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Best Markets in Bocas del Toro

What are the best markets in Bocas del Toro? In this article we highlight the best markets in Bocas del Toro.
|-Best Markets in Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro, is a vibrant archipelago with a rich cultural tapestry that attracts expats and digital nomads from around the world. The region is not only known for its stunning beaches and lush rainforests but also for its eclectic markets that offer everything from fresh produce to artisan crafts. Whether you’re looking for organic ingredients, unique souvenirs, or just a taste of local life, Bocas del Toro has a market that caters to your needs. Here are some of the best markets in Bocas del Toro that you should not miss.

Bocas Town Farmers Market

Location: Central Park in Bocas Town
Type of Market: Farmers Market
Open: Saturdays, 7-12

Located in the heart of Bocas Town, the Farmers Market is a weekly event that brings together local producers and artisans. Here, you can find a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, homemade bread, and other locally made food products. It’s a great place to support the community and enjoy the freshest ingredients for your culinary adventures.

We Recommend: Try the locally made coconut bread, a delicious and unique treat that has become a favorite among both locals and visitors.

El Mercadito Bi-Local

Location: Avenida Norte, Bocas Town
Type of Market: Artisan and Organic Market
Open: Daily, 10-5

El Mercadito Bi-Local is a charming indoor market that focuses on sustainability and local products. This market features a range of items from organic produce to handcrafted jewelry and eco-friendly clothing. It’s a perfect spot for those who are conscious about their environmental footprint and want to find unique, locally made goods.

We Recommend: Don’t miss the handcrafted Panama hats, which are not only stylish but also provide excellent protection from the tropical sun.

Isla Colon Artisan Market

Location: Main street of Isla Colon
Type of Market: Craft Market
Open: Weekends, 9-4

The Isla Colon Artisan Market is a weekend haven for those in search of unique crafts and souvenirs. Local artisans gather here to sell their creations, ranging from intricate wood carvings to colorful paintings that reflect the vibrant culture of Bocas del Toro. It’s an excellent place for finding one-of-a-kind gifts and decorations.

We Recommend: Look for the molas, traditional hand-stitched textiles made by the indigenous Kuna people, which make for beautiful wall hangings or clothing embellishments.

Old Bank Market

Location: Old Bank, Bastimentos Island
Type of Market: Local Market
Open: Daily, 8-6

Old Bank Market on Bastimentos Island is a more traditional Panamanian market experience. This market is less touristy and offers a glimpse into the daily life of the locals. You’ll find fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and other staples. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and practice your Spanish with friendly vendors.

We Recommend: Sample the fresh ceviche, a local specialty made with the catch of the day, citrus juices, and local spices.

Bocas del Drago Beachfront Market

Location: Bocas del Drago, Isla Colon
Type of Market: Beachfront Market
Open: Weekends, 10-5

For a market experience with a view, head to the Bocas del Drago Beachfront Market. This outdoor market is set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful beaches in Bocas del Toro. Vendors sell a mix of food, drinks, and crafts, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely shopping experience by the sea.

We Recommend: Refresh yourself with a batido, a Panamanian smoothie made with fresh tropical fruits, milk, and ice, ideal for cooling down in the tropical heat.

Almirante Main Market

Location: Almirante Town, mainland near Bocas del Toro
Type of Market: General Market
Open: Daily, 7-5

Just a short boat ride from the islands, Almirante Main Market offers a more authentic Panamanian shopping experience. This bustling market is where locals go for their everyday needs, selling everything from clothing and household items to electronics and groceries.

We Recommend: Explore the variety of Panamanian spices and sauces to add some authentic flavor to your cooking.

Carenero Island Craft Market

Location: Carenero Island
Type of Market: Craft Market
Open: Weekends, 9-3

Carenero Island Craft Market is a smaller, more intimate market where you can find handmade goods by the island’s residents. This market is a testament to the creativity and craftsmanship of the local community, offering everything from woven baskets to unique driftwood sculptures.

We Recommend: Pick up a handmade hammock, perfect for relaxing in your home or garden and remembering the laid-back lifestyle of Bocas del Toro.

These markets in Bocas del Toro offer a rich tapestry of flavors, colors, and experiences that are sure to enrich the lives of expats and digital nomads living in this tropical paradise. Whether you’re shopping for necessities, gifts, or just looking to soak in the local culture, these markets are must-visit destinations.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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