Touch down Panama. A new month and a new country. Each time we move places it is often a mammoth effort. We have packed light to try and make that part easy, but the simple process of getting to and from somewhere, especially with a border crossing thrown in, is tiring no matter what. Our taxi, taxi, border crossing, taxi, boat, and final taxi to get to Bocas was worth it. It certainly felt like we had hit the Caribbean with its dirt roads, chilled people and water outlook from everywhere. We had heard Bocas del Toro was a bit dodgy and the hotel reviews we had read in NZ made me think it was sketchy.... continued below
We had booked into the Playa Tortuga Hotel as it was a bit out of town and it was certainly nice to have such a great spot, amazing pool and aircon to return to. We found the town fine though, there was a visible armed police presence but nothing felt threatening or concerning at all. We came in each night to try different spots, often over the water, for dinner. Our favourite was Captain Caribe a caravan selling amazing juice shakes and simple delicious burgers and burritos. The shots that could be added to the shakes were especially welcomed at the end of a hot day on the beach. We did a day trip out to Red Frog Beach which was fun and a chance for a bodysurf, jungle walk a and awesome spot to relax under the coconut palms. On the way back we saw an awesome spot called the Blue Coconut which was a restaurant and sun decks is with hammocks over the sea. All of us were keen to return the next day but it was shut for 'filthy friday'. This sounded like a backpacker boat pub crawl which took over four restaurants and bars across the closer islands. Probably not appropriate for children or for us as we'd be twice the age of the partyiers!