The Bastimentos Island National Marine Park, located in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, was created in 1988 and covers 13.226 hectares between marine (11.598 hectares) and land sectors.

Although the beauty of the Zapatillas Keys attract most of the tourists coming to the region, the park has other attractions that can satisfy the most fervent naturalist.

Analyzing the Marine Park surface we can distinguish four areas: 1) Long Beach, 2) the center of Isla Bastimentos consists of rainforests and wetlands, including the lagoon of Bastimentos, 3) the Zapatillas Keys with surrounding waters and 4) the area of mangroves and seagrasses in southeast Bastimentos island.

Long Beach, in the north of the island, competes with the best beaches in the Archipelago, because of its size and wild beauty. Reaching it is not easy, either by land or by sea, due to the impact of the strong waves and the compactness of the surrounding forest. Arrive to this beach to nest at least four species of sea turtles, especially leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata).

The Zapatillas Keys attract tourists who prefer the tranquility. Once in the Keys, visitors can snorkel, dive or swim in the crystal clear turquoise waters around them, explore the rainforest interior or just relax on the beach. Here also come to nest sea turtles, especially the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). In Zapatilla Key # 2 is the headquarters of the reserve rangers. MORE...

The mangrove islands in the southeast region of the park is a great place for boating, admiring the beauty of this important ecosystem and of seagrasses around or snorkel in the roots of mangroves. Do it and be amazed. Some patches of coral further enhance the natural appeal of this part of the protected area.

The more adventurous can explore the various trails that go into the forests and wetlands in the interior of Bastimentos island, including a visit to the Laguna de Bastimentos, near Playa Larga. Starting or ending the trek in Salt Creek, you may pay a visit to Ngobe this community, one of the largest in the Archipelago.