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Panama

Briefly Panama:

Once after cross the border by feed, i can say that the ambiance and the character of the people changed. I didn’t have that much struggle in the border. But it wasn’t that smooth as well. They checked my bag if i was carrying drugs. It took kind of 30 mins in total. And bear it in your mind you have to pay 10 USD to get out from Costa Rica. If you skip the payment, they send you back to the begging in of the process.

It was kind of a cool experience; a bridge separates two countries. All you need to do is cross the bridge, finish your visa process and then welcome to Panama! After cross the border, there are shuttles and taxis which are taking you to the ferries for Bocas

The main currency is USD in Panama. You do not have to exchange money. I can say that the North part in Carrabin side is under the influence of Jamaican culture as in the south side of Costa Rica. People are so warm, they speak Jamaican English, listening Bob Marley. I didn’t feel any danger during the trip in Panama. Just one incident I had in Panama City; I was walking through the city for photography and I walked in a neighbourhood, police approached me and asked me to get out from the area. With the camera I had was dangerous to walk in the place she said.

Also, Panama City is kind of the hub of the Middle America; the businesses, flights, headquarters are based in Panama City.

After Costa Rica, Panama is very affordable. You can eat a dinner for 5-6 USD unless want to go a fancy restaurant. The average salary in the country is around 400 USD. A general manager would earn between 2000-3000 USD per month.

1. Bocas El Toro:

The party islands! If you can arrange your visit to the island on Fridays and if you are a party monster, book your ticket for this party. It starts 12 o’clock in noon in a club on the island and then they take you a small platform in the middle of the ocean. After 3-4 hours they change the place again by boats to another club near the ocean. In the end if you have still power, you can continue partying in the place where the Party started in the first place till 4 am. The Party is called filthy Friday. Also, you can check how it looks like on their Instagram acc. the entrance is 30 USD. Also, they give you a survival bag that includes water and t-shirt. Also, there are couple of shots are free in the first party place. There are some points you need to know before you join the party: Do not bring your phone unless you have water proof case, bring cash only, sleepers of course…

I don’t want to explain how party was. All I can say is the vibe and the ambiance were nothing like I have had before. You can see the video and picture below. And also, you can check it out on their Instagram page: @filtfridaybocas

Of course, the island is not all about the party. Let’s check out some other spots:

when they take us to the party platform

  • Starfish Beach:

You can take a shuttle form the centre. It is only 25 mins away. The road is not the best but me and a Germany family that I met in the centre booked a pickup. It made the way also more enjoyable. After one full day chilling out in Starfish beach, we came back to centre.

-Red frog Beach

The beach where we have been the day after the party. Me and a Frankfurter lady headed to that beach. If you ask me there was nothing very special. A little bit wavy and quiet place. If you like silence you can visit but I prefer to go other beaches in the main island.

My next destination was San Blas islands. I have booked my ticket from the main dock2 days from departure. But there is no direct service to San Blas. You need to go to Panama City first. A friend that I met in Hostel decided to come with me to the San Blas in last minute, somehow, we found a ticket for her but it was a luck. So, I highly recommend you to book your ticket before the Party.

2. San Blas Islands:

We have arrived to Panama at 4.30 and actually we had no idea what to do. We thought we would find some tour offices in the place where Bus dropped us off, however we had no chance. In the end a taxi driver approached us and asked if we want a tour to San Blas island. In the first place we thought he is cheating us but then actually be brought us a good tour office. We registered our names and made the payment for 3 nights. All total we have paid 300 USD each which is not a bad deal for San Blas Islands.

DON’T DIE BEFORE VISITING SAN BLAS ISLAND!

I really don’t know where and how i am going to start to explain that experience. Do you know that saying; „what would you take with you if you go a deserted island? „This is exactly the island itself. And we spent 3 nights in the island. Only 4 hours electricity every day. And it is not in your room you have to go to the main bungalow and charge your phone there.

There are 350 islands in the province. And they are belonging to Kuna Yala locals. Which means no one can invest on the islands and built big hotels. Kuna Yala people won their independence in 1925. they all live those islands. There are around 5 islands where only they residence. They eat together, pray together. They have hospital, schools. And all for free. Our tour also included to visit their island. But you are not allowed to take pictures of women.

To going there is little bit difficult. Do not eat something before the journey. The journey from Panama to the coast where the boats departures to the islands is not more than 60 km. however the path is very bad and there is no any other option to go there without 4X4.

If you really want to experience super small island life this is the place. You can buy drinks before you go as they sell bottle of rum for 25 USD in the island. Beside this, they serve 3 times meal in a day. If you get hungry in between you have to find some coconuts. Lets have a look the pics and videos below 😊

After remarkable 3 days, i back to Panama City to explore. I had only 2 days left but it was enough for Panama City.