Our last stop and excited to finish the Central American leg we headed into Panama, spending just under 2 weeks here, before continuing our travels and flying to South America. We split our time between the islands of Bocas Del Toro and Panama City.
Bocas Del Toro
Situated off the northern point of Panama is the archipelago of Bocas Del Toro. We spent a week here, taking a step back from are busy travels to chill and soak in the sun on these picturesque beaches.
This beach goes down as one of are all time favourites. Possibly the most beautiful place we’ve been. We arrived off a shuttle from the opposite side of the island, where we continued our walk around the headland. The palm tree lined, white sand beaches were unbelievable. True to its name in the crystal clear waters were many brightly coloured starfish.
We spent a couple of days here, one being Zuzias birthday. In a local restaurant on the beach we dinned like kings eating freshly caught lobsters. After meeting a guy in the middle of the ocean in his little wooden dug out boat catching lobster 14 meters below on the sea bed with just a snorkel, made this a must try while we were there. We finished our day drinking piña coladas on the loungers in the sun. From this spot we were lucky enough to see dolphins playing in the bay. A place we won’t forget.
A completely uninhabited island, accessed from the main islands by private boats. They were a real treat to go and explore your own tropical island, a popular place for the sea turtles nesting. We ended up spending hours here snorkelling straight off the beach in the warm waters.
Another boat trip took us to Dolphin Bay, set in he middle of the mangroves with the amazing backdrop of the mountains, this bay is a very popular breeding spot. We took a very early trip here to catch these amazing animals before others. We were lucky and watched a pod of 20 plus playing in the bay. Apologies for images as they’re very hard to photograph.
A painful 10 hour bus ride took us to the very diverse Panama City, here we explored the city and surrounding areas. A dramatic change from our travels so far.
What a contrast arriving into this modern city, after months of backpacking in Central America. The skyline is very impressive, a huge number of skyscrapers tower the streets. We were very lucky to end up couch surfing on the 45th floor of one of these buildings in an amazing complex, where we sat in a pool and watched the mad rush below. We only ended up spending a few days here and really enjoyed it, a great break from the previous travels and a step back to normality.
The old town, destroyed years ago this area of town has had a huge wave of new money pouring into it. Now the colourful streets of bars, restaurants and hotels are great places to explore. In-between the newly developed buildings are derelict wreaks, we were lucky enough to get into a few, a photographers dream. We ended up staying in this area and really enjoyed it.
This was something we couldn’t miss, a short bus ride out of the city takes you to the Panama Canal. There is an observatory and information centre right next to the miraflores locks. Here your able to watch the huge container ships pass through the locks and back out to sea.
From Panama we boarded our flight to Colombia on the start of our South America adventure.