Bocas Del Toro – The Caribean Side

Water

Miya – I love islands.  Bocas del Toro is a grouping of islands off the coast of Panama on the Caribbean side.  We made our way there from San Jose, Costa Rica, riding a bus, crossing the border (a rickety old bridge) by foot, taxi to the dock, then water taxi.  Upon hitting the shore of these islands you could feel the Caribbean influence, reggae colors, reggae music, hot sun, relaxed/slow vibe.  I was struck by the abundance of Brasil flags, shirts etc.  One taxi driver even had a seat belt cover with the colors of Brazil.  The whole community was rooting for Brazil in the World Cup, just like a mini Brazil.  Our hotel was fantastic, nestled up on a hill, a few miles from town, right in front of the beach.  Loved the day we explored Bluff’s beach, where Paulo made it his mission to crack open a coconut.   He succeeded after whacking it on pieces of wood and jagged edges of coral.  Eating fresh coconut was delicious, as we used pieces of shells to scoop out the chunks of meat.  Bocas is also known for their Starfish Beach.  It was a peaceful overcast day, water was still, no waves.  We were able to hold these beautiful starfish in hand that were scattered all along the ocean floor.  I remember seeing these creatures in the Aquarium as a kid so in real life was even better.  Aside from swimming and surfing in this green/blue water, we took a boat trip with a mellow local boat driver to snorkel with some incredible colorful coral and observe dolphins.  Hotel La Coralina was extremely comfortable.  We ate most of our meals at the hopping restaurant bar, had drinks with our new friends and played dominoes.  Sometimes in these long months of traveling, chilling is what is most needed.

*****

Paulo – Meu reencontro com o Panamá aconteceu dessa vez no lado do Caribe, em uma ilha, ou melhor, um grupo de ilhas chamado Bocas Del Toro. Eu sabia que as ilhas eram perto umas das outras e que o principal meio de locomoção era o “water taxi”, ou seja, o bom e velho barquinho de pescador. Também sabia que haviam ondas de qualidade internacional lá, inclusive uma que se chama Dumpers, comparada por muitos com ondas da Indonésia. Bom, a aventura começou com um ônibus saindo da capital da Costa Rica até a fronteira do Panamá, onde cruzamos uma ponte caindo aos pedaços que separa os dois países. Depois de passar pela imigração e negociar uma van até o porto, entramos no barco e finalmente chegamos em Bocas. A vibe do lugar era bem legal, um pouco de Caribe, reggae e até alguns rastamen nas ruas… Como era época de Copa do Mundo, foi impressionante o numero de bandeiras e camisetas do Brasil na cidade. Os Panamenhos, especialmente os Bocatorenhos adoram o nosso país! Chegamos no nosso hotel que ficava à uns 15 minutos do centro, bem em frente a dois picos de surf, localização bem conveniente. hehehe O swell quase não apareceu mas mesmo assim deu pra surfar dois dias com meio metrão de onda perfeito em fundo de coral só de bermuda, ou seja, nada mal. O hotel era muito tranquilo, a gente acabou ficando lá a maioria do tempo, conhecendo as pessoas que estavam hospedadas e fazendo saídas estratégicas para algumas praias. Uma das melhores que fomos se chamava “Starfish beach” que tinha muitas, mas muitas estrelas do mar, impressionante o visual… Também fizemos um snorkel em um recife de corais com cores que nunca tinha visto antes no fundo do mar. Água quente, praia, sol, relax e umas ondinhas: Panamá tava ruimmmm!!

Stars

Starfish Beach – lots of friends to be made there

View

This was the view from our hotel’s restaurant… Who feels like eating out?

Coqueiro

Somebody help

Free fresh coconut

Dolphin

Panamanian dolphins are smart, they like warm tropical water

Surf

Perfect chest high waves on top of a coral reef and almost empty – This was Punch’s

~ by The Local Way on July 5, 2010.

2 Responses to “Bocas Del Toro – The Caribean Side”

  1. Nooosssaaa. Starfish beach, que maravilha….

  2. Eu e o Paul estamos nos cocando vendo essas fotos! Que vontade de viajar!! Have fun and keep posting these amazing pictures!

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