One of my favourite parts of Panama by a long way is Bocas del Toro. A broad mixture of Caribbean cool, crazy dudes surfing in Panama and madly vibrant colours, the activity and buzz here is massive considering its meant to be ‘the most relaxed place in Panama’.
The best thing about Bocas del Toro is the proximity of everything to each other. Want to visit a cool bar on another island? Hop in a water taxi for 5 minutes. Heard of a great restaurant? Walk 50metres into town. Want to go scuba diving? Every other person in town has equipment!
During the day the town buzzes with activity, with backpackers meandering through the groups of old men selling Pineapple and Agua Pipa (coconut slashed with a machete, drunk through a straw). The atmosphere is pretty heady, and the blues of sea and sky can get overwhelming in the best ways along the beautiful waterfront.
Isla Colon is the hub of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, with a great variety of bars, restaurants and late night hangouts all close to each other. Throw a rock in any direction and you will hit something either beautiful, interesting or nuts. The people in the local area are real characters, whether expats or Panamanians, and the good humoured banter flying across the street is pretty charming.
At night the place becomes a throbbing and vibrant mecca of cool bars and hang out spots. Some of the best bars are slung out over the water, with the muggy Caribbean nights encouraging rum drinkers and skinny dippers in equal measure. Great live music has the atmosphere of jam sessions between friends, with everyone from travelling saxophonists to german backpackers with a kazoo joining in.
More about Bocas soon – at the moment this is just Isla Colon stuff. It is a WHOLE world of awesome and fun beaches, beauty spots and very attractive people wearing very little. Highly recommended from all my personal experiences. Click here for my first rather strange experience of Panama!