When to go
Situated within the tropics, Bocas del Toro has a balmy climate with high temperatures (over 30°C) all year round. Although there is plenty of sun, the province receives copious rainfall throughout the year; the drier months tend to be Feb-Mar and Sep-Oct. The region lies outside the main hurricane belt.
Spanish, English and native tongues.
Getting local currency
Balboa. The national currency is at parity with the US dollar, and only US banknotes are used. (There are some local coins equivalent to US cents). There’s an ATM in Bocas del Toro town where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, and amounts may be limited. You are best advised to acquire dollar bills before travelling to the province. Panamanians are sometimes reluctant to accept US dollar notes of higher denominations.
GMT -5 hrs.
The Chiriquí highland region of temperate cloud forest (70km by road), with mountain villages and prolific wildlife, is ideal for hiking: quetzals and jaguars may be spotted in La Amistad International Park; a few days at a rural retreat in Boquete (3hr scenic drive) with a visit to a coffee finca.