When I decided to leave on a 6 months trip, Panama was high on the list of must see places. I had great expectations from it, but unfortunately I was really disappointed with it. Despite being a top tourist destination in Central America, the services offered to backpackers are dim – I found it very expensive for what was actually offered.
My first stop in Panama, where I arrived from Costa Rica, was Bocas del Toro. I spent one night in Bocas Town, which I found really crowded and terribly dirty (picture garbage everywhere), then made my way to Isla Bastimentos (less crowded, but equally dirty). The weather was not great, and I caught some kind of bug so I was sick for most of my time there. Yet, I managed to go snorkeling and enjoyed seeing some star fish, and I went to Red Frog Beach. The problem with Bocas del Toro is that due to the constant heavy rain the visibility when snorkeling is not great, and the entire place is very muddy and it is not easy to move around unless wearing rain boots. I was so disappointed with all of this, that I looked forward to getting better so that I could move to another place.
When I was finally ok, I moved to Playa Las Lajas. It was so quiet, definitely off the beaten track. Here I relaxed and enjoyed some spectacular sunsets and downtime at the long, sandy beach. I then made my way to Panama City, which I totally enjoyed. I explored Casco Viejo, went to the fish market, and went to see the amazing Panama Canal. I then went to San Blas (another disappointment), before making my way back to Panama City to then fly to Colombia.
Care to know about my adventures in this country? Click here.