Almirante, Bocas del Toro
|Corregimiento and town|
|Province||Bocas del Toro Province|
For travelers, Almirante is mainly used as a jumping off point for land travel to other cities on the mainland, Panama or to Costa Rica. An approximately 30-minute water taxi ride from Colón Island, which usually costs $5.00, will land persons in Almirante. From the water taxi dock, it's only a few minute taxi ride to the bus stop known as "el cruce." There are taxis waiting both at the water taxi dock, and at "el cruce".
There 2 bus terminals, one located in the center of the town, where you can take Changuinola buses that can take you to Guabito. The second station is located in the outskirt of the town known as "el cruce", there you can take David and Panama City buses.
There are direct buses available from Almirante to David and Panama City, as well as private shuttle services to Boquete. Additionally shuttle services exist between Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and Bocas del Toro passing through Almirante.
Almirante is popular with tourists going between Costa Rica and Bocas del Toro. When traveling by land, tourists coming from or going to Costa Rica must clear both Costa Rican customs in Sixaola and Panamanian customs in Guabito.
Central Almirante most popular wards are: Una Milla ("One Mile"), Zegla, Barrio Frances ("Patua Town"), Aeropuerto, Media Milla, Tampico, Bda. San Agustin, Las Golondrinas.
Surrounding communities are: Milla 3, Miraflores, Ojo de Agua, Rio Oeste and Milla 5.
Point of Interests in town are: Port of Almirante, Sea Wall area, Central Park, Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Ojo de Agua area.
Almirante is also surrounded by a beautiful Ambrossian Bight, with calm waters.
Almirante was struck by a powerful earthquake in April 22, 1991, in those days wood houses were common construction and most of them were torn down. Because of this government decided to built new residences outside Almirante.
Almirante town was basically built by United Fruit Company, as a port for their bananas exportations.
Almirante first settlers mostly are black descendants from Jamaica and smaller Antilles, that moved inland for the banana plantations early 1900s.
Due to the importance of Port Almirante, attracted Chinese, Hindi and Jewish businessmen to the town, as minority. After 2002 a massive Chinese migration entered all Bocas del Toro province, so it's normal to see them around.
Since Bocas del Toro has a vast indigenous population, they also migrated to Almirante town, replacing blacks as major group.
In Almirante English is spoken, Spanish, native indigenous languages and Guari-Guari.
Almirante people mostly depends from Port Almirante activities, government employees and AES hydroelectric plant located close to Ojo de Agua.
Due to the lack of operations by the port, many have moved to Panama City looking for new opportunities.
Even the town is small, has several sports facilities, specially concrete basketball courts in Una Milla, Zegla, Barrio Frances, one artificial turf soccer field by Barrio Frances, and the most important Myrick Stadium for baseball and softball.
Besides the water-taxi service to Bocas del Toro, Almirante has the Port of Almirante as a commercial shipping port for fruit export.
From 1905 until exactly 100 years later, the United Fruit Company operated a bi-national narrow gauge railway system in Almirante, with Almirante as its southern terminus. The railway also connects to northeastern Costa Rica. After the railway's abandonment, a number of rolling stock and General Electric locomotives are stored in an engine shed near the port.
- Frommer's Panama (2E, 2009), ISBN 978-0-470-37183-1.
- World Gazeteer: Panama – World-Gazetteer.com