We finally headed South to Panama to a group of islands off the coast called Bocas del Toro. However, before we made it there we had to cross the border between Panama and Costa Rica which proved to be an adventure.
The border crossing we took is known to be one of the most relaxed crossings in Central America. What they didn't tell us is that this meant that it would take us three hours to do a ten minute crossing as the border guards moved at the speed of glaciers.
An honorable mention of this border crossing was the bridge used to go between the two countries. It was so decrepit that we were afraid to cross it but there were huge semi's using the bridge (albeit one at a time) that barely fit onto it. We were waiting for the big collapse...
Finally into Panama and loving it. This country is all water and jungle and the area that we headed to has the lingering vibe of the Caribbean.
The main island in Bocas is Isla Colon which is a two street town consisting of hotels, bars and tour operators.
This island serves as a jumping off point to local reefs for diving and snorkeling as well as heading to another more mellow island called Isla Bastimentos.
Bastimentos is gorgeous with brown sugar beaches, torquoise ocean and a very calm vibe. We visited a beach called Red Frog beach known for its namesake.
There is a huge uproar with the local islanders as a property developer has recently bought a huge amount of property bordering this beach and is building the first of what will be many condo developments on this so far undiscovered gem. There is a lot of concern about the impact on the local nature and culture and the future of this great place is definitely foggy.
What a wicked spot to pass some time.