Panama Snapshots: Almirante Bay

The best way to explore Panama's premier ecotourism destination is by water


On Panama’s northeastern coast, the sheltered waters of Bahia Almirante separate the mainland from the islands of Bocas Del Toro. In addition to the nine primary islands, this archipelago includes dozens of smaller cays and hundreds of green-clad islets. Some are settled by native fishermen, who inhabit stilt homes built over the water. Others are home to secluded off- grid resorts, where guests immerse themselves in one of the world’s most bio-diverse ecosystems. There are few roads, and small taxi boats connect the islands.

The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as Panama’s first National Marine Park. Though not on the mainstream tourism radar, this area gets its share of adventurous travelers. Some come to surf or dive the reefs, others simply wish to experience nature at its most pristine.

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