Bocas del Toro

 

Bocas del Toro is a spectacular archipelago located in the Caribbean Sea, surrounded by exuberant nature and white sand beaches with transparent water. It is a province located at the north of Panama, bordering Costa Rica.It is a place full of life all year round, with both locals and tourists from all over the globe, quiet, with its own beauty, with bars and varied restaurants, and a paradise for beach lovers.

The Fishing:

In the estuaries of the Rivers Changuinola, San San and Sixaola (which borders with Costa Rica), the mix of freshwater and saltwater contains many nutrients providing abundant food for fish to feed on, and therefore attracting predators such as jack crevalle, tarpon, snook, and spanish mackerel. During the months of SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER the sea is calm and, weather permitting, you can find rolling tarpon with sizes from 20 lb up to 200 lb, mainly in the range above 60-80 lbs!

Fishing for these giants is mostly blind casting since the mixing of the waters makes the surface somewhat turbid.  And while you may see plenty of them rolling very near the boat it is usually others that go for the fly.

Below this layer of fresh and salt water, the water is crystal clear, which makes it possible for tarpon and jacks easily to see the fly and take it. Big tarpon, once hooked, give a tremendous fight that can last a couple of hours until the fish gets tired and surrenders, if the fisherman doesn't surrender first!

There are also smaller tarpon in nearby bays, they move in big schools and in deep clear waters, but they are harder to catch since they don't take the fly as easily as the bigger ones. This is a new fishery and we are still investigating and experimenting with different flies to attract them, and also searching the channels and other routes that they use to enter the bays.

There are also areas wher bonefish and a few permit can be found.  These tend to be located in the opposite direction to where the tarpon fishing is practiced and so are only usually frequented when the weather is unsuitable for the tarpon.

Accommodation:

The lodge in Bocas del Toro is a small, friendly hotel, very well located, all rooms having sea views, and where your boat will pick you up every morning directly from the breakfast table.  The rooms have air conditioning, TV, WiFi, fridge and private bathroom. The hotel service is good, the bar offers fine cocktails and the restaurant provides reasonable meals. Dinner is not included, but Bocas offers a good variety of restaurants with varied meal options, a nice town to stroll around and meet people from all over the world. Dinners in restaurants can vary from USD 15 to USD 35 per person. There are many bars, fequented by young people, with a very chill and happy atmosphere.

The Programme:

The program runs from Saturday to Saturday.
Day 0: Reception at Panama airport and transfer to 5* Hotel (TRYP in Albrook Mall).
Day 1: After an early breakfast, transfer to domestic airport and flight at 6:30 am to Bocas del Toro. Transfer to Lodge, equipment preparation and fishing departure at 8:30 am until 3:30 pm.
Day 2 to 5: Full fishing days starting at 5:30 am until 3 pm, stopping for lunch while fishing.
Day 6: Fishing from 5:30 am until 2:30 pm, return to lodge for luggage and equipment packing, flight back to Panama at around 5 pm. Transfer domestic airport to 5* TRYP Hotel.
Day 7: Transfer to international airport.

Other Activities:

Non-anglers will find plenty of activities to occupy them.  For a start, there are many beaches within reach from the hotel either by land or by boat.  The whole archipelago is a most attractive combination of smaller and bigger islands, some offering a good selection of water sports, beach bars/restaurants and plenty of life.  And the town of Bocas del Toro itself is a charming, old-world seaside town with water taxis constantly ferrying people from one island to another.

Seasons:

The only months in which we offer this service are September and October.  These are the 2 months when the weather is likely to be subdued and the seas flat and calm.

Access:

Bocas del Toro is only sensibly accessed by a domestic flight from Panamá City, approximately 1 hour flight.  This is included in the Programme.

Rates – 2015/16:

US$ 3,350/person, sharing room and boat.

Rates include:
Panama Airport reception, ground transfer International airport to hotel and return , 2 night accommodation in 5* Hotel in Panama City (TRYP in Albrook Mall), air ticket Panama / Bocas del Toro / Panama, 6 full fishing days with skiff, guide and captain, lunch and beverages, 5 night accommodation in Bocas with breakfast, and late check out.

Rates do not include:
International air ticket, personal insurance, dinners in Panama City and Bocas del Toro, fishing equipment and flies, staff and guide gratuities.

Conditions:

A 50% trip deposit is required to hold your reservation. Full payment is due 60 days prior to travel.