My Panama adventures: Overwater hostel, sailing, island hopping!

FotoFri theme this week is ADVENTURE, so I decided to make a trip report photo essay of my Panama adventures: Sleeping in a hammock at the overwater hostel Aqua Lounge in Bocas Del Toro and island hopping on The Andiamo sailboat through the San Blas Islands, to name a few! I went there for my last college Spring Break in March 2010. As with most of my trips, my Panama adventures were epitomes of budget travel, solo travel, and woman travel combined. Enjoy! 😀

VIDEO: Aqua Lounge Hostel, Bocas Del Toro, Panama

My Panama adventures begin: Panama City to Bocas del Toro

I flew from Miami, FL to Panama City and stayed there overnight, as my flight got in late. Early in the morning, I went to the bus station and took a cheap bus to Almirante, where I would then catch a boat that would take me to my overwater hostel in Bocas Del Toro.

Panama adventures, boat ride

boat from Almirante to Bocas del Toro

Panama adventures, Aqua Lounge hostel

Aqua Lounge hostel from the boat! *gasps* awesome!

I instantly fell in love with the AquaLounge Hostel.  I heard some rumors of bedbugs on the top bunk beds in the dormitories, but no worries here, as smarty pants chose to sleep on 5-dolla-a-night HAMMOCK!

Panama Bocas Del Toro hostel

My “bed” for 2 nights, 5 bucks each! Hammock was great

Panama adventures, Bocas Del Toro hostel

View from my “outdoor bedroom” *wink!*

While it was raining for most of my stay (3 days), that didn’t take away from the fun! I met several travelers and surfers from all over the world, hiked around the islands with them, followed the waves, and partied partied PARTIED!

Panama Bocas Del Toro hostel

From left: American, Puerto Rican (me!), Australian, American, and Israeli at over-water hostel

Panama Bocas Del Toro

Around Bocas Del Toro, in search of the surfing beach!

Panama adventures, Bocas Del Toro surfing

Surfing!

Panama Bocas Del Toro hostel

Bar of my over-the-water hostel

Panama Bocas Del Toro surfing

Coming back from the surf

The highlights of my trip to Bocas Del Toro Panama were definitely the high diving board on the roof, the “pool” which happened to be a hole on the deck taking you straight to the ocean, and the 80’s techno party on my last night there! It rained during the latter, which made it even MORE EPIC!

Panama Bocas Del Toro hostel

High diving board! Aussie jump

Panama Bocas Del Toro Aqua Lounge Hostel

The “pool” at Aqua Lounge Hostel!

Bocas del Toro Aqua Lounge Hostel party

Aqua Lounge Hostel 80’s party in the RAIN!

Bocas del Toro Aqua Lounge Hostel party

Waterproof cameras – thank you, humanity!

Bocas del Toro Aqua Lounge Hostel party

80s music = I bang my head and hair around

Panama island hopping adventures: Bocas del Toro to San Blas Islands

But all the fun wasn’t in Bocas Del Toro: After partying it up there, it was time for me to wind down and hop on The Andiamo with Captain Tony to go island hopping through Caribbean waters and encounter the Kuna Yala in the San Blas Islands.

Panama adventures, sailing Andiamo

Our sailboat, Andiamo!

San Blas islands Panama, sailing Andiamo

View of Kuna Yala from my sailboat cabin

What’s interesting about Kuna Yala people is that they are indigenous people who are still politically autonomous from the Panamanian government, in addition to be the only indigenous people to have not been conquered by Christopher Columbus nor any other Conquistadors!

Panama adventures, San Blas Islands Kuna Yala

Me mingling with the Kunas

And so for the next few days, I was chilling with some interesting passengers from all over the world, most notably two Foreign Service Officers, aka diplomats, from the USA serving in Panama. They were happily married and had managed to travel all over the world and get the same assignments through the Dept. of State! At times, they told me, they would have to separate for months at a time when new assignments were due every 2  years or so (about 3 months on average), but that they loved the unpredictability of their lifestyle and the joy to still being able to enjoy their dream careers and each other–AWW!!!

Unfortunately I somehow missed taking my pic with them (how come!? *hits head*), but the memories are engraved in my mind and heart. In addition to some pretty awesome pictures I took of the scenery throughout my journey:

Panama San Blas Islands snorkeling

LOBSTER written all over my face =P

Panama San Blas Islands, Caribbean island hopping

Water was beautiful, different shades of blue

Panama adventures, San Blas Islands hopping

Kunas live all throughout the archipelago, sometimes in desolated islands

Panama adventures, desolated San Blas Islands

Ahh, relaxation at best

To be continued…!

And so that’s a perfect summary and concise trip report of my Panama adventures! Hope you enjoyed it and “Like” me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter for updates and more fun travel tales 🙂

Panama adventures, Bocas Del Toro hostel

I will miss this place!

Have you been to Panama? Which towns did you visit? What did you do?

11 thoughts on “My Panama adventures: Overwater hostel, sailing, island hopping!

  1. Panama adventures gives me a great felling of being there. Surfing beaches over water and enjoying with a high diving board is an awesome task. The different shades of blue water are really amazing. Great blog!! We provide information on travel places from Pune, be it beaches, hill stations.

    Thanks,
    Shivani

  2. Looks lovely and brings back memories. I didn’t go to Boca, but I saw many wonderful places there in Panama including San Blas. They were lovely people and also mysterious, too. I just wrote a post about their superstitions re: the full moon, which you might find interesting.

    • I loved San Blas as well! those dreamy crystalline waters reminded me of my home in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico!)

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