Griffo Law understands that considering Real Estate in Bocas Del Toro from abroad (or even locally) holds many challenges. This guide will help you narrow down your search considering the lifestyle and goals you plan to pursue in the area. We have categorized the Real Estate market in Bocas Del Toro into the following groups:
- Off-the-Grid & Eco Living
- Business Investments
- Raising a Family
- Property and Empty Lots
First! — Bocas del Toro Geography
As Bocas del Toro is still a developing archipelago with many islands to consider and challenging transportation variables, different property locations DO make a difference when considering your Real Estate options. With this map and summary, you can have an idea of where you may want buy Real Estate.
On this map, you can see the main islands that contain Real Estate options in Bocas Del Toro: Colón Island (Main Island where civilization lies), Carenero Island, Bastimentos Island, Solarte Island, Cristobal Island and Popa Island.
Let’s zoom into the main island of Colón as this is where several, different Real Estate areas are referred to by different names.
Bocas Town, Saigon Bay, Big Creek, Paunch Beach, Bluff Beach and Starfish Beach are the most popular areas to buy Real Estate on the main island. Within these areas, a wide assortment of property types are for sale, including: Commercial lots, humble beach homes and empty lots.
As Griffo Law has been operating on the main island of Bocas for more than 20 years, we have local insight to provide the most customized Real Estate consulting. Contact Us Today to receive customized Real Estate Consulting.
Eco and Off-the-Grid Living
Off-the-Grid Real Estate in Bocas Del Toro means anywhere besides the heart of the Bocas Town on the main island. Off-the-Grid Living is a common affair within Bocas del Toro, so if this is what you desire, we can help you make this pursuit as painless as possible. Some of the most important factors for a home off the map are: Electricity, Water, Internet and Transportation. These are some considerations that consist of many hardships, especially if you are new to Bocas del Toro. Griffo Law will help you skip all of the headache in the following guide.
When buying Off-Grid Real Estate in Bocas del Toro, electricity is essential to invest time thinking about. As Bocas del Toro does have a couple of power outages per month, a common remedy is the use of Solar Panels. Find out some basic information regarding solar panels and local electricity here.
- Solar Panels Suppliers
–Pass S.A. is a reliable, affordable and honest distributor of Solar Panel equipment in Panama City. This distributor is ideal for first-time buyers that would like the complete system thought out for them.
As you become more acquainted with the use of solar panels, you may want to make individual orders from other more specific distributors, such as Casa de las Baterías for batteries.
In regard to shipping from the mainland (David or PTY), we recommend a number of Transport Services in another section of this article.
When buying Real Estate in Bocas del Toro that is Off-the-Grid, a top priority is your water catchment system. The good news is that tropical Bocas del Toro receives over 100 inches of rainfall per year. All you need to decide is, how much water you will consume and the structure of your system.
As Griffo Law works locally in Bocas del Toro, we have seen (and lived!) the whole myriad of water challenges in the area.
First, let’s consider quantity of water consumption and equipment involved.
- Water Consumption: All of the following recommendations are based on daily consumption. Living in Bocas Del Toro, however, you will need to account for a few periods of ‘drought’ per year. This can mean between 1 to 2 weeks straight without rain. That is a long time for the tropics! On rare occasions, Bocas can go even longer without rain.
Daily Water Consumption
2. Equipment: The equipment for installation of a water tank is a simple, PVC system that leads from the tank, to a water pump, and into your home. For some equipment available in David, including water pumps and water tanks, refer to our Merchandise Recommendations section.
3. There are underground springs detectable in various locations of many islands. This would provide sufficient water for any quantity of people. A professional may need to be contacted for it’s detection.
When considering Off-the-Grid Real Estate in Bocas del Toro, Internet access will need to be accounted for.
- Cable Onda has recently changed their name to Tigo. They offer standard internet services as well as a satellite dish option that serves for homes that are off of the map.
- Claro may be able to reach your off-the-grid home. You will need to buy a chip at the supermarket and enter it in a device to test the connection at your residence. If it connects with the chip, then you can commit to a service.
- Cable & Wireless is the other internet provider that works great in town and has limited options for remote areas.
Transportation is of critical concern when living Off-the-Grif and surrounded by water. Two, straightforward options are listed below:
- Water Taxi: These panga boats will gladly bring you where you want to be for a friendly fee. The most populated islands have standard commuting rates, while prices for less traveled islands will need to be consulted with boat drivers directly. Below are usual fees for island-to-island commute:
- Bocas Town to Carenero Island
– Agua Lounge (nearest stop from Isla Colón) – $1
– Casa Chocolate (Northern side of island) – $2
- Bocas Town to Bastimentos
-Park – $3
-Red Frog ($5-$10 pp, depending on schedule and number of people in your group)
- Bocas Town to Solarte
-Hospital Point – $3
-Aqui Ahora (Bed & Breakfast) – $5
2. Buy a Boat!
Boats are constantly available for sale in the Bocas del Toro area. There are several, local mechanics along with endless boaters that are swapping boats. An initial look at Bocas Buy and Sell and updated New Bocas Buy and Sell would be ideal places to start your boat hunt.
As Bocas del Toro becomes more developed and recognized for it’s natural beauty, World-Class Surf and amicable community, Tourism in not only returning after COVID, but making an impressive comeback. In turn, Investors are seeing Bocas del Toro exponentially more attractive.
As Griffo Law serves and represents many Commercial Businesses, we consider the following to be of highest concern when considering Business Investments in Bocas del Toro: Relative Real Estate Market, Demand, and Risk.
Relative Real Estate Market
Bocas del Toro offers a ‘fair’ market as it is still small and comparatively underdeveloped, while rapidly capturing attention in tourism all over the globe. Investors are anticipating (and currently experiencing!) growth and interest in Bocas del Toro and are jumping on the bandwagon prematurely as to be fully prepared for a high and steady influx of tourism.
Search our Real Estate Properties page to get some specific insight on the Real Estate Market in Bocas del Toro.
The Real Estate Market in Bocas del Toro currently can be recognized as Competitive yet Modest. An astute investor can anticipate long-term profit and stability in Bocas and is willing to pay the price. Meanwhile, there are a number of humble prices and opportunities under the right setting. Griffo Law is ready to help you find that certain property that you have been searching for.
The Demand for lodging options in Bocas del Toro is high! Post-COVID has been a prosperous new-beginning for Bocas del Toro Tourism. Tourists are searching for a relaxing, gorgeous, leisure and SAFE getaway. Bocas del Toro is all of the above!
The following points out the main attractions for Tourists that is making Bocas del Toro sky rocket in terms of popularity and Tourism:
- -Post-COVID conditions: Even in the most traumatic of the COVID period, Bocas del Toro has maintained an impressively healthy community. By now, the virus is almost unspoken locally. Tourists truly looking for a ‘break from reality’ are running full speed towards Bocas. With more tourism is quickly growing the Demand for lodging in the area.
- -Natural Bliss: There is no question that Bocas del toro offers the most preferred landscape for most, repetitively referred to as ‘Paradise’. Still, even in the midst of Tourist Season, one can still find desolate beaches and unscathed greenery. Bocas del Toro is widespread, consisting of many islands and thousands of beaches; with the proper guide, one can reach complete virgin areas.
- -Island Vibes: Many vacationers are looking to RELAX on their upcoming trip. Bocas del Toro can accurately be described as having a laid-back, island feel with no rush to be anywhere.
In addition to lodging, the influx of Tourism is bringing more opportunity for dining and eatery investments and entertainment. There is no limit to where your investments can take you as Bocas del Toro is barely on the cusp of popularity with just the basic amenities to serve the industry.
Necessarily, an Investor must account for the risk involved. In Bocas del Toro, the risk factor has much to do with the volatility of Tourism.
Statistics show that since 1995, Tourism in Panama has gradually increased, with little downfalls from year to year, likely due to exterior factors.
From a mix of Statistical measures, and pragmatic evaluations from local members of the community, an overall consensus has determined that now is a safe time to invest. The only question left to you is how long your investment returns will take.
Raising A Family
Overall, we and many others see Bocas del Toro as an outstanding place to raise children. Bocas is full of outdoor activities. Children can’t seem to get enough of the beach, sand and warm weather. There
Raising a family in a developing area holds many obstacles, including: schooling options, nearby activities and entertainment, extra-curricular options and safety. In this section, we will cover these points.
Schooling in Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro has just a few options for schooling and due to a mix of ‘alternative’ attitude and location restrictions, homeschooling tends to be a popular choice. Fortunately, Panama legalized homeschooling in 2021 after COVID disrupted childrens’ in-school learning.
- Public School (Ages 5-18):
República Nicaragua (Ages 5-18) – This is the local, Panamanian schooling approved by MEDUCA, Panama’s Ministry of Education. The school mandates uniforms and clean/neat hairdressing. They hold several demonstrations each year that the children rehearse and dress for, such as: Dia de la Etnia Negra (a celebration of the local, AfroCaribbean people and culture), and Panama’s Independence Day. Instruction is given in Spanish, though there are English classes.
2. Tangerine International School (Ages 3-18) :
This is a private school mostly consisting of children with ex-pat parents. The diversity is abundant; this is truly a melting pot of cultures and languages. The school incorporates many outdoor activities, along with recycling projects. Primary instruction is in English with complemental Spanish.
3. Chrysalis Learning (Ages 3-10) : This new school opened in 2020 and is proud to instruct in French, Spanish and English. They are certified by a French Institution, so all paperwork and formalities are in French. This is a small, growing school and still offers great teacher to children ratios. It is located in the jungle with many school activities taking place outside.
4. Bocas Academy (Ages 12-14) : This is a new middle school on the island geared to get homeschooled or virtual students in an atmosphere working with their peers. Their work may be online, but they are working in groups and doing activities in a class-setting. This is a small school and allows for customized, scholar growth.
Activities for Kids
Most activities for kids in Bocas del Toro are outdoors. You will likely find kids playing and swimming on the beach, paddle boarding, surfing, fishing, riding bicycles, and scuba diving. There are a few organized activities on the island for a fee and led by an instructor savvy in their field. In addition, there are many extra-curricular activities available for the youngens:
Bocas Fight Gym (Ages 4 & up) : Children starting at age 4 can begin to participate in Tae Kwon Do, meanwhile the Jiu Jitsu class will accept children ages 6 and up. The instructor is talented and patient with the kids, keeping the kids encouraged and having fun.
Ballet (Ages 4 & up) : This class teaches the basics of ballet. It is a great introduction to the dance for young children.
Bocas Surf Crew (Ages 5 & up) : This group meets on Saturdays from 9am-12pm. They focus on surf activities, and also play beach sports and group games. There are many, friendly and energetic instructors. They even give a snack!
Give ‘N Surf (Ages 6 & up) : This group is fun for kids that have some extra free time in the afternoons. They help with homework, have books and toys and play games as a group. The program is a local, nonprofit that inspires indigenous to surf and become educated. It is a great cause and a fun place for kids to hang out and learn.
Is Bocas del Toro Safe?
If you are bringing kids to Bocas, or plan to make some here, you may be concerned with safety.
- People : The people in Bocas are what make it a safe place for raising children. People in Bocas are concerned with making a living, not hurting or kidnapping children. Most kids roam free on this small island during their preteen years.
- Traffic : As Bocas is a biker’s island, the small amount of cars is of little concern. With toddlers, of corriese, learning about cars is standard. But Bocas is still a small town with limited cars.
- Wildlife : Wildlife is likely the biggest danger to children and adults alike. Stings and bites are a threat from a number of creatures, like: manta rays, spiders, and snakes . Though not likely to be of severity, contact with young children may be of concern.
Overall, if your young child is in good hands, you should have nothing to worry about with your children in Bocas del Toro.