I can’t wait to share our latest trip to Central America with y’all. This time it was just Chad and I. I soaked up every bit of it! Although we missed Eric terribly it was really nice to have “us” time while being in my favorite place! My husband has a huge love of fishing so he was super excited to be able to have 7 days of fishing in the Caribbean. Of course that means we were traveling with a VERY heavy bag....as in a “60lb bag that we had to travel across two countries with” heavy.😑🥴.
Our first day of traveling was so fun but really tiring. My friend Maria that lives outside of San Jose, Costa Rica picked us up from the airport because we had brought her package she had sent to our house since she’s not able get them. Costa Rica basically has a “non-functioning” postal system. So she and her friend picked us up and brought us to the Mepe bus station.
We load the bus and have to wait around 25 minutes for the driver to get there and then we headed to Puerto Viejo which took about 6 hours....
Talk about a hot mess, HAH!!!!
We did stop once to use the bathroom and I got some empanadas and that lasted us until we got to Puerto Viejo Around 9:00 that night. We stayed in the cutest AirBnB on the ocean. Chad wanted to try to fish that night but we were both so tired that we crashed
Our first AirBnB was on the ocean and it was really cute. This one was in Punta Uva, Costa Rica. Chad wanted to try to fish the night we got in but we were both so tired that we crashed. But he did wake up early to go fishing in the rain!
After he got to fish for a little bit (no bite) we walked to this restaurant/hotel called “Hotel Arrecife” very close to Riconcito Magico (our Airbnb). I NEEDED coffee with it being around 7ish am so this really nice guy from Florida made me some while we waited for our bus to the Costa Rica /Panamanian border. We found out he‘s an artist and worked there painting beautiful murals on their walls.
Not the best photo. Took this on my phone. Some of the art hanging!
I didn’t get many pictures here. I was still trying to wake up. 🥴
The bus ride to the border is supposed to be about an hour but with a few stops and being on “tico time” it took around 3 hours. No one gets in a rush here and that’s one of the reasons it’s my favorite places.
Coffee to go!
That ride was great. It was raining too.
Whenever I looked up what the border looked like it scared me a little but then again I thought it was awesome because it looked so sketchy, hah! It wasn’t bad. The bus drivers helped us a lot. They told us where to go and what we’d expect.
We got AMAZING fried chicken here. This is across the border into Panama.
We didn’t have much time until we had to hop on a bus to take a 10-15 minute ride to the water taxi that brought us to Bocas Del Toro.
The little bit of time we had before we got in the boat taxi was spent up here because the view was nicer.
Boat taxi on the bottom left.
On the way to Bocas I got this shot of a local little boy in a boat.
Very crammed taxi ride....🙃
Bocas del Toro is a province of Panama comprising an island chain off the Caribbean coast, plus a section of nearby mainland with biodiverse rainforest. Isla Colón, the main island, is home to the capital, Bocas Town, a central hub with restaurants, shops and nightlife. Popular beaches include Boca del Drago. Also on Isla Colón is Starfish Beach, named for the numerous sea stars on its ocean floor.
When we finally got to the island we went straight to the grocery store because our airbnb was outside of town and was about a 20 minute taxi ride so we stocked up. These are some of the things I can remember:
THESE WERE OUR FAVORITE 😍
For those of you that don’t know Chad..he is an AMAZING cook. He puts his heart and soul into everything he cooks. The first night on Isla Colon we ate steak fajitas. They were amazing.. Everything was.
We call the white cheese “squeaky cheese.” Our favoriteeeeeee😆
Our Airbnb in Bocas was truly unbelievable. It’s called Jungle Paunch and we were lucky enough to meet its owners, Max and Jane! They are amazing hosts!!! If we needed a good recommendation on where to eat, what beaches were best to fish, our clothes washed, or a refill of water they were there. Let’s talk about their water! Max and Jane actually use a filtered rain water system for showering and drinking. It tastes really really good and is great for the environment. Chad and I still keep in touch with them on Facebook! We can’t wait to go back.
Chad did some research online about charter fishing and found a local named Oriel. He’s apparently the best on the island so we got his info, called him and he had an opening! So I had a very happy husband.
We were trolling and they started biting!!!🙌🏼🙌🏼
He caught 4 King Mackerel and 4 Spanish Mackerel. I almost caught one but lost it.
I was just sitting there watching chad troll and looked over and saw a guy jump out of their very tiny boat with two other people in it. I freaked out and Oriel said he’s free diving for lobsters. He was diving 75 to 90 feet!!!!!!! People down there don’t mind paying full price for lobsters and this is exactly why. They respect the courage and hard work that it takes to get them!
Oriel took 3 fish home to his family and we got the rest. That’s a lot of fish for two people that can’t freeze anything so we gave away what we couldn‘t keep to the family that lives across the street from Jungle Paunch.
Their tribe is called Knobe, they are not originally from Isla Colon. These families come from an area called Kusapin in the Caribbean Coast. Its in mainland but its works like another island... you can only go there by boat.
The family living in this house has Don Pedro(old and deaf man), Chingo, Alfredo and James, their 3 wives and a few kids. There‘s only a few kids becuase they are not always there at the same time. Some are their kids and some nephews and nieces, while adults go to work in Kusapin, or the kids will work there, as well as stay in Isla Colon working.
This is on the same road as Jungle Paunch as well.
Chad saw these and we were planning on eating them raw but we didn’t know if they were good because they smelled funny. So we didn’t keep them.
On this day we just hung around Paki Point and had drinks and Chad fished in the surf. They had really good drinks and food. It’s within walking distance of Jungle Paunch!
I cant really go in order because we did so much. I’ll post the best photos of the trip! Enjoy!🤗 I’ll link all of the places at the end.
This one was outside of our room. Three toed sloth.
We only went to town one time and went to a hole in the wall and this was the view...😍😍😍😱 Super cheap food.
Guess what mama found in town...?? BABY CLOTHES🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 Lolololol poor Chad
Skully‘s is a hostel within walking distance of Jungle Paunch. It has a pool that anyone can use, a bar and a restaurant. SUPER relaxing!
There‘s an amazing tiny pizza hut.....it’s a literal hut....called Ciao Pizza right across from Skullys so we ate there one night for supper. We walked there of course.
The last few photos are landscape shots that I had to get. All within walking distance of Jungle Paunch. This is one reason why we fell in love with this area so much. There’s so much wildlife, food, fishing in this one little area that you only need to go to town for groceries.
Like leaf cutter ants!
These are from when we went to Starfish beach. I will say this was fun but not my favorite part because of all the people. It’s kind of a party beach. And we only saw one Starfish. But i’ve been to Bocas before and was blessed to have seen lots of them! Chad not so much. But he was definitely not bummed about it lol.
We got a taxi ride to a restaurant to get a drink and lunch and then headed to Starfish. It was about a 35 minute walk and was BEAUTIFUL. Totally worth it....
They drive real fast.
Saw this three toed sloth at Starfish Beach.
I FINALLY saw monkeys. I had been looking a listening on our whole trip. It wasn’t until the 5th day that I saw a troop of howlers! Mamma and baby.... and of course Chad didn’t really care. 😂😂
Some more walking around!
Handsome hubs! 😍 I’m so grateful that be brought me to my favorite place in the world.
All of this is still within walking distance of Jungle Paunch.
Some of my finds. The brown thing is called a Saliors Heart sea bean. We’ve been looking for these on the beaches of Central America for about 7 years!
Sea beans (also known as drift seeds) are seeds and fruits that are carried to the ocean, often by freshwater streams and rivers, then drift with the ocean currents and wash ashore.
These sea-beans don't initially come from the sea and while some are indeed beans, many are not technically beans at all! Some "sea-beans" are technically fruits that contain seeds. Nonetheless, if they drift to and into the oceans and wash ashore, we collectively refer to them as "sea-beans".
These sea-beans come from trees and vines that grow along tropical shores and rain forests all over the world. The seeds or fruits fall from their parent plant into waterways, such as the Amazon River, then drift through inlets to reach the ocean. They travel with ocean currents until they wash up on a beach somewhere, perhaps thousands of miles from their origin. Sea-beans are quite hard and buoyant, which helps them survive their long-distance voyage.
My brother makes BEAUTIFUL jewelry from them along with many other people all over the world!
Unfortunately our trip had to come to an end.. but we WILL be back. Next time with Eric.
We had one stop at this place. Decent food. Chad liked that they were BBQ’ing haha.
We left Bocas at 8:00am and arrived back in San Jose, Costa Rica TWELVE hours later!!😩 We were so tired but ready to get back to Eric and Waylon. We stayed in Hotel Casa Roland. I knew about it from one of my previous trips to Costa Rica. I’d stayed there before. I knew Chad would love it.
We are EXTREMELY grateful to be able to see Gods beautiful world that He creates. I encourage everyone to try and see every part of the world possible! It truly is life changing.
Feel free to ask questions about our trip!😘