I am a huge fan of day trips and exploring nearby islands on a whim.
Once you are at a destination, there is a high chance that there is an island you can visit.
Even in the city – one comes to New York, you can go to Governor’s Island or Ellis Island for the day. Upstate New York, there are islands along the Hudson River that one never knew of. Up North in Maine and Canada, one can explore even more islands than one can think of. Tropical islands – you are guaranteed there are nearby islands to hop over to. Such as my favorite, Flamingo Island, in Aruba.
Tropical location or not – look into what ferries are around you for a day of adventure.
My first day in Bocas Town was a super sunny one.
There are not any beaches in downtown Bocas, but there are ferries so I hopped one for a quick 7 minutes ride over to Carenero Island.
There are multiple shops along the waterfront that offer ferries or quick speedboat rides to the island. You do not need to purchase a ticket in advance or choose one operator since they run so frequently.
Getting to Carenero
First, you must arrive into Bocas del Toro. Here is how to get there. Once in Bocas Town, choose any ferry along the waterfront.
Boat: 7 minute ride from operators in Bocas Town
Price: $1-1.50 per person (depends on season and boat style)
Carenero Island is much more quiet than Bocas.
The photo above is exactly what you see when you arrive.
There are many more hotels on the beach, and less restaurants. However, one can always find a good spot to eat at.
There are many surfing spots, paddleboarding areas, and calm beaches for snorkeling.
Right near where the ferry leaves you, is the famous restaurant Bibi’s.
Head there for a quick appetizer and a drink on their dock.
I found their pina coladas to be delicious. Yes, they have happy hour too!
Besides the Starfish Beach, Carenero beaches were my favorite. The water was perfectly clear, the vibe was very beach-lax, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. You will see people who are staying on the island, and many who arrive on a day trip, like myself.
*Tip: Bring bug spray as sand flies tend to come out when sunset comes.
Have you been to Carenero?