Bocas Del Toro

Published: December 11th 2015
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We ventured to the Caribbean side this week to the archipelago of Bocas Del Toro. It is a 4 hour bus ride from David to the town of Almirante, at this point you take a taxi to the water taxi that takes you to Isla Colon where Bocas town is located. It is a pleasant half hour ride on the Caribbean. Water taxis are inexpensive as are the buses and taxies.

The trip from David to Bocas takes you high over a mountain range, it is quite scenic. Jungles with some steep mountains and waterfalls. We saw quite a few pastures with quite a grade, no wonder the beef is tough here. Very poor dwellings sometimes on stilts, must be some flooding. The roads are full of deep crevasse, pot holes with some areas washed out by rock and mud coming off the mountains. They just slow right down and go over it all, no evidence of work crews repairing anything.

This is a tourist area full of Europeans and North Americans, young backpacking crowd in abundance with some retirees. It was strange looking up and down the streets, not a Panamanian in sight. The traffic is really light with only a scattering of taxies, most folks are on bicycles since it is nice and flat. The streets are much wider than in David and not crowded with vendors. Prices in bars and restaurants are more expensive, which is typical of a tourist town, but still inexpensive by our standards. Accommodations are also reasonable. A private hostel room with private washroom is $30. to $40 a night depending on air conditioning or not. You must ask about hot water, not everyone has it. Again, extremely modest dwellings with garbage strewn everywhere but not more so than other towns we have visited. They have garbage pick up in most places so it is mind boggling. We have noticed that Panamanians are very well groomed with pressed slacks and designer clothes but their environment is messy and in disrepair.

A two dollar water taxi ride took us to the nearby island of Ceranero. This is a much smaller island with extremely poor dwellings on stilts with tide water underneath them. The sidewalks are in good shape although littered with doggie do. Lots of sandy beaches with hostels, restaurants and bars.

The bigger island of Bastimentos has a large marine park. There is lots to do, diving and snorkelling, surfing, canopy zip lines and jungle hikes. We decided to leave it to the young crowd and headed back to David to our pool.

We were done playing tourist in the heat.

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