And after all this adrenaline and cold weather it’s necessary to go to the beach. I think the tourist region is the Bocas de Toro island, an archipelago so diverse and impressive that it is hard to describe in words or to explain why I like it so much. Each escapade on its various islands or even on the main island is an adventure.
In Almirante leave the car parked in one of the special places and take one of the rides to Isla Colon, the main island in the archipelago. You will meet many locals on bicycles eager to help you leave your car and to find a boat. They don’t organize the rides they want tips but will help you in exchange for tips. Price per ride is around $ 4. If you want to take the ride consult this site for hours of crossing and from what I understand you need to wait in line with the car several hours before, especially in season.
As for the accommodation on the island, you can choose Selina Hostel, Hotel Olas or a new very modern concept, which will be ready this winter. You can stay on other islands, but I have no recommendation for that only what to visit. However, Colon Island is the most vivid, with many people, activities and some nightlife. It depends on how hard you want to detach yourself from the world.
On Colon island go to playa Estrella, it has a gorgeous water, you can see starfish. Locals prepare fish with platoons and there are piles of coconuts for you to cool down with.
Photos by Rares Pulbere
For more adrenaline follow a route through the jungle with the ATV without a guide, a well established route, but quite difficult. Anyway for me it was an experience, though not my first ATV ride. Here is their website and I’m sure you will return the second day also to sit at the bar and in the cradle, which was super popular on my instagramul.
The next island important island is Bastimentos where I recommend you to go to the Red Frog Beach and Wizard Beach. For Red Frog go through the national park (the Islands National Marine Park) and if you have patience and you might see tiny red frogs. The road to Wizard Beach is rudimental and a bit steeper. You have to climb up to Up on the Hill, an organic farm, with cabins, organic coffee, kombucha teas and many other oils in their gift shop. After you’ve energized follow the descent to the beach through the jungle. You will discover a huge variety of flowers, plants and of course insects and also small snakes. Do not venture this way in slippers. But once you reach the beach you’ll have time to relax and prepare yourself spiritually to do take the same path back ☺.
From Colon Island you can take trips to Zapatilla island, the farthest island. It consists of two islands on a coral platform. Unfortunately, we got there very late and didn’t get to visit, because it was really dark. On the way there we stopped and did some snorkelling and sun tanned, so not there was not much time left for the island. But we always have to have a reason to go back, right?
Speaking of reasons, I want to tell you another reason why I want to get back in Bocas del Toro. Together with my boyfriend, we decided that in this trip will take our diver pantents, although I have a terrible fear of deep water and can’t stand to stay underwater. But, I always try to dominate my fears I told myself I’ll succeed this time also. We woke up every day from 6 to solve tests, I gave a few exams, did equipment training, but when the day came to dive I panicked. After the instructor’s lengthy attempts, I managed to let go and dive in the water and even pulled my mask underwater. I managed to dive to 10 m, but both I and the instructor thought I’ll break his hand when I saw that huge abyss that seemed to swallow us. In short, I managed to get down to see a wreck, interesting fish, but the second time I couldn’t go. Even though I threw up after I got out of the water I continued with the theory and I believed that I’ll have the courage to dive again. But no. I mastered the theory but I’m missing some diving hours to get the patent. A good enough reason to come back and to fight with my fear of water.
And as final tip, although there are plenty of things to do in the region go to Bahia de los Delfines, we saw many dolphins there.
What I did not visit this year and I’m really sorry for that because it competes with Bocas at No. 1 Panama preferences of mine, is also an archipelago of 378 islands, some very small, uninhabited and turquoise water you rarely see: Islands San Blas. I visited them in 2015 and I was very impressed.
A photo posted by Carmen Negoita (@carmennegoita) on
The road from Panama City to the boat is not very comfortable if you are carsick, but then you realize it’s worth the effort. I’ll leave a few pictures because it’s hard to describe the landscape. You have to see it and definitely it’s going to be a strong reason to return again and again.
If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will try to help you with you based on what I know for your experience to be as beautiful as mine. The idea to don’t have expectations and experience everything you can.
Enjoy my photos. Kisses