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Snorkeling Tours off Colon

United States
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545 posts
73 reviews
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Snorkeling Tours off Colon

Just got back from Colon, Bocas Del Toro. We got beat on the Bocas snorkeling tour. All the Panamanian Tour companies are one. They dont care about you, just your money. They charge you an additional $10.00 for the Marine Park, and that money goes south. In a nut shell DO NOT waste your money with any of the snorkel trips. We were crammed in a boat, taken to an island to order lunch at an inflated cost. Then taken out to the Zaps and tossed on an island for 2 hours. I highly recommend taking the CATAMARAN TOUR with Captain Marcell. www.bocassailing.com

That was a great adventure snorkeling the Coral Gardens and more!

The Panamanians have a lot to learn about service. STAY AWAY FROM ALL THE SNORKELING TOURS ON COLON, except the Catamaran Tour.

Atlanta
Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
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1. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

The best way to snorkle is to get your own taxi boat for the day. This way you go where you want, when you want and you aren't dealing with crowds. If you don't know where you want to go the boat driver will have many ideas.

United States
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545 posts
73 reviews
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2. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

Having your own boat driver will cost you unless you find another couple to share the expense. They will take you to the same places the big tour companies go. You have to know where you want to go. The dive shop and the Catamaran were the only 2 businesses that walked the talk. Dont pay up front. That will weed out some.

Puerto Viejo de...
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115 posts
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3. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

I have been to Bocas on several occasions, and I have done a few of the snorkeling tours. I feel the best was actually done by a union of legal, Panamanian certified guides called Coopeguitours, and each tour lists EXACTLY what the tour includes, all of the guides have badges with their names and certifications, and there are no hidden costs. We felt this was actually the best value, as we went from Coral Key (snorkeling) to Dolphin Bay to Red Frog Beach, and we paid no surprise charges, the benefit to going with the agency. There are many guys with boats claiming to be guides, and yes, they can always charge more once out to sea. However, attacking all Panamanians is a horribly misleading way of giving advice. I have also gone on the catamaran, went to the exact snorkeling and dolphin watching spots, had a great sandwich, enjoyed the day, but did not go to the beach and paid $20 more each. I enjoyed both trips, but spending less money, getting slightly more information, and having a great, local guide to me was a slight advantage to the Coopeguitours trip. It was the best $20 day-trip I´ve had in Bocas del Toro.

Chicago, Illinois
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110 reviews
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4. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

How do you find the coopguitours guys? Having a local and maybe leaving a bit earlier than the other tours sounds like a great way to go! Is the extra $10 just for the marine park at Zapatillos?

Puerto Viejo de...
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115 posts
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5. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

To get in touch with Coopequitours, you can call them: 011(507)6477-7311 or e-mail miguil1969@hotmail.es Their office is across the street from La Policia, in Bocastown, Isla Colón.

Isla Bastimentos
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421 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

I own and run a small eco-surf resort on Isla Bastimentos and most all of my guests do a snorkle trip on many of the tour boats and I have never heard such a scathing report as what was stated above. I guess if you bring your NY attitude to the tropics, you will be treated like the Ugly American that you are. The entry fee to the park is nothing different to all the fees the American Park system demands,and goes to Anam, our enviromental organization. The restaurant mentioned, Alphonzos, is miles from nowhere on an isolated part of the island with one of the most awesome reefs surrounding it, the food is almost all freshly caught in the area and for 12 bucks you can have one of the most delightful seafood dinners imaginable, all of my guests rave about it. Sorry you had a bad experience, Warrior dude

San Francisco
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124 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

Iv taken that very same snorkel trip many times and never felt shortchanged. Its one of my favorites in fact.

Sicklerville, New...
2 posts
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8. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

Funny you could pick off the NY attitude LOL!! The $10 is the same other marine/natl parks....Bonaire Stinapa Park was also $10 and well worth it ; AND $25ea for Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Natl Parks in the USA!!

Complain about that one "New York Nasty"....

San Francisco
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124 posts
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9. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

In my experience they don't event collect the fee every time you visit. Sometimes the ranger is on the other island. We've paid on probably half of your visits.

What a great location, the Zaps.

Detroit, Michigan
1 post
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10. Re: Snorkeling Tours off Colon

My friends and I are researching a trip to Bocas del Toro and Isla Colon in the fall. Reading the reviews of snorkeling tours off Colon was pretty depressing until I read yours. Could you give me some more specifics about where to locate this company? That would be so helpful. $20 sounds well worth it.

Edited: 24 March 2011, 00:56