Bocas del Toro is clearly a place that depends upon boats and now Yachthing Magazine confirms it is one of the 50 best yacthing towns in the world:
A nature lover’s paradise and one of Panama’s most popular tourist spots, Bocas’ 5,000 residents are still way outnumbered by the surrounding wildlife. Enjoy the town’s laid-back vibe and easy access to the region’s nine major islands, 52 keys and roughly 200 tiny islands. There are two marinas for those who want to explore this archipelago’s treasures. And reader Dan Cranney reminded us that “this island archipelago off the Caribbean coast of Panama is one of the few hurricane-free places in the Caribbean.”
Everything here revolves around the water and the diversity throughout the islands. There are so many places to go and different reefs and islands to explore on daytrips or you can drop anchor anywhere and spend the night.
A new program by the Panamanian government includes travel insurance for all visitors entering the country on tourist visas. The New York Times recently wrote this article and accompanied the story with a picture of a man in a bikini bottom (I’m not sure if he is in need of medical attention or not). Regardless, this is a great idea for tourism in Panama and not something I have heard about being done elsewhere.
The insurance is paid for by a $40 departure tax and the insurance expires 30 days after entry. The coverage allows $7,000 in treatment for accidents or disease, $2,000 for emergency dental, and $20,000 for accidental death. Even accidents during adventure activities (horseback riding, white water rafting, fishing, etc.) are covered, which is a good point to make clear to tourists. Continue reading
One of my favorite activities when I travel is to go horseback riding. I like the horses and everything, but also its one of the best ways to get back into the countryside and get a unique perspective on the landscape and in most cases you meet people on farms or Indian farmers in the jungle. On a horse you can cover more territory and also pick your head up and really take a relaxed look around at where you are, where you’ve taken the time to visit.
When I arrived here there were no horseback riding tours readily available, although there are a significant amount of cow farms and horses being used throughout the nearby islands (now there are a couple of horse tours). We are in the process now of training several new horses for tours in Dolphin Bay for our guests beginning in September. The tour will be through pasture and private nature reserves as well as farms and will probably include some basic work with the calves, which will be a cool experience for whoever wants to participate: moving them from pastures or helping to wrangle them for vaccinations. Dolphin Bay is a beautiful setting and I was able to get a couple of great looking, light-weight Criollo horses for a little over $100 a piece and a local partner there to train and keep the horses on pasture, and guide the tours.