Old Bank, Panama
Old Bank is the second-largest town in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Set along the western tip of Bastimentos Island, Old Bank is a poor but colorful town. It will mainly appear to backpacker types or travelers who are interested in getting an authentic look at life in Bocas. The town has a few hotels, restaurants, and bars.
Locals refer to Old Bank simply as Bastimentos. Most of the town’s residents are West Indian descendants and many speak Guari-Guari, a local language that mixes English, Creole and Spanish. Guari-Guari is fascinating to hear but almost impossible to understand, even though it’s a derivative of English.
Most locals live in small, somewhat rundown homes that are set on a hill above the water. Walking through Old Bank will give you an idea of what life in the Caribbean is like. For this reason, Old Bank will mainly appeal to backpackers or travelers who want to experience the authentic Bocas lifestyle.
Old Bank has a few budget accommodations, most of which are set right along the water or on the adjacent hillside. The island’s upscale hotels are on the southeast side of the island.
There are two sidewalks that run through town and a trail that leads to Bastimentos Island’s north shore beaches.