Restaurants, bars, grocery stores, souvenir shops, outfitters and tour companies line Calle 3, the main street in Bocas del Toro. There's even a wine bar -- though it offers only a handful of wines by the glass. Below, snapshots of Calle 3 and the waterfront.
There is no beach to speak of in the town of Bocas del Toro, though there are good beaches elsewhere on Isla Colon. Surfers and sunbathers flock to Bluff Beach. We went to Starfish Beach, which has gentler waves, usually good snorkeling (recent rains meant we had no decent snorkeling anywhere in the Caribbean), and loads of swimmers. Our visit coincided with a bunch of people from a giant cruise ship anchored a few hundred yards offshore. Below, photos of the crowded and uncrowded parts of Starfish Beach. One photo shows the cruise ship.