How to get to Bocas del toro
The easiest way to get here to Bocas del Toro is from Panama City. You can either take a flight, or the bus.
You can also come across the border from Costa Rica, but flights and bus trips from Costa Rica are more expensive.
Sometimes getting to Bocas del Toro can take a bit of time, but we promise it’s worth it!
Here are a few different ways you can get to Bocas del Toro from Panama City or Costa Rica:
From Panama City
Option 1: Fly directly with Air Panama (airpanama.com)
- NOTE: Flights are from the domestic airport Albrook Airport, which is DIFFERENT from the International Airport, Tocumen.
- Albrook airport is about a 40 min Uber ride from Tocumen, so take this into consideration when booking your flights!
- You will probably need to stay a night in Panama City – we recommend the Casco Viejo area.. A pre-vacation vacation in a beautiful part of Panama City.
- Uber works great in PTY and is way cheaper than the taxi drivers who will surely be hollering at you at the arrivals gate.
- Air Panama’s website isn’t the most advanced, so book as soon as you know your dates!
Option 2: Take a bus
- Go to the Albrook Bus Terminal in Panama City (Uber or Taxi)
- Purchase your overnight bus ticket to Almirante at the bus terminal.($35, 10-11 hour)
- Take the overnight bus
- Take a taxi to from the Almirante bus stop to the docks. ($1, 5 min)
- Take a boat (water taxi) to Bocas del Toro. ($6, 20 min)
Good to know:
- Overnight buses from Panama City to Almirante depart around 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and you will arrive in Almirante between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. The last water taxi leaves Almirante for Bocas at 6 p.m.
- Buses are air conditioned – but, like, WAY too air conditioned. Bring lots of layers and be prepared to bundle up!
- Bus tickets aren’t available online, but can typically be purchased up to a few hours before departure. The Bocas del Toro bus ticket office phone numbers are: 303-6326 and 303-6327.
- If you are returning to Panama City from Almirante, the bus departs daily at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. This ticket can be purchased a few days in advance from the local Bocas del Toro office.
From San José (Costa Rica)
Option 1: Take a shuttle bus (Caribe shuttle) – more affordable, convenient, approx $80 each way
- Shuttle leaves San Jose at 6am and you get to Bocas around 4p.
- Price includes: lunch at Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo, a guide to help you cross the border, and boat transportation to Bocas Town.
- The shuttle has wi-fi (ish) and air-conditioning and will pick you up at your hotel in San Jose.
- Border fees are not included and cost $8 to exit Costa Rica.
- Public bus options are available and much cheaper – if you’re accustom to taking the buses around here, go for it!
Option 2: Fly directly with Costa Rica Green Airways (costaricagreenair.com) – not a cheap option, but a possibility, at least.
- Pros: Leaves from SJO airport, so just walk to the new terminal, check your bags and go!
- Cons: it’s expensive, and only runs a few times a week. I personally wouldn’t count on it, but it could work in the right scenario?
You made it to bocas del toro!
It’s time to find your way to LA SELVA at Nomad Tree Lodge. We’re located on the main island, Isla Colón, the same island you arrived on.
- We are a 10-15 minute taxi ride from town, $4-5 for per person.
- We recomend our favorite taxi driver, Joel – +507 6577 1853, but to be totally honest – this is the caribean and taxi drivers here are doing things on their own time. If you get in a taxi you like, take their whatsapp number and make them your new best friend. You will thank us later.
- All taxi drivers know us by La Selva at NOMAD TREE LODGE (they might only know nomad …), in case there is any confusion, we are up the driveway from the Big Blue House (Casa Azurey) just past paki point. (There arent “addresses” here, but we are on google maps if you need any clarification).
You are already in Bocas del Toro and you would like to stay with us at our adventure eco lodge?