Central America and the Caribbean


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I'm so glad we returned to Panama after only a short visit to Boquette around 2002 or so. What a great country! So much to see and do we definitely need a lot more time there. There are beaches, islands, forests, sand dunes, volcanoes, national parks, the canal/locks, native Indian tribes, etc. etc.

The people were very nice and the prices pretty cheap. Transportation was a bit more costly at times than I expected, but the local buses and taxis in town were cheap. As usual, they try to take advantage of the gringos and jack the prices, but that's nothing new. Like anywhere, there are areas that are just unsafe to go to but for the most part I felt quite safe the whole time we were there.

For a third world country it's pretty modern. There probably isn't anything you can't find there. There is even real cheese and chocolate at the grocery market! I think the country might be heading the way of Costa Rica though. A lot of foreigners moving in and developing but there are still plenty of undeveloped areas worthy of exploring.
May 2007

Average Costs

The daily total includes all lodging, food, booze, transportation, sightseeing, visas, etc. I don't include the money I spend on gifts for friends and I do not include the flight price.

Being Vegetarian in Panama

Spanish Vegetarian Phrases

Language Meaning Phrase / Pronunciation


chicken stock / bouillon
(also caldo de pollo)
consome de pollo
cohn-soh-meh deh poi-yo

Does this have animal products? Esto tiene productos de animales?
eh-stoh tyeh-neh proh-dook-tohs deh ah-nee-mah-lehs?

Does this have chicken stock? Tiene caldo de pollo?
tyeh-neh cahl-doh deh poi-yo?

I am vegetarian soy vegetarian(a fem.)(o male)
soy ve-he-TAH-ree-YAH-nah

I don't eat meat, chicken, or fish no como carne, pollo o pescado 

Is this made with water or chicken stock?
(handy for asking about the gallo pinto)
Está hecho con agua o caldo de pollo? 

no meat, no chicken, no fish ni carne, ni pollo, ni pescado
nee CAR-ne, nee POY-o, nee pes-CA-do

with vegetables instead of mean (chicken), please con verduras en lugar de carne (pollo) por favor 

Useful Local Phrases for Panama

Language Meaning Phrase / Pronunciation


health / Cheers! salud

pure life / Cheers!
(means; Pure Life)
(Costa Rica)
pura vida
POO-rah VEE-dah

a light rain, like mist
(literally cat’s hair)
(Costa Rica)
pelo de gato
PEH-lo deh GAH-toh

giddy up
(use it slangly like you do in English for "let's go" or "get going")

last drink of the night, although there are usually multiple last drinks
(Costa Rica)

Photo Gallery

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Articles & Adventures

Helpful information and fun adventures!

Blog Entries

More of a personal nature, my un-related diary-like (hmmm or blog-like?) daily thoughts and activities; the things that don't warrant their own article/adventure post.