Bocas del Toro is a town with a strong personality. Walking along the main street (3rd.) or any of the adjacents ones, is like going back to the past. A past that, some times was splendid, and at other times was decadent... sad. The architecture of the old houses, with their old caribbean style, is part of the identity of Bocas. Its silently tells of the richness of the banana plantations in the beginning of the century, when the United Fruit Company owned most of the islands and established their administration offices in the same building that today is the Bahia Hotel. At that time the medical center, which was a model for the region, was established at the west of Solarte Key, today known as Hospital Point.
The dock in front of the Bahia Hotel used to be the main dock of the company, and many of the old houses were the homes of its workers and employees. Take a look at the beautiful house next to the dock; restored and well conserved, is todays home of a young local senator. The fine old Spanish building with inner patios, facing the Bolivar Park, houses the regional Government. It is now being restored. Its beautiful feature is the clock that tolls each 15 minutes, attempting to keep bocatorians on time. Walk in the streets and pay special attention to the fine work in wood, the balconies and other details.