Blogs from Isla San Cristobal, Bocas Del Toro, Panama, Central America Caribbean


Dolphin Bay Hideaway is the name of the place we are staying at. It is located on Isla San Cristobal, which is one of the smaller islands in the group. It feels like the end of the earth here. Everything here comes by boat - people, food, water, other supplies. Bocas town on the main island of Colon is the "big town" where Erika and Jose (the owners of the B&B) do their shopping, and "big town" is a stretch! Guests like us are picked up in town, and Erika always sends a list with Jose of things she needs him to pick up. Erika is Hungarian, and speaks spanish and English perfectly; she runs the show. Jose is Indigenous and knows or is related to just about everyone around the islands. He speaks spanish and ... read more
Micky the parrot
Path at Dolphin Bay
Dawn feeding Mickey

Now we are on the second leg of our trip, and on our own. We shared a van with several other people which was nice, because we all went across the border together. Good thing, because even though I had read about this experience, it was still extremely strange. First, we had a very long ride from San Jose – about 6 hours with a short stop for a bite to eat along the way. The countryside is pretty, and the people live with very little – at least by our standards. The housing is sure different than what we are accustomed to seeing anyway. Then, once we finally get to the border of Panama, the van driver tells us to take all of our suitcases and other stuff and get off. We follow him to ... read more
05 In line to exit Costa Rica
06 Drag your suitcases across the bridge to cross the border

On the Island of Isla Bastimentos live these tiny, adorable frogs. Actually, these frogs live in different spots throughout Panama, yet on every island the frogs can be found in only a couple of variations in color. The colors found on Bastimentos are mostly red and orange, but white, blue, and brown can be found as well. Tony and I went for a walk to a cemetary on Bastimentos, about ten minutes up the path from Tio Tom's, to go searching for the little guys. We were told they were easy to spot by listnening to their call, yet we had a difficult time spotting them at first because we were listening for the wrong sound. We almost gave up, but were lucky to spot one on a tree on our way out of the cemetary. ... read more
Produce stand-Caribbean Style
Two frogs climbing

Isla Bastimientos is about a five minute boat ride from Isla Colon (Bocas del Toro) but it is a world apart. Most of the people here are African in descent and many speak a dialect called Ngobe-Bugle. The feel is very Caribbean rather than Panimanian and the food and music reflect this. We are staying in a hostel over the water called Tio Tom which is run by a German couple. Our first night we shared a dinner of Schnitzel, cabbage and potatoes with them. After settling in, we went for a walk to the end of the settlement, (it is about 500 meters from end to end) and then took a trail through the edge of the jungle by the water through a coconut grove and to a series of beaches. Here the fish were ... read more
Red Frog
Fish on Red Frog Beach
Red Frog Beach

We went to visit San Cristobal where my friend Julie worked and lived. A boat driver, Sabedro (sorry if it´s spelled wrong) nickname America Central, took us to visit and stay at his house. He has a room set aside for tourists that has 2 beds and a door that locks. I forgot to mention to Elaine that there are few latrines in San Cristobal. She was a bit shocked but more on that later. We arrived at 5pm after a day in Bocas and at Red fRog Beach. When we arrived we sat and visited with the family and learned that many people had stayed at his house. His daughter brought out the family parrot, Pedro, and we chatted some more. I translated for Elaine. He had all kinds of stories to tell. About 9 ... read more

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