I’ve always loved the water.
I was swimming by age 5, sailing at 9, canoe tripping at 15. I got one of the first plastic white water kayaks as an adult.
I waited until middle age to buy a sea kayak.
I often paddled directly from my summer home on Lake Superior. I also enjoyed multiple trips in exotic places around the world with my wife.
Kayaking In Panama
One of the things which really excited me about living in Panama was the prospect of exploring its coast line by sea kayak. I imported 3 boats from the States, along with paddles, spray skirts and camping gear.
Anyone who comes to visit us, as well as local friends, are dragged out for a trip.
Paddling In Boca Chica
My favourite area is the Boca Chica Islands south of David. I have kayaked to them from Puerto Armuelles. But usually we make the two hour drive from Puerto to Boca Chica for the put in.
From there we paddle 5 or 6 days, self supported, and camping on beaches wherever the mood takes us. The outer islands around Isla Parida have the clearest water for snorkeling, but all are beautiful.
The area is has great rocky headlands, separated by lovely sand beaches. Howler monkeys roar from the jungle and the occasional whale or dolphin can be seen in the ocean.
The land on the Pacific side is public property up to 20 meters beyond the high tide mark. When we camp, we usually we have a beach to ourselves. But when others are around, nobody has ever objected to our presence.
We have to carry our own water, about 5 litres per person per day. We often stock up at the home of a local, if we run low.
While most of my beach landings are gentle, I’ve had to become very adept at surf landings. Tipping a heavily laden boat and swimming it to shore is exhausting and can wreck the gear.
Prepping Novices In Puerto Armuelles
Before taking visitors on long trips, we usually spend a day at my place in Puerto Armuelles to learn how to control a boat in big waves.
That said, I’ve taken lots of novices to the protected water of the islands with nothing worse than a few bruised egos to report.
Note from Betsy: Robin & I once kayaked in Puerto Armuelles. Click to read about our paddle. It was a blast. I have always wanted to go again, not sure why I haven’t made it happen.
Every trip is different; red sunsets, surprise storms, macaws in the trees above our tents, a fisherman with mariscoes (seafood) for sale, and a mango tree at the campsite.
The companionship of course is always great.
Here are a few pictures from our trips. Click to make them larger.