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Curious what backpackers do in Panama? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Fabulous day today!

    Some snorkling to see starfish and the colourful reef.
    Then a stop in Dolphin Bay to watch for - yes correct dolphins. We only saw two.
    Then abit of a look at the various islands and finally over to a small island with our bring your own lunch.

    The guide told us to go to the supermarket and put together our lunch for our island chill out. Couldn't find anything I would want to eat so ended up with white bread rolls and nutella! The tomatoes were rotten and the avocados rock hard. And the processed meat was just plain scary!

    The best part of the island was very crowded so we walked around trying to find a place that wasn't packed. Our tour guide was clueless even though he had been to the very small island dozens of times. And of course you can't set up under a coconut tree and they were everywhere ! We ended up in an awful spot where you really couldn't swim for fear of being hit by a floating tree branch!

    Eventually the guide went on a scout and found a proper place so we moved camp and then I just stayed in the water most of the time. Just so nice with the palm trees and blue water. If you are out of the water for 5 minutes you get so hot you have to go back in.

    On the boat ride back we went sloth spotting and amazingly saw a really active one eating lots of leaves. Normally they are only active at night. We were able to get really close and stare at his face. They are gorgeous creatures and move very slowly due to the lack of protein in their diet.

    Then back to town on the speed boat - central american style! Great ride as you can look at the mangrove swamps and the isolated houses. Some are shacks and others are mansions owned by retired foreigners. If you migrate there you don't have to pay taxes for 20 years but you have to invest some money which most people do by building houses.

    Dinner at another nice restuarant on the water. It had some things on the menu which we couldn't order due to where we were sitting!! Random!

    Then to finish off the day some gelato!

    In the last photo you can see I am taking no chances with the sun with my total cover up!
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  • Santa Catalina to be precise. And our rooms have kitchens but no bathrooms!

    Long drive south. Dozed most of the way. Getting hot again now so out will come my over priced dress. I need to get the wear out of it as I have just seen the Australian conversion on my visa statement.

    I might have to live in it when I get back to Sydney.

    The group is making dinner tonight for something different.

    Our cabanas are very cute - all in different colours. Its like being in a dolls house. Mine is orange.

    The beach is ok - more for surfers. Black sand. Its about a 5 minute walk from the hotel which is in the middle of no where.

    I have a quick dip but the waves are too much hard work and I want to rest so find a place with a view and settle in. No internet though. It takes about half an hour to get served! Fries and a smoothie!

    Tomorrow we are going on a full day tour which is good otherwise I might go abit stir crazy here!

    No internet no tv no book and in the middle of no where without a bathroom. Not happy.
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  • But I can't attach any photos because my phone storage was full so they are all on my camera.

    But I have videos which I am going to make all of you watch! Ships slowly going through the canal on a loop I think!

    We hired a van today and went to a view spot to check out the city. Then to the old city to walk around. It was so hot and humid that I went through two litres of water!

    The old part of the city is lovely and they are doing alot of restoration work.

    We also drove by the very poor part of Panama where you advised never to walk at any time of the day.

    Next was the Panama Canal and it really was exciting watching the huge cargo ships go through the locks. What an engineering feat.

    China and America are the countries that use the Canal the most and it can take between 8 and 10 hours for the ships to pass through the canal. It generates about $2.4 billion in income each year!

    Then to the biggest shopping mall in the Americas and the 14th largest in the world! And it was packed. So easy to get lost!

    Have to fill in time tomorrow before my flight so might go back.

    Then the farewell dinner and I am so overjoyed never to have to see some of these people ever again! Thank goodness for the nice ones who helped make it bearable!

    As the drinkers in the group go onto a bar in the old part of town the rest of us go back to the hotel. Wonderful air conditioning, wi fi and peace - what more could I want!

    Have the dreaded task of packing tomorrow.

    In one of the shots you can see the ships heading for the canal.
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  • After a 20 hour trip we arrived in Panama City, in the "el machico" hostel. We went to bed and had pancakes with bananas for breakfast this morning. After that, we walked around the city, it gave us a stunning view over the skyline of the city. Now we're back at the hostel and booked a 2 nights trip to the san blas islands! Hope it will we worth the 160$ it costed!

  • These photos are from my waterfall hike with the group. The last waterfall was a very steep grade 5 hike in mud which I could have done but too slowly for the group so I headed back down the trail by myself.

    So the photos are the result of me being left alone in the jungle with my phone!

  • We changed our plans and instead of going to Boquete we took a bus and then a taxi to a hostel called "Johnny fiestas" in Las Lajas. The hostel is placed at a huge beautiful lonely beach and has opened only 3 weeks ago. The owner, Matt, is a 27 year old guy from California who is living his dream. We only booked one night and then wanted to go to Boquete, but that has to wait, we gonna stay here longer. The first night we got really drunk (again) with Matt and the bartender and had a swim in the ocean at 4am. The best thing was that when you moved, the water lighted up because of some kind of plancton. Plus i have never seen so many stars in my life before. The next morning: waking up with a hangover is not bad if you get a coffe and a smoke a cigarette, then go for a swim and have breakfast afterwards! We spent the whole day at the beach and bought a hamburger for dinner for only 2$. We can stay as many nights as we want in a tent for 5$ a night, which is super cheap (i think its because we're drinking buddies now) We'll stay here til the 25th and then go to Bocas del Toro or our plans will change angain, you never know when you're backpackin, which is why i love it so much.Read more

  • Chill day. Got up at lunchtime after abit of internet time. Lunch then a nap!

    Went for a walk in the afternoon - so peaceful and the light was lovely.

    Ordered dinner for 7.45pm and at 8.35pm still waiting! Chased up my glass of red and they said they had run out of glasses! I offered to wash one myself!

    Might fall asleep at the restaurant table!

    The dog photo is for you Luca - he came up in the jeep with us and his name is Scooter.Read more

  • Lovely day today - day tour with snorkeling and beaches.

    Its beginning to feel like this is what I do - get up, get on a boat, tear around the ocean checking out islands and snorkeling, have chicken and rice for lunch then a swim and a rest on a few island beaches! Then every few days I sit in a van for about 6 hours!

    Today we swam with reef sharks, turtles and schools of colourful fish. Visited some lovely island beaches and saw jumping dolphins on the way back to town.

    On one of the islands we saw lots of white face monkeys.

    And hows this for weird. We are out in our boat cruising up the coast when we see a motor boat with three guys and a horse! The horse is lying down with its legs tied and hanging over the side of the boat. Our guide told us the horse was drugged so they could transport it! No idea where they came from as there was nothing on the coast for miles!

    Have a look at the town lawyer's office! Combined with a coffee shop.

    Nice relaxed evening with home cooked pasta with the leftovers from last night - a pretty good meal!
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  • Going from cold Chicago weather to humid post rain fall weather in Panama isn't so easy. I arrived in Panama City today, flying over the canal was pretty cool. I'd arranged a shuttle to pick me up, but since I was the only one I more or less got a private ride to the city from Guillermo who gave me the low down on Panamanian politics and how their former president was very much like our soon to be. Oh did I mention I almost wasn't able to board in Chicago? Long story, glad it's over.

    Checked into the hostel and took a long walk around Casco Viejo, ended up getting out of the tourist area and seeing a bit more of how life is there. Luis a man from Illinois who grew up there showed me around into a little housing area where remnants of the city's first wall is.

    Back at the hostel now cooling off. My bags were checked straight to Quito so I'll be trying day three in these clothes I'm wearing ;)
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  • After a 3 hour jeep drive and a 1 hour boat drive we arrived at an island of the san blas islands. "Ina cabins" ist the place called and its a super small island with beautiful water and white sand. We slept in little self built huts at the beach.
    I got up at 6am on the first morning, sat in a hammock and watched the sunrise. A dog joined me and layed under my hammock. The second day we went on a boat trip and visited 3 islands. It was awesome and we really enjoyed it! Definitly worth the money!!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Panama, Panama, ፓናማ, パナマ, 파나마, ପାନାମା, ปานามา, ປານາມາ, ប៉ាណាម៉ា, ประเทศปานามา, สาธารณรัฐปานามา, i-Panama, Orílẹ́ède Panama, Pa-na-ma, Panamá, Panamà, Panamā, Panamaa, Panamaja, Panamän, Panama nutome, Panamo, República de Panamá, بنما, پاناما, پنامہ, פנמה, Παναμάς, Панама, པ་ན་མཱ, པ་ནཱ་མ།, Պանամա, პანამა, पनामा, पानामा, પનામા, పనామా, ಪನಾಮಾ, பணாமா, பனாமா, പനാമ, পানামা, ပနားမား, පැනමා, 巴拿马