La Gruta

Bocas del Toro Town

If sun, sand and surf isn't your thing then consider a trip to this cave in Colonia Santeña, a small village of cattle farmers 7km northwest of Bocas town. Here you'll wade through waist-high water while trying not to disturb thousands of sleeping bats overhead. It's all over in about five minutes. The cave entrance, marked by a small shrine to the Virgin Mary, is along a short trail on the right along the road to Boca del Drago.

A round-trip taxi should cost about US$20 or you can take the Boca del Drago bus (US$2.50).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bocas del Toro Town attractions

1. Playa Bluff

1.55 MILES

This lovely beach is pounded by intense waves. Though you wouldn’t want to get into the water here without a board, the soft, yellow sand and palm-fringed…

2. Castillo Inspíración

2.41 MILES

French-Canadian Robert Bezeau crafted this four-story castle from 40,000 plastic bottles. The epitome of recycling, it's one of a kind and worth a good…

3. Playa Punch

2.57 MILES

Further up the coast from Playa El Istmito and Sand Dollar Beach is Playa Punch (or Paunch), which is dangerous for swimming but good for surfing. It's…

4. Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden

2.97 MILES

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…

5. Playa El Istmito

3.75 MILES

Playa El Istmito, also called Playa La Cabaña, is the closest beach to Bocas town (2.5km away), but as it's on Bahía Sand Fly the chitras (sand flies)…

6. Boca del Drago

3.98 MILES

Boca del Drago, in the northwest of Isla Colón, is one of the best beaches on the island, though the surf can be rough at times. Just offshore from the…

7. Wizard Beach


The most beautiful beach on Isla Bastimentos is awash in powdery yellow sand and backed by thick vine-strewn jungle. It's connected to Old Bank via a…

8. Red Frog Beach

7.27 MILES

Small but perfectly formed, Red Frog Beach is named after the rana rojo (strawberry poison-dart frog), an amphibian you're most unlikely to encounter here…