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Sightseeing in Bocas del Toro, info requested

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We are considering a short visit, meaning a day or two, from Boquete to Bocas del Toro. I was last there more than a decade ago. Some questions arise, and we are hoping that someone more experienced would share their thoughts.

  1. Should we drive or use a shuttle service? We don't know the particulars of where to arrange for a shuttle, how much it costs, schedules, etc. Can anyone provide some details?
  2. Any recommendations for lodging?
  3. Any recommendations re "gotta eat at this place"? (Or, stay away from that place?)
  4. Neither of us are beach people (concerns about sunburn sensitivity), so what are the other things to see and do in Bocas?
  5. Are there any dates to target being in Bocas, or perhaps dates to avoid?
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The shuttles (I think there are 3 of them) are great and about the cost for one person going. For two people you have to balance the costs. With the $30 shuttle ticket you get the $5 boat ticket (cheaper for pensionados) and no need to pay $5/day for parking. It also is much more relaxing and allows you to enjoy the scenery with a good professional driver at the wheel. The shuttle I'm most familiar with is the one leaving from Mamallena near the park. I've used it myself and at least 10 of my guests have taken it. In fact, I'm driving a current guest there in a few minutes to catch the 8:00 AM departure.

Also, if you're going to be in Bocas for a short while, I strongly recommend taking one of the many boat tours. They last about 4-5 hours and you get a whole overview of the island chain and you might even see some dolphins frolicking in the bay.

Edited by Penny
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