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Bat Caves: a Unique Ecotourism Option at Bocas Del Toro Resorts

June 9, 2016

Millions of people travel the world every year, taking in new sights and experiences for relaxation and adventure. The travel and tourism industry is one of the largest in the world, contributing 7.6 trillion dollars annually to global economies. Many countries rely on tourism as their main source of national income, providing accommodations and activities to suit any traveler’s needs. Increasingly, vacationers are interested in taking trips that have a low environmental impact in whatever region they visit. This emphasis on conservation and education has been embraced by Bocas Del Toro hotels as they tailor their accommodations to be ecotourist-friendly.

The Nature Conservancy defines ecotourism as “environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact, and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples.” As more people seek green alternatives in travel, it has become an industry-wide priority, and it’s now easier than ever to find innovative, environmentally-friendly travel experiences.

These experiences vary from place to place; you can trek through or camp in the wilderness, rock climb local mountains, bicycle along or kayak on the rivers, visit small, local working farms, or sightsee native wildlife and vegetation. One popular option is cave tours, where a guide leads you through unique, local formations. In Bocas Del Toro, these cave tours have a special feature: they are home to whole colonies of bats! La Gruta Cave, Nivida Cave, and Bat’s Mouth Cave are all located on the island, and unlike most quiet, still caves, these teem with life and flow with water, surrounded by jungle and packed with thousands of roosting bats.

Bat Caves

La Gruta is near a small village of cattle farmers called Colonia Santena. The cave itself is small, with a low water level, and is perfect as a “beginner” bat cave. Next you’ll navigate up a river, through a mangrove forest, and hike through banana and pineapple trees to reach Nivida Cave. The chest-high cave water is temperate inside the cave, which is alive with crickets, spiders, and bats. Stalagmites and stalactites line the cave walls, which lead to a small fresh-water stream and pool. The last stop is the aptly-named Bat’s Mouth Cave, which is reachable by another journey up-river, through a mangrove forest, and a serious jungle hike. Look for monkeys, parrots, birds, sloths, butterflies, frogs, and other rainforest creatures as you go. Slightly shorter than Nivida, Bat’s Mouth has knee-high water and plenty of those ubiquitous little fliers.

For an eco-adventure you’ll never forget, let Garden of Eden host your stay in Boco Del Toros. Located on the northwestern coast of Panama, near the Bay of Chiriqui, we’re a welcoming, boutique eco B&B located on its own island. Perfect for those who want to explore and connect with nature! Learn about our Green Season 2016 Room Specials and call us at +507-6967-0187, or send us an email for more information.