Bocas del Toro Research Station

General information

The STRI Bocas del Toro Research Station is located just outside the town of Bocas del Toro on Isla Colon, in Bocas del Toro Province, Panama . Isla Colon, a 61 sq km island, is situated in the Archipielago de Bocas del Toro along the Caribbean coast just 35 km from Panama ’s boarder with Costa Rica and is part of an archipelago of more than 68 islands and numerous mangrove keys.

Bocas Lab


The lab is within easy reach of a wide variety of marine and terrestrial habitats. Unlike the locations of many marine laboratories in the Caribbean the STRI lab is situated in an area of relatively high productivity and high terrestrial input, resulting in a diversity of habitats within a 5 to 15 minute boat ride from the station. These include seagrass meadows (with Thalassia, Syringodium, Halodule, and Halophila species), corals, mangroves and sandy beaches. STRI researchers and visiting marine scientists have been studying such diverse topics as mass coral spawning, turtle nesting, the impact of fisheries on conch and sea cucumbers, chemosymbiotic clams, and mangrove productivity.

The terrestrial habitats in Bocas are just as diverse as the marine environments. The islands are primarily forested with wet low-land secondary-growth forest. There are still some patches of primary forest. There are several species of frogs endemic to the islands and a new species of small sloth specializing on mangrove leaves has recently been described. The station is also an ideal staging area for collecting trips to the mainland.


Student Dormitory

4 people per room, with shared kitchen and dining area.

Apartments (Cofrin and Hoch)

Full 2-bedroom houses with internet, kitchen, laundry, etc. Each bedroom has either 2 twin-sized beds or 1 queen.

Researchers Dormitory

2 people per room (Bunk bed), WiFi, Common use kitchen area and dinning hall & laundry. (coming

Bocas Station Staff

Station Staff