Where are the safest places in Panama

Islands, islands, islands - the unknown island paradises in Panama

Panama is not necessarily known as a typical island state, but the canal country is only surrounded by beautiful islets. Whether on the Pacific or the Caribbean coast, there are more than 500 islands along the not exactly short sea line of Panama, many of which are more beautiful than the others.
On my trip through Panama I visited a total of 14 of them, of which there were some highlights that came very close to the perfect island paradise. Especially on the Caribbean coast there is one beautiful island after the other, especially in the area of ​​the San Blas Islands and the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. But there are also some damn pretty beauties to discover in the Gulf of Chiriquí, although I'm referring to the islands here, of course. ;-) So come on a little tour through Panama's island paradises and discover the secrets of the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Travel period: September / October 2019
Written: December 2019
Published: June 2020

>> To the Panama overview and my ultimate Panama guide
>> Which island paradise in Panama: Bocas del Toro Archipelago or San Blas Islands?
>> To the travel report Bocas del Toro
>> To the report about the San Blas Islands
>> To the detailed travel report Panama
>> To our accommodations in Panama

Content of this travel article

Islands around Panama City

Isla Taboga

Isla Taboga is one of the islands that, like Islas Las Perlas, can be reached as a day trip from Panama City. Exactly for this reason I set out during my days in Panama to explore what is probably the most popular excursion island in the area. You can read about my findings in my separate article about Isla Taboga, but it didn't blow me too much - especially from the point of view of what else there is to experience in Panama.

Islands in the San Blas archipelago


Nubesidup was probably the paradise island par excellence. Around 75 × 75 meters in size, in the middle of the turquoise blue sea and only surrounded by beach and palm trees, it was our base and "home island" on the San Blas Islands. For 2 days we could listen to the sound of the waves without any distraction, look forward to really freshly caught fish and snorkel around in the clear water. An absolute dream that you too can experience. You can find out how in my detailed report on the San Blas Islands.

Isla Perro / Assudub Bibbi

At least in terms of beauty and fascination, Isla Perro Nubesidup is in no way inferior. Especially the extremely turquoise blue water and the wreck off the island with its very colorful and species-rich fish population were particularly impressive. With the silence and solitude, the Isla Perro could not keep up with Nubesidup, because here you noticed that the island is visited by many tour operators as part of the San Blas tours and is heavily used for tourism.

Isla Fregata / Frigate Island

We visited Isla Fregata as part of our island hopping tour that we took on the San Blas Islands. However, it is by no means comparable to Nubesidup and Isla Perro, but rather just a small island that is used for souvenir sales. It is certainly not bad to have a look around here, because the souvenirs are absolutely authentic, but nothing of the natural fascination of the San Blas Islands can be felt here.

Isla Carti

Even on Isla Carti, there is not much left of the paradise feeling of this area - but a visit here is absolutely interesting, because it is one of the main islands of the San Blas Islands. These are the islands on which the inhabitants live, so that you can get an exciting insight into real life on the archipelago. Although this is extremely easy and does not have too much to do with the idyllic life on the outlying islands, everything here made a very orderly, relaxed and peaceful impression.

My Travelworld Travel Coaching
If you are unsure about your travel planning and maybe you have other questions about your upcoming trip, then take a look at my travel advice section. As a travel professional, you can ask me all your open questions here and I can work out a plan for you on how you can best optimize your travel booking in terms of price, service and offers. This not only saves time and nerves, but also a lot of money in the end.

Islands in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Isla Colón

Isla Colón is the main island of Bocas del Toro and at the same time the starting point for both the typical island hopping tours and trips to the neighboring islands. It is often described as hectic and functional, but when I think of my absolutely fantastic hostel (Pipa Loca Bay (~)) or the endlessly long and dreamy Playa Bluff alone, I cannot subscribe to this judgment.

Isla Caranero

Isla Caranero is the neighboring island of Isla Colón and ideal for a small excursion or a few nights in a relaxed environment. The hiking trail around the island has some beautiful views, especially the east coast is beautiful. Isla Caranero can also be reached very easily by kayak from Isla Solarte.

Isla Solarte

It is precisely this Isla Solarte that is home to one of the most exciting eco-lodge / hostel combinations that can be found in Central America, the Bambuda Lodge (~). You can find out more about this in the article about the exciting accommodations on Bocas del Toro. But Isla Solarte is also home to countless animal and plant species, because it is covered by dense jungle and a true natural paradise.

Isla Bastimientos

The fourth main island of Bocas del Toro is Isla Bastimientos, which is best known for the Red Frog Beach. And these are exactly the two main attractions - the "Beach", the really beautiful beach (although others are nicer in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago), as well as "Red Frog", the small poisonous strawberry frogs that can also be seen here in the jungle . And then there is also an absolute highlight accommodation on Isla Bastimientos ...

Cayo Zapatilla

It is difficult to single out a particular island in Panama as the non-plus-ultra. Probably it was Nubesidup on San Blas because of the combination of living and living and the really unique surroundings, but Cayo Zapatilla would definitely also be in the raffle. This island, which is usually visited as part of the island hopping tours, is a Caribbean dream come true. Idyll, clear water, fantastic beach and a lonely island tour in about 1 hour - what more could you want? In addition to the very special accommodations in the archipelago, Cayo Zapatilla is definitely one of the absolute highlights in Bocas del Toro.

Are you looking for accommodation in Panama?
Here are mine Top recommendations for your vacation in Panama:
  • Beach Hotel:Palmar Beach Lodge - a pretty beach complex on the beautiful Red Frog Beach with huts, glamping tents and dorms as well as a highly recommended and inexpensive open-air restaurant (in Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimientos)

  • Over-water bungalow:Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge - The dream of a bungalow built over the water is available in Panama at an affordable price. The Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge is one of the best options. (in Bocas del Toro, Isla Colón)

  • Skyscraper:Hard Rock Panama Megapolis - One of the highest rooftop bars in Panama on the 62nd floor and a spectacular view of the city - and a really good hotel (in Panama City)

  • Eco-Lodge:Mount Totumas Cloud Forest - As the name suggests, an eco-lodge in the cloud forest; in addition well managed, with great views, very cozy and with many animals in the area (in the west of Panama, near the border with Costa Rica)

  • Guesthouse:Oasis Bluff Beach - Charming guest house and oasis of wellbeing on one of Panama's most beautiful beaches (in Bocas del Toro, Isla Colón)

  • Insider tip:Boca Brava Paradise - Incredible idyll with spectacular sea views of the island world and daily howler monkey concert (on Boca Brava, Gulf of Chiriquí)

  • Backpacker:Bambuda Lodge