I saw that it's 38 miles, but 38 miles could take hours to drive. Is it a doable daytrip from Cocles or not worth the effort?
Nope. You can't even drive there since you can't take a rental car across the border and Bocas is a series of islands reachable by boat only. If you left early morning, you would make it to Bocas Town in time to have lunch and start the trip back. Makes more sense if hou have 2-3 nights to spend here.
Check out Bocas transport options and border crossing details on this Puerto Viejo site - https://www.puertoviejosatellite.com/transportation-from-puerto-viejo-to-bocas-del-toro.php . Remember that depending on the season, day of the week and just luck, you might spend some time at the border crossing. Twice (return). So, yes, it is close, and shuttles like Caribeshuttle pick up from Puerto Viejo, etc. (extra charge for pick up from Cahuita or Manzanillo) and take you to the border, then another van on the other side, to the dock, but as a day trip - No.
This Co, for ex., has a Bocas pkg, but minimum 2 days / 1 night - https://geckotrail.com/tour/bocas-del-toro-panama/ .
Remember to look up typical Weather in Bocas for the season when you r travelling.
we just did it, caribe shuttle picked us up at caribe town hotel to border.....you will never make it to bocas and back in 1 day 45 mins from cocles to border then about 45-1 hour to do the border crossing then 1/2 hour to the boat dock then 20min boat ride to bocas then reverse all this back so 1 day not good
Wow. Thanks everyone.
Because we are traveling as a family, We chose to use the shuttle service from puerto Viejo, not at all worth it. Take the bus. It's cheaper and easier if you just follow the I structions privided here. The shuttle was hot, inefficient and totally disorganized. They tell you it's all inclusive from puerto Viejo to bocas del toro but along the way they lose track and demand you pay each leg of the trip again when you arrive there. Total nightmare. We ended up paying way more than using public transport for a shouting match and a headache... Takes at least 3 hours each way but really more like 4, so no way for just one day round trip...
Could you pls give more info - e.g., which shared shuttle Co did you book for your trip to Bocas? Was it Caribeshuttle?
hi, we are also traveling as a family. we all have suitcases. I think that is not very handy by public transportation. Wat was your experience? Best regards Anne
4 of us were in PV last month. We took a shared shuttle through Caribe Shuttle to Bocas. We had no problem with the shuttle. The van was nice and they got us to the border, got someone to walk us through the different border offices and then took us the rest of the way.. all for just $33. I would recommend taking the 6am shuttle. We were told that the border offices are usually pretty slow early in the morning and they were right. We never had more than 2 or 3 people ahead of our small group. Definitely plan to stay at least two nights in Bocas since you will lose 1/2 a day there for your travel coming and going. We planned our visit to Bocas toward the end of our trip and then flew from Bocas back to San Jose instead of having to do another 5 hr shuttle ride back to the airport. OH!!! And if you do go to Bocas have tacos at the Hungry Monkey! Yum!