Blogs from Isla Colon, Bocas Del Toro, Panama, Central America Caribbean


This is how we crossed the border from Costa Rica to Panama without using a shuttle service. We went from Puerto Viejo De Talamanca to Bocas Del Toro on Saturday. 1. Catch the bus to Sixaola. In Puerto Viejo the bus ticket office is on the road next to the sea. Buy a ticket there costing 1,720 colones. The bus to Sixaola stops at the yellow house on the corner (Deelite ice cream shop/Caribbean Tours). We caught the 8:30am bus. At 8:30 2 buses pulled up, 1 was heading to Manzanillo and the other to Sixaola, the destination is in the front window. It arrived in Sixaola at 9:50am. The border crossing is not the last stop but most people will get off the bus and it stops near where lots of trucks are parked. The ... read more

Our Arrival The ferry dropped us off one street back from the park in the middle of town. Where We Stayed Hotel Cayo Zapatilla - on the SW corner of the park. $25 for a double room with TV and bathroom with hot water showers. Hotel had a kitchen, communal balconies and good internet. We were on the 3rd floor and it worked well in our room. There is cheap laundry available. Apparently Bocas Del Toro is a big weekend destination and when we arrived on a Saturday afternoon a lot of places were full. What We Did Walked to the beaches on the East side of the island. Playa Bluff has a couple of bars/restaurants at the end of the road and big waves. It is a long walk of about 11kms. You can rent ... read more

We are staying on one of several island making up a small archipelago in the northeast corner of Panama, far -- very far -- from the glittering center. Not much of the $1 billion that supposedly comes from the canal seems to be spent here. "Bocas Town" is the center of business, with the airport, restaurants, little hostels and hotels, grocery, souvenir, and crap stores, plus water taxies and ferries to the other islands. We rented a four-wheeler/quad for the five days from a man with one leg -- auspicious, huh? -- which, from my point of view, was a great idea. No cars are rented here, because the road along the beach very quickly becomes the beach, and it's at least five miles of sand/coral/mud/rock road we'd otherwise be riding on coaster bikes. Hurray for ... read more
Baby Chocolate
Wandering Jew as Medicinal Herb

How could I have forgotten! I referred to Ron's assistant by name, but forgot to include his picture. He is a very effective security system, as well as a post-exercise sweat-wiper. One of his favorite toys is a dry coconut, which he will work until he has the dry husk well shredded -- and then throw into the pool. He does not swim -- you are supposed to retrieve it for him. One of the interesting things about operating an inn off the grid is the impact of ordinary events. The refrigerator in our cabin died after being defrosted before our arrival. No problem, right? Um, the new one must come over the mountain from the other side of the country. And, by the way, while we figured out what was wrong, the compressor was running ... read more
The Blue Lagoon
Our Cabina
You MUST be Cleaned

The sloth was languid in the tree, curled up on a fork in the branch structure, preventing its fall with one long, vertically outstretched arm wrapping its three fingers around an overhead tree-limb. This was not what I had expected when heading to the idyllic island archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. The islands are located in the Caribbean Sea, a half hour boat ride from the mainland town of Almirante and only about 30kms from the border with Costa Rica. We travelled there on an overnight bus from Panama City, having seen the ships pass through the famous canal and wandered around the old town, which is somewhat reminiscent of Havana in Cuba. Bocas del Toro consists of numerous islands; however the real gems are the uninhabited keys, known as Cayos Zapatillos. These ... read more
Cayos Zapatillas
A typical view.
Our transport for exploring the islands.


From Cuba we flew into Panama City late on a Sunday afternoon, and a good part of the day was spent in long queues. After getting grilled by an immigration official on our arrival in Havana, we ensured that we got to the airport the specified 3 hours prior to the flight out of there, in case we had a repeat episode. We were greeted with the most disorganised check in process I have experienced. The airline told us that we needed to be there 3 h. ours early, yet they did not have anyone manning the desks for the first hour. By the time that they started checking people in, the queue was over a hundred metres and nearly out the door. We had about 50 people in front us, which took 40 minutes to ... read more
Boat ride out to Starfish Beach
Starfish beach
Snorkelling in Coral Cay

Here is the link for the Galapagos video. To view you can copy and paste the address into your browser or click on the link below. Galapagos June 2013 from Charles Green on Vimeo. LINK: read more

After a couple of days break in the jungle it was time to head back to the Caribbean Ocean and make our way to Bocas del Toro up along the Panamá/Costa Rica border. Oskar, Matt and I headed off early-ish and caught a local bus to the port town alongside the islands and then a boat to Coloń Island the main island of Bocas del Toro. Upon checking in the boys and I managed to gain the luxury of not only having an 8 bed air-conditioned dorm to ourselves almost the whole time we stayed there (2 nights quickly turned into 6), but also our own kitchen/dining area that was kind of an annex to the main hostel that we quickly took over and hosted our own shindigs in (power in numbers). One of the nights ... read more
Got crabs?
Giant starfish
Hike to Starfish Beach

We said farewell to San Jose, thankfully for the last time and jumped onto our public bus that would take us to Panama border. Apparently there are only 2 land borders into Panama on the west side from Costa Rica and luckily we were taking the path less traveled. We had managed to download the latest episode of Game of Thrones this morning that aired in the US only last night. As I said yesterday, amazing wifi! It was done between 5am and 5.15am when we had to leave!! So we caught up on the latest from Westeros and that took us up to the first stop. We had 10mins to stretch our legs and use the bathroom. There was a random little fresh juice shop and we thought that would be the best option for ... read more

BOCAS BOUND: After three and a half weeks we're leaving our "home" at the lost and found for Bocas Del Toro. Bocas is made up of several islands, but only three of them are the main tourists destinations: Isla Colon (the main island), Isla Bastimentos, and Isla Carenero. We currently have reservations at the Mar E Iguana hostel on Isla Colon. They have given us an opportunity to volunteer there but we only have a little over a week before we need to start making our way to the Pacific side of Costa Rica. I wish the festival was in March so we could cover the Caribbean side of Costa Rica after Bocas. Looks like we'll have to go back through David one more time, ugh. The main island has a reputation for being a crazy ... read more

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