Bocas Del Toro: Panama’s Caribbean Islands

Working in the capital of Costa Rica for the past 3 months has been quite the experience, but at the same time, I think I lost track of why I started this journey. It had been difficult for me finding time to explore and leave the city. Whilst I was enjoying my time here in the capital, I was forgetting about the vast amount beautiful places I should have been exploring.

My weekend in Bocas Del Toro, Panama prompted a realisation of what I should be doing and why I started this journey in the first place. Traveling to such a serene place felt like a real adventure, from crossing the border to jetting across the open water jumping from island to island. Each island offered something unique, from Red Frog island and the incredible shrimp tacos found at the only restaurant on the island, to the beauty of the idyllic Zapatillo Island. It is easy to spend some time on the main island where I stayed of Bocas Del Toro, but the temptation to explore the many surrounding islands is too much to resist. With trips and tours starting from just $10/$20 I visited numerous islands each day.

I also met some amazing people in Bocas Del Toro, travelers heading north to Mexico and others making their way south to Brazil, Chile and Argentina. With living and working in San Jose it was my first time connecting with travelers in quite a while and I enjoyed the opportunity of listening to people’s adventures and plans going forward. Below are some of the photos from my 4 days in the Caribbean islands.

Crossing the border from Costa Rica to Panama was a first for me. It was my first time crossing a border by foot, and the most struggle I have had entering a country. I advise that you only travel to Panama if you can provide proof of a return flight to your home country. Whilst I did eventually gain entry, it was a nuisance and could have delayed my travel plans if I hadn’t had the flexibility. Border process aside, the travel to the island was very straight forward. Most of the locals speak English by the Caribbean coast and getting to and from the islands is fast and cheap. I will return the first chance I get for sure, NYE in Bocas Del Toro sounds like a good time.

What now?

It is difficult living in a foreign country not knowing what your next move will be, how long you will live there, or when you will return home. My visit to Panama made me realise that this is what I should be doing more often. I am fast approaching five months of this pura vida lifestyle and there are still so many places I would like to visit here in Costa Rica, let alone other Latin American countries. Maybe it is time to start a new adventure, in a new country, but for now I will enjoy my time here at home, in Costa Rica.

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Jetting off into the sunset on my final night in Bocas Del Toro will be a lasting memory.

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