Chiriquí  & Veraguas Panamá

[March 2007 & August 2007 - January 2008]


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Parque Nacional Isla Coiba

We returned to the western islands of Panamá in 2007 and first visted Isla Canal de Afuera (Channel of Outside) where we had perfect sunsets.

Clear Water Abutting Jungle

The water at Isla Canal de Afuera (part of Parque Nacional Coiba) was clear to 50 feet and was deep right up the the lush jungle slopes.


Jake Enjoying Cruising

Jake enjoyed the solitude of our western island anchorages where wildlife was his primary entertainment.

Ensenada Playa Hermosa

We pushed onto Playa Rosario and then to Ensenada Hermosa where towering jungle covered hills appear close but are quite far away.

Returning After Ecuador Refit

Carina looked and sailed like a dream as we made a fast passage back from Salinas Ecuador to Isla Coiba in August 2007.


A park boat from Isla Coiba National Park visited us at Isla Brincanco (also part of the park). The guard (Bolivar) took our park permit fee and composed a personal receipt.

RAIN, rain, rain

August in Panamá can bring torrential rain but it kept our water tanks full.

Welcome to Islas Secas

The Dry Islands brought us our first sunny sunset and a lovely rainbow.

Islas Secas

Isla Cavada's main beach is backed by a mature set of palms.

Islas Secas Resort

Isla Cavada is the site of the exclusive Islas Secas Resort built almost entirely of yurts.


The spa at Islas Secas Resort was closed when we visited. The resort would host a diving group in a week or so but not open fully until December.

Lush Jungle

Despite the moniker "dry'', Isla Cavada hosted lush vegetation.

Exotic Flowers

Amongst the vegetation were amazing flowers, many associated with bromiliads.

Health Food

Near the restaurant (La Terraza, the terrace) were trees bearing lemons and also noni, known for its health benefits.

Main Road

This road led from the resort north towards the small airfield.

Don Samuel

This fishing boat moored near us on August 14 and later helped Philip to retrieve our dinghy that had floated away. We gave them beer, chocolate and squash; they returned six corvina and three peppers!

Unidentified Flowering Vine

These vines covered the trees and the flowers gave off a pungent smell that clearly was pleasant to bees.

Near Boca Chica

An extensive estuarine system backs Isla Boca Brava and the village of Boca Chica.

Isla La Mona

This 12 hectare island is undeveloped and spectacular - and for sale.

Island Living

This neat little house was on Isla Boquita bordering the river passage to Pedregal.

Rain, rain

The Pedregal fishermen seem undeterred by afternoon rainstorms.

Going to Town

This boat propelled by three paddlers brought a woman and baby (under umbrella) to town...despite the rain shower.

Mangrove Moorings

A few boats in the anchorage preferred to moor to the trees rather than anchoring. The disadvantage is that ladrones (thieves) can simply step aboard. The advantage escapes us...

Vulcan Barú

Towering above the province of Chiriquí, Volcán Barú is nearly 12,000 feet above sea level.

Campesino Hut

High in the Chiriquí province, campesinos of the Ngöbe-Buglé tribe work the land. They are people of modest means but they are fiercely proud of their heritage and language.

High Altitude Farming

Campesino plots on Volcán Barú reach up to the clouds.

Guadalupe is Hilly

Chiriquí's highlands have some steep slopes but we thought this sign showed a bit of hyperbole...

Sendero de Quetzales

We saw this pleasant hut near the entrance to the Parque Nacional Volcán Barú in Guadalupe, Chiriquí.

Guard Shack, Volcan Barú

At 8300 feet and above the clouds we found a park hut and a friendly guard. The guard told us Harpy Eagles occasionally captured prey on these lawns...not the day we visited, unfortunately.

Cloud Forest of Volcan Barú

Chiriquí highlands are upland tropical jungle with palms, bamboo and monstrous old growth trees laced with "Tarzan" vines.

Between a Bull and Barbed Wire

Caught in the rain on our hike back down Volcan Barú, our progress was impeded by a pair (!) of toros who had decided to go on a hike...We were caught between the bulls and the barbed wire of their pasture.

Portrerillos' Stone Walls

The south slope of Volcan Barú consists of rolling farmland criss crossed by stone walls of volcanic rock. The walls reminded us of New England.


Miriam de Sagel was introduced to us by a friend in Boca Chica. She is a real estate agent. With her we went on a trip to visit a plot of land for sale at Estero Rico.

Rio Piedra

To reach Estero Rico you must travel overland and then take a boat along the Rio Piedra.

Roberto's Finca

Don Roberto owns land in Estero Rico which he is trying to sell. Unfortunately much is below water at high tide.

Retirement Living in Panamá

Don Roberto's finca included a small palapa complete with cooking platform of sand built on a wooden table.

Oscar's Servicio de Lancha

Oscar lives at the Estero Rico landing and runs a water taxi amongst the mangroves and barrier islands.

Niñas de Boca Chica

November 3 is Dia de Independencia de Columbia; with Dia de la Bandera (Flag Day) following the following day.

Boca Chica Wildlife

This amazing caterpillar was spotted on Avenida Gone Fishing Panamá...we wondered what sort of beautiful butterfly it would morph in to...

More Boca Chica Wildlife

Gone Fishing Panamá hosted a Halloween party in 2007 to benefit the local school. We dressed as Gone Fishing's puppies, Holly and Ambassador.


Orchids are everywhere in Chiriquí, each one more beautiful than the last.

Yet Another Boca Chica Vista

Wild Islands

Back at Isla Brincanco in December 2007, we found the island lush but the water clarity markedly improved.


This icey cold waterfall on the northeastern corner of Isla Brincanco fell into a sparkling sea. Philip isn't grimacing, he's actually suppressing a laugh!


One pleasant afternoon a humpback whale joined us in the bay at Brincanco, remaining almost still for long periods as her calf stayed close, presumably nursing. Around sunset and with a gentle roll, she exited the bay only to be seen far offshore breaching as if in glee.

Coiba's Custom Weather

Coiba's large mass seemed to generate its own custom storm clouds, that thankfully moved away from our exposed anchorage.

Granito de Oro

Though bombarded by pangas of tourists all day, the tiny island (Grain of Gold) was pristine and peaceful.


Scarlet Macaws flourish in Isla Coiba's jungles, but are rare throughout the rest of Central America.

Prison Camp

We thought that all the prison camps on Coiba had been closed, however there remains a small police unit - the Tiburones de Coiba - at Bahía Damas.

Under Tow

We lost our engine just outside of Isla Cébaco enroute to Panamá City. "Aquastrian", our buddy boat, eventually peeled away towards safe haven, so after we lost our wind, we received towing help from "Last Resort" first and then (at 8.3 knots!) from "La Graciosa".

Boca Chica School and Rotary

Through the combined efforts of the Rotary Clubs of David, Panamá and Bainbridge Island, WA, USA, along with Donna Skinner of Gone Fishing Panamá, the children of Boca Chica will have a larger and more stimulating learning environment.