After sitting in Fort Lauderdale for longer than I would like to admit, my boyfriend and myself finally got a job together and we were ecstatic to hear that we would be meeting the boat in Panama. I didn’t know too much about Panama and it isn’t really a place for super yachts to spend most of their time, but that made it all the more interesting. It was off the beaten path! After packing up our whole lives in just a few suitcases, and our very cliché Panama hats, we headed off to Bocas Del Toro, Panama.
Our first day there was one for exploring; we walked the streets of Bocas until we found a cute little spot for sipping on a rum and pineapple juice. On the main island of Bocas, there isn’t too much beach because the hotels and restaurants hover over the water on stilts and little pangas buzz around from place to place. If you’re staying on the main island, I highly recommend renting out some bicycles to cruise around the island with. We walked for hours, just perusing the local shops and cafes. Amaranto was our favorite little café on the island. They have great breakfast sandwiches filled with eggs, peppers, and even one with eggplant. They also have the best freshly pressed cold juices. Along the way to our next spot, Bocas Brewery, we made quite a few friends with some welcoming pups and a very photogenic parrot. Bocas Brewery was lit up and full of life on that Friday night. Cold beers, live music, fairy lights, and a few rounds of Jenga made our first night out Bocas a success.
The next day was a beach-y one. We rented a little panga from Gambit Tours to take us to Red Frog Beach. It should only cost you $7 per person for a one way trip so don’t let them try and over charge you if you go on your own, and another $5 to get in. You’ll walk down a very beautiful trail that opens up to a tropical paradise. You can relax and find your own secluded part of the beach hiding in between cascading tree branches or head over to one of the lively taco joints further down. They have beers, cocktails, music, and chairs you can rent out for the day. Lie in a hammock and read while listening to the Panamanian waves crash against the shore or rent a board and test out the surf. Further down the beach, you’ll find a couple more beach clubs that are more on the quiet side of the island. Rosa’s Beach Club has a gorgeous pool, a bubbly hot tub, and its own private beach. Another gorgeous beach is Playa Bluff on the main island. It has huge waves and is definitely more secluded so you will have a whole lot of beach to yourself. If you walk down a little further you will hit Island Paradise that has pizzas that are out of this world amazing, plus a few little fury friends that will be begging for a nibble.
As we were working out butts off with guests on board, we managed to escape the hustle of the boat for an a few hours and have a night in Panama City. We headed to old town and meandered through the streets until with found a little Cuban bar with dark rum and cold mojitos. The city itself was intoxicating. The warm light came streaming through the streets giving everything a golden glow. We managed to find a hip roof top bar on our way to dinner at Santa Rita. I highly recommend the fried anchovies and tuna tataki for an appetizer but go ahead and order a few to share, as the menu is tapas style. The atmosphere was just as superb as the service so needless to say, we gorged ourselves.
Our time in Panama went by way too quickly. Between seeing my first sloth, going through the Panama Canal, drinking mojitos in Panama City, and one nasty case of food poising, Panama was our own little diamond in the rough and we can’t wait to go back.