Following our 8-day stay in Bocas Del Toro, we prepared for the next stage of our journey – travelling from Bocas to Boca Chica by bus.
This trip requires a little more organisation since the Hello Travel bus shuttle company which operates from Bocas Del Toro does not provide a service to Boca Chica.
Bocas to Boca Chica by bus requires patience…
Since there’s no direct connection between Bocas Del Toro and Boco Chica, the trip involves a messy succession of sub-journeys. We learned that we would first have to travel to David. From there we should be able to switch to another bus to Boca Chica.
Bearing this in mind, we started early from Bocas.
We took the 7:30 am boat from Bocas to Almirante ($6 per person). The sea was rough. It had been raining all night, and the dark sky didn’t bode well.
It took 30 minutes to reach Almirante, from where we took a taxi to the bus station ($1 per person). After waiting at the bus station for half an hour, we climbed on the bus heading to David.
When I say ‘bus’, I mean a small 20-seater white minivan. The van was packed to capacity, and then some. Incredibly, it still kept stopping along the way to cram in more standing-only passengers.
The journey over the mountains has some spectacular views and more than a few hair-raising high-altitude bends in the road. If you’re a nervous passenger, don’t sit at the front of bus.
We reached David after just 2 hours 45 minutes – including a short bathroom break. The journey cost us $8.50 per person.
At David bus station we quickly found a connecting bus (again read minivan) to Boca Chica. We were off again in less than 20 minutes.
We were on a roll!
This leg of the journey cost us another $2 each. However, after an hour we were unceremoniously dumped off at the junction between the Panama City highway and the turnoff to Boca Chica.
With 30 kms or so still to travel, we waited next to the highway. After 15 minutes we hailed another ‘van’. He picked us up, and took us the rest of the way for $3 each.
We arrived in Boca Chica at 2:30pm, for a total journey time of 7 hours and a cost of $20.50 per person.
Not really the worst of journeys, and considerably cheaper than using the Hello Travel bus shuttle company, which in any case would only have taken us as far as David.
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