Sunday, April 29, 2012

From Atlantic to Pacific: Bocas del Toro to Playa Santa Catalina

After the short time spent with my host family, I was headed for Panama. My first stop was Bocas del Toro, an Archipelago right off of Panama's Atlantic coast known for its wildlife, and Caribbean vibe.  The beaches were stunning, the tiny poison dart frogs were pretty darn cute, and trying to figure out if the boat drivers were talking  about you in creole behind your back was a fun linguistic challenge.
Mangroves on Isla Bastimento
Playa Red Frog on Isla Bastimento

Playa Las Estrellas, Isla Colón
After soaking up the Caribbean, why not head over to the Pacific? A hop, skip, and jump across the isthmus that is Panama puts you in Playa Santa Catalina, a.k.a. Surfing Capitol Central America.

The Pacific side was notably different. The sand was darker, the water was less clear, and the region itself seemed to be a bit less economically developed than the Caribbean side. It is interesting to see this striking geographical, cultural, and economic difference less than a hundred miles away from where I was a few days ago.

Tidepools at Playa Santa Catalina

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