As our adventure is coming to an end, we decided to plan one more trip. Our final trip was to the San Blas Islands. These 365 islands are stretched out from Panama to Colombia. Only 40 are inhabited by the Kuna Indians. These islands are run by their own rules and government. After a grueling 3 hour 4×4 ride and 30 minute boat ride, we arrived at Franklins Island. This island, about the size of a football field, is pure paradise. The outside is lined with palm trees and crystal clear water. We were given our own hut, complete with a sand floor and bamboo walls. Meal times were announced by the blowing of a conch shell. The way this island operated provided a worry-free atmosphere for the guests. We spent our free time snorkeling and exploring the other islands.
We spent 2 nights there but wished we could have spent more time. Unfortunately we “have” to make our flight in the morning. Rumor has it, that San Blas will be under water in less than 40 years due to global warming, which is such a shame. San Blas is truly paradise.
Tomorrow we fly back home to the United States.
Until next time…It Takes Two 2 Travel.
Wishing all our family, friends and followers at Happy Easter from Boquete, Panama! We are spending the day relaxing and enjoying the beautiful mountain town.
We arrived here a few days ago from Bocas del Toro. Boquete is a cool mountain town which is much different from the party beach town of Bocas however, it is a pleasant change. The weather is very unpredictable here; one minute sunny and the next raining. We are staying at a fantastic hostel called Mamallena in the center of town. It is an old historic house with a lot character. We have also found some great cheap food at the local spots! The town is very busy because of the holiday and the Flower & Coffee Festival in the park.
Due to Willy's allergy to horses, I went on a horseback ride with some other girls from the hostel. We booked the tour right through our hostel which was very convenient. We rode for about an hour and a half through the beautiful mountain side. We finished up the tour with a stop in the hot springs. These hot springs were much more rustic and different from the previous ones we visited (Baldi Hot Springs in CR). However, they were still very hot and relaxing!
The following day we decided to hike the Quetzal Trail. When we first arrived there was a light mist covering the land. The fence post were glistening with moss and sheep were grazing in the field. It felt as though we had traveled to New Zealand! After some trial and error we reached the actual trail. This trail is famous for the Quetzal bird which is very rare to spot. The trail was full of biodiversity with all sorts of ferns and plants growing everywhere. We hiked for about 2 hours and still no luck with our bird hunt. Our legs were growing tired since there were many hills involved in the hike so we decided to hike back. Even though we did not see this famous bird, the hike was still very enjoyable and a nice escape from town. We hitched hiked our way back into town to save some money. We were lucky enough to be picked up by a friendly couple from Chicago who are working on the expansion project for the Panama Canal! We arrived back at the hostel for their famous BBQ night which was a fun way to unwind!
We made the trek from Costa Rica to Panama via the infamous old bridge that felt like it may have collapsed at any minute. Once through customs we took a bus and then water taxi to Bocas Del Toro. Bocas is an town comprised of many islands. Each island has something different to offer from great restaurants to pristine beaches. Since it is Holy Week we were concerned about finding a room, however, we were lucky enough to get a one at Hostel Hieke on Isla Colon. Isla Colon is one of the main islands with plenty of tasty food options and cute houses built over the water. Our hostel bed was a nice upgrade from the hammocks at Rocking Js! The first day we ventured to Red Frog Beach; about 15 minute water-taxi ride. This beach is known for the poison red dart frogs that inhabit the land. Red Frog Beach is located on Isla Bastimentos and costs $3 to enter. After finding the perfect spot for the hammock we jumped into the crystal clear water. After getting some vitamin d from the strong sun we caught a water taxi back into town to search for some grub. We chowed down on some fish and chips at Rip Tide. This restaurant is actually a converted boat with great views of the ocean.
The next day we booked a tour with Under Sea Adventures to Dolphin Bay, Coral Cay and Isla Zapatilla. We were fortunate to see a dolphin and a sloth in Dolphin Bay. Next we traveled through the mangroves to the national park; Isla Zapatilla. It is hard to even describe in words how pristine and beautiful it is there. The crystal clear water with the white sand looked incredible. We also tried “Coral Boarding” which was a once in a lifetime experience. We held onto clear boards while getting pulled by the boat. With our snorkel gear on we were able to dive down and soar above all the coral and come up whenever we needed some air. We spotted all types of fish, in addition to a Nerf Shark and Sting Ray. We finished up the day snorkeling and enjoying a pasta lunch.
After a fantastic day out at sea we worked up a good appetite. By recommendation we headed to El Ultimo Refugio. This quaint little restaurant over the water is famous throughout Bocas. We started with some fresh Mahi Mahi Ceviche which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and pico de gallo. We also enjoyed our main coarse of tuna steak! By the time we finished eating the place was packed and there was a line out the door to get in!