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Bocas
del Toro

Research Station

Isla Colón, Bocas Del Toro

Learn about marine science
at one of the Caribbean’s
leading research stations

Bocas del Toro
Seminars & Events

Currently, we have no upcoming seminars. For more information click here.

The Bocas del Toro Research Station is a research and outreach center located in the Bocas Del Toro archipelago. When you visit and take a guided tour, you will learn about the diversity of creatures that inhabit the marine and coastal ecosystems of Panama’s Caribbean coast.

Visitors can learn about the work of STRI scientists, see our lab facilities, touch tanks and walk on our nature trail. Thursdays and Fridays STRI offers hour-long tours of the station. Tours leave the front gate at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is free but donations are graciously accepted and are used to support our education programs.

Note: The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is now open for research. Our facilities are available with capacity limitations to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. All scientific visitors will need to register through the Visitor Services Office (VSO) before planning travel.

If you are an academic or scientific program partner interested in resuming courses or field trips to a STRI facility, please submit your request via the VSO. We are working with our partners to ensure that courses and field trips to STRI facilities can resume safely.

General public visits to the Punta Galeta Marine Laboratory and the Bocas del Toro Research Station will resume at a future date. Please continue to check this website for further updates.

Type of Visitor Days Open Hours
General public Thursday-Friday 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
School Groups By reservation  

 

Attractions

Science in Action

Station scientists dive on coral reefs, explore mangrove forests and study the flora and fauna that of the species-rich Bocas Del Toro region. The station is usually teeming with researchers who are either in the field or working in the station’s outdoor and indoor laboratories.

Flora and Fauna

Coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves are the primary engineers of the Bocas region’s ecosystem. Birds, lizards, turtles and caimans are a few of the creatures that are on-site at the station.

Science Talks

Monthly science talks are held at venues in Bocas Town. Please contact the station for information about the next talk.

School Groups

School groups are encouraged to visit our station. When you visit, you will be given a guided tour and learn about the diversity of creatures that inhabit the marine and coastal ecosystems of Panama’s Caribbean coast.

Special Events

We hold annual community events throughout the year including the Earth Day Beach Cleanup, Science Day, a Marine Fair, among others. See our events page for more information.

Research

With 20 million years of geological history, islands separated from the mainland due to sea level rise, and a rich pre-Columbian and modern anthropological history, Bocas Del Toro is a natural laboratory to study evolution, climate change and human impact on Caribbean ecosystems. Marine research focuses on mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs; the taxonomy of invertebrates; and the impact of human activity on coastal ecosystems and species like bottlenose dolphins. Terrestrial work includes the study of evolution of multiple colorful morphs of a poison-dart frog and the natural defenses of cacao trees against pathogens.

Team

Rachel Collin

Rachel Collin

Staff Scientist and Station Director
collinr@si.edu

Plinio Gondola

Plinio Góndola

Scientific Coordinator
gondolap@si.edu

Contact

For reservations and information

Phone

+507 212-8000
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