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Published: June 24th 2015
We ended up missing out Costa Rica as firstly we didn't have time and secondly I think that it has gone through its tourist boom and won't change much, so I think that I can always come back and visit the country in the future and when I have more money! Our next and second to last stop is Bocas del Toras or “mouth of the Bulls”. This is a province as well as a collection of islands on the Caribbean side of the country. It took us 25 hours, 3 buses, 2 taxis and a boat to get here from Granada but it was definitely worth it. We travelled via Tica buses, which provide a solid network over Central America.
The main island in Bocas Del Toros is Colon island which has the main town. We stayed in a nice hostel called Hostel Heike which is across the street from the main square. The island takes around half an hour to travel through in a car and has lots of boat services to the neighbouring islands. We decided to stop here as we thought that a good few days on the beach would be the best way to end
our Central America trip and the beaches around here are beautiful.
Bocas del Toro is a well known tourist destination and a bit like an American hub, but you can do things fairly cheaply. On our first day we went up to Playa Estrella at the North of the island which was a $5 return fair. You are taken to Bocas del Drago and then take a 20 minute walk through the jungle to the beach. The beach is well known for its clear, still waters and all the starfish that are scattered throughout the ocean. The beach itself wasn't that amazing but we found a good place to lie and the ocean was spectacular. The whole beach was so tranquil and the water was incredibly still Refreshing to swim in. In the evening we made some food and had some gin and tonics before going out to a bar called Aqualand which had rope swings and diving boards into pools in the sea. We had so much fun and it was a really surreal experience!
The next day we went to a beach called Red Frog beach on Isla Bastimentos, which is a 20minute, 10$ boat ride
from the main town. This beach completely differed from the starfish beach as it had rip tides and a strong current, but then had amazing white sand and was beautiful to wonder around. To get to the beach you had to walk through a section of mangroves and jungle, we were also told to look out for the infamous poisonous, rare red frogs which are present across the island.
That night we went to a really cool club on the beach called Aqua Lounge before our final (and best) day. We went on a $17 boat tour which took us dolphin watching, snorkelling, around some islands and to Isla Zapitilla which is the most beautiful desert island within a nature reserve. The island is around 200m long and consists of trees, sand and the most beautiful turquoise water with waves lapping against the shore. There are no shops or houses or even people selling things. It literally felt like we had been shipwrecked and we spent a good few hours there before heading back home again.
Bocas was a really cool place and I really loved the variety of beaches and people that we met there, it was just really sad to think that this would be the last Central American beach destination we would go to and I felt really nostalgic about leaving. To get to Panama City we had to get a $27 overnight bus which is really easy to book from Taxi 25 on the edge of the town.
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