We are at the end of the first leg of our trip. We have spent eight nights in Panama and loved every minute. Firstly Panama City, although it’s a bit rough around the edges, but the people here are really friendly and are more than willing to help out if they can.
Although there is not a great deal to do touristically wise, except the Casco Viejo area (old town, see previous post.) and the canal of course, although it is not really a tourist attraction and the Park Natural Metropolitan, which is a must visit. It’s just an all round nice city, and has a good vibe about it. We will explore more on our return
Our next stop is Bocas del Torro, the group of islands in the Caribbean Sea, on the northern coastline. Is another place to add to your list, if travelling to Panama. Although we did not explore the other islands, except Isla Colon where we were staying. They are a great place to chill for a few days. There is plenty of accommodation to be had, not only on Isla Colon but the other islands as well. Also there are plenty of things to keep you occupied, if your an adrenaline junkie, like quad biking, surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Etc etc Although we did none of these things sadly, we were here just to relax.
Next I have to write about our accommodation Villa Seville. It’s such a lovely place. Set in the jungle and about a 10 minute drive from Bocas town. Set in some well kept gardens and with plenty of beautiful flowers to admire. The Villa has only four rooms so it’s not busy even when full. There is also a pool, a honesty bar and the chance to see some amazing wildlife. We were lucky to see, during our stay, a sloth, and some really colourful bird species, including hummingbirds. We must not forget the very load howler monkey’s. I would highly recommend staying here.
I will point out that Panama, especially Bocas is not cheap, in fact I would go as far as saying the prices are on par with the UK, sometimes more expensive for some things. But I suppose being on an island your are a bit of a captive audience. For example in Panama I had some Nachos as a snack. I have to say it was a good portion, but the price was $10. Main meals considerably much more. However we were pre warned, because of reading the guide book before we left. It likened Central America to Switzerland for cost. Which I can definitely agree with. Also, what is slightly worrying, we have heard that Costa Rica is even more expensive , we shall see. We have decided for the journey forward we would look to stay in places that are self contained and have basic cooking facilities to keep down the cost.
We look forward to coming back into Panama in the middle of May, to explore the pacific coast side, and to get to see the Panama Canal before coming home. But that’s a good few weeks away yet. We have plenty to see in Costa Rica.