Greetings from paradise, friends! Thanks to the high demand for hostel reviews here, we’ve spent the last five days chilling the gorgeous Bocas del Toro islands off the coast of western Panamá. The chain consists of several islands, some big, some small, with endless opportunities for exploring.
We first hit up Isla Colón, the biggest island in the chain. Bocas Town, the most hoppin’ place in the islands, is there. Although super touristy, it had a laid-back California-esque vibe which we really enjoyed. Although there’s tons of snorkeling and surfing spots around the Isla Colón, we wanted to have a more relaxing visit. The biggest event was taking the bus to Boca del Drago, an isolated beach on the far side of the island.
It was pristine, refreshing, and relaxing, until we decided to save $5 by hiking back to town. 18km in the heat and we were about ready to fall over. At least we had plenty of water this time! (As longtime readers may know, we kind of suck at hiking readiness and preparation, despite how much we do it!) Zach deciding to hoot back at an angry monkey proved that the heat may have been getting to us. Thankfully, despite their heated argument, Zach stayed on the road and the monkey stayed in the tree. When we finally made it back to Bocas Town, we were rewarded with $.50-beer happy hour at Mondo Taitu, and ice cream bars from the local supermarket.
The next day we headed to another island, Bastimentos, known for having less gringos and more wildlife. Unfortunately it rained throughout most of our day here, but we still enjoyed wandering through Old Bank, listening to the unique Guari-Guari language spoken by the Afro-Panamánians here.
Although touristy, Bocas del Toro is still closer to its roots than similar places in Costa Rica (so we’ve heard). I don’t think there’s any way that a couple days here wouldn’t be a good decision!