Bocas del Toro Islands, Panama

When I came to Costa Rica 18 years ago, I intended to visit both coasts, but when I saw the black sand beaches and the acquamarine-colored Caribbean, I never made it over to the Pacific side. On that trip I remember someone telling me about Bocas del Toro, the main town had 100-year old buildings on stilts and there was surf, and it was fairly deserted. Well, of course, since then, the world has discovered this place and it’s a heavy tourist destination. But it still has its charm, and is gateway to dozens of small islands, villages, reefs, and beaches by boat. It reminds me of Hong Kong, there is a continual stream of boats ferrying people in all directions. It’s got a reggae vibe. You want ganja, man?

I’m once again glad to be back in internet land and will post photos when I can.

There are lots of traveling sailboats anchored here (Bocas del Toro Town). There are lots of great old boats, along with the fiberglas pangas. There must be at least 50 restaurants, all competing, some very good. It’s got the Panama tranquilo (trahn-kee-low) feeling.

The older guys were pushing the little ones and they were improving by the minute.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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