Bocas Town & Bird Island

Published: March 6th 2012
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Another day in Bocas and it is still hot and humid. Still partly cloudy too, and windy in the afternoon. We took a trip out to Bird island which is really several small islands located just off the northwest coast of Isla Colon at the farthest tip away from Bocas town.

Bird Island (also called Swan Cay) is the only home in Central America of the Red-billed Tropicbird and is also one of the most important nesting sites of the Brown Boobie. For this reason you are not allowed to go onto the islands, but tour boats can venture close enough for you to see these birds. As our boat got close to the islands, the birds circled around and around, giving us a fantastic show and a good opportunity to get some great pictures. Unfortunately the seas were pretty rough, and as the boat rocked and rolled, we both felt a little seasick. The sight was worth the ride though.

We had lunch at a little restaurant on the beach in Bocas del Drago (mouth of the dragon), then we went to Bocas town so Jose could pick up some supplies. We were able to walk around and get the local flavour of the town.

It looks like a bunch of hippies from the sixties came here and just stayed. Mix that in with a large Afro-Caribbean population and an equally large Indigenous Indian population, along with a lot of sunburned tourists, and you have Bocas town. It is small and noisy, with the mix of colorful and neglected buildings that we have come to expect in the Caribbean islands. Empty nesters like us come here for the adventure and the nature; spring breakers come here for the parties and beaches. Hostels are full of the partiers, and we hear from a young German couple that the parties go all night and keep everyone awake whether they like it or not.

We are glad that we chose to stay on a different island, where the only thing keeping us awake is the heat and the humidity. And the bugs. We had heard cicadas before, with their high pitched buzzing sound, but these cicadas have another sound as well - one we both mistook for a car or house alarm. Alternating high and low pitched sounds that I swear sounds just like an ambulance. Nope - just the cicadas. Wow - the things we don't know! And wasps almost as big as the hummingbirds - both frequenting the same feeders. Anyway - it still beats the run down and slightly sad party atmosphere of Bocas town.

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