Locals’ gem: Contadora Island, Panama

Our time was limited in Panama City, so we didn’t have time to make it out to Bocas del Toro or any of the other islands that Panama is famous for. But we still wanted to see some beach! We were planning on a day trip to Taboga, but after chatting up a local businessman at the bar of our hotel, the stunning Trump Ocean Club, we changed our plans to Contadora Island. There were very few tourists on the early-morning ferry, which proved to be quite an experience! Supplies are very expensive on the island, so families walked out onto the docks with carts of groceries, toilet paper and rum. We wished we had a few days to relax in paradise!

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Mangos and yachts in Panama

Panama City ferryI’m not the most technical photographer — I can’t be, with my little point-and-shoot. But I couldn’t resist this simple shot as I was waiting for the ferry from Panama City to Contadora, to relax on its nearby deserted beach islands. What says “tropical” more than mangos hanging heavy on a tree in front of turquoise water filled with boats? In the city, we had had some stormy weather, which never stopped us from boating in Costa Rica, my favorite tropical paradise, even in the rain. But on Contadora, it was sunny and hot. We had the best time baking in the sun!