Blogs from Bocas Del Toro, Panama, Central America Caribbean - page 7

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Zapatilla II (or minor) island is one of the two beatiful Zapatilla Keys. These two islands are located on a coral platform that is defined, toward the open sea, by the breakers that are formed as the waves crash on the reef. Zapatillas Keys lie inside the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park. They are famous for their beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, coral reefs and small but shady forests. We took a picnic lunch and boated out there to do some swimming, relaxing, beachcombing, and walking through the forest on a trail raised above the swampy forest floor. The weather is hot even though the day was mostly cloudy, and we were careful to wear t-shirts to protect our backs when snorkling and to apply lots of sunscreen. The sun is strong even through the clouds, ... read more
Coming up to Zapatilla II
Coconut on the beach
Sand Dollar


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 ... read more
Swan's Cay AKA Bird Island
Tropicbird flies over Bird Island
Red-billed Tropicbird


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
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05 In line to exit Costa Rica
06 Drag your suitcases across the bridge to cross the border


Monday 6th Feb - Bocas The day before, we'd booked ourselves into a nice German hostel that was extremely clean, had TV in the room and had an excellent shower (a rare luxury on the road). It's funny that probably the 2 best places we've stayed at so far in Latin America are owned and run by Japanese and Germans and although you get plenty of weirdo krautz about, they are the countries of the people we've felt most akin to since we've been gone. We'd also bumped into a dutch girl on the way to the border who then stuck to us like glue for 2 days. The previous afternoon, we'd surfed round town looking for someone to take us on a discovery scuba dive and today was the day for our 1st taste of ... read more
Bocas Airport
Scuba Diving


Hello my friends. In my final night in Bocas del Toro. Fantastic place, highly recommended. Bus driver F'd me and didn't tell me my stop. So I went 30 minutes too far and had to get another bus back. Not a big deal. Had an early dinner at an over water bungalow, fantastic lobster sandwich. Met some Brazilians at the hotel and joined them for dinner. They are here for 3 weeks surfing twice a day. Called it a night after dinner. Friday was a fantastic day. Rented a beach cruiser and rode 7 kilometers to a sweet beach hut restaurant, half of which was riding on the beach and dirt road. Passed some amazing surf and saw a sloth hanging in a tree. Half way back I turned and rode another 5k up and down ... read more
My cruiser
Nice waves at Bluff
Beach sloth


We stayed in Santa Teresa for three nights. Santa Teresa is nothing more than a dirt road which jungle on one side and jungle, beach and sea on the other. Apparently they did pave it but it rained so bad last year it washed the road away! Either side of the road there are hostels, hotels, supermarkets and surfshops. I saw and heard loads of howler monkeys in the trees. There were also loads of big Iguana type lizards skulking about. Most people get about by quad bikes with surf board racks built onto them! The apartment was great and we were able to cook our meals which saved us money. We also had a TV so we watched films in the evening. Rich spent most of the time surfing, I just took the time to ... read more
Sloth!
Torch central
Tarantula!


My first impression of Bocas was pretty bad. A touristic but pretty run down village, a completely unmotivated guide to bring us to our hostel and to show us around town, almost nobody around in the spanish school, slightly rainy weather... not the vibe I was expecting. Then again it is usually not a good idea to expect too much when traveling to new places, so I swallowed my disapointement pushed my expectations out of my head and just immersed myself in the experience. During the following days I was rewarded with many more or less impressive highlights that made me feel quite comfortable here. There were a lot of different people to meet, beaches to discover, restaurants to try and quite a few bottles to empty. I saw dolphins from the waterfront porch of my ... read more
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November 29, 2011 Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica 16N 623230, 1244328 Puerto Viejo is my favorite place we´ve visited so far. I love the laid-back, reggae vibes. I also met my favorite group of people so far staying at this hostel. Here are the characters: Dave - a hippie who came down here to work and accidentally inherited this hostel. Dani - Dave´s girlfriend who moved down here because her belongings were destroyed by a fire and she had no where to go. She says she´s never been happier. Colt - a cowboy from Montana who is obsessed with speargun fishing, drugs, and women. Jelle - a 6.5 foot tall Belgian man with a 1 foot tall fro. He is my favorite because of his crude jokes and his scary clown-like laugh. Bryan - a native Costa ... read more
crossing the bridge into Panama
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view from our hostel room


Isla Colon is the main Island of the archipelago where is located the capital of the province, Bocas del Toro. Reachable through one of the flights made ​​by the two national airlines company, Air Panama and Aero Perlas, or with comfortable water taxi from the coastal town of Almirante, is known as one of the favorite provinces of the entire Panamanian tourism industry. Isla Colon and Bocas offer a wide range of choice regarding accommodation and restaurants, from the most typical and economic to the most fashionable for restaurant and from youth party hostels to lovey seaview hotels. The best attraction of the island for us is the beach of Boca del Drago, known as The Starfish Beach situated on the opposite side of the island from the town of Bocas del Toro, easily reached by ... read more
Cayo Zapatilla
Playa de las estrellas




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