Blogs from Bocas Del Toro, Panama, Central America Caribbean - page 2


Having left a very wet Lost & Found in the early hours, it was an enormous relief to hit the Caribbean coastline in the glorious sunshine, where I have to catch 2 water taxis to my next residence - Bambuda on Solarte Island, near Bocas del Toro. I've heard great things about this the hostel, so my expectations are high - and I am not disappointed! The very delightful hostel is virtually 5 star in hostel terms, with a private pool overlooking the sea and chilled vibes playing throughout the afternoon. It is where a significant proportion of my time in Bocas is spent, embracing the sun by the pool or on the sofas under the covered veranda, this place is well designed for travellers. They provide a communal dinner for everyone at 7pm each evening, ... read more
A rather wet Lost and Found

My stay in Costa Rica was over and it was time to cross the border to Panama. Initially I wanted to stay in the NorthEast on the islands of San Blas, however that was a 24 hour journey and would lose me a lot of time which was running out. I instead decided to go to Bocas Del Toro, a well-known destination in the NorthWest just across from the border. The journey to Bocas on the shuttle bus was confusing. At first I was on the bus with a number of other travellers going to Panama, some to Bocas and some elsewhere. At border control shortly after, the driver waited for us to get our passports stamped. I had read that you aren't allowed entry into Panama unless you prove you have an exit ticket out ... read more

The promo material suggests that this is the top Carribbean paradise. Is it? Well, not having been to any others which might claim this title, I can't say for sure. But the appellation is not far-fetched, to be sure. Sunday night the group met for the pre-trip briefing. There are nine of us (plus leader), and what a different mix from usual! First, there are 7 males and 2 females, the reverse of what is normal for Central American trips. Second, the clients represent a completely different mix of nationalities from those I've travelled with before. There are two from Northern Ireland, two from Denmark, one from Brazil (but also lives in Denmark), one from South Africa, one from the US, one from New Zealand, and me. Other than New Zealand, none of the other nationalities ... read more
Sunrise over our patio breakfasyt
The dolphin watching crowd
cruising through the islets and mangrove forests of the archipelago

The title here is shrouded in enigma, though I am referring to an enclave of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama collectively known as Bocas Del Toro or 'mouths of the bull' to cite its English translation. In this instance, the journey to get there was as memorable as could have been expected, as a tiny prop jet carrying a total of passengers barely in double figures got us to the airport at Bocas Town, seemingly, an airport and runway which the town proper seems to have moulded itself around. Initial impressions were colourful ones, largely due to the striking colours which characterize the main town, and a choice of a condo a short-ish drive from the centre was, in this case, an inspired one, simply because hustle, bustle and noise is best avoided when ... read more
Typical scene in Bocas Town (Bocas Town; Panama)
The seclusion of Bluff Beach (Bocas Del Toro; Panama)
Lodgings on Isla Carenero (Bocas Del Toro; Panama)

Bocas del Toro to albo (i) nazwa regionu wraz z archipelagiem wysp u kraibskich wybrzeży Panamy, jakieś 80 km od naszego ostateniego miejsca pobytu - Puerto Viejo w Kostaryce albo (ii) nazwa "głównego" miasta na "głównej" wyspie archipelagu zwanej Isla Colon. Ja akurat ograniczyłam się do przesiadywania na Isla Colon. Samo miasteczko Bocas del Toro nie zachwyca. Ściśniete drewniane domki na palach wyglądają ciekawe, ale tylko z zewnątrz. W pokoju nietrudno było o atak klaustrofobii. Taras to luksus, który kosztował jedyne dodatkowe 20 usd :) Ale co najgorsze ... to kulinarna pustynia - mało knajp i jedzenie nie powala. Część naszej ekspedycji dotarła na przepiękną wysepkę nieopodal. Część naszej ekspedycji widziała też rozgwiazdy, z których słynie plaża na Isla Colon - Bocas del Drago. Wiem, nazw własnych więcej niż u Marqueza w Sto lat samotnośc... read more
Plaża w Bocas del Drago
Plaża w Bocas del Drago no2
Plaża w Bocas del Drago no3

It was our last few hours in Haiti. Four am wake up call, 430am moto ride up to the normally one hour trek uphill- it wasn't a smooth ride. In fact, there was nothing smooth about it. Someone had the bright idea of loading 3 passengers on a small bike. Hint- it wasnt me. I held on as if I was going to die. Frankly, if I let go, I would definitely get hurt. In this instance, we were lucky no one was seriously injured. I decided to walk the rest of the way as they picked up our bags and Ed. Luis had already ascended on another moto. Claude drove us to the airport. The brothers Aldaco missed their flight, so they were put on standby. They were able to get seats on my flight ... read more

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

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