Bocas del Toro, Panama

Isla Carenero

Isla Carenero is only a few minutes from the center of Bocas Town yet has a totally different disconnected feel,
offering a convenient location for anyone looking to be away from the hustle of Bocas Town but not too far.

Photo by HNS Pictures

Isla Carenero, Bocas del Toro

Isla Carenero

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Located only a few minutes by boat, Carenero Island is the closest islands to Bocas Town on Isla Colon. It is also one of the smallest of the major islands in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. You can hike or paddle around the entire island in about an hour.

For those interested in a sleepier, more laid back island rhythm, Carenero Island is a great choice. Most hotels are on the beach or over-the-water some with beautiful crystal clear beaches right out front. The restaurants here are superb offering a mix of international and local seafood and vegetarian cuisine. Go for lunch, sip on a cocktail or tropical fruit juice and then relax on the many beaches that surround this small island.

Activities here include surfing, snorkeling, paddling, hiking and just unwinding on one of the beaches.


History of Carenero

Isla Carenero comes from the Spanish verb carenar (careen in English), which is a nautical term that means leaning a boat on its side for scraping and repairing the hull. As history goes, Isla Carenero is where Christopher Columbus and his men did this on his fourth voyage to the Americas.

Carenero Culture

Isla Carenero is a small island and a great way to enjoy island life. There are no roads here, only beach paths that run along the shore of the island with restaurants and hotels perched over the sea.

How to Get to Carenero

Local water taxis from Isla Colon and Isla Bastimentos offer transportation service to Isla Carenero. There are docks all over Isla Carenero. If you are trying to go to a restaurant, hotel or beach, ask the water taxi driver to take you to the nearest dock. Since there are no roads on Isla Carenero, the best way to get around is by foot, no worries the island is small, and distances from one spot to another are short.

Safety on Carenero

Like anywhere else in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, use common sense when visiting Isla Carenero. Make sure to watch your things if you decide to visit the beach. Police are always walking around the island for your safety.

Carenero Tips & Tricks

Mosquito repellent is a must. The chitras, tiny little biting flies that pack a wallop, have trouble getting through a layer of coconut oil. So stop by a local store to buy some and shine yourself up before hitting the beaches. 

Doña Mara Beach Hotel Wake up to the sounds of waves outside your bedroom door at the small yet beautifully decorated Doña Mara Beach Hotel located on Isla Carenero hosting one of Bocas del Toro most unique restaurants showcasing the flavors of the Caribbean.

Things to do


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