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Exploring nearby islands

Bocas Town is the largest community on the archipelago of islands.  After breakfast we wandered down the main street and around to acquaint ourselves with the businesses and the culture.  Here’s some of what we saw.

Columbus discovered the area in 1502 and named the island after himself, which he frequently did.  Isla Colon is now the location of both the airport and the main street where many of the taxis and tour businesses operate from.  While there are resorts on many of the archipelago islands, this is the hub.  It is only connected to the mainland by boat so you must either fly, ferry or take a boat here.  The trip is definitely worth it!

Bananas are the main source of economy here.  After a history of pirates on the islands, and then French and Spanish warfare, the blacks freed from slavery in the mid 1800’s remained and tried to make a go of it.  Eventually what stuck was the bananas.  Today they produce over three-quarters of a million tons of bananas annually. They also comprise the largest workforce in the province and the most diverse workforce in the country; on the payroll are West Indians, Latinos, Chinese and indigenous workers.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/panama/bocas-del-toro/history#ixzz4Y6jn5pSX

Walking and biking are the main modes of transport around the island.  There are a few taxis which are happy to take people farther than Bocas Town.  And every morning the ferry brings an assortment of working trucks for deliveries from the mainland..and transports them back later in the day.  You can’t be in a hurry for anything in Bocas..it’s a laid back town.  Leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the moments!

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