Ola from Panama

Sorry I have been incommunicado for a while. My trip to Costa Rica and Panama has turned out to be a lot more remote than even I expected. I am finally back to civilization–or whatever you want to call a place with an internet connection and hot water–in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I already miss Costa Rica though.

I am still adjusting to this whole civilization thing. My last week, in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, was bliss. So remote that the eco-lodge where my brother-in-law and I stayed was 3 miles away from the end of a road, which itself was accessible only by four-wheel drive. We had to walk to the lodge along the beach. No visual pollution, no sound pollution, just the sound of monkeys, frogs and the waves breaking over the shore….

Arriving in Panama after time spent in Osa was, honestly, a shock. My expectation was that this was going to be like Costa Rica, but less developed. Not so. So far, I don´t see how Panama can be compared to Costa Rica. Bocas is light years away from eco-tourism, for example. It is already over-developed in many ways (other than the ridiculously slow internet cafe I´m using right now). Lodges charging $200-350 per night. Loud backpackers everywhere, music blasting from all directions, hammers on construction sites, motorboats criss-crossing the ocean from island to island…There was even a massive Club Med cruise ship docked here last night (with everyone wearing matching white shorts, white boat shoes, medium blue monogrammed polo shirts).

It feels like Myrtle Beach more than ‘Costa Rica 15 years ago.’ Am I missing something here?