Bocas del Toro Panama means the” Mouth of the Bull”. It is a province located on the Colon Island on the Caribbean side of the Republic of Panama. Bocas Town is mostly a tourist area with many hotels and hostels, restaurants, several grocery stores and local residences. Definitely visit the Super Gourmet grocery store which is not too expensive compared to other grocery stores. You can buy fresh made sandwiches for lunch, fresh brewed coffee and local chocolates.
Water taxi’s are everywhere, so it’s very easy to get around and see the different islands and beaches. There are day trips to the other islands, where you can go snorkeling, whale watching, have a lunch on the beach and enjoy sight seeing.
Since it’s a rainy season, we were lucky, it only rained twice, one time in the early morning and second time at night. My favorite beach was the Red Frog Beach. We took a water taxi for $7 (round trip) and had a wonderful time on the nice sandy beach with clear Caribbean waters. Lot of trees and greenery, so it was easy to find some shade and get out of the sun.
There are many hotels in the town, but if you want to have a relaxing quiet time and be away from the town, Hotel Playa Tortuga is the place to go.
The week came to an end and we headed to Costa Rica for a boarder crossing. Several transfers, first it was a taxi ride from the hotel, then a ferry, then a taxi to the bus station in Almirante. In Almirante, we got on the local bus heading to Changuinala, from there we got on another bus that took us to the border, town called Sixaola. This border crossing was very easy and simple. Last time I crossed the border was about three months ago. A few things have changed since then, there is a new Panama exit fee $3 and a Costa Rica exit fee $7. If you use a credit card, you will be charged additional $10 transaction fee, (found this out when we got back home and checked our charges on the credit card). The man at the Costa Rica border told us if we pay by credit card it’s $7 or pay cash $9 at a nearby drug store. The entrance fee back to Panama is additional $3.
As I was crossing over the bridge to Costa Rica, a little boy not more then 5 or 6 years old followed me, speaking Spanish to me. I didn’t see adult or parent with the little boy. I don’t speak Spanish, but with the little I know, I asked him about his father and mother? He replied, I don’t have a father or mother. I was puzzled that this little boy was all by himself, walking across the long bridge to Costa Rica. As he followed me (pic included), I was going to give him couple of dollars and some cookies but as I got to the end of the bridge, I realize he had turned around and was heading back to the Panama side.
From the border we took a bus to the beach town called Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica, which is about a 90 minute bus ride. We spendt the night in the town and the next morning returned back to the border. From Almirante to David the bus ride was more enjoyable with great scenery of the mountains and the islands. From David we got on the bus to go back to Gorgona, where we arrived very late.
It was a trip to remember and great memories were made.