Panama

BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA

Nature Air crashed a plane on New Years Eve of 2017/2018.  All 12 members in the plane died.

Knowing that we had a flight booked with Nature Air to Bocas Del Toro, we were worried that there may be a problem.  We arrived at the airport to find out that we in fact, could not fly Nature Air to San Jose, instead they put us on Sensa Air.  We did, however, fly Nature Air from San Jose to our destination of Bocas Del Toro.

Bocas del Tora consists of 9 different islands.  We visited the main island,  Carenera  and Red Frog Islands.  We had a couple of dry days the first few as this was the rainy season.

MAIN ISLAND

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Swans Cay was our hotel  for the first couple of nights to get our bearings.   Not the greatest place to stay, as it was pretty run down,  but the price was right.

Lost our MBNA Master Card in Costa Rica, days before leaving for the Bocas and all we had as a back up credit card was a USELESS AMEX card.  They don’t take AMEX anywhere on the islands.    Master Card and Visa are the only cards that they use.  Western Union was used to get cash wired to us.

Some great restaurants and beautiful scenery.  Water taxis are used for transportation to all the island, for only a few dollars.  People are friendly and very safe to go visit.

CARENERA ISLAND

For Carenera Island, The Cosmic Crab is our recommendation, however, there is also a huge Hostel on this island for the younger generation that want lots of partying in the evenings.

One end of the island is quite rich and the other very poor.

In order to walk to the beach, the restaurant and the hostel, from the Cosmic Crab, you had to walk through this very poor area.    Kids playing in slimy, stagnant, stale, dirty water in bare feet.  Trash everywhere.  They believed that the more garbage you have the more wealth you have.

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Cosmic Crab was quite the exotic place to stay.  The wealthy side of the island was beautiful.  People lived in huge, expensive homes on this end of the island and on the other homes falling apart.

 

 

 

 

 

The restaurant had some of the best calamari that we have ever had.  While dining you can see all the ocean life, star fish etc. in the tropical waters surrounding the islands. Trying to get a cup of coffee in the morning was quite the chore.

 

Fantastic to open your door in the morning, laying in bed, with the ocean literally at the end of your feet.

They did have a blues band playing a walk away from the Cosmic Crab, which we went to with some German friends we met.  The water taxi took us home at midnight, which was quite the experience as the boat was loaded with people and only 2 inches before the water came over the edge of the boat due to all the weight.

The rain started the morning that we were leaving to go back to the main island and head off to our next destination on Red Frog Island.

RED FROG ISLAND

The boat ride to Red Frog Island was an experience in itself as it was pouring rain, with our suitcases laying on the floor of the roofless boat.  Needless to say, everyone and all luggage was soaked by the time we arrived.  Luckily we booked a cabin for our two night stay instead of a tent or the hostel as we were able to attempt to dry all the contents of our suitcase.

Red Frog Island was a very exotic, beautiful island with a crazy surf.

 

Back to the main island only to find out that Nature Air had been grounded by the government.

Nature Air was the only airline flying to Bocas.  Had to arrange another way to get back to Liberia.  Booked a  water taxi to the main land, hopped on a bus and crossed the border back to Costa Rica by foot.    A bus waited for us on the Costa Rica side to take us to San Jose, where we spent one night and headed back to Liberia by bus the next day.  We did get our money back from Nature Air for the full flight so the trip ended up costing us only $300 instead of over $1,000.

 

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