Panama Shopping


Though the shops may be few and far between, Bocas del Toro has some excellent, unique items for sale, many of which are produced by local residents and sustainably sourced.

The Bocas Farmers’ Market is an excellent place to purchase local and organically grown produce, such as tropical fruits, root vegetables, coconut oil and pure chocolate. You can chat to the people who harvest and produce these items, for an enriching shopping experience.

The BSTA Tourist Information Center also has a selection of local handicrafts, Panamanian artworks and goods made from recycled material  – profits are returned to the artisan. If you have the chance, visit one of the local communitues and purchase handicrafts directly from the women’s group that made them – this way you can see how the villages benefit from your purchases  – such as donating money to a local school or clinic. Shopping in Panama can be an fun experience for an entire day.

Many of the brightly decorated stalls which line the streets sell beautifully handcrafted jewelry, calabaza gourds, indigenous dresses and wooden ornaments – though you should ask where these are sourced and how much the artist receives before purchasing.

For a true experience shopping for local food items and crafts check out “Up in the Hill” on Bastimentos Island.