of the country. The major town is usually called "Isla Colón," or "Bocas," accessible by boat from Changuinola, or domestic airplane from the city of Panamá, David, Chitré or Río Hato. (This ticket costs around $200 round trip). Driving from Panamá takes about 10 hours, and then, take a short ride by boat to cross onto the island.
The area includes some 48 cays, and some tiny islands. These are some of the islands:
There are also some minor ones. There are extensive protected areas, in which specimens close to extinction are very well protected, especially the numerous and exquisite beautiful corals.
This archipelago is ideal for honeymooners; scientists; writers; backpackers; family-oriented tourists; people looking for something out of the ordinary, yet, totally classic; surfers; water lovers; scuba-divers. The Caribbean seawater is beautiful to experience.
The main island offers all kind of hotels, restaurants and tours to different islands. Some of the other islands also offer resorts, spas and other activities for every taste and budget.
And how is the retirement is Bocas? That depends on you. It could be very calm, relaxed with zero stress, spending your day on your own rhythm in a hammock and reading a good book with the extraordinary view of the ocean in front of you, or you can live at the maximum speed every hour of the day. Your call.
One thing, though. Don´t expect Bocas to be a "normal" town. Bocas is unique, and not for everyone. It is very small with no malls, no big shopping centers, movies or sophisticated places. Land is quite expensive and construction is a little difficult due to the area. Housing is not yet developed into "complexes" or neighborhoods.
Every retiree makes their unique and creative ideal house, very much aware of the lack of certain facilities in the area, yet enjoying a paradise.