Day 44: Sea, sun and mud in Bocas del Toro

Three things come to mind when thinking about our time in Bocas del Toro: amazing empty beaches, tropical rain, and mud… a lot of mud! As we will see, these three things are closely related 🙂

After the luxuriant green in Boquete we were ready for the Caribbean side of Panama, so we hopped into another minivan and set our target to Bocas del Toro. Bocas is an archipelago, so we hitched a water taxi at Almirante and headed out to Colon, the archipelago’s largest island. This is usually a pretty relaxed 30 minute ride, but halfway through it started pouring rain, making the rest of the trip pretty bumpy and wet. We were soaked when we arrived, but you have to do just like the locals and put on a smile: after all, it’s a warm rain and you are in paradise!

Bocas Town, the island’s main town, is a succession of hostels and restaurants, so there’s not a lot to do. A cool way to get out of town is to rent an ATV and head out to the jungle, searching for empty beaches, sloths and howler monkeys. So the next morning we started our way up to the Northern part of the island. This part of the island is gorgeous, and the beauty of the empty beaches took us back to Galapagos. The only thing missing were the cheeky sea lions!

The guy that rented us the ATV told us of tales of Christian’s beach, an idilic place only accessible after a rough ATV trail and a trek through the jungle. But he told us that there was no way we would make it through the trek on flip-flops: challenge accepted! In retrospect, it was a pretty dumb idea: it had rained a lot the day before, so we spent a couple of hours walking barefoot in knee-deep mud. Worst part was that we got lost on the final stretch of the hike and didn’t find the beach!

The next day we decided to visit Bastimentos, a smaller and less developed island in the archipelago, and check out Red Frog Beach. There’s two ways to get there: you can hire a boat to take you there directly, or catch a water taxi to the Bastimentos town and hike through the island to get to Red Frog. We never shy away from saving a few bucks and we have the memory span of a cockroach, so we went for option #2. No need to add a lot of detail here, suffice to say that once we finally dipped into the sea, there were brown bubbles around us from all the mud 🙂 But the hike is beautiful and you get to pass by a couple of incredible beaches (watch out for the ocean through, the rip currents are really tricky).

Bocas del Toro wrapped our trip around Panama, and we are really glad that we changed our plans to spend more time in this incredible country. Our next destination will give us our first taste of Costa Rica’s ‘pura vida’. Puerto Viejo, here we come!

Jules & Verne *

11 thoughts on “Day 44: Sea, sun and mud in Bocas del Toro

  1. A aventura, o imprevisto… fazem parte da vossa saga… e, neste caso, encontraram um paraíso a abarrotar de lama! Deve ter sido por isso que Deus fez o Homem a partir do barro…Além de que a lama tem propriedades terapêuticas, por isso, uns banhos de lama só fazem bem!

    Também se perderam por lá… tal Adão e Eva perdidos no Paraíso… mas o importante é que acharam o caminho de volta, e agora têm mais uma invejável e enriquecedora experiência a juntar à vossa viagem…

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  2. Maravilhosas e extensas praias só para vós… perdidos na imensidão do azul… Deve fazer tão bem à alma, andar por lá! Mas nem tudo foi contemplação… a conduzir o ATV até ficaram alucinados! Eheheh! 🙂

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  3. E lá estão os vossos pés… desta vez em águas transparentes… Também gostei de ver os animais, os pequenos e os grandes, desde a minúscula rãzinha aos cavalos, passando pelos bugios (não tenho a certeza de os ter identificado na árvore, na parte superior direita da foto) e pelos imponentes abutres…

    Obrigada por mais esta partilha. Vemo-nos em Puerto Viejo? 🙂

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