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Living a Beach Lifestyle in Bocas del Toro, PANAMA

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Where to Retire in Bocas del Toro and Home Prices

Colorful homes built on stilts that sit out in the water are common in Bocas del Toro, and a Caribbean colonial style is required of new construction.  Home prices along with lot prices vary according to the islands,  and range from under $100,000 to the millions.  Not all of the islands in the archipelago are developed with water treatment, electricity and paved roads. The most popular is Isla Colon, where many expats live and have businesses.

What Is Special about Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro offers a relaxed lifestyle along with beautiful beaches; boating, kayaking, and reefs for diving and snorkeling; rainforests with many species of tropical flora and fauna; a National Marine Park that has become Panama's top ecotourism destination.

What Is Not Special about Bocas del Toro

Because it is a rainforest, Bocas del Toro receives a copious amount of rain, and it does get humid; the province lacks some basic infrastructure concerning water filtration, electricity, and roadways; there is a public health clinic, but facilities are limited.

Climate and Physical Environment

The entire archipelago lies in a tropical rainforest and receives an average of 130 inches of rain annually. There is no predictable dry season, as it  rains over 300 days a year,  mainly just for a short time each day, and the rain is considered gentle and warm for the most part. The temperature is consistent all year, averaging a perfect 80 degrees.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Bocas del Toro is a tapestry of cultures including Spanish, Indian, Europeans, South American and North American. The indigenous people of Bocas del Toro are farmers and fishermen who share their traditions and customs with visitors, along with selling their crafts.  As a tourist destination, Bocas del Toro’s blue water and white beaches offer surfing, diving, and snorkeling, boating and kayaking. The province contains two national parks: La Amistad International park and Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park, which is the area’s largest attraction and covers over 30,000 acres.  The park is also a protected area for endangered Manatee and a sightseeing spot for watching dolphins and sea turtles. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute operates a research station on Colon Island. 


The crime rate is low in Bocas del Toro.

Medical Facilities

Health care is available, but doctors and services are limited.


Bocas del Toro is accessible by air or boat, and it does have its own airport.  Boat service and water taxies are provided by different companies to various islands.  A car is not considered a necessity as the island of Isla Colon is very walkable, and some of the islands do not have roads.  Most residents do however, own a boat.

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