Colonia Santena, Bocas del Toro

Colonia Santena, Bocas del Toro map

The small village of Colonia Santeña gets its name from its original first inhabitants, who came from the Panamanian province of Los Santos, in the Pacific side of the country. The village is about half way along the road from Bocas del Toro to Bocas del Drago.

The original settlers came to farm cattle and grow crops. Today the village still supplies meat (beef and pork) the the Bocas del Toro market.

The attraction of this village for the tourist is a cave, known as "The Bats Cave" where hundreds of bats had made their home. As it gets dark at night, the bats leave the cave to go hunting for food. At the entrance of the cave there is a shrine to the Virgin Mary (the place is also called The Virgin Grotto). La Gruta is religious shrine and there is a annual pilgrimage celebrating Nuestra Señora de la Gruta, the Virgen del Carmen. A torchlight parade down Calle 3 takes place every July 16th in celebration of the Virgin; the pilgrimage to her cave happens the following Sunday

The village has a small grocey on the road, which sells soda or beer.

Isla Colon