Crossing from Colombia to Panama by boat and also to visit Panama City and eat something to enjoy the beautiful night in "El Casco Viejo"
North AmericaPanama6 days / May 2019
Highs & Lows
I Loved the attitude of the people with the visitors, everybody is very friendly even when you're crossing the street!
Metro is nice but very limited of stations, it should have more.
We woke up in Capurgana early in the morning to start the trip since we needed to find a boat to cross from Puerto Obaldia which is the city where you have to stamp your passport to Carti so you can take the road to Panama City, we visited the Guna Yala islands, Panama City and Bocas del Toro which is a place very close to the border with Costa Rica
I can say that our experience in this place was not good at all because we were on a touristic trip trying to live the experience of crossing from Colombia to Panama by boat and visiting the islands close to Puerto Obaldia which is the island that we had to stamp our passport in but unfortunately when we were in our way to the first Guna Yala Island (Because is not just one, is a group of islands) the boat that we were going on ran out of gas so we had to ask for help to be able to get to the island.
When we got there our plan was not staying but the guy who was the owner of the boat left the island so we had to pay for the night.
our hope was to leave in the morning but the owner of the hostel (which was also very ugly and dirty) told us that the boats were not gonna be working until Saturday (it was Tuesday) so we had to start asking all the locals in the island if somebody could help to take us to Puerto Carti so we can continue with our trip.
Unfortunately, nobody was willing to help us so we talked to the guy at the hostel and he said that he had a boat but he was going to charge us $500 which was an insane amount of money but based on the fact that we didn't have another option we had to pay, so our experience was not good at all in that place.
Panama city is an amazing place and it has all that you might need depending on what you're looking for.
In our case, we wanted to visit the famous "Casco Viejo" which is the old part of the city with a vintage tone as well as nice nightlife and good places where you can see the water around the seafood market.
Also, our main intention was to see the flags square where we tried to name all of them but we still need to study a little bit more!.
the first night we got there, we stayed at "Selina Hostel" which is very warm and the people there were very kind to us which was highly appreciated based on the fact that we were very tired and stressed because of the inconvenience with the guys at the islands.
The next day we wanted to explore the city a little bit more so we made a reservation at Sophias hostel which is located 4 or 5 blocks away from the hard rock cafe which is located in one of the biggest malls in the city.
Bocas del toro it's an amazing place to visit in Panama if you're looking for good beaches and waves which are perfect if you're a surfer or you love taking the sun.
That was our last destiny since we were going to Costa Rica but the place was on our way, and there are several ways to get there.
1. You can take a plane from the Albrook Gelabert Airport to Bocas del Toro which is the easiest way to get there but also the most expensive. to find the airport in Panama city you only have to take the metro and go to the Albrook Station and you will have the bus station as well as the airport behind.
2. The second way which is the one we used, is taking a bus from the bus station mentioned before to Almirante, the price of the bus ticket is $30 and you must take in count that you will be traveling for around 10 hours so my best recommendation is to take the bus in the night so you can save the night of accommodation.
after you get there, you can take one of the boats for $6 and they will take you to Bocas del Toro.
Q & A
What would you have changed?The way I traveled from Colombia to Panama, It was very dangerous, and flying with a low-cost airline would have saved me a lot of money
Anything go wrong during the trip?Everything that has to do with boats and islands!
Restaurant recommendations?there are several bars and restaurants in "Casco Viejo", I don't have any specific recommendation because I ate pizza and cooked at the hostel
Tips you would give a friend?use low-cost airlines, they will save you a lot of money and try to carry as little luggage as possible
Packing tips?use a small backpack to carry all your stuff, and if you have a musical instrument it would be way better because you can make money while you're traveling
Transportation Tips?Metro in Panama is not that useful since the stations don't go to all the city but public buses are great and very comfortable
Booking details?use www.booking.com to make your reservations, in my opinion, travel agencies are not necessary but if it's your first trip you can use them to get used to traveling.