Category Archives: Panama

Two Panamanian Hot Springs and an Ambiguously Marked Trekking Path

I had the pleasure of visiting Boquete’s Caldera hot springs which is 24km from the center of the picturesque and sleepy mountain town.

I thought I’d compare the hot springs of Boquete to the one I recently visited in El Valle, as the two are surprisingly very different.

Marooned on the Interamericana

Something happened that I never could have predicted. I was traveling from El Valle to David, a trip that takes about four and a half hours.

While scrupulously thinking two days in advance, I asked a minibus driver in El Valle about the best way to get to David, Panama’s second largest city.

David acts as an unavoidable hub for anyone traveling through western Panama. The modest man told me that I’d need to take a mini-bus to San Carlos, which lies on the Interamericana. From there, I’d easily flag down a bus bound for David.

A Village Paradise

There’s probably no better way to escape a scorching hot city than to drift up to a village paradise where daytime temperatures resemble a northern late August or September. El Valle is the perfect retreat after spending time in a hot and congested Panama City.  This small mountain town provides a number of things to do in an idyllic setting.

Poetry From a Native Son

Upon arriving in El Valle a couple of nights ago, I was talking to a jovial local man who asked me what my profession is. This can be very difficult to answer on the fly. You’d think that I have it down pat since I’m asked it often.

Being completely truthful is hard enough in English, but almost impossible in Spanish. Here are some possible answers:

“I’m experimenting with travel and new media.”  Travel. I must be at least semi-wealthy. New media. What the hell is that?

Ascent to El Valle

After the bus pulled off the Panamericana and started its ascent, the mass array of ugly billboards was instantly left behind.

The nicely paved road instantly broke into two lanes.

The nature became lusher and more colorful. The smiling people that I saw out the window looked indigenous, not European and African like in Panama City.

Signs of Panama City

While in Panama City for a bit over a week, I managed to drift around many streets,  pointing and clicking my way at sign after sign. I thought that I’d provide you with the ones I like best, while translating the the ones that need it as best as I can.

Taking In Panama City’s Rustic Zone

As long as you have a fan blowing on you, the best time to stay inside your wifi-equipped accommodation is in the blazing afternoon.

By Foot, Taxi and a Bus Ride

Upon arriving in Panama City about a week ago, using the local buses appeared daunting. The city was entirely new. Getting anywhere accurately without a taxi  appeared virtually impossible.

I’ve done my share of drifting on foot for hours and kilometers.  During these jaunts, my legs have felt the tropical-heat-induced soreness.  I  usually end up falling asleep for a bit upon returning to my hospedaje.

A Health Food Fiend’s Dream

While staying at the $35 a night Hotel Latino in Panama City, I bonded with the founder of Multi Polar Future.  We were both wishing for better wifi.

The connection there pretty much sucked as it was slow and only worked in the lounge downstairs until 10:30 pm, not in the rooms.

Because good wifi is crucial to me, I thought: So much for the Hotel Latino, even if they have a roof deck swimming pool that I’ve been able to take advantage of.

Succulent Ceviche in Panama City

In the last seven weeks, I’ve had Ceviche on Managua’s Malecón, in San José’s traditional market, and for two straight days now in Panama City’s Mercado de Mariscos.

From inadvertently Ceviche Hopping along half of Central America’s isthmus, I feel that I’m quickly becoming a Ceviche connoisseur.