Bocas del Toro, Panama

Outer Islands

These islands make up the outside areas of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Most have small local indigenous villages and sprinkled with a few all-inclusive resorts and eco-lodges.

Escudo de Veraguas, Bocas del Toro

Tigre Island, Loma Partida, Cayo de Agua, etc.


This area of Bocas del Toro has its own feel and vibe, and a visit to these off islands will instantly transport you to a different era and place, where time seems to slow down you can really begin to sense the daily rhythms of the natural world around you.

There are plenty of great fishing holes and reefs teeming with snapper and other fish. This area has a few rustic over-the-sea restaurants that offer local cuisine specials from the catch of the day.

Out just a little further is Cayo de Agua, where you can surf breaks that have no names, and you’ll be your own crowd as most days, these solitary waves go unridden with no one to play among them.


History of Outer Islands

Once considered a place where pirates would hide their treasure, the outer islands of Bocas del Toro are inhabitated by the Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous groups. Since the creation of the Comarca Ngöbe-Buglé in 1997, these islands are home to a few small villages where locals practice artesanal fishing. 

Outer Islands Culture

The outer islands of Bocas del Toro are for the majority fishing villages, the main substance of income for these communities. While tourism is starting to play a part in their lives it is still relatively small compared to other regions of the Bocas islands. While most locals paddle around these parts in cayucos, traditional wooden canoes, there are some boats with motors zipping around these villages.

How to Get to the Outer Islands

There are few tours that venture out to these islands however there are some available, for the most part cultural tours to local Ngöbe-Buglé villages. You can also hire a water taxi to check out these islands as well as go on private sailing tours. It takes about 1 hour to reach the outer islands by speed boat from Bocas Town. Getting between islands such as Cayo de Agua and Isla Tigre is easy either by motor boat or paddling by cayuco.

Safety on Outer Islands

Just like anywhere, use common sense when visiting the outer islands of Bocas del Toro. Don’t leave your things unattended at the beach. Be mindful of ripe tides and currents. 

Outer Islands Tips & Tricks

If you really want to explore this are of Bocas del Toro the best time to come is in September and October, the driest season in the Bocas islands with the most clearest ocean conditions. You will be able to see more and access beaches that are usually difficult to reach other parts of the year. 

Things to Do


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