Our Fun Family Camping Trip In Panama
Shortly after Any (my wife) and I finished building our new home in Panama, Any's three children and her mother came for a visit from Colombia. We had a great visit for Christmas and the New year at our home on the Caribbean side of Panama.
It was a little bit confusing for me, but no big deal (because of the language differences) and we settled in as a bigger family. It was fun and interesting for me and I enjoyed her children very much. I decided that since the children were going to stay with us for awhile, we should take a family trip throughout Panama to get them acquainted with the country. I thought a combination camping and hotel trip would be fun to do.
I bought two tents, camping gear, lanterns, grill, coolers, sleeping bags and all the stuff needed for camping (I was an Eagle Scout and I knew a lot about camping). We loaded up the pick-up truck and our four dogs and off we went for a trip all over Panama.
First we went to Las Tablas. We found a new hotel at the beach and enjoyed two days there. Because this was a new place, we were able to convince the owner to allow our dogs to stay .... It was good luck for us.
Next we headed to the mountains near Penonome (in the middle of Panama). We stayed at the Iguana hotel and camping resort for several days. The camping was great fun. We cooked most of our own meals, ate a few times at the restaurant there, enjoyed the swimming pool and hiked and swam at the river. The dogs loved the whole time at Iguana Resort.
We continued traveling across the country and camped at what I feel is the most beautiful beach in Panama, Las Lajas (about one hour before the city of David). Las Lajas is an incredible playa (beach) and at the time we were there, it was very undeveloped. New developments are popping up there now and I know why. It is almost too beautiful to describe and it was featured on a recent "Home Finders International" TV show.
We went to the town of Volcan and then on to Cerro Punta where we stayed at a jungle cabana, only assessable via four wheel drive. We needed to pack in all of our food and drinks for the jungle cabana. It was great there. Guides took us on hikes in the jungle where we saw waterfalls, rivers, exotic birds and trout. We had a wood burning furnace in the cabana because it gets very cold at night and you need something to keep warn.
We visited the "Dracula House Orchid Farm" in Cerro Punta and discovered all the types of Orchids that only come out at night.
We traveled to the mountain town of Boquete, where we saw beautiful homes, lush vegetation, waterfalls and a special place called "My Garden is Your Garden".... A private home and huge manicured personal garden which is open to the public at no charge. Any and I have been back to Boquete several times .... We love it there for short trips. Boquete is one of Panama's "Gringo-Vills". For me a great place but a bit too cold.
As we headed back toward the Caribbean side and our home, we stopped in Santa Clara to camp and swim at the Pacific Ocean. We were gone for about three weeks. The time helped us to bond as a new family and learn much about Panama. It was a great family trip.