If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path escape, where days are long and languid and the pace is slow and calm, head to Bocas del Toro, a province of Panama. Close to the Costa Rican border, this island archipelago consists of six forested isles, remote islets and Panama’s oldest marine park. The local culture is evident at every turn, making a vacation rental here even more appealing – you’ll immediately feel a part of the community in this peaceful haven. The big city atmosphere is left far behind – instead of hassling for taxis and enduring a long ride from the airport into town, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation the moment you step foot in the islands.
From verdant rain forests to sunny beaches, crystal-clear coral reefs to mangrove islets, Ngobe Indian villages to bird sanctuaries, Bocas del Toro is abundant in its outdoor activities. Active travelers will want to search for the 1,300 types of birds who live and transit through this region, including parrots, hummingbirds and pelicans. Snorkel right from the beach of your waterfront rental. Take a guided jungle walk. Hop into a sea kayak (many vacation rentals even provide watersports equipment) and tour the coastline or paddle out to Bird Island. SCUBA divers and adventurous snorkelers will want to venture out to The Garden, Mangrove Point, Boca del Drago or the Zapatillas Keys, in the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park. Or, consider renting a boat and zipping around the turquoise waters to Admirald Bay, Colon Island, Cristobal village and Carenero Key.
The vacation rental opportunities in Bocas del Toro are tailor-made for families and groups of all sizes, with all the amenities you could wish for and a private atmosphere. Choose a sprawling residence with generously sized bedroom suites, remarkable water views, air conditioning, luxurious rainwater showers and direct beach access. Apartment rentals are available close to town, making it a nice balance of local life and beach life. Some cottage rentals are built right over the water, giving a decidedly romantic and exotic taste to your vacation. Feeling flush? Private island rentals are available, where you’ll be catered to from the moment you arrive; meals are even prepared by a full-time staff and provisions are provided from Bocas Town.