Boca Chica is located on the western Pacific shore of Panama, near the border of Costa Rica. Boca Chica is on the shore of Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí, which is considered by savvy sport fishermen as one of the best kept secrets in big game fishing. In the Gulf there the are Coiba National Marine Park , Islas Ladrones, Islas Secas, and Islas Paridas all known for world class scuba diving and snorkelling.
Boca Chica is 50 km from David, and 28 km south of the Intra American highway, via the community of Horconcitos, in the San Lorenzo (Panama) District. There is only one road to this town and it ends at the estuary of the Pedregal River with the island of Boca Brava just across the water. This road to the fishing village used to be famously rough, especially during the rainy season, but recent improvements have made it an easier drive.
From David's bus terminal there are regular buses by the junction to Boca Chica, $1.75. From there a minibus takes you the 21 km to the water, $2. The road goes through 1 Horconcitos with its roughly 1,000 inhabitants, which has the last big and inexpensive supermarket.
Also, taxis pass by from the highway junction fairly regularly, and one will take you to Boca Chica for about $15 per ride/car. This can be difficult at night. If no taxi can be found, walk the 4 km to Horconcitos and ask someone to call a taxi.
Alternatively, a five minute car ride from David to the nearby port of Pedregal will enable travelers to board a boat for the 50-min scenic trip to the Boca Chica.
Boca Chica is less than an hour from David’s Enrique Malek International Airport and traveler's can get there by bus or car. Construction has begun to expand David's airport to accommodate direct regular flights from the United States and Canada.
By foot or boat.
Boca Chica is the closest town to Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí and is said to be one of Panama’s best kept secrets. The fishing is incomparable near Boca Chica, with an abundance of marlin, tuna and dorado. The village is remarkable, too, for having no skyscrapers or three story buildings, and for having pristine beaches giving the locale an untouched feel unlike anything in Panama.
- 1 Isla Saino. About 10 min by boat from Boca Chica, with its own deserted beach. Many people come here during the day and enjoy the beach and the calm waters. It can be very crowded during the day (10-20 people), but if you stay overnight you might be lucky staying alone on the island. Basically has one beach, but relatively clean. Not that great for snorkelling. Boats will drop you off and pick you up a few hours later (or even the next day) for $30-35 total/return.
- Scuba Diving – Tailor made scuba experiences are on offer, just ask around.
- Game Fishing – World-class sport fishing and diving can be found around the Islas Ladrones and Islas Secas. Try Gone Fishing, deep-sea fishing with Panama Big Game Fishing Club.
- Coiba National Marine Park – A supreme venue for aqua tourism and marine reserve, a convenient day trip away. Featuring huge coral reefs that are breeding grounds for orcas, dolphins, whales, sharks, manta rays, barracudas, three kinds of marlin and moray eels.
- Water taxi operators in Boca Chica will often arrange a full-day tour that includes whale watching, a beach visit, and snorkeling for a large enough group for about $20 per person. The current rate is $100 per boat for the day. The boats may be rickety, and most of the operators speak only Spanish.
There is a supermarket right next to the gas station at the last junction 150 m before the water. Also, there is another little shop on the eastern town road.
The next decently priced supermarket is in Horconcitos.
There are a few restaurants here:
- Seagull Cove. Boutique hotel.
- Gone Fishing. Family-owned inn.
- Boca Brava – A short boat ride away, there are some places to stay on this nearby islands, including a few budget accommodations.
- Isla Saino – Camping, see above.
There seems to be internet in or near the café next to the gas station.