Biking in Bocas

There is a bike rental shop down the street – $1/hr or $7/day. Since we love biking, this sounded like an excellent idea. We did not know what a great adventure it would turn out to be!

We headed out on the road north through residential areas and along the beach. After a while the road ended but we saw vehicles making their way along the sand road along the beach. So, why not?

We followed the road as it made its way farther and farther north past gorgeous beaches,  homes (some of which were very large and upscale), and jungles of plants and huge trees. There were also a couple resorts which accounted for some of the taxis making their way slowly over the bumps and valleys.

Eventually we came to a barrier and a sign saying only ATV’s from the Flying Pirates were allowed through, and a hand written note at the bottom which said walking and bicycles were also ok. We had gone so far we figured that it would make sense to just go forward and around the other side of the island. I had also asked a local who told me it is faster to go ahead rather than turn around.

So, we proceeded through jungle, forest, over sandy, bumpy paths, around and through mud holes, and across small waterways until we encountered a couple unhappy tourists. They had gone to visit a snorkeling spot only to discover that the rocky shore made it impossible to go in the water without good footwear, and they didn’t find the area scenic or interesting at all. They also said there was no way through, and the only way back to town was to turn around. We turned around, got back on our bikes and left them behind to walk on with their tattered sandals.

When we arrived back at the barricade and sign, a couple police were talking with some other tourists on ATV’s (not Flying Pirate rentals), and explaining to them that they could not go on. They even told us that we were not allowed which was ok since we were leaving anyway, and they conformed that there was no way back to tow except to retrace our steps.

By now I was getting much better at navigating around mud holes and over rocks and tree roots. The challenge was getting more and more fun and we made good time. I still didn’t quite have the confidence to ride through the streams though. Maybe next time!

I am SO glad for all the biking we have done. We were out for five hours and except for a break at a resort bar for something to drink, we were on the bikes the whole time. And, we are even walking pain free today, the day after, and plan to take the bikes out for another couple hours.

The scenery was incredibly beautiful and I took tons of photos. Unfortunately the wonderful little camera died but not until we were heading back, and I was able to get the photos from the card without a problem. I’m really glad I also brought the big camera on this trip because there are more adventures coming.

Enough talk about the scenery and photos. Here are some of my favorites.


After seeing how many photos I took I realize I can’t say we were actually riding all that time :D.  We definitely got some exercise though, and had such a great experience in the process.


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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4 Responses to Biking in Bocas

  1. I love that route! Mark and I ran it almost every morning for 6 weeks. It was definitely one of my favorite things about Bocas. (That, and the pizza at the Italia
    n place, I think it was called Alfredo’s.)


    • Really! I didn’t realize you spent that much time here. It is a great route and I can see how it would be great for running too. I need to catch up with your blog when I return. I hope all is well with you and yours.


  2. Karen Ama Panama says:

    The scenery there is absolutely stunning! What an interesting looking spider too. I guess the poor snorkel people didn’t have a sense of adventure? I’m looking forward to seeing it for myself. Did you have a favorite restuarant there?


    • Snorkeling is just a different adventure and since we did that on our trip before, we decided to do something new. I definitely recommend snorkeling though. It’s absolutely gorgeous out there.
      There are lots of restaurants and you’d probably get better opinions from someone local. We had Mexican at Gringos which was very good. Our friend loved Lemon Grass Thai food.


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