Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden

Bocas del Toro Town

A howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) is seen in Barro Colorodo island, in the artificial Gatun Lake of the Panama Canal on November 23, 2015. The island was declared a nature reserve on April 17, 1923 by the U.S. government. It was initially administered by the Panama Canal Company, and since 1946 it has been administered by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, forming the Barro Colorado Nature Monument together with five adjacent peninsulas. AFP PHOTO / Rodrigo ARANGUA / AFP / RODRIGO ARANGUA        (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

One of the joys of visiting Bocas is touring the 'Monkey Farm' botanical garden a couple of kilometers northwest of the center. Painstakingly carved out of 10 hectares of secondary rainforest over almost two decades, it contains hundreds of species of local and imported trees and ornamental plants, and is teeming with wildlife.

Co-owner and guide Lin Gillingham will point out howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys, sloths and various bird species. Tours, on Fridays and Mondays, must be booked in advance; garden tours depart regularly while birding tours are on demand.