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Thursday, October 1, 2009
Bocas del Toro Islands
TheCaribbean Coastof Costa Ricaand Panamaerges in a seamless sequence of barely-explored mountains and rivers, dense forests opening onto turquoise waters and pristine white beaches. mysterious mangrove channels, coral gardens and exotically wildlife. This is the Oanamanian province ofBocas del Toro. Its capital, Bocas Town is on Colon, one of the 68 Bocas del Toro Islands.
Island culture is much moreAfro-Caribbeanthan Latin-American. Towns and villages have a bright but dilapidated air, and residents are perfectly matched to the young, hip crowd of international visitors. The high funk factor of thatched bars on stilts and infinite versions of incomers fantasy tropical gatewatys is driven by residents own appreciation for the natural paradise in which they live. However hard they party, people there respect the marvels of theMarine Park, where one beach is the world’s only home to black-polka-dotted, scarlet frog and rare sea turtles.
Only onIsla Colon is uncontrolled tourist development begining to threaten the very high diversity of marine and terrestrial ecosystems that along with its delightful, quirky, retro-culture -had made Bocas del Toro famous.
When to go:The rain never entirely stops,but the islands are driest in September/October and February/March. Happily, at these times islands are both cheaper and less crowded.Population:9,000.How to get there:By air, from Panama City.