Laguna Porras is actually the real name of the well-known and visited Dolphins Bay, located in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. This destination is a natural body of salt water, surrounded by mangrove forests, Cristobal Island and the mainland, and connected, through various channels, with Almirante Bay.
This place is an Eden for these nice and friendly bottlenose dolphins during most of the year, where you can have a greater number of sightings and interaction, attracting boat tours with Visitors from all over the world who stop in this area. The best time to watch dolphins is between June and July, when the waters are even more calmer in the bay. However, the dolphins are normally seen in pairs or in groups of five or six that surround the boats that come to visit.
An Ideal Location for Dolphins
Dolphin Bay is located between the eastern side of Cristobal Island and an irregularly shaped mainland peninsula. It is located at a distance of approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Isla Colon, a 15-20 minutes boat ride. At its widest point the bay measures 6 kilometers (4 miles).
The bay has calm waters and is surrounded by mangroves, which contain an abundance of small fish and crustaceans, making this bay the perfect habitat for dolphins, especially mothers and calves.
Residents of the Area
Two Ngäbe communities live on the shores of this bay, at opposite ends: Bocatorito and Buena Esperanza. In both towns its inhabitants do fishing, agriculture and subsistence farming. You can also see homes of other residents that are scattered along the coasts.
A wonderful Experience
One of the best activities that Visitors can enjoy is simply marveling at the dolphins playing free in the sea, watching them jump and swim from one side to the other, and be on the lookout in the surroundings because you do not know where they will come out. An experience that leaves a mark on each person who visits this magical bay in Bocas del Toro.
On the other hand, there are numerous hotels, and companies that organize trips, as well as excursions. Most of these excursions offer “tours” to Dolphins Bay, as well as Cayo Coral and Isla de los Perezosos.
Dolphins Threatened by Man
In the bay there is a unique population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), residents of the region that are threatened by excessive boat traffic with tourists who come to observe them and poor sustainable practices. Added to this is the traffic of other boats that occasionally meet them in this sector, increasing the risk that the dolphins will leave the sector forever. The Bocas del Toro dolphin population is small, genetically unique, and highly faithful to its habitat, a combination that makes it highly vulnerable to human activities in the area. For this reason, conservation groups have been carrying out awareness and education work to improve practices when visiting dolphins in the bay. A way to ensure the indefinite stay of these wonderful mammals in the beautiful waters of Bocas del Toro.
Suggestions when visiting Dolphin Bay
Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, light clothing, a bathing suit, and a hat.