top of page

Isla Colón is the Island to Visit Before Your Mid 20's

Tropical vibes and a bumpin' nightlife: discover Isla Colón, the vibrant heart of Bocas del Toro archipelago. A must-visit for travelers searching for the perfect blend of relaxation and nightlife.

The back of a laptop with stickers and a DJ in Bocas del Toro, Panama

by Betsy Salcedo

8 de jul de 2023

I had never visited Panama before and everyone that I asked for recommendations mentioned Bocas del Toro in their top three. The way they described it to me was: good-looking people everywhere, amazing vibes, and great parties. Let me tell you: they were right. 

Bocas del Toro is a province of Panama and its archipelago has 9 islands. The central one, and the one that got my heart, is Isla Colón. This island has an airport, many hotels, restaurants, and tourist information offices. This is the center of everything and is very popular with backpackers around the world. Basically, if you want to meet people and have fun in Panama, you come to Bocas del Toro. And if you are a young adult and want to experience great parties and new cultures, Isla Colon is the island you need to visit. 

Read on for my top 5 things to do in Isla Colón.

1. Filthy Friday

The famous Friday wild party. They host a huge and crazy party every Friday that starts at 11:00 am and finishes with a reggaeton set in Aqua Lounge at 9 pm. The ticket cost 40$ and includes: the entrance to three Island Parties (Isla Colón, Isla Solarte, Isla Carenero), each one with a different DJ; boat rides to go to the next party; a tote bag; a tank top; a temporary tattoo; and shots. This is something I definitely would not skip, for me it’s the main reason you should go to Bocas, especially if you travel with a group. The majority of the people are backpackers from different parts of the world and are so ready to party! I would recommend getting to Bocas on Wednesday to have a rest day and be able to sleep and rest before Friday. Also, take electrolytes because Panama is one of the hottest countries that I’ve ever visited and the heat along with alcohol is the perfect mix for dehydration.

2. Rent a Bike

You don’t really need a car here, for us renting a bike was a unique experience. You can explore the beaches, shops, streets, and restaurants and have a little workout while you do. The rates go between 8$ and 35$ per day, depending on which wheels you prefer and where you rent from. If you don’t feel like using a bike you can also rent a motorbike starting at 25$ per day.

A Coca Cola cool sign in the main street of Isla Colon

cycling on the main street of Isla Colón

3. Bapé house

Coco Fastronomy is the house of a dish that is only served here. The Bapé is a corn dough bread that can be filled with an infinite variety of choices. Some people compare this dish with arepas or burgers but something in the texture and flavor makes it different. My favorite one was the “Mama” because it has fresh vegetables and the meat is very sweet. For me, this is a perfect dining spot because sometimes they have live music and romantic lighting with a view to the sea. It’s also easy to take water taxis if you want to go somewhere else or are staying on another island.

4. Stay at Hotel Selina

This is great advice that I wish I knew before not only because it will save you money but also because it’s where everything happens. Hotel Selina has one of the best locations on the island, a great bar, the best wifi, and a communal kitchen. You will be able to save some money and meet cool people staying there as they offer many activities to interact with the other guests.

5. La Coralina Island House

This is a hotel and restaurant inspired by Bali in Indonesia: handcrafted furniture, indoor plants, rattan, and textured rugs. La Coralina has a lovely shop, one of the best restaurants in town, and healing retreats, massages, acupuncture, and free mindfulness and yoga sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This was one of the more expensive experiences on this trip but was totally worth it.

Spa next to the ocean in Panama

La Coralina Island House Photo by La Coralina


All in all, for me this is the perfect trip to make good memories, fall in love and live freely next to people that are doing the same as you.

bottom of page