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Bocas del Toro, Panama

by Mackenzie Hudson

Panama was unbelievable! We went to a set of islands called Bocas del Toro and it was one of those places you see in magazines with huts on the water for honeymoons. We took a bus to the border between Costa Rica and Panama. Let me tell you, its an adventure to get to Bocas del Toro. To enter into Panama, we had to cross over an old wooden train bridge that had holes in it and creaky, loose boards, all while carrying our luggage. Then we took a smaller bus to the ocean where we boated on over to the main island. The main island has a small downtown lined with hotels, adventure tour companies, shops, and restaurants. We immediately changed into bathing suits and took a boat taxi to an island with a red frog beach, but I didn’t see any poisonous red frogs. I was happy enough with the gorgeous beach though! We relaxed until it was time for dinner where I had a delicious filet of fish.

Sunday is possibly my favorite day so far since I’ve been abroad. We got up early to see dolphins in the Dolphin Bay and then snorkeling nearby. The water was so clear and the starfish were gigantic, much bigger than on the east coast in the States. Following snorkeling we went to Playa Estrella, starfish beach. It had soft, white sand and we had lunch right there with our toes in the water. Some people who ordered fish were a little surprised when they got the whole fish, eyes, fins, bones and all. Although I wouldn’t have minded, I was pretty content with my chicken. We relaxed the whole day in the sun and water. It was funny how much more sunscreen everyone put on this time compared to when we were at Manuel Antonio; we learned our lesson. There was even banana boating and tubing for just $5! Also there were underwater sea tours where a boat tows you behind, as you hold on to a rope and snorkel, seeing everything below. Jetskiing was another option and all of us were trying everything out. I did tubing with two of my friends and, I don’t know if it’s because I’m older now or what, but that was not as easy as I had remembered it! Overall, the day was a blast. We went back to the main island, shopped, ate dinner on a dock, and spent the rest of the night dancing away. This will not be the last time I go to Bocas del Toro for sure. The only thing is maybe I’ll fly just so I can avoid walking over that bridge again.

 

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