From Boquete to Bocas del Toro, Panama
08.03.2011 - 14.03.2011 30 °C
On March 8, we travelled into the last country of this trip: Panama. We had to get up really early to catch the one and only bus that leaves from Punto Banco at 5:00, and we switched buses 4 times and find our way through a weird border crossing until we finally arrived in the Panamanian highland town of Boquete in the afternoon. Boquete was going to be a short interval stop on our way to Bocas del Toro. To our surprise, all hostels were fully booked, but we found a room in the end at Mamallena’s, where on our first night we found out that the walls are so thin, every conversation downstairs seems to happen right next to you...we hardly slept...Boquete is the capital of Panamanian coffee, and while the town in itself is nothing special and curiously full of retired, alcoholic Americans, we enjoyed the beautiful lush mountain scenery and went on a coffee tour of one of the oldest coffee estates in the area, Cafe Ruiz. We walked through one of the plantations, the workers’ accomodations, the production plant, learned all about the different coffees and did some tasting as well...
After two nights, we moved on to our final stop of this trip: the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro. We embarked on our last epic bus and boat journey....
And after about 6 hours, yes, we arrived in Bocas! We knew already that we were not gonna stay on the main island, Colon, as we heard it was mainly a terribly touristy party island and there are no nice beaches close by. We even gave it a try and checked out Bocas town on one night there but didn’t like it at all. When we arrived we went straight to Isla Bastimentos and stayed there at this wonderful new hostel Bocas Bound which is just a 5 minute walk from beautiful Red Frog Beach and a cluster of other, amazing wilderness beaches where you can relax, swim in the crystal clear waters, and have the place all to yourself as it is compeletely deserted!
We also did a nice day tour that brings you to some of the best spots around, and we found some starfish, saw dolphins, snorkelled above amazing coral....
...but best of all, found ourselves on this tiny paradise island that looked like it just popped out of a Bounty commercial!
On Saturday, for the first time during these 3 months, Pim caught a little food poisoning and had a rough night (what a timing!). But there’s nothing a little beach time can’t cure! :-)
Four days on Isla Bastimentos and we are still not tired of the beach, sun, and chill times. But every trip has to come to an end (it’s sad but true) so now we are going to drink some rum and enjoy our last night...tomorrow we fly to San Jose, and the day after we go back to Amsterdam.
This has been an amazing trip and we feel really lucky to have experienced all of this and to have met all these lovely people and seen wonderful places. Of course we are looking forward to going home and seeing everyone again. But the travelbug is not going to leave us alone anytime soon, that’s for sure....!!!