Monday, September 19, 2011

Pretty Pedasí

We spent the weekend in Pedasí.  There are many beautiful places in Panama, but this would definitely be in my top three. along with Bocas and Islas Perlas.

My internet research said that it was a four hour drive from Panama city, but that's pretty optimistic.  There's a lot of road construction between Divisa and Las Tablas and with a snack and stretch stop, it was more like five hours.  When the new divided highway is finished it will be four hours, but it's not right now.  The drive back was more like six hours, stopping for lunch and with horrible, heavy, Sunday afternoon, traffic between Coronado and the city.

Apart from the longish drive, (really not so long, but longer than we expected) we had an amazing time.  The town of Pedasí is really cute and the people are friendly.  There's a nice bakery and plenty of little restaurants.  Friday night, the central plaza was full of kids of all ages playing what looked to be prisoner's base.  We found the town to be very pleasant.  We didn't stay in town although there are a lot of little hotels that looked nice.  We stayed just out of town, closer to the beach.

Our bed and breakfast was sweet, clean and comfortable and not (for a change) overpriced.  The owner was nice and helpful (he brought us a bodum of coffee to have on the back porch while we waited for the girls to wake up).  We walked down to Playa del Toro when we first arrived.
We were on a rocky stretch of the beach, but we could see that it was sandier in the other direction.  There were sand dunes that we raced and slid down.
It wasn't the best spot for swimming, but pretty and fun in other ways (and I'm sure it was sandier further down).  One little girl I know did not want to go back to the hotel even though it was getting dark and buggy.

On Saturday we went to Isla Iguana.  Isla Iguana is a short boat ride from Pedasí.  The island has a pretty beach and some great snorkeling.  It's nice for kids because you don't need to snorkel from a boat, the reef is just right there.  The water is clear and as calm as a swimming pool.  We saw lots of fish and coral.  We walked across the island to another small beach.  From this little beach we walked along the rocky coast back to the main beach.  Along the way, we poked around in some tidal pools and found a big trilobite and a spotted sea snake.  We also saw the Frigate bird colony, which no photo could possibly do justice (everywhere you look there are birds in the air and in the trees).  There are incredible volcanic rock formations and coral beaches.
On our last morning we took a boat out to see if we could see some whales.  We did  see a pair of hump backs and couple of young whales.  We didn't get close enough for great photos, but getting to see them at all was thrilling.  We also got to see some sharks and a sail fish.  We stopped back at Isla Iguana to avoid the rain.  The girls got back in the water and some local fisherman shared some fresh caught fish with us.
The trip was a big success.  We didn't have time to go to nearby Playa Venao or Isla Caña.  A return trip is already in the works!

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