Well three weeks in Costa Rica is just too much time for one country so I decided to head to Panama for a couple of days. Doing that is actually quite easy. From Puerto Viejo in the south Caribbean you can book an easy transfer to Bocas Town. This includes a bus to the border where you have to pay your exit-tax, get an exit-stamp then a entry-stamp and finally pay your entry-tax...four different stations and four different ques but in the end it's fairly easy to cross the border. Afterwards you take another bus to the harbour and then a boat which will eventually take you to Bocas Town, the biggest town on the islands. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, Bocas del Toro is a group of small islands off the northern Caribbean coast of Panama.
Bocas is just like you would imagine a Caribbean city, colorful wooden houses, crystal clear water, sunshine and relaxed people. Here is where I spent three nights in a hostel. The town itself is still quite small and you will have seen everything in less than an hour. But it isn't about the town itself, Bocas is about the bars and restaurants and of course all the offered tours taking you to the various islands.
I decided to start my time there with further exploring Isla Colon so I rented a bicycle. At least that's what they called it and well it had two wheels but nothing else. No brakes, no gears, a rusty chain that kept falling off and flat tires. The bike was OK in the flat but you couldn't even drive the slightest incline with it. That's why I couldn't take it the 14km to Bocas del Drago, going over all the hills to cross the island was impossible. So I just went to Playa de Bluff. A long narrow beach with a big surf. Not really good for swimming but the palm-trees made for nice Caribbean Photos.
But I couldn't just stay on island the whole time so the next day I went to Isla Bastimentos. It's just a short boat-ride away and offers and even more laid-back and authentic town and of course great beaches. After a short time in the town I went on the jungle-trek that took my to the other side of the island to Wizard Beach. I don't really know why it's called that but it's a nice beach and a cool name. Afterwards I planned to go to Red Frog Beach but as it turned out you can't reach it on land and boats can't land there and I didn't really plan on swimming with a bag full of camera gear. So Red Frog was canceled but I went back to Isla Colon to go see Bocas del Drago after all.
Instead of trying again with the bike I just took a bus, it left just outside the hostel and took about half an hour to get there. I'm really glad I did it because this beach is just what I was looking for. Almost no waves, white sand and crystal clear water and all of it topped of by palm-trees along the beach. I managed to finally get the picture I was hoping to get here and because the last bus back was really delayed I also managed to catch a nice sunset.
Unfortunately this already concludes my time in Panama and I only have a couple of hours left before my boat back to Costa Rica leaves. I had a great time but it was way to short. I know that I'll have to come back some time and explore more of this great country. Oh I almost forgot to answer the most important question. Does Panama smell like banana? Well there are a lot of bananas, they grow everywhere and every supermarket is full of them. It might not be the whole country but it's still a lot and they taste amazing.Anyways there is still a lot to do in Costa Rica but until then here are some more photos from Panama. Enjoy and remember clicking on any of the photo will enlarge them.