Bocas Bravas / Panama

Trip Start Feb 04, 2008
Trip End Jul 03, 2008

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Flag of Panama  ,
Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hi All,

We left Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast on the 25th of Feb and headed into Panama. We got the early morning bus to Sixaola which is at the border. This dilapidated town looks like someone exploded a nuclear weapon just above. All the buildings were cracked and falling apart. The corrugated roofs were potholed with rust. This was very much a forgotten town. The border crossing to Changuinola in Panama is the smallest crossing on the Costa Rican / Panamanian Border. We checked in our passports on the Costa Rican side and proceeded to cross the bridge over the river. This bridge was the subject of years of neglect. Wooden panels missing, it was like stepping stones across a river 50 feet up. For the duration of the crossing we were hassled by a tout insisting he could take us to Changinola and it was 27 kilometres away which i knew was complete nonsense. When we reached the other side he pointed to his cab. When i didnt comply things started to get rather heated and he was insisting to this other cab driver that we were his customers and our boat left in 20 minutes. Which was odd since we werent getting a boat. I told him to get lost, eventually he complied and we shared a $6 cab ride to Changuinola with some weird polish people who tried to stiff us for $3 when we just saved them $30.

We got the bus from Changuinola which was a 4 and half hour bus ride to David, which is Panama´s second biggest city. The bus ride was beautiful, and miandered up the mountains and across rivers through dense rainforest. This seemed alot more authentic that Costa Rica, with local people living more authentic lives.

After a night in David we left the next day to Bocas Bravas, which was a small island 200 metres of the coast of Panama about an hour drive from David by cab. We stayed in the only place to stay there which was up 80 steps from the dock. Nice bar and restaurant over looking the island was beautiful. We opted for a double room which was our own cabina overlooking the sea. Beaches were a short walk, abandoned and really scenic, with calm waters for swimming. We had howler monkeys munching on fruit outside our cabina, and we saw large Iguanas. We stayed here for 4 days, before departing for Panama City.

Check out the pics of Bocas Bravas.

Richard and Amy
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