BORDER SHOCK: So, as a citizen of the USA I automatically assume border crossing is going to be difficult because it is quite the process in America… buuuuuut…WRONG. We filled out the little sheet, showed our passport & return ticket (back to the USA so they know we aren’t just going to attempt to take over their country I guess) and they stamped our passport, gave us a few dirty looks & sent us on our way. *This is normal if you travel to Canada too 😛 However, it was very odd to me that it is physically impossible to drive across the border. The picture to the top left is the two bridge-length we have to walk to get from Costa Rica to Panama (& back), but if you take a close look at the left side of the bridge, the boards aren’t bolted down and a lot are even missing leaving gaps & holes in the floor of the bridge. You have to carry all of your luggage across this bridge with you until you get to customs on the other side. Not once did they ask what I was bringing with me (to Panama or Costa Rica) – this will definitely not be the case when I head home to the USA in December.

The beautiful view in the middle of the Panama-Costa Rica border bridge.
Park by hotel at Bocas Del Torro…two trampolines, huge speakers & people dancing in the street.
Bottom Left is main land & Bocas is the most southern part of Isla Colón
My brother is in the military & has been for about 8 years now. When he heard I was traveling abroad for 4 months, he was worried about his baby sister (I’m the youngest & the only girl). He swore to me that if I acted up or if anything happened, he could be there in NO time & to be aware because he has eyes everywhere. PROOF! Well, probably not really but it was cool to me to see a US Coast Guard ship on our way to see the dolphins & go snorkeling in Panama!
Dolphins – fun fact: they love to eat jelly fish (aka “medusas” in español)
No one else seemed to be quite as amazed as I was about how clear this water was that we were in. ALL of the water we saw in Panama was a bright, beautiful blue & clear as day!
I couldn’t see them very well until I started getting stung by them. How many times will you be able to say you swam & snorkeled with jellyfish!? PURA VIDA!

To the left: This is me at Starfish Beach located about 45mins-hour away from Bocas Del Torro, but well worth it. Please take a moment to look at my body underwater… crystal clear waters! We were up to our neck in the water & could see our feet & all the millions of fish that were swimming around us.

So clear – this picture was taken just off of the shore from about 15ft above the seafloor. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of starfish – tiny to huge – all different shades of orange, all different sizes!

Hotel Olas – the hotel we stayed at. Beautiful views & our own dock for the water taxi’s!
Our last morning in Panama (below), we went to Red Frog Beach… we were attacked by sand fleas so apparently it is important – VERY IMPORTANT to take bug spray with you NO MATTER WHAT! Beautiful beach though, to say the least!
The waves just get bigger while I’m in Central America. They say November-December are the months when the
waves are biggest/strongest/deadliest. Makes for a daring surf for those professionals who visit!
I hope to definitely visit Panama again; it was such a beautiful country with some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever saw.
Hasta luego, Panamá!
Written by Heather Messer, Social Media Journalist

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