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Bocas del Toro Province

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Title: Bocas del Toro Province  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Señorita Panamá, Miss Panamá 2012, Panama, Chiriquí Grande, Afro-Panamanian
Collection: Bocas Del Toro Province, Provinces of Panama, States and Territories Established in 1903
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bocas del Toro Province

Bocas del Toro Province
Provincia de Bocas del Toro
Flag of Bocas del Toro Province
Location of Bocas del Toro in Panama
Location of Bocas del Toro in Panama
Coordinates (Seat of Government):
Country Panama
Founded 1903
Capital Bocas del Toro
 • Total 4,657.2 km2 (1,798.2 sq mi)
Population (2010 census)
 • Total 125,461
 • Density 27/km2 (70/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern Time (UTC-5)
ISO 3166 code PA-1
Website .combocasdeltoro
Google Earth,[1] Statiods[2]

Bocas del Toro (meaning "Mouth of the Bull") is a province of Panama. Its area is 4,643.9 square kilometers, comprising the mainland and nine main islands.[3] The province consists of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Bahía Almirante (Almirante Bay), Laguna de Chiriquí (Chiriquí Lagoon), and adjacent mainland. The capital is the city of Bocas del Toro (or Bocas Town) on Isla Colón (Colón Island). Other major cities or towns include Almirante and Changuinola. The province has a population of 125,461 as of 2010.[4]

Christopher Columbus and his crew first visited the area in 1502.[5] Bocas del Toro borders the Caribbean Sea to the north, Limón Province of Costa Rica to the west, Chiriquí Province to the south, and Ngöbe-Buglé Comarca to the east. The Río Sixaola forms part of the border with Costa Rica. An old railroad bridge spans the river between Guabito and Sixaola, Costa Rica. The bridge is a border crossing used by tourists going between destinations in Bocas del Toro and Costa Rica.

The province contains two national parks, Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park and La Amistad International Park.[6] The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute operates a research station on Colón Island just northwest of Bocas Town.[7] There are many banana plantations in Bocas del Toro, often called the oro verde, or green gold of Central America.[8]


  • History 1
  • Protected areas 2
  • Districts 3
  • Geography 4
    • Climate 4.1
  • Gallery 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Christopher Columbus explored the area in 1502 while searching for the passage to the Pacific Ocean. Columbus's original name for the island was Isla del Drago. In colonial times, Bocas del Toro was part of Veraguas. It was originally part of Costa Rica until, in one of many territorial disputes, Colombia took control of it with armed forces. The then government made a reservation called Bocas del Toro in 1834. In 1850, Bocas del Toro became a part of Chiriqui, then was separated from it and became part of Colon. On November 16, 1903, Bocas del Toro was separated from Colon and became its own province. In 1941, Bocas del Toro was divided into two districts, Bocas del Toro and Crimamola. Four years later, it became part of the same division as before. In 1970, Bocas del Toro district became Changuinola, the district of Bastimentos was eliminated, and three new districts were added, making the province what it is today. The districts' areas changed in 1997 when the Ngöbe-Buglé Comarca was created.

The province is the home of the unique Bocas del Toro Creole of English.

Protected areas

The national parks in the province are Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park (Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos), which contains most of Isla Bastimentos and some smaller nearby islands and extends into the large nature preserve at the Red Frog Beach Island Resort,[9] and La Amistad International Park (Parque Internacional La Amistad), which spans the Costa RicaPanama border.[6] Bocas del Toro contains most of the Panamanian section of the park, which covers 400,000 hectares (4,000 km2; 1,544 sq mi). The Costa Rican section of the park covers 584,592 hectares (5,846 km2; 2,257 sq mi).[10] La Amistad International Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.[10]


District Establishment Surface area
Corregimientos (Subdivisions)
Cabecera (Seat)
Bocas del Toro District 1855 430 km² Bocas del Toro, Bastimentos, Cauchero, Punta Laurel, and Tierra Oscura Bocas del Toro
Changuinola District 1903 3,995 km² Changuinola, Almirante, Guabito, Teribe, Valle del Risco, El Empalme, Las Tablas, Valle de Agua, Nance de Risco, Las Delicias, Cochigro, and La Gloria Changuinola
Chiriquí Grande District 1970 207 km² Chiriquí Grande, Miramar, Punte Peña, Punta Robalo, and Rambala Chiriquí Grande



Climate data for Bocas del Toro (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.8
Average low °C (°F) 20.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 123.9
Average precipitation days 16.6 14.6 14.8 15.2 16.7 17.9 20.9 18.4 15.8 16.4 17 20.0 204.3
Source: World Meteorological Organization [11]


Bocas Del Toro
Bocas del Toro

Red poison dart frog
Red poison dart frog, Bastimentos

Sunset in Bocas del Toro
Sunset in Bocas del Toro


  1. ^ Google Earth
  2. ^ Provinces of Panama
  3. ^ Somos Panama Retrieved: 15 March 2011
  4. ^ Panama 2010 Census Retrieved: 24 May 2011
  5. ^ "Lonely Planet". Bocas del Toro History.  Retrieved: 15 March 2011
  6. ^ a b Frommer's Panama (1st ed.). 2007.  
  7. ^ Bocas del Toro Research Station Retrieved: 14 June 2009.
  8. ^ "Changuinola". Changuinola Banana.  Retrieved: 15 March 2011
  9. ^ "Red Frog Beach". Red Frog Beach. 
  10. ^ a b UNESCO La Amistad International Park overview Retrieved: 14 June 2009.
  11. ^ "World Weather Information Service - Bocas del Toro". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 

10. ^ Official Web Site of the Island 11. ^ Official Bocas del Toro Travel Website

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Paraiso for Sale 2011 documentary about US immigration to Bocas, and the attendant impact on locals and indigenous peoples
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