Carenero Island in
Bocas del Toro, Panama
quick guide & things to do
ABOUT CARENERO ISLAND
Carenero Island in Panama is the location and home of PirateArts-Experience Resort. Also commonly referred to as Isla Carenero, the island is the smallest of the 4 main tourism islands in Bocas del Toro and covers just 1 square kilometer.
Isla Carenero’s coastlines are dotted with small beaches and some of the best waves in the islands. You can walk around the island in about an hour, or extend your walk by stopping at one of the many beach bars along the way (some of the best in all of Bocas!)
Learn more about Carenero Island in Panama with this quick guide by PirateArts Experience Resort!:
How to Get to Carenero Island in Bocas del Toro, Panama:
Getting to Carenero Island in Bocas del Toro, Panama, is easy, but does require a few steps:
- First, you’ll want to book your international flights to Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, Panama.
- Next, hop on a smaller plane from Air Panama to Bocas del Toro. These flights fly out of Albrook International Airport in Panama City, so you need to transfer from PTY to PAC once you get to Panama City. Book these flights on AirPanama.com
- Once you land on Isla Colon in Bocas del Toro, Isla Carenero and PirateArts-Experience Resort is just a short 2-minute water taxi away!
It’s a good idea to leave about 2.5-3 hours in between your international and domestic flights. You also might have to spend a night in Panama City if your flights don’t line up, but don’t worry, there are some amazing hotels and things to do there, not to mention seeing the Panama Canal!
Things to do on Carenero Island
Carenero Island is centrally located amongst the 4 main Bocas del Toro Islands. Surfing, Hiking, Beach Lounging, Restaurants and Nightlife are some popular things to do on Carenero Island. Learn more about what to do on Isla Carenero below:
Hike Around the Island
Stop to take in some incredible viewpoints, watch the surfers, search for sloths, or sip fruity cocktails.
Experience some of Bocas del Toro’s best waves including Carenero Point, Black Rock, and Old Mans with a short 10-minute jungle walk from PirateArts Experience Resort (read our Bocas del Toro surf spot guide).
Take a Surf Lesson
Black Rock, Old Mans, or Bibi’s Break surf spots are the three most popular spots for surf lessons. Sign up for a lesson in Bocas Town or right here on Isla Carenero at Escuela Del Mar!
Go Paddle Boarding or Kayaking
PirateArts Experience Resort provides Kayaks and Paddle Boards to our guests – use them to explore the calm bays in between the islands, or do a full lap around Carenero Island when the ocean is flat!
Party, day or night!
Isla Carenero is known for being a party island, with it’s southern tip being home to the Aqua Lounge, the infamous overwater day/night club, featuring almost daily electronic music events. And don’t miss Bibi’s by the Beach for Live Acoustic Music on Sundays.
Relax or Get a Massage
PirateArts Experience Resort is located on the Northern tip of the island, far away from the bump of Agua Lounge’s Bass, so you can relax to the sounds of the rainforest or get a massage in our botanical garden massage studio.
Eat at some of the best restaurants in Bocas del Toro
Bibi’s on the Beach, Receta Michila, Leaf Eaters, and Coquitos Beach offer some incredible eats whether you’re looking for the freshest seafood and ceviche (Bibi’s) or vegan and vegetarian options (Leaf Eaters) or you want to eat a pizza or taco with your feet in the sand! (Coquitos) Receta Michila (pictured) is also one of Bocas del Toro’s only internationally famous restaurants, run by acclaimed Panamanian Chef Joseph Archibald.
The Location of PirateArts Experience Resort
Our Resort is located in a prime location on the north west end of Carenero Island. We have ocean frontage, are immersed in the rainforest and a botanical garden, and are just a few minutes water taxi from the action on the southern tip of the island or Bocas Town. When you’re done with your adventuring for the day, you can retreat to our peaceful and tropical paradise.
Walking Distance to Surf
Surfers can walk to Carenero Point, Black Rock, Old Mans or Bibi’s Break all is 10-20 minutes. Carenero Point is the closest wave to our resort! If you want to check out the other breaks like Paunch, Tiger Tails, Bluff Beach on Colon Island or Wizard Beach and Long Beach on Bastimentos Island, you can easily grab a water taxi from our dock and they will drop you off at those waves in minutes!
Easy Access to Scuba Diving
Scuba Divers staying at our Resort will have easy access to Panama Dive School, located right here on Carenero Island, where you will enjoy discounted rates on your dives. The dive shops of Bocas Town are also just a few minutes water taxi away!
Carenero Island Insider Tips
- Bug Spray is Essential – Bocas del Toro has something called a sandfly – a small, barely visible fly that likes to bite and leave red marks on your skin. Don’t go walking around Carenero without some Bug Spray!
- Don’t leave your valuables unattended on the beach or stashed in the jungle while you go surfing/ swimming/ snorkeling, ect. This goes for anywhere in Bocas!
- Always agree on the price of a water taxi before getting in the taxi, this will help you avoid an argument with a greedy boat capitan.
- Stop by Aqua Lounge on Friday at sunset for the last stop of Filthy Friday to experience one of the most high energy parties in all of Central America. It’s over around 9PM, so if you’re not a crazy partier, you can still get a good nights sleep!
- Carenero Island in the place to be on Sundays: There’s Domingo Paradiso party at Aqua Lounge, a Beach BBQ at Receta Michila, and Live Music at Bibi’s at night. Spend the day soaking up the sun and bouncing from place to place!
- Respect the ocean, reefs, and currents around the islands. Bocas del Toro gets some seriously powerful waves and mostly they break on sharp coral reefs, so be careful where you swim, snorkel, or paddle.
- Use a Swim Bouy when snorkeling or swimming to mark your position for boat traffic. Boats are the most dangerous things in the waters of Bocas del Toro!
PirateArts Experience Resort Is The #1 Place to Stay on Carenero Island
Our Apartments are modern and clean and come with everything you need to ensure a wonderful and easy stay in Bocas del Toro. Don’t miss out!