Renting a Bicycle on Isla Colon (And Where to Go)

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Isla Colon is the Bocas del Toro archipelago’s central hub and one of the few islands in this area with roads. On Isla Colon, you can find cars, trucks, and many, many bikes. Over the years, more people have moved to the Bocas del Toro islands with their cars and trucks, but the most popular way to get around is by bike.

Bocas Town, located on Isla Colon, is the Bocas del Toro province’s capital and home to many of the bike rental shops. You can find places to rent bicycles of all types, such as beach cruisers, mountain bikes, and even electric bikes. Make sure to rent the kind of bike you need depending on where you want to go exploring.

The main road that runs to Bluff Beach is known as Bluff Road. Starting from the Y-griega (the Y section that leads to either Bluff Beach or Boca del Drago) on Isla Colon, Bluff Road runs down along Isla Colon’s coast. The beginning section is a paved road until it reaches an area known as Paunch. Once you reach the end of the paved road, it turns into sand and rock. Depending on how compact the sand is, you might even have to push your bike a bit along the road. This road hugs the coast, passing different surf spots and restaurants. Along the way, there are some natural pools where you can refreshen and chill as you soak in the views of surfers catching waves. Bluff Beach is about a 35-minute bike ride from the Y-griega. There are a couple of steep hills, but for the most, the road is pretty flat. Once you reach Bluff Beach, the road runs down along the coast for about 5 kilometers. Bluff Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Isla Colon and offers different restaurants to grab a bite and cool drink while chilling in a hammock to enjoy the view. If there is surf on the beach, be careful, this beach has a strong rip tide and current. This kamikaze wave is only for expert surfers or swimmers; however, it’s lovely for swimming when it’s flat. For a trip to Bluff Beach, a beach cruiser is fine. The flat tires of beach cruisers are perfect for keeping momentum if you find yourself riding over sandy roads on the way to the beach. Take some water for the trip to refreshen, especially if you decide to ride near the middle of the day.

Another place to ride bikes to is Boca del Drago. This bike ride is a little more than an hour to reach and is about 14 kilometers long. Full of hills and sharp turns, we recommend you use a mountain bike in this spot. With a mountain bike, you can change gears easily when going up the many hills. Along the way are some farms, large trees and beautiful foliage, and a cave known as Santuario La Gruta. There is an entrance fee to visit La Gruta, but the cave is stunning and can make an excellent little spot to stop at and check out. Once you reach the end of the Boca del Drago road, turn left up towards Boca del Drago and Starfish Beach. At the road’s end, you can find delicious seafood restaurants where you can refuel and relax. Enjoy the seaside breeze and watch the exact spot where Christopher Columbus arrived when we came to Bocas del Toro on his fourth and final voyage to the Americas. If you want to explore a bit more, about 15 minutes up the coast is the famous Starfish Beach. The bike ride to Boca del Drago is a bit longer, and depending on your comfort level, you can decide to ride back or hire a truck taxi. With the cab, you can load your bikes in the back and ride back to town. If you decide to return by bike, you may want to plan this trip for an entire day. Another option is to rent an electric bike because this decreases the ride’s difficulty, allowing you to use the motor as well.

There are several places to rent bikes in Bocas Town, and many accommodations even offer them to their guests. It is essential to check out the bike’s condition before heading out, especially for places like Bluff Beach or Boca del Drago. Look at the tires, make sure they are in good shape, check out the chain, and make sure it is lubricated. Take extra cash in case something happens. If a tire explodes or a chain breaks, you can still grab a taxi, load the bike on the back and ride back to town. Use a lock always to secure your bike, especially if you decide to go swimming or eat inside a restaurant. While riding your bike in Bocas Town, keep an eye out for other cars and trucks and use the backroads when possible; it’s just easier than riding next to the vehicles. At night it’s crucial to use bike lights. The police will stop you if you are not using them. There are more spots to explore by bike on Isla Colon, but ask your local bike rental spot or host for tips on where to ride bikes in Bocas del Toro.

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