Island Beach Day

Friday we went to Isla Seca with friends. This island is a protected wildlife area about 40 minutes by boat from Boca Chica. It is gorgeous, and I took so many photos it was hard to choose which ones to share.

My German friend Steffi had a friend of hers visiting from Germany which was what prompted the outing. Also along were Steffi’s Panamanian roommate, her boyfriend, and a couple of her girlfriends, all Panamanians. It was an interesting mix of communication in Spanish, English, and German and Steffi said even her and her friend don’t always understand each other because they speak different dialects of German.

Anyway, on with the story of the day. We met at the bus terminal and caught a bus that dropped us off at the intersection of the PanAmerican highway, and then caught a busito (little bus/big van) that took us into Boca Chica. From there we had a 40 minute trip by water taxi and we were at the island.

It was a beautiful day with blue sky, minimal wind, perfect temperature, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day! There is another gallery of just scenery photos below. It looked like something one would advertise in a travel magazine!

There was also a Costa Rican couple on the boat. The boat was $150 for the whole day so with the other couple there were 10 people, $15 each, darn good price for a whole day’s outing.

We stayed on the island until mid afternoon, and then went to Boca Brava, another island very close to Boca Chica. We had a wonderful surprise on the way back – a group of dolphins! The boat slowly circled the area so we were able to see them very well. One even surfaced just a couple feet from the boat!

We all ate at the restaurant on Boca Brava overlooking the water, and Steffi and her friend went looking for howler monkeys. They said they saw a whole troop of them in the trees so between the dolphins and monkeys, they had a very fortunate day indeed.

The trip home was a little complicated. We caught a busito in Boca Chica that took us back to the highway, but there we got stuck. It was Good Friday and many people were traveling for the holiday weekend, and many people also went to Alanje where they do a religious walk or pilgrimage. There was another group of people who had been waiting for a hour and said every bus that passed was full and wouldn’t stop. There was a taxi truck across the street waiting for business so Max from our group went over to talk with the driver. He said he knew someone who for $3 each would bring his busito and take the entire group to David, which sounded like a great idea to all of us. Not long after, here comes a school busito (another small bus/big van, yellow colored with “Colegio” – high school written on the side). The 15 of us along with a couple babies all pile in, the last one sitting on our cooler and off we go to David. There were plenty of taxis at the terminal so from there it was smooth sailing.

Last, but not least, here is a gallery of scenery photos.

The coral was located around and beyond the outcropping of rock to the left of the beach. There were lots of colorful fish and the water was so clear you didn’t realize you were swimming in deep water.

What a great day, and many thanks to my friend Steffi for arranging it all!

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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31 Responses to Island Beach Day

  1. Laureen says:

    Very cool photos! Thanks for sharing Kris!


  2. What an awesome day! Thanks for posting.


  3. Alan says:

    All your posts are interesting but this is one of your best Kris!


  4. David says:

    Hi Kris ,,it was a holiday and the beaches were not over run with people’s ?? I could defiantly get used to that and this was a day trip ?? Yes you do live in paradise , Vegas is getting older by the. Minute David


    • The beaches are never overrun with people, even those nearby and even on holidays. If it’s not a Sunday or holiday there may be nobody else there. Yes, this was a day trip. You could probably drive to the boat dock in an hour, or the buses take a bit longer.


  5. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    Great adventure! We love the beach and islands but I have to be careful with the sun and reflections from the water. I can get burned through a t-shirt or even sitting in the shade at the water’s edge. Nena’s mom would scold her whenever I showed up with one of my glow-in-the-dark sunburns.
    The mix of languages is always fun. We met a gringo guy with a German wife and their 8 year old daughter on one beach trip. The girl spoke English to her dad, German to her mom, and Spanish to everyone else. I have read research that thinks that all languages learned before age 10 are primary languages.
    Bus travel during Semana Santa is a roll of the dice. I am sure many “Colegio” buses get a workout. We once hired a Diablo Rojo for the weekend when I was in the service in the canal zone. A TexMex guy in our outfit had the driver bring his family, we spent the 3 day weekend at Santa Clara. I have no clear memory of what it cost us but it worth every penny.


    • It is now Tuesday, 4 days later and I still have red areas from sunburn. That is with thick, made for water SPF50 and staying out of the sun as much as possible. I had to give up going to the beach with my friends in Florida because no matter what I did I would burn. Thankfully here I’m quite tanned so it’s not so bad but I’m no match for the sun on an extended beach trip. We could have hired a bus for the day but our organizer wanted to keep costs down and it worked out ok. Next time though I might consider hiring a bus, especially on a holiday weekend.


    • jim and nena says:

      Nena said to get the name and number of the driver. She does that for the taxi drivers we use so that we can call them the next time. Many chofers have business cards. The Colegio drivers usually own the bus/van and are available when not hauling students if the price is right. Many times they will take you to your door, just like they do the students. They often know people who can haul big loads like luggage, etc. Very handy folks to know.


  6. Felipe says:

    Wonderful pictures! We just got back from our first Panama exploration and loved what we saw. We didn’t get farther than Anton. It’s so diverse within just a few miles, climate, fauna and temperatures changing so much. How nice you have such a great get away so close to David.


    • So true! This little country has mountains and beaches and so much diversity. I especially like David because everything you need is here, and you are also within easy distance of so many wonderful places. Next time you’ll have to explore Chiriqui!


  7. peggyjoan42 says:

    Love the photos. Here I sit in Arkansas land locked and I look at these beautiful photos of the ocean and wish I was there. Ha What a lovely way to enjoy life and have fun. I have been to the lake near our home – that is water. Ha Love your post. 🙂


  8. Wow! How beautiful! We need to start hanging out! 🙂


  9. What fun Chris! Thanks for all the gorgeous photos and the descriptions of an adventurous day – I can almost imagine myself right there! 🙂


  10. You got some amazing photos Kris — Idyllic, really. A more perfect day you could not have planned. Sometimes when friends come from afar — God pulls out all the stops. Thanks for sharing, Alia


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