Panama Photography travel

Bocas del Toro, Panama

The view looking north up Bluff beach on the east side of the island.
The view looking north up Bluff beach on the east side of the island.

We had the pleasure of spending two weeks in Bocas del Toro, Panama. For us it was a very laid back visit. We did do a couple of great days of diving, but other than that we focused on exploring the townsite and surrounding area. I have to be honest, Bocas is not an area I would consider living full time, but as a holiday destination I think it is well worth the effort to get to. Bocas del Toro is all about the surfing, and as we don’t surf we obviously were not getting everything out of the area we could have. There are plenty of diving opportunities (see previous blog) around the islands if that is something that interests you.

We rented a condo at Bocas Condos. An excellent location run by Jim, a fine gentleman who goes out of his way to make sure you are happy. As well I have to mention that it had the fastest internet we had experienced thus far in Central America, a very nice surprise.

It is not unusual to see someone disposing of garbage by burning it in their front yard, in town.
It is not unusual to see someone disposing of garbage by burning it in their front yard, in town.
The nice think about the smoke from the fire is it kept the chickens in the coop quiet.
The nice think about the smoke from the fire is it kept the chickens in the coop quiet.

One of the joys of staying right in the centre of town is you get exposed to how some of the locals live. Things like combustable garbage disposal. We found it not unusual to see a small fire burning garbage in someone’s yard. Or our personal favourite, the chained up dog barking incessantly in the yard next door. Those items aside, we enjoyed our time in Bocas. There were plenty of stores to get your groceries at reasonable prices. The selection of restaurants is outstanding. We cooked most of our own food, but had the pleasure of discovering a couple of excellent restaurants.

Enjoying a delicious curry at one of my favourite restaurants in Bocas, Mariposa.
Enjoying a delicious curry at one of my favourite restaurants in Bocas, La Mariposa.

My personal favourite was La Mariposa, fantastic curry and very friendly staff. Jim also directed us toward Pin Up restaurant. A great little place with incredible thin crust pizza and cheap beer.

Pin Up Restaurant is a fantastic place. Incredible pizza with a cool breeze blowing through, and low prices.
Pin Up Restaurant is a fantastic place. Incredible pizza with a cool breeze blowing through, and low prices.

When our clippers finally died I was forced for the first time in 25 years to find a barber. The Wizard was the place to go. Great price while the barber sang and danced while he cuts your hair.

Great place to get that hair cut done while you are in Bocas.
Great place to get that hair cut done while you are in Bocas.
Always a ready smile and a song while he works.
Always a ready smile and a song while he works.

To look a bit further about we rented bikes and went for a ride up the east side of the island. Our goal was a place called Bluff Beach. When we arrived we found a gorgeous beach with perhaps a dozen people on it. There were some surfers out enjoying the waves as well. The surf is way too strong to enjoy just going for a swim in the water, but just relaxing and enjoying the views was wonderful.

Rented a couple of bikes from Panther Bikes for $10US for the day.
Rented a couple of bikes from Panther Bikes for $10US for the day.
The road at times was partially washed out. If you chose to drive there a 4x4 would be a good idea.
The road at times was partially washed out. If you chose to drive there a 4×4 would be a good idea.
Biked up to Bluff Beach.
Biked up to Bluff Beach and enjoyed the area.

In town there are dozens of bars to enjoy. Our preference were those that had seats out over the water. It is therapeutic to enjoy a refreshment while watching boats cruising back and forth over the waterway.

Lots of nice bars with seats out over the water.
Lots of nice bars with seats out over the water.
Beautiful views of the busy waterway off the south end of the island.
Beautiful views of the busy waterway off the south end of the island.
Curl up in a chair and watch the world go by while yu enjoy a balboa.
Curl up in a chair and watch the world go by while you enjoy a Balboa.
Great place for a darker more flavourful beer.
Bocas Brewery, great place for a darker more flavourful beer.

Bocas del Toro is a great place to unwind and relax. If you want a 5 star resort I would look elsewhere, but if you want to interact with locals and enjoy some surfing or diving, come on down.

Watching the activities in the neighbourhood.
Watching the activities in the neighbourhood.

 

 

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

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