Simple Map of Bocas Del Toro

About Carenero Island

If you're traveling to the Bocas Del Toro area in Panama, you'll definitely want to spend some time exploring Carenero Island.


Located in the Bocas Del Toro archipelago off the northern coast of Panama in the Caribbean Sea, Carenero is a small island situated between the larger islands Colon and Bastimentos.

Merely separated by a narrow channel from Isla Colon, the main island in the archipelago, Carenero island has recently become a favorite destination of locals and tourists looking to escape the crowds and noise of Bocas town.


On his fourth and last voyage to the new world, Christopher Columbus discovered the Bocas Del Toro archipelago in 1502. While in Bocas, Columbus' crew stocked up on supplies from Bastimentos and careened one of their ships on or near what is now Carenero Island. Careening, which means to lie a ship on its side in order to clean the hull, literally translates to "Carenero" in Spanish, which is presumably how the island got its name.


Carenero Island is roughly 150 acres in total size. It takes anywhere from two to three hours to circumnavigate the island. If there was a clear path through the jungle at the narrowest part of the island, it would take about five minutes to walk from one side to the other.

The end of the island closest to Bocas town, is mostly flat and sandy, while the end farthest from Bocas town is green and brushy, will gently sloping hills.

Flora and Fauna

There are many interesting trees and plants to see all over the island. Some animals you might find on the island include 3-toed sloths, lizards, frogs, turtles, and the occasional caiman. Sand flies and ants are also found in abundance on Carenero Island, so be sure to bring bug repellent and protective footwear.