Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro Travel Blog

 › entry 43 of 166 › view all entries
From San Jose we took a public bus to the border between Costa Rica and Panama. The border crossing was not a major one because it was so far north, so there was only a little office on the Costa Rican side to stamp out. Our bus had gone across the border to wait for us to clear customs at both sides so we had to walk over. The border crossing consisted of walking over a very shoddy bridge with missing wooden planks all over it. On the Panama side I had to pay a visa fee for being Australian and then pretend that I had a flight out of Panama City so that they would let me in.

We were going to continue on the public bus but someone had told Todd in the passport line that there was a problem with the usual ferry service so we decided to take a private van to a different ferry instead. At the port we waited around for a while and then took a speed boat across to Bocas del Toro island. By this time it was dark but it didn't slow the driver down as we hooned across the water at very fast speed and bouncing around a fair bit. There was something very helpless about being in a small boat in the dark at such high speed. But we made it fine to the other side and walked across to our hotel. We walked to a restaurant on the other side of the island - it is so small there are no taxis - and had dinner before going back to the hotel for bed.

The next day we were up early to do a boat trip around some local sights. Firstly we went out to Dolphin Bay where we going to spot... dolphins! We were not disappointed as they were all around the bay jumping out of the water. The best part was when the boat driver was repeatedly going around a 20 metre wide circle on the bay and the dolphins were enthusiastically jumping up into the big wake behind us.

After the dolphins we went over to a small basic waterfront restaurant and put our orders in for lunch. While that was being made we went out to some coral reef and went snorkelling for about an hour. It was the first time I had properly snorkelled so it took a bit of getting used to at the start. The coral was really cool and there were lots of colourful fish swimming around to add to it. On the way back up over the side of the boat Gary had the misfortune of slipping on his family jewels, much to his dismay.

We went back for lunch and then took off further around to Red Frog Beach. We got to the beach from where we stopped on the bay a small walk away, and by then the weather had come in something shocking. It began heavily pouring rain, but the beach was full of such strong waves that Tim and myself were determined to go for a swim. We went out but not too far because there were a few strongly worded warning signs in the area pointing out the currents that could drag you out to sea. We were out there for maybe an hour before we headed back to Bocas del Toro.

That night we went out to dinner and then decided to get some drinks at the many bars on the island. We lost Todd after he went back to the hotel so we first got some beers at a sports bar full of redneck Americans. We then went to a bar that were almost entirely locals, and the dance floor was being taken up by those who could dance some really amazing salsa moves. We had a drink there and watched them do their moves before heading back to the hotel around 1am.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!