Escape To Panama
We continue our Escape To series with our travel ambassador Amanda from 1 duvet pour 2 taking us to Panama for a second beautiful trip made of palm trees, clear water and starfish.
"Before summer came, we decided to take a break away from everything, and go to a place that many French people don’t know that well.
So in April 2016 we met Central America for the first time, and chose Panama as the first meeting place.
Now we’ve heard a lot about the tax heaven, but this place is heaven, in general. You simply won’t believe what we discovered, and all within a couple of hours from the capital Panama City. Wanting some palm trees, white sand and turquoise water, we first hit the San Blas Islands.
The San Blas Islands are an archipelago of 365 tiny islands, situated in the Caribbean Sea.
Each island is surrounded by a blue that fades from the lightest of emerald to the deepest of navy. On these islands you can find several coconut trees, all perfect for hanging a small hammock!
The Gunas, the local people, live on some of these islands. They built small rustic huts made of palm and wood.
The only decision is whether to choose a tent, hammock and rustic cabin to spend the night. We opted for the tent, which depending on what island you stay costs around $US70 a night.
This little paradise was just the tonic. It allowed us to let go, to free ourselves. To make the most of the sunny days in San Blas we rented a jeep and drove in the direction the jungle! I spent the ride looking at these beautiful colors and enjoying the different smells around me.
When we arrived it was so magical. The reef, the coconut palms, the transparent water… Everything was so beautiful! We got carried away, lost track of time and had no idea what day it was! The program was the same each day: diving, relaxing and lobster for lunch!
And then, a few kilometers away from our island, we saw an almost desert island. We asked the owner of our island to take us there for the day. Once there it was truly idyllic. We were alone on the island, doing our best Robinson Crusoe impersonations and trying to climb palm trees!
The next day we decided to discover the Isla Estrella. You can’t spend the night there, but you can easily spend a whole day admiring the countless starfish.
It’s important to choose carefully the islands and we recommend without hesitation these authentic islands: El Diablo, Pelicano and Isla Estrella.
Next we wanted a mini break from tropical paradise and so we headed to Panama City. The contrast is quite striking, especially at sunset when modern skyscrapers and historic buildings mix together in this insane city.
We stayed in the neighborhood of Casco Viejo, a beautiful place where you can admire colonial facades and find some fun bars.
This is where we met the owner of a fish food truck in a dilapidated building: the fish market. There, you can have delicious burgers, tacos, and a variety of grilled fish. Situated in the old town, this redecorated building completely captived us. The wooden décor, full of colors, makes the place look really elegant, but you’ll eat like a king for only $15.
For our night in Panama City, we wanted to find a fun place. We found this really busy hostel, the Luna Castel, in the heart of the old town. When you enter in the living space, you can feel all the good vibes coming to you. We woke up in the morning with the smell of bananas pancakes, and yes, here it’s a self-service buffet style breakfast. All nationalities and ages were present, and when you walk in it was a babble of many languages.
In the end, our first contact with Central America was a delighted. A mixture of modernity and authenticity reigns in Panama and in the San Blas islands. We liked all these tropical notes, the shimmering light and in a relaxed atmosphere.
It was quite far from what imagined and everything was different from what we knew. We left again with a head full of beautiful images and hoping to giving you ideas for your next escape."