Changuinola Travel Guide

  • bathing or fishing, who knows
    bathing or fishing, who knows
    by arasnosliw
  • Houses along the canal
    Houses along the canal
    by matt1134
  • Young boy loading the boat for shipments.
    Young boy loading the boat for...
    by matt1134

Changuinola Things to Do

  • zeee scenery

    Mangroves, flowers, short little trees that I don't know the name of - this is what the environment is like here. It is beautiful, it is odd, it is intriguing. I could be in the jungles and swamps of any part of the world. For the slightest moment of time I forgot I was in Panamá. I was envisioning elephants and lions running around in the grass as...

  • I see the ocean

    After quite some time cruising around the murky brown rivers surrounded by mangrove trees and fishermen, suddenly the scenery will disappear. The water becomes choppy and the boat begins to fly all over the place. This is because you have finally reached the Caribbean Sea. The water becomes clearer and salty. The horizon is in plain sight. You know...

  • native tribes

    The tribes dominating the area around Changuinola are predominantly Ngobe and Naso-Teribes. The people are short, dark, and have slightly asian looking facial features. I was surprised at their short stature as I felt like a giant in comparison even to most males. They don't really wear any distinguishing clothes nor do they run around naked like...

  • carne caliente

    I think this guy is screaming internally "I am one sexy piece of meat" - he stands posed with his fishing pole in one hand waiting for tourists like me to speed by and snap his photo. I am going to blow off all men here and move back to Panama so that I can make him mine. Hahaha.

  • throw a german overboard

    So the only other passengers on my water taxi were two young Germans. One of them tried to pass out on the ride. I don't know how he managed to, as the ride became extremely bumpy as we reached the open water of the ocean. He was so light that I thought with every bump we hit that he would fly out of the boat. Whereas I was gripping on the side of...

  • the good life

    See....this is what I wanna do all day. Sit on a boat, relax, drink some cervezas, and throw out some lines in attempt to catch fish. Well I certainly am no fisherwoman but if I could do this every day instead of going to an office to work I would be a happy, happy woman. Certainly a broke woman, but who cares if I am going to go live in a hut...

  • hoist me up

    Houses built along the waterways are generally on stilts to prevent flooding. Most of these houses are rather dilapidated and primitive. The men go out and sit in the river all day fishing or they go collect bananas to eat. Just throw out a string with a hook tied on the end, and the fish will bite. I wish I had as much luck fishing as they did....

  • what am I wading in?

    Take a look along the banks of the water. Now this isn't exactly the cleanest of liquids I've ever seen. It's brown, murky, and trash infested. Yeah, sewage systems don't exist around here, so everything is dumped into the streams. So if you want to go for a swim, watch out for the floating turds...or those little parasites aiming to enter your...

  • long boats

    The locals living in the area paddle around on these long handcarved boats. To get around, this is their preferred means of transportation. The boats are so long that they can haul around lots of materials, particularly large bunches of bananas. Man, bananas grow like weeds around here. They are tasty but you will soon become sick of eating them...


Changuinola Transportation

  • water taxi

    by arasnosliw Written Jun 8, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The water taxi to Bocas del Toro leaves from a dock outside of town. In order to get there, take a taxi from the town center and ask the driver to take you to the dock to Bocas. It is a 10-15 minute drive out of town. From there, the water taxi leaves about 4 times daily to the islands and it costs 4-5 dollars. The total trip to Bocas takes just a bit over 1 hour and you will arrive in Bocas Town, on the main island Colón. There are also water taxis and a passenger-vehicle ferry that leave from the town of Almirante, further south from Changuinola. However, if traveling south from Costa Rica, departing from Changuinola is your best bet.

    high speed transport to Bocas

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Changuinola Warnings and Dangers

  • do you have ADD?

    My water taxi driver was completely inattentive. I don't know if he is bored, if he knows the route so well that he could drive it blindfolded, or if he simply just has ADD. Everytime I looked at him, his head was turned elsewhere. Or he was talking to people along the river. Even sometimes he turned around and talked to me. Whatever man, just...

  • those little pests

    Mosquitos, flies, other creepy crawlers....they are all prevalent along the rivers and canals of the area. Wear your bug spray or you will get eaten alive. Trust me, I provided lunch to many a mosquito that day. Or just tell your driver to go really fast to blow all the mosquitos away.

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Changuinola Off The Beaten Path

  • Ride the old United Fruit canel to Boca...

    by matt1134 Written Aug 25, 2006

    For a great side trip, when staying in the Bocas, ride the old United Fruit canel into Chanquiola. This canal was built to carry bananas from Chanquinola to the port of Boca for shipment to world markets. Alot of people take this ferry when visiting the Bocas from Costa

    Houses along the canal Young boy loading the boat for shipments.
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Backpacking

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