Bocas del Toro over the last decade has grown to become a very popular destination for young travellers seeking sun, sand, surf and parties. It was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 when he was searching for a passage through the Americas to the Pacific. It is comprised of a series of islands with the main island being Isla Colon. Besides Spanish, one can also find a Jamaican-style English Patois spoken here known as Bocas del Toro creole.
When it comes to surfing there are a plethora of surf spots dotted around Bocas del Toro. The majority of the waves are reef and beach and many of these spots are located islands like Isla Colon, Isla Carenero, and Isla Bastimentos. Most of surf camps in Bocas del Toro are located on Isla Colon will offer boat rides to the surf spots on the other islands.
Selina Bocas del Toro
Selina is part of a chain of upscale hostels that have a presence all over Central and South America. Selina in Bocas is no different – fine by design, plush and utilitarian. Like most hostels is located on the ocean in Isla Colon. Bocas town is in walking distance offering shops, bars and restaurants.
Selina Bocas del Toro offers everything from dorm rooms to deluxe twin rooms. Most rooms have access to a patios, terraces and communal seating areas. There is also a fully equipped shared kitchen. All rooms are air conditioned.
A private dock is at your disposal and you can take day tours from there. Both surfboard & SUP’s are available to rent. Apart from surfing this is an array of other daily activities on offer, including yoga, live music & games. You can also rent bikes at an additional fee. In our humble opinion Selina is one of the best Bocas Del Toro surf camps.
Hostal del Mar
Also located on Isla Colon, Hostel del Mar is a warm and comfortable hostel. It is situated just 50m away from the shops and bars of Bocas town. Bocas del Toro Central Park is juts a 5 minute walk and the dock to take the ferry to Isla Bastimentos is only 50m away.
Each room comes with tiled floors, a fan and a private bathroom with a shower, towels and linen. You will find a shared cafeteria on site. The nearest supermarket is 200m away. Other facilities they offer include a tour desk, luggage storage and a laundry.
The hostel has nice balcony with hammocks and has lovely views over the ocean. There is a ladder for entry to the water if you wish to swim. Boat trips to the nearby islands can me embark from the dock which is only 50m away. The hostel has a great downstairs with a pool in the middle.
Hotel Olas is also located on the ocean with splendid views of the Caribbean. Bocas town is only a 2 minute walk away where you can find a good choice of bars and restaurants. The hosts offer an airport shuttle and they speak English, Spanish and Hebrew.
It offers everything from standard double rooms to large quad rooms. There is also a Presidential Suite offering more space and luxury to those who have budgets that can extend that far. All rooms are air-conditioned and come with free Wi-Fi, cable TV and private bathrooms.
At an extra cost, Hotel Olas arranges boat transfers, tours and visits to famous local islands, surf spots and other attractions. You can also rent surf kayaks, bicycles and surfboards from the hotel.
Barrbra BnB Over The Sea
A very cool little two storey bed and breakfast located right on the water. Barrbra is about 15 minute walk or 5 minute drive to the town center. Aspects of the property that stood out previous guests was the quality of the breakfasts, the view and the overall aesthetic of the place.
The bnb includes 4 rooms on the second floor. Each bedroom has its own private bathroom with a shower. The bedrooms on the ground floor share an outdoor warm water shower and bathroom. There is also a living room, dining room, kitchen and a terrace. There is laundry service on offer as well.
You can book boat tours though Barrbra at an extra cost. Besides surfing you can partake in other cool activities like cycling, snorkelling, diving, and hiking. If you’re looking for a place which a little more intimate and homely, Barrbra is a great choice.
Bocas Surf School & Guest House
Bocas Surf School & Guest House is also located on the waters edge. It’s very close to the town center and offers an on-site restaurant, a shared lounge and a garden. It’s about 5-10 minute walk to the main street. There is burrito truck right outside the guest house selling delicious burritos.
This property which has been operating since 2017 offers basic triple rooms with air conditioning. All the rooms share bathrooms and some rooms come with their own patio. The general consensus from past guests is that guest house is clean, well maintained and has comfortable beds.
Besides surfing, the host of the guesthouse can also arrange snorkelling, diving and kayaking trips. This is the perfect place if you are looking for a more chilled, tranquil setting which is away from the main party area.