Boca Brava and the Monkeys

Boca Brava is the closest island to our hotel on Boca Chica, and we were told that not only is there a hotel with a good restaurant, there is a hiking trail where howler monkeys are frequently seen. The hotel staff called us a boat that picked us up at the dock, and it was only a short ride over to the island.

The Hotel Boca Brava is at the end of the island overlooking the bay. It costs $5 a person for access to the island, and after paying we were directed through the hotel grounds to the trail behind. The trail is fairly high up and not only was it beautiful, the views were fantastic. We also saw monkeys!

Of course, we were hoping to spot some monkeys and soon movement in the trees gave them away. There must be quite a few monkeys on the island. We spotted two families and heard quite a few more in the distance. This is the first time I’ve seen howler monkeys in the wild so I was really happy.

We had a great time hiking and looking around. We could have hiked down to a small beach but it would have been quite a climb down and up, so we decided to relax and get a bite of lunch in the restaurant. We heard their seafood soup is good, and indeed it is. It’s also a relaxing place to hang out and enjoy the view.

We had a really good time exploring the island, but between the hiking and trips up and down the stairs at our hotel, we had a fair amount of activity. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, and had some dinner at the tiki bar below which was fun. I’m glad we spent two nights so we had the whole of Saturday to enjoy our time away. it was too bad Haydeé’s husband couldn’t get away from work, so I guess we will just have to book another weekend so he can make it next time.


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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12 Responses to Boca Brava and the Monkeys

  1. Yes! This is where we stayed! It’s a fantastic place and it wasn’t outrageously expensive. We rented a kayak for the day and paddled to other islands. The Howler monkeys were hanging around our balcony, too. Love that place! You’ll see lots of Howler monkeys on Ometepe Island, too. You should hear them howling on the volcano when you wake up in the morning. Nice monkey shots!


    • Wow, you have monkeys there too?! I can’t wait to spend some time in your area.


      • Well, Kris, fortunately for you we are experiencing a giant swarm of chayules…aquatic mites. They only come 2 times a year and last 3 days…so my house will be all cleaned up and ready for you after this swarm. And yes, you need to go to Charco Verde and walk the beautiful trails. You’ll see lots of Howler monkeys. I have my list of places to visit waiting for you.


        • I love bugs but only one or two at a time, so I’m happy to miss the swarms! I will go walking and go everywhere I can to explore your area. Thanks so much for making me a list 🙂


  2. Jerry says:

    This looks like a place that we would love to go and hang out for a couple of days. Not too far and getting some R & R in. We are definitely looking forward to this outing as soon as our furniture arrives and we settle in a bit. Thanks Kris for posting pictures to show us just how cool this place is.


    • It’s a great place to relax and just enjoy the scenery. You will get some exercise going up and down the stairs though, just FYI. There is another resort right next door that I am going to write about, so something else to consider (and without stairs)


  3. John & Susan says:

    Great report Kris,
    We will have to check it out when we get there!


  4. Anonymous says:

    What a great must see place! I had a dog like that when I was little named Ringo. The photos as always really takes every one along with you on your trip.


  5. jeff and deDee says:

    Hi Chris, we recently were in the same area and it was/is our first trip to Panama. Spent time in Pedasi, Las Tables area as well and are still traveling. I do not have much time right now , but saw your post and wanted to say how surprised I was at the small town by the piers in Boca Chica…..I must say it was a disappointment. I just do not see how the towns people could show less care for such a wonderful spot….if I lived there my daily walks would be consumed by litter clean-up/raking and painting. We sure had some down pours. More later. Playa Las Lajas was great and we spent all day in the surf and agree the bus system is amazing though we rented a car for our trip….we did brave Panama City just to have the experience and an experience it was. Jeff and deDee. Meeting some very nice people in every town.


    • Panamanians don’t see litter and trash the same way we do, so it is a problem in many areas. I remember a big campagn in the US in the past to clean up, so hopefully that will come to Panama sometime too. I already see signs of progress in the cities. Paint though, that is an impossible expense for many people so they just can’t.
      I hope you are having a good time and enjoy the rest of your trip!


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