After dropping Adrien at San Jose for his flight, we set off for Panama. On our way there, we stopped at Caribbean town Puerto Viejo nearby the border.
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo is an old town on the caribbean side of Costa Rica, well-known for its rastafari community (with an important Jamaican population). It’s also very popular for its reef breaks, perfect for surfing, but very dangerous in certain conditions…
We stayed at Rocking J’s, one of the biggest and craziest hostel we’ve seen so far! We slept in a dorm (bunker?) made of containers and had an very good time partying and meeting people in Puerto Viejo!
However, we only spent a couple of days in there: the beaches are beautiful (covered by the rainforest) but it rains pretty much every morning, and there is very little to do around.
After a short bus ride, we crossed by foot the Panama border on a very old bridge that we didn’t trust at all. We were impressed by how easy it was to cross the border and it’s probably a drug dealer’s paradise – more on that in the next article.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
After a 1 hour drive from the border, we took a boat that took us through the islands of Bocas del Toro to it’s capital, Colon Island.
Bocas del Toro is an Archipiélago consisting of six densely forested Caribbean islands and number of uninhabited islets.
Besides its relaxed atmosphere and tropical beaches, Bocas is also a prime destination for surfing. We enjoyed a few very good sessions there: after being dropped out directly on the reef by a boat, we would surf for a two to three hours and then swim to the beach on a nearby island.
The boards are in the boat, let’s get dropped at the surf spot
Checking if my legs are still working
We would then harvest coconuts from the trees for healthy refreshments and snacks, and relax in the warm Caribbean water.
We got the hang of it pretty quickly
It was such so laid-back and relaxing that we cancelled our plans of going to Boquete and Panama city, and ended staying there for an entire week.
When the swell started slowing down, we went on to discover Red Frog Beach with 3 cool American girls we were hanging out with in Bocas, and to drive a jet ski with new French friends!
The path to the beach was going through mangrove and the jungle
But we ended up making it to the beach…
…To jump on the first coconut we saw. We love coconut.
Staying so long gave us time to make some new friends from all over the world and enjoy the wild nightlife.
Couldn’t be more chilled
Overall, our stay in Panama was an awesome and relaxing experience. Although we regret not having seen more than Bocas del Toro, it was a much-needed vacation from all the travelling we had been doing lately! We’ll happily come back to see more of Panama.