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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Wild on Bocas del Toro


3. What to Do

Poolside swings at the Aqua Lounge.   

Boteros Bocatoreños (507-757-9760; Calle 3 nr. Ave. A) is a collective of local freelance boatmen who offer water-based day trips to visitors. Try snorkeling at Cayo Crawl (a.k.a. Coral Cay) and Cayos Zapatillas ($35 per person, plus lunch; about six hours) to get personal with parrotfish, moray eels, slender needlefish, fire coral, and other sea life. For surfing, the boatmen will take you to Playa Bluff, Playa Wizard, or wherever the day’s waves are (about $15 to $20 per person). Buy some beers from the office before setting out; they’ll bring a cooler on the boat.

Back on land, get ready to bar-hop. Start off with a cold happy-hour cerveza (7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; 50 cents) at Mondo Taitu (507-757-9425; Ave. G nr. Calle 5), a hostel and bar with a young, international surf vibe. Slightly more adult is reggae-surf bar La Iguana (Calle 1 nr. Ave. D), where you can drink Cuba libres on the back dock. Barco Hundido (Calle 1 between Av. E and Central) starts to move around midnight; find a space on the sprawling dance floor or claim a spot on the wooden deck that encircles the illuminated underwater shipwreck that is the bar’s namesake.

Aqua Lounge Hostel & Bar hosts a late-night party on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Take a five-minute, $1 water taxi ride to Isla Carenero and bring your bathing suit: The bar’s dock floats on the sea and has a dedicated swimming area with diving board and swing set. Splash till 3 a.m.

Published on Jan 7, 2009 as a web exclusive.

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