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Las Perlas, Panama

Couple travelling to the pearl islands

rain 27 °C

Archipelago Las Perlas is located in 40 miles from Panama city and consists of about 100 islands. The most famous island of this archipelago is Contadora Island, because it has several resorts, but we decided to go to San Jose Island.

During the World War II Pearl Islands had military bases on them. But soon the archipelago turned to a rest place for rich and famous (former US president Jimmy Carter, former Spain president Adolfo Suarez Felipe Gonzales, Iran shah lived there).

Pearl islands

Pearl islands

archipelago las Perlas

archipelago las Perlas

Palm tree

Palm tree

To get to Pearl Islands you have to take a small plane in the regional airport of Panama City (in Albrook). This plane is even smaller than the one we talked about in our Bocas del Toro review. There are 2 air companies making regular flights to Contadora Island - "Aeroperlas" and "Air Panama", but to San Jose Island flies just "Air Panama".

First our plane made a stop at Contadora and after that it took us to Isla San Jose. A trip took about 40 minutes with this short connection on Isla Contadora and costed $110 per person for round trip.

San Jose Island is a private island. It belongs to the Panamanian family who is also the owner of Air Panama company.

When we landed on our San Jose Island, we didn't see a landing strip - nothing like that. We landed on a small field in the jungle. Well, our plane looked more like a helicopter, not a real plane, so we guess it shouldn't have been a surprise for us :)

airplane

airplane

We went out of the plane and sat down in a minibus which was already waiting for us. We were the only one couple and only guests who came that day to Isla San Jose. Other 2 or 3 people, who were flying with us, were the hotel workers.

Our road through the jungle to the hotel took about half an hour or a bit more. Can you imagine a road through the jungle? Well, if you miss adventures, you definitely HAVE TO do this trip to San Jose Island.

Isla San Jose has only one hotel in the middle of the jungle - "Hacienda del mar" ("Sea farm"). The sea farm has appeared very stylish hotel with 17 cabanas - wooden huts, each with a balcony, offering a view to the beach and Pacific ocean.

Hacienda del Mar

Hacienda del Mar

Hotel Hacienda del Mar

Hotel Hacienda del Mar

Isla San Jose

Isla San Jose

Hotel pool

Hotel pool

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The hotel is rather expensive, even though we chose a Toucan Suite - the cheapest, with 2 double beds. It costed $330 per night. If you want 1 king size bed, you will pay about $400. And don't forget that our trip was in the low season. In high season the prices will be even higher.

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If you go to "Hacienda del mar", you will find out that it is a real farm - but very fashionable :) The owners brought here animals and birds for fun of the guests and themselves. So don't be surprised when you will see peacocks, iguanas, big exotic parrots, a toucan of rare beauty and black lovely piggies. By the way, the hotel personnel feeds the birds every evening at 5 pm, so don't miss a perfect moment to make wonderful photos.

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We came to the sea farm for a weekend and it was raining all the time, so maybe somebody will say that we were unlucky. But we were not. Our cosy wooden hut, sounds of waves of the ocean, music of the rain… Mmmm… What else a couple needs when you are in love?..

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We were not the only one couple on our sea farm. We met a nice couple travelling from USA and had a nice dinner and a breakfast with them. By the way, the food in the sea farm is perfect. But the prices of the cocktails are higher than usually, so be careful and don't drink too much :)

A travel to San Jose Island was a unique experience for us. We are sure, it will be the same for your couple travelling.

Posted by coupltravl 04.11.2010 10:43 Archived in Panama Tagged beaches animals birds planes islands ocean travel island panama america couple travelling central_america pacific_ocean couple_travelling las_perlas pearl_island Comments (0)

San Blas, Panama

Our trip to the past

sunny 29 °C

Archipelago San Blas is located on the Caribbean coast of Panama. San Blas consists of 378 islands, but only 49 of them are inhabited by independent Kuna Yala Indians.

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You can get from Panama City to archipelago San Blas by plane - the trip will take only about 20 minutes. Or you can go by car - like we did.

It's just 2 hours by car from the city, but be ready that half of this time you will spend on twisting mountain road. So if you have a seasickness (like me - Zoe), this road will be a little nightmare for you. But you will forget everything immediately when you arrive.

Suddenly you appear in the past as if you have arrived there on a time machine…

The Kuna Yala Indians have their own world there, autonomous, with its own economy, culture, customs and traditions.

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Imagine a small island in the middle of the beautiful caribbean sea with wooden huts on it. No TV, no internet, no traffic… Yes, it's hard to believe, but there is still a place on earth like this!!!

So don't be very surprised when you will see 2 women in traditional bright dresses sailing with canoe from their island to the neighbor island… Don't try to pinch yourself - you are not going to wake up, 'cause it's not a dream! And it's even not a movie. Kuna Yala are real. They live here and now, but at the same time - several centuries ago :)

Ok, let's go back to our couple travelling to San Blas. When we entered the zone, we had to pay a fee - $6. When we reached the coast, we left the car there and took the boat. It was just 1 day trip, so we decided to go to the closest island - Isla Aguja ("Needle Island"). The boat trip took just 15 minutes and costed $10 per person for round trip.

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Isla Aguja is a tiny island which got its name from the "needle-fish" that lives in these waters. What is a "needle-fish" and how it looks like, we don't know. We just believed in what our boat sailor said to us.

To enter the island we also had to pay - $5 per person.

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This island is a little piece of paradise on earth. The ideal surface of the sea, palm trees bent over the water… Sky with surreal snow-white clouds… Peace and quiet. We took the chairs and fell asleep for a while, watching this paradise in the shade of palm trees.

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There are several indian huts on the island, which you can rent and stay on the island, playing Robinson Crusoe. But we haven't dared at it :) So we chose fresh lobsters, indian woman cooked them for us, we had a wonderful dinner, and sailed back to the place where we left our car, and went home.

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So we advise you not to wait. Put your things to a backpack, don't forget your camera and a good insect repellent, get your time machine and go to San Blas. And hurry up, because this trip you will never forget.

Posted by coupltravl 02.11.2010 13:44 Archived in Panama Tagged landscapes beaches boats travel indian indians panama america couple travelling canoe central_america kuna_yala san_blas kuna couple_travelling Comments (0)

Playa Blanca, Panama

Crystal waters of the pacific

sunny 28 °C

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Playa Blanca is one of the most closest beaches to Panama City. About 2 hours by car - if you like speed and are not afraid of the road police :)

Pacific ocean is very beautiful, though it totally differs from the Atlantic and the Carribean. The temperature of the water is 27-29 C all year long. You will feel sensations comparable with nothing, just having stepped in water of the Pacific, tender and warm as milk. But be careful, its waves can be very strong.

We decided to stay in 4-stars Royal Decameron Resort. The problem of all resorts is... Read more about couple travelling to Playa Blanca

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Posted by coupltravl 18:41 Archived in Panama Tagged travel panama couple travelling central_america couple_travelling playa_blanca Comments (0)

San Andres, Colombia

An island to fall in love - for couple travelling

sunny 30 °C

Island San Andres is a pearl of the Carribean sea. It belongs to Colombia, but is located in front of Nicaragua. Long time ago this island and nearby islands were a base of the pirates.

In our times, some years ago, this island also had bad reputation, because of the Colombian drug dealers. They lived here in their big houses and used to laundry money. But right now Colombia has a strong police control against drug dealers headed by the president of the country. You will meet a lot of policemen on each corner of the island, so now it looks a very safety place.

All people who live on this island, kids and grown-ups, men and women, boys and girls, love motocycles. Everybody there has a motocycle, and especially in the evening they like to do their rides. So be careful on the roads :)

Like in every very touristic place people here are trying to sell you something all the time, though we don't think that it is a big problem if you come here with a good mood and relaxed. Such small things like this are not going to spoil your mood, because here you will find one of the most beautiful oceans in the world!

People say that the sea here has 7 different colors, though we counted only 5, from transparent light blue to dark blue. So we hope, that your couple will find 2 missing colors :)

We decided to stay in downtown to be in the center of the island's life. We chose a small cozy 4-stars hotel "Casablanca" and never regretted.

There are a lot of resorts on the island, for example "Royal Decameron", but as we didn’t have a very nice experience with this resort on our last trip, this time we decided not to test the luck.

"Casablanca" is a charming quiet hotel with a nice pool, huge good bedrooms - excellent for couples who come here to get a piece of romance and enjoy each other. The food in the buffet was also good. And there is a lovely restaurant with romantic landscape where you can have a dinner with your second half.

The beach in front of the hotel is rather small, so we rent a boat and went to see the nearby pirates islands. You will easily find a lot of boat trip offers in your hotel or in downtown. We rent 2 places on a big boat and did a tour with a group of tourists.

Our first stop was the amazing "Acuario". It is a natural aquarium made of coral reef where you can swim with the fishes. From there you can walk (it's not deeply) to the small "Haynes Cay". If you believe the legend, exactly in this place captain Morgan had hidden his treasures, so just imagine what if your couple finds some brilliants and gold? :) This place is majestic! You can feel yourself so closed to God walking on the water... It’s marvelous! After that amazing experience we went to "Johnny Cay" - another beach of unbelievable beauty with crystal-clear blue water and white soft sand. There we had a carribean lunch, of course with the best piña-colada :)

Another trip to do in San Andres is to visit Providencia Island, but unfortunately we didn't have enough time. Everybody recommends this trip. It takes 45 minutes by plane or 2 hours by boat to get there, but for sure should be worth of it. If u go, let us know about how it was -
info@coupletravelling.com.

Our rating: hotel 8/10, trip 10/10

PS And a special note for shopaholics. Island San Andres is a great place for shopping, so don’t think that the only thing to enjoy there is a beautiful beach :) It is a free zone, and you can find expensive merchandises for very good prices, so prepare to be surprised and spend all your money. Watches, bags, liquors, sunglasses, jewelry, perfume, all fancy brands like Bulgari, Tag Hauer, Dior, Gucci and much more.

Read more reviews of hotels, places and trips for couple travelling

Couple Travelling - no more reasons to travel alone

Posted by coupltravl 17:56 Archived in Colombia Tagged travel america couple travelling colombia central_america couple_travelling san_andres Comments (0)

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Carribean dream for two

Not long ago we made a fascinating trip to Panama province "Bocas del Toro" ("Leaps of a bull"). Señor Christopher Columbus had a rich imagination - he gave such a name to archipelago while discovering America. Some stone, sticking out of the water, reminded him a bull.

The archipelago Bocas del Toro consists of several hundreds of islands, large, small and very small, manned and not. This place on a world map also got its popularity due to the TV show "Survivor" which was made here in the beginning of 2000th years for Russian and French TV.

So, at 7 in the morning on Saturday we landed in a town with the same name "Bocas del Toro" on island Colon. Our small plane flied low and slowly, and we could see all country from height of the bird's flight. Time of the flight from Pacific coast of the country to Carribean takes just 1 hour.

There are 2 air companies that make flights "Panama City - Bocas del Toro" - Aeroperlas (the flight of that company we took) and Air Panama. By the way, we were surprised by the service on board - much better than some big air companies.

The downtown on island Colon is a must-see! Though this part of the island doesn't have a good beach, but there are lots of cheap hostels (US$8-11 per night). That's why many young people from Europe, USA, Canada come here to surf and just enjoy. There are pubs and restaurants to go out at night, so you are not going to feel boring.

We stayed in the hotel Playa Tortuga - a 5-star hotel in 10 minutes by car from the downtown. The price per night is about US$150. Of course there are some cute little hotels in downtown with better prices about US$ 50-100, but for couples who love comfort and don't want to risk - hotel Playa Tortuga can be the best choice.

This hotel has nice rooms, all with ocean view, nice pool, 2 restaurants, one of which is located at the end of the pier and you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic sea view. The service and the food were also good (especially piña colada :)).

One thing that you must do on Bocas del Toro - make a boat trip. You will find tours offers in your hotel or can go to the downtown - there's plenty of offers. The prices are almost the same everywhere - about US$80-100 per day for a couple (if you go with a group, price will be lower).

We rent a boat for two of us in our hotel and our trip to paradise started. Be ready to see with your own eyes all carribean miracles which you saw on TV or on pictures in internet before! Crystal waters with 5 colors, white sands, waves, sun and your second half - this is where your dream begins!

You can visit island Bastimentos and its famous Red Frog Beach. The beach got its name because of the poison red frog that lives on this island. Little kids will catch these frogs and show to you for 1 dollar :) After that you can have lunch in a sea restaurant - a wooden bungalow on piles in the middle of the big blue ocean. One of the must-go place is Zapatilla island. Take a walk along the coast and stay in a place with nobody there - just you, your second half and Zapatilla's virgin paradise. We are sure, you're going to like!

Your guide - a sailor on a boat - will tell you about all places worth to see. Just one last advice - be aware of the crabs. Rod was bited by one of them :)

Our rating: hotel 8/10, trip 10/10

If you want to get more information about our trips, visit our website - Couple Travelling.
We will be glad to get any comments from you!

Posted by coupltravl 17:22 Archived in Panama Tagged travel panama del couple travelling "bocas toro" Comments (0)

Couple Travelling - no more reasons to travel alone

Couple Travelling - we explore the world together!

sunny 28 °C

We are a couple currently living in Panama City, Panama.

We love to travel. That's why we decided to make our website - Couple Travelling.
It's for the couples like we and like you, and is going to help them to choose the best place for their couple travelling.

We are going to tell about places and hotels we've been visiting and give our special "couple" rating.

We hope that our experience and opinion will be helpful for people who are going to make a special kind of trip - travelling with their second halves.

Learn more on our Places page.

Sincerely yours,
Rodrigo and Zoe

Posted by coupltravl 15:33 Archived in Panama Tagged travel panama couple travelling Comments (0)

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