Del toro

Caribbean Sea Tour in Bocas del Toro (Panama)

After spending a day on a Caribbean bounty beach, we purchased a “Favorite Scene” tour from Gambit Tours for $ 35 per person (plus $ 10 entrance fee to visit the national park). Although we are not fans of organized tours, this choice was more than right. We spent an excellent day and saw animals that had never seen before.
Caribbean Sea Tour

Dolphins

The tour begins at 10 am with a trip to see dolphins. Keeping in mind our East African experience (we wasted two hours looking for dolphins, but could not find them), we were afraid that all dolphins would have left by this time. However, we were lucky. We reached the place in which the tourists like us had already been swaying on boats.
Caribbean Sea Tour

The dolphins appeared very soon. The boats tried to move towards them, of course without any luck, but we still saw the dolphins pretty close. A group is usually up to 15 individuals, and there is always a leader.

Paradise island and snorkeling

Then we went to the coral reefs for snorkeling. This is also our African trauma: in Zanzibar we were given leaking equipment, and Victor swallowed water. That is why we were not very enthusiastic about it. However, our Panamanian guide explained everything in detail and generally reassured us. The main thing is to force yourself to breathe through the nose. When it is not possible, panic begins. Also, the tube should be properly installed: when you are in a horizontal position, the tube should be standing upright. As it turned out, it is not complicated. We cut our feet on the reefs accidentally, but this was our fault: the guide had warned us about it.
snorkeling

coral reefs

At the next stop, we had lunch (the price is 10 dollars, not included in the tour price).
Bocas del Toro

prices on Bocas del Toro

Paradise island

Then we went to another paradise island of Zapatilla, where we had 1.5 hours of free time. During this time, you can take a walk along the tourist path. Local boys showed us a toad and tried to ask for a reward.
Sunbathing was impossible: the heat was unbearable, so we either swam or hid under palm trees.
island of Zapatilla

island of Zapatilla

island of Zapatilla

Sloths and starfish

After that, we were taken to the next island to observe sloths. Frankly speaking, we expected that we would walk, observe and almost touch them. In fact, we did not go out from the boat. We saw two of them from the boats. It turned out that to see sloths so close is great luck. They spend weeks in leaves almost without movement, unless the need to stretch a paw to get a leaf to eat. This way they save energy and hide from predators. Sometimes, once a week, they descend below, in order to defecate and wash. They have a slow digestive process, and they can eat for a month in advance. Therefore, they sleep or hang motionless most of the time.
Sloths

Sloths

Our last stop was Cay Hollywood. It is called so because here you can see many pygmy starfish, which are very well seen through a 2-meter layer of water.
starfish

starfish

Finally, upon arrival a pelican greeted us at the pier.
pelican

We loved the tour. We also saw a sloth later, at the Metropolitan Park in Panama City, but the first meeting was amazing. Of course, the Caribbean landscapes made the tour more magnificent. The same evening, we continued to discover Central America and moved towards Costa Rica.