Island Hopping in Bocas del Toro Panama

5 days of Island Hopping in Bocas

Bocas del Toro might be the best part of Panama, especially for backpackers and travelers. Bocas is an archipelago (group of islands) with beautiful beaches, wildlife, adventure, good food, and a great  party scene that attracts backpackers from around the world.

Most people have only heard of Bocas del Toro from the TV series Survivor (17 countries filmed there) – it’s a real place and worth a visit. While many people visiting Panama only get to Panama City, Bocas is a hidden gem.

Every day we chose an activity or an island to go to – then hopped in a boat to go check it out. Here’s a 31-photo tour, with some highlights from our five days of island hopping in Bocas del Toro:

Playa La Estrella – Starfish Beach

While it doesn’t get nearly as much acclaim as the other beaches, Playa La Estrella has easily the most beautiful water next to their nearly private beaches. The name literally translates to Starfish Beach, and you can see why – they’re everywhere!

Starfish everywhere! - Playa La Estrella, Bocas del Toro is a must visit when island hopping in Bocas del Toro Panama
Starfish everywhere! – Playa La Estrella, Bocas del Toro

Playa La Estrella, the most beautiful beach in Bocas

Starfish beach in Bocas del Toro. Playa La Estrella. A must visit when island hopping in Bocas del Toro Panama
Have you ever seen this many starfish?

Tip: please do NOT touch the starfish or take them out of water – it actually kills them.

500 Camels in Bahrain

Photo tour: Royal Camel Farm in Bahrain

I’d seen camels before, but never this many, and never like this.

Business tourists visit Bahrain ask, are there camels in Bahrain? There’s lots of of camels in Bahrain, but the reason might surprise you. Here’s the quick story he shared:

My guide told me that the King of Bahrain (actually Sheikh Mohammed) wanted camels, and thus 500 camels were brought to what became the Royal Camel Farm in Bahrain. He decided to open up this Royal Camel Farm to the public. I’d never seen so many camels!

Camels in Bahrain at sunset

Bahrain consists of mostly desert, making it the ideal habitat for camels.

Feeding a camel at the Royal Camel Farm in Bahrain
Feeding a camel in Bahrain

Despite being called a camel farm, the camels here are not for eating. Sheikh Mohammed set up the farm to preserve the presence of the camel in Bahrain which, before the advent of the motor vehicle was the Bahraini’s foremost mode of transport. Indeed, the Arabian Peninsula has a huge cultural connection with the camel, and for the Bedouins of the past, the camel was revered as a sacred symbol of life amid the inhospitable desert. –Time Out Bahrain

Bocas del Toro Nightlife

Bocas del Toro is beautiful, but what kind of entertainment do they have for when the sun goes down?  Where do people go to party in Bocas?Monica from Globe Trottica tells us about her favorite bars and hotspots in Bocas del Toro, combined with photos from my recent Bocas adventure. 

Bocas del Toro nightlife

I held my breath as I jumped into the warm Caribbean Sea. My cloth pants immediately absorbed a ton of water, making it that much harder for me to stay afloat.

I grabbed onto the side of the dock, wiping away my soaking wet hair that stuck to the side of my face. The beats from the music vibrated the water, causing miniature waves to crash against me.

The sounds of clinking beer bottles and the cheerful hoopla of partygoers carried over to the swimming area and, softened and dulled by distance, created a sublime atmosphere. The soft beats coming from the DJ booth mixed with the ambience seamlessly.

La Iguana Surf Club immediately became my favorite party spot in Bocas del Toro.

Bocas del Toro is known for its rowdy nightlife and offers a range of bars and clubs that satisfy the needs of any type of partygoer. It’s a small town in one of the few small islands in northern Panama.

50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations

50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations

What are the most popular tourist attractions in the world?  This infographic shows all kinds of interesting numbers.

  • Times Square is easily the most popular tourist destination in the world, according to this travel infographic.
  • More people visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, than visit the Vatican or the Coliseum in Rome
  • Disneyland Tokyo is more popular than the Great Wall of China, and Disney World in Florida is far more popular than both.Travel Infographic - 50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations

Infographic by Forbes Traveler.  (Click on image to enlarge)

  • Niagara Falls is the most visited natural tourist destination in the world, by far, according to this chart. But – there’s no way it’s more highly visited than Central Park in NYC.
  • Theme parks are incredibly popular – Disney, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, etc.

Most Popular does NOT = Best!

Keep in mind that lists and graphics like this aren’t showing the best places to go, but rather the ones that are most visited. The amount of visits is often influenced by how many people are nearby to visit (and can afford to).  For example, local New Yorkers do not get excited by Times Square. If you visit me in NYC, my tour will focus on areas that didn’t make this list.

Angkor Wat video tour

Angkor Wat – a 5 video aerial view tour

Angkor Wat is breath-taking; every traveler should visit. If you can’t get there, check out this impressive video of “Angkor Wat from the Air” from Matador Network: 

Angkor Wat is at the top of the list of places to visit for Cambodia, and possibly all of Southeast Asia!  I’ve posted a photo tour, but this Angkor Wat video provides a different view – an aerial view of one of the 7 wonders of the world.

I love this photo! Angkor Wat video tour and this photo are via Matador Network
I love this photo! Photos and video are via Matador Network

Angkor Wat Video and photo is courtesy of Matador Network. Video is by awesome photographer/videographer Max Seigal.

The videos fly over and through my favorite temples –  Angkor WatBayon, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm, all in Siem Reap Cambodia. For a photo tour of each, click the linked names.

Pro Tip — Plan for big crowds; it was packed both times I visited. Decide if you’re going to try to catch Angkor Wat at sunrise – if not, choose a different order to explore the temples to avoid the largest crowds. Even if that’s your plan, visit Angkor Wat to capture your sunrise photo, and then leave that temple to start at Angkor Thom, since most of the crowd just stays at Angkor Wat. Then come back for sunset. This Angkor Wat video, “Angkor Wat from the Air,”  will give you a sense of what the rest of the complex looks like.

9 Amazing underwater photographs of sharks and dolphins

Amazing underwater shark photographs, plus photos of mantas, whales, and dolphins Bull shark closeup, in Fiji. I'm terrified just looking at it! Photo by Alexander Safonov

Bull shark closeup, in Fiji. I’m terrified just looking at it! Photo by Alexander Safonov

Mantis shrimp, in West Papua
Mantis shrimp, in West Papua. This might be my favorite of the group.
Gigantic Manta ray and photographers in Raja Ampat, West Papua
Gigantic Manta ray and photographers in Raja Ampat, West Papua. Photo by Alexander Safonov
Ragged tooth shark in Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
Ragged tooth shark in Aliwal Shoal, South Africa. Photo by Alexander Safonov

Underwater photographer Alexander Safonov took some amazing photos – close-up shots of sharks, dolphins, gigantic manta rays, sperm whales, and more. Buy these photos here

Dolphins prepare for lunch
Dolphins prepare for lunch. Photo by Alexander Safonov

Check out the full slideshow of Alexander Safonov’s impressive underwater photography.

Hammerheads everywhere!
Hammerheads everywhere! Photo by Alexander Safonov
Sailfish
Sailfish – Photo by Alexander Safonov
Hammerhead shark closeup
Hammerhead shark closeup. Photo by Alexander Safonov
Sperm whale in Ogasawara Islands, Japan
Sperm whale in Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Photo by Alexander Safonov

Photographer Alexander Safonov is originally from Voronezh, Russia. He’s lived in eastern Asia since 1998, spending a decade in Japan first and currently residing in Hong Kong, according to a profile in the Telegraph. Buy a copy of his photographs here.

Source: Amazing underwater photographs of sharks and dolphins by Alexander Safonov – Telegraph

How Deep is the Ocean?

Ever wonder, how deep is the ocean?

The ocean is mind-numbingly deep – the ocean is 14,000 feet deep.  Here’s a great info-graphic 131 second video, with some highlights below.

Click the below image:

40m is the maximum depth for recreational SCUBA Divers
maximum depth for recreational SCUBA Divers
How deep is the ocean? The average depth of the ocean is 4267 meters
How deep is the ocean? The average depth of the ocean is 4267 meters
How deep can Blue Whales Dive?  Blue Whales can dive down to 500 meters deep.
Blue Whales can dive down to 500 meters deep.
Mount Everest is 8850 meters, and the ocean goes even deeper
Mount Everest is 8850 meters, and the ocean goes even deeper
How deep is the ocean?  11,034 meters deep. That's the bottom of the Mariana Trench
The ocean goes11,034 meters deep. That’s the bottom of the Mariana Trench
 James Cameron visited the top of the Mariana Trench, an amazing 7 miles underwater that  broke a record! In the Bloomberg article they mentioned he risked implosion. wow.

He spent several million dollars on the sub, called Deepsea Challenger, which needed to withstand pressures of at least eight tons per square inch.

The feat equaled the 1960 record set by Don Walsh and the late Jacques Piccard, and the movie director became the first to solo to the earth’s deepest point.

Video of the experience can be found at Nat Geo.

The Marianas Trench is located just northeast of Indonesia.

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