Santa Catalina –
We got 2 suggestions for places to visit in our further travels yesterday, but we – as we have decided our next destination to be Boquete – are not taking this into account: Santa Fe should be is quite similar to El Valle, but not quite near to the Panamericana – if we had more time, it would be worth a visit. The Lost and Found Ecolodge near Boquete also makes an interesting impression.
The shuttle for the transfer should arrive between 12:00 to 13:00, so have some time to visit the beach at the eastern part of Santa Catalina and have breakfast there. Just as we pass the last house of the “divers village” the road we are walking on is surrounded just by fields. Despite early morning hours, it is pretty warm already. At some point, we see some surfer lodges, and arrive shortly after at the beach. A small creek crosses the path, so we have some refreshment for our feet before we arrive at the Surf Oasis on the opposite side. I like the vibe there – and also hear exceptionally more English than German around me. There aren’t probably so many German surfers here. We have leisurely breakfast. I think the eastern part of Santa Catalina is really appealing, but the walk to the west is necessary if you want to dive or go shopping. On our way back along the road be see 2 girls coming our way carrying backpacks. Must probably just arrived by the colectivo. “You are almost there” – there isn’t any transport / taxi available here, so a 1km march with backpacks during this heat cannot get you overly excited. Just before the village limit we see a man who is going in our direction and carrying a big sack on his shoulders. “Do you guys eat rice for breakfast?” he’s joking, the bag would have become much lighter for him .
We put our backpacks at the door and wait for the shuttle. With the heat we prefer to wait in our cooler hotel room till it arrives. While in the minivan to Boquete there is some beautiful landscapes to be seen. On the Interamericana crossing to Guabalá, you should have a look towards the sea right after the Puesto de Control Integral de Guabalá. The beautiful view on the mangrove islands (Isla Porcada) sure is worthwhile. We drive past David, but I see some villas in the suburbs, with high security installations – barbed wire, security alarms and cameras? Is this really necessary here? After a few kilometers we can already see mountains in the distance between the clouds. Boquete is not far off.
Our accommodation is called “Sueño del Rio”, although in an uncharted road in the navigation app, if should be – according to the name – right at the river. With a little asking around we are quickly able to find it. Itza, the owner, is very friendly and gives us gladly tons of information to Boquete (how to explore the surroundings on our own) and kinda is like a mum who wants to make sure the kids are alright.
We follow the road to the park in the center of the village and then head to the nearest bank. By now, I know that the DKB Visa is indeed great, as you usually do not have to pay any extra charges when withdrawing, but the downside is, that often banks in Latin America won’t accept it. Brrrrrtttt. Beepbeepbeep. A good sound. Off for dinner after the long drive. There is tons of meat on the menu at “La posada boquetenia”, which was also recommended by Itza. Yummy!
When arriving at the hotel I fall asleep very easily – you can hear some kind of “white noise” here which relaxes you extremely… the river, the wind, the rustling of leaves.