The Caribbean

Cacao Travel Panama > The Caribbean


Cacao Travel Panama > The Caribbean


The Atlantic Coast of Panama, at the extreme south of the Caribbean Sea, hasn’t changed much since Rodrigo de Bastidas first sailed in it in 1501. It’s still paradise with its jungles, white sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs jealously guarded by Guna, Gnäbé and Buglé indigenous communities.

Bocas del Toro Archipelago


Located towards the north west end of the country, right next to Costa Rica, the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro is another pearl and one of Panama’s tropical paradises. The islands and nearby mainland are both densely forested.

Huge trees covered with orchids and bromeliads stand tall while lining white sand beaches. Vast mangrove areas shelter incredible wildlife, vital for the ecology of coral reefs. Bocas del Toro hosts some remarkable animal species such as the elusive manatee and is also famous for its vibrant coloured poison-dart frogs.

Bocas town, on Colon Island, has dozens of small hotels, hostels, restaurants and bars, and truly comes to life at night. Nature enthusiasts may prefer the calm of the other islands where they can enjoy the pleasures of the Caribbean Sea (snorkeling, diving, fishing) and discover the always near rainforest.


Tours and activities:


  • Road tour to Boca del Drago beach
  • Boat tour to dolphin bay and bird island and coral keys
  • Boat tour and jungle tour in Bastimentos National Park
  • Boat tour to Zapatillas keys
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diving
  • Zip lining

San Blas Archipelago


Stretching more than 250 km towards Colombia, San Blas is an archipelago of about 375 islands with only 50 of them being inhabited. It has no equivalent in the Caribbean and, one could say, the world! It’s easy to be amazed by its unbelievable scenery of lagoons, white sand beaches and completely clear water.

But San Blas is much more than that. It is part of Guna Yala, the ‘comarca’ or autonomous territory of the Guna indigenous people, an ancient ethnic group who never accepted the rule of either the other indigenous peoples, the Spanish or the Panamanians. In San Blas, the Guna traditional law is enforced, and a foreigner (Panamanians included) cannot own land, invest or marry a local.

The Gunas also control tourism, which is why you won’t find any big hotel in San Blas, only a few small lodges –another reason why this place so special. Scuba diving is prohibited in San Blas but snorkeling and some fishing are allowed.

To go to San Blas you should pack lightly: camera, mask, snorkel, fins, a bathing suit and a good book… that’s about all you’ll need!

Tours and activities:


  • Visit of Kuna villages
  • Snorkeling
  • Bottom fishing
  • Rainforest hike on mainland

San Lorenzo and Portobelo


Not far from the city of Colon, the northern gateway to the Panama Canal, stand the impressive Gatun Locks and the much newer Agua Clara Locks. A panoramic lookout point allows visitors to observe the fascinating show of huge ships inside the narrow Canal chambers!

On the other side of the Gatun Locks, a small, picturesque road leads to the San Lorenzo Fort ruins through secondary vegetation, then through dense rainforest. Howler monkeys are commonly heard and seen, along with agoutis and coatimundis. Only once you reach the end of the road, do you meet the majestic Fort of San Lorenzo, proudly facing the Chagres river and the Caribbean Sea. A gorgeous scene indeed, untouched as Bradley and his privateers encountered it when they took the fort more than 300 years ago.

About 1 hour driving east is enough to reach the charming little town of Portobelo. The name Portobelo (literally meaning ‘beautiful harbour’) was given by Christopher Colombus who discovered the bay during his fourth and last trip. Portobelo is protected by several Spanish fortifications that still stand as guardians of the beautiful bay.

Tours and activities:


– Visit of San Lorenzo Fort

– Hike in rainforest of San Lorenzo National Park

– Visit of Portobelo Fort and Customs

– Hike to Salto El Tigre waterfall

– Beach of Isla Mamey near Puerto Lindo

– Visit of Isla Grande

– Scuba diving in Portobelo Gulf