Panama: May 2005 Adventure


[C.America_Trip_05] Another Adventure to Central America - May 12th till whenever
Mon May 9 14:07:54 EDT 2005

Taking another trip to Central America in a couple days (May 12, 2005).  I hope to be able to email you my journal entries and photos every other day. The search this time is for buried treasure, toucans, red poison dart frogs and panama red. 
Please pass the below link onto all those who you feel would like to travel virtually to Costa Rica and Panama over the next 30 days or so.
Join the mailing list & get a periodic message May 12th through June 11 2005 from the next adventure to Costa Rica and Panama with photos.  <> CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP
You can read my last adventure to Costa Rica with tons of photos here:
NOTE: You can leave the newsletter group at anytime by unsubscribing to any of the messages.
Jeff Dean

[C.America_Trip_05] We made it.
Mon May 16 10:41:30 EDT 2005

So far it has been the adventure of a lifetime.  JB and I have done so much in Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo that it feels like we have been here forever.  We saw howlers monkeys, a sloth, hiked Manzanilla trail, rented scooters and took them over a mountain through heavy rocks, huge inclines, over rivers to Sixola the border of Panama and Costa Rica.  JB took a digger and scrapped up his arm and leg.  He broke the mirror and tore of the side of the bike but he is ok and we masked the repairs well enough.  It was my fault, I was coming in a little hot on a dirt pass that came from pavement.  A Tico kind of swerved my way and I took JB out. No hard feelings. 

Surf has been really good.  I got a stand up barrel 2 days and tons of fun warm water waves.  JB is doing well on the waves, still getting used to the warm water and trusting the bottom.  I remember all to well my first trip the tropics back in the Barbados days.  He will get it soon enough in Panama where we are going today, in about 1 hour.  So looking forward top this next leg of the adventure. 

I want to detail more but no time since we are leaving now to Panama.  I will try and send another email from Bocas town.  Puerto has gotten more crowded and so Internet cafe has been packed since we got here and we have been doing so much we don't want to go on computers. 

Ok well.  I miss you all, Talk to you on the other side.

PS> Wes was right, my 6'3"Channel Islands quiver was the best call.  The Captain was right for once. Tacking,,,, Helms Allay..... :)

Pura Vida
Jeff Dean

[C.America_Trip_05] More Panama Photos
Sat May 21 10:06:34 EDT 2005

I have so many stories, I plan to write them all at once and spend a few 
hours on the computer. What an amazing trip it has been. Words and 
these photos can not show how beautiful this place is and how much 
character is here. It booming down here so get to Bocas ASAP to take 
advantage of the low prices and pristine conditions. 

Looking at more land today. I want to start a corporation and buy land 
here to develop as a resort. If any of you are interested the minimum 
investment will be $10,000 and you will be investing in 49% of the 
corporation. Plan is being designed over theweekend but its basically 
to invest in land here first to develop as a resort. The very best property 
I found so far is $175,000 for 5 acres on the water on an island called 
Isla Solarte. It is right across from Bocas Town which is under very 
aggressivedevelopment and it is between Bastimento Island and Isle 
Carenero, two very developed areas for this part of the world. 

There is a very nice resort that just went up adjacent to the property which will add traffic. The Island is very rural jungle ready 
to be explored. I am thinking of mountain bike trails, kayaking, surf trips to local breaks and of course a nature reserve for 
biologists and students from around the world. There is another property for $75,000 on Bastimento with a large waterfront 
property to dock a boat and to build out on the water which includes 3 acres on the highest point of the island with 360 
degree views of all of the Bocas Del Toro area islands but I have not seen the top land yet.

Waiting for images to transfer from my camera to the PC so I can burn a CD. I have over 900 photos so far and its only been 
9 days into this adventure.

JB leaves tomorrow on a mini adventure of his own back to Costa Rica with a stop in Puerto Viejo for a couple days before 
returning home on Monday. I am going to stay here another week and figure out the real estate game, hopefully catch some 
waves here then bus to Panama City for a day or 2, then to the Pacific side of Panama to some well knows surfing spots that 
show swell right now. Looks like its been raining on that side for 2 weeks though but as long as there is surf I can handle 85 
rain water. From there I will enter Costa Rica from that side and check out Pavones and then bus up the coast stopping a few 
places I visited last year when I was in Central America.

Ok so here are more photos for you

Miss you all.  
From Paradise, Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Jeff Dean

Best Area Wave Heights Model


[C.America_Trip_05] Lots to say
Sat May 21 10:07:50 EDT 2005

Lots to say about this stop in Paradise.  It is the most beautiful place 
I have ever been to and will most likely ever be again. I am  planning 
on buying a property here and developing it over the next few years.  
The lady we are staying with, Monica has some land she said she 
would finance for me.  The land is on the beach and I can build into 
the water like you see in the moviesor Fiji photos.  It is titled on the 
beach and has possession rights on top, 3 acres on the very top of 
Bastimentos.  We haven't seen the top yet but looked hard for it the 
other day.  We trenched across the jungle for hours.  What an 
adventure.  Its JBs last night to to party so we got a hotel room in 
town for $25 with AC.  Its going to be a long one.  I will write more 
after I am alone.  




A few images to check out for you.

C.America_Trip_05] May 22, 2005 Playa Bluff, Panama
Sun May 22 12:46:12 EDT 2005

I saw a soccer/football game yesterday in town. A local girl had a huge cooler filled with ice selling chilled Atlas beers for .50.  The photos are not attached but others are of the land I talked up earlier for $170k.  It is the semi build house with the torn thatched room and the canoes on the land.  You can see Bocas across the water from the property which is a huge advantage to draw people over for the bar/restaurant.  Lots of land and HUGE tress to build tree cabins on. This land is truly a money maker but I am not giving up on find $3000 lots. 

Looks like the other side of Panama might not be the call.  Its raining now and it will be a more expensive stay over there.  I need surf though.  JB left yesterday to Puerto Viejo.  I am waiting for a report from him on the conditions there.  I will take a ride North of this place and see if there is possibly a break there I don't know about yet.

I broke 5 bikes so far.  They are the biggest pieces of Shiesta.  Every time we went to town we had to exchange the bikes for new ones.  The last time, yesterday, I brought it back without a crank.  The crank fell off as I was riding and the pedal fell off as well.  What a trip.  At $3 a day I guess its the best you can get. 

I have been working on Monique's computer for 3 days now.  The hard drive was so infected with viruses and adware it took three programs to get it clean and its still not totally clean.  I found over 900 viruses and 35 adware programs running in the background.  What a mess.  She is going to have to exchange land for my services, lol.  I wish. 

I am off to do some more exploring, look for surf and tonight I plan to look for nesting turtles on the beach.  They only lay eggs at night and they are scared off easily.  We have a full moon so it will be best tonight.

Ok well here are some more photos.   Miss you all.


Buenas Dia.
Jeff Dean

[C.America_Trip_05] Leaving Bocas for Playa Las Lajas to surf
Mon May 23 21:22:28 EDT 2005

Took a bike ride North in search of surf but its no use there is no surf 
this time of year here. I took the road north for about 3 miles.  After 1/2 
mile the bearings in the back sprocket all fell out.  My bike sounded like 
a saw mill coming down the road with gears grinding and the chain 
rattling.  It scared the crap out of everything in front of me and made the 
locals laugh at the loco Americano. The road turns into a foot path then 
a horse trail and opens to a road. I don't understand how a truck
could get there unless I was almost on the other side of the island.  I 
took a small path off the beaten path to the beach and found a cove out 
of no where.  I figured I found a new place when moments later a truck 
pulled up down the path.  I could see it barely through the think brush.  
I figured maybe it was someone getting ready to tell me to leave but it 
wound up being poachers searching for turtle eggs.  They said they were 
not hunting Tortugas, right off the bat, which gave me the idea that they 
were since I never asked what they were doing.  I startled them I think 
more than they me.  They were digging at the shoreline in the water 
which gave me the indication they were looking for eggs.  I had my 
binoculars but could not see what they were grabbing.  Non the less I 
figured it was not my fight and since they had machetes and I only a 
leather man, I was not going to cause a fuss.  I looked in the water by 
me to see what they might be hunting for but could not find anything of value.  I noticed when I was searching it startled them and they began 
to talk and point my way so I up and left in a hurry to avoid an incident.

Anytime you ride more than 1/2 mile here its a sweat fest.  Not a gym sweat fest more like a 10 mile bike ride in a sauna type |of sweat fest. 
You have to wring out your cloths its so bad.  Its a great way to lose weight in a hurry but also a great way to get heat exhaustion.  I although 
am desperate to lose my baby fat so I try to push it to passing out each time.  Today I decided after this ride to do another into town to watch 
some soccer and to return this POS bike of mine. I don't know how it made the 4.5 mile journey, but it did.  I figured it would die and I could 
hail a cab if it failed.  

Along the way I saw a rodeo and took some good photos.  Went into town and tried to |
return the bike but it was closed.  SO I went to watch the soccer game.  They ran out of
 beers before I got there.  The locals were all fired up and boozed up yelling at the 
players.  It was a scene to say the least.  I again was the only white person there as it 
is normally for me here.  After the game I went to the bike place again and tried to find 
him but he was no where.  I even had a local help me but he was no where to be found.  
So, I went across the street to the Billiard bar to have a few beers and listen the 
Reggaeton music playing.  Met some local girls, hung out and they talked about the 
lore of this place and their familias.I got allot of good info from them.  I bought them 4 
rounds at .60 each.  What a bargain.  Took off at 7pm, saw the bike guy and told him 
about my predicament on the 6th bike.  He told me I destroyed his entire fleet of bikes 
and that I was not getting another one.  I pleaded to please reconsider but he said, 
" NO MORE BIKE FOR YOU", like the soup Nazi in Seinfeld.  I don't blame him but 
now I am without transportation.  A taxi ride to town is $10 the cost of a nights stay.

I am not sure if I will stay here much longer.  I love it here but there is no surf and I am 
getting bored.  I am going to try and take a bus to the other side and check it out.  I 
know it is not as beautiful as it is here but I need surf and I am ready for another 
adventure.  I plan to leave in the morning for Admirante then bus it to Playa Las Lajas.  
This town shows swell and it is far from Panama City, off the beaten path.  I will go up 
to Costa Rica from there to Pavones and then up the coast towards San Jose where I 
will depart on June 11th if all works out.  

More Photos:
Map of Playa Las Lajas:

Click on LAS LAJAS to see some photos of the area. I might just tour around this area for a while searching for waves.  There 
are lots of islands to surf according to the book I have.  Maybe cheap land too.

Buena's Dias Amigos

[C.America_Trip_05] What a travel I have had over the past few days.
Thu May 26 16:00:34 EDT 2005

The trek to the Pacific was a long ride and what an experience. I found a killer stop at Play Las Lajas for $13 a night right on the  waters edge. The surf was a beach break with not much to talk about  except I was alone at the camp and it was a beautiful area. I wish  the surf was better but it was not so I left this morning to go to  Santa Catalina at 8am and just arrived at 2:30pm. I had to take a  Taxi to Santiago then another to Sano then a small min in invalid type  bus to Santa Catalina. The ride took 2.5 hours and was the worse ride of my life. It seemed like we stopped every 20 feet. We picked up people with chickens, kids from school, and every Panamanian along  the way it seemed like. This place is nothing like Costa Rica or  Bocas Del Toro for that matter let me tell you.

The Cabañas here are called Cabanas Rolo. You can de a search on  Google to find them. When I rolled up it was packed with surfers.  My immediate thought was of the ride back because there is not much here. I was surprised to find everyone is from either Australia or France. A weird mix of cultures. I am not a huge fan of the Aussies but I will  have to deal. They are typically wave hogs and when they travel in  groups they like to take over breaks. I will have to be much more aggressive here than I wish. Owe well if it works out for the worse I  can always travel on. Santa Catalina is the best wave in Panama so no wonder it attracts the best surfers.

I plan to go to Punta Baranca next. I plan to stay here a few days  surf depending and on the above before I venture on. When I came into  the Internet Cafe a guy was sitting in their seat next to me with a  huge bandage on his head. Apparently he hit the reef this morning  and got 6 stitches. Where he go them stitched I have no idea because  this is very far from anything.

Ok so I am off to check the waves and the area and hopefully get in  the water.

Photos later possibly.

Miss you all.

[C.America_Trip_05] HUGE Waves. Santa Catalina, Panama
Fri May 27 20:18:59 EDT 2005

The surf was 20 foot today. It was so big I took three waves and got  the hell out of there. The last wave was so big it knocked the wind  out of me. I was so amped going down this bomber that I forgot to  breath. The waves are 100 yard rights and that means a very  lonnnnnngg paddle back to the break as well as the longest wave I ever rode. Even after all the running before I came here and the 4.5 mile sweat feat bike rides in Bocas, all the walking and pushups I have been  doing to prepare myself every night I was still way under shape for  these waves. Yesterday it was 6 to 8 foot and perfect. On shore winds definitely hindered the true potential of these enormous giants but it was not noticeable yesterday. The waves yesterday were so perfect I could not get out of the water till my arms hurt so bad that I had to float back into shore which is about 200 yards away. I actually had  to kick my way back most of the way. Huge off the lip, long bottom  turn, easy tube rides that forgave you for being inside for so long.  I felt as though I was in a cave most of the session yesterday with  the sound of hollowness all around me. I love the waves here but the  crowds well. This the best place in Panama for surf so of course it attracts the best surfers from all around the world. As I mentioned yesterday the books were signed by Australians, French and Brazilians  to name a few countries. I found two other Americans here. One from California and another from Florida.

The surf today although was dominated by the locals and those Damm French dudes. I was surprised to see those French dudes surf so  well. Maybe they have been here a long time. Huge 20 foot mackers with onshore winds did not make for the best of conditions today but  the reef made up for it. The tide was coming up when I went out so it  was getting bigger by the minute. I left at the peek of the swell I imagine. From the shore it looked like the conditions were diminishing. A Canadian was getting ready to go out and I advised against it since he was kind of new to surfing. I told him about Play  Las Lajas and advised for him and his girlfriend to visit that place  if they wanted some smaller, safer waves. 

I helped some kids down the beach past where most people go move their  hand built canoe up to their shore line. Since it was very low tide it  was huge task for me. I think I lost 10lbs moving that canoe. It was heavy as a car. The kids could not have been more than 8 years old  and naked. It was like a scene from a move. I was going fishing so I  bought my tackle with me in a small box. It was like they never saw anything like it. they were so excited I gave them a few items. I felt like I was effecting the rest of their lives, it was crazy. They caught a bird of some sort.  It looked like a seagull.  They were going to eat. It  was tied up by the neck with a rope. I wondered if they did this type  of hunting often. Crazy stuff but no photos. I wish I had my  camera. I will go back and try and find them again and bring more  things I promised them. I will take photos then.

I am going to stay a few more days since the swell is building and  expected to hit 30 foot by the end of the weekend. I was under gunned  today with my 6´3" board so I will have to find another board to ride  tomorrow. I think I can find one to rent around here. If you don't  here from me for a few days call in the coast guard or better the  marines. I am kidding. If its to big I wont attempt it, um yeah  right. Of course I will. Du Du Du Du Du Duuuuu CHARGE.........

PS: Photos tomorrow I promise. I could not use my laptop and I  thought I could on this session to access the web.

Talk at you later amigos.


[C.America_Trip_05] Santa Catalina
Sat May 28 14:23:02 EDT 2005

Moving on today to find some surf that's not to crazy and less  crowded. Its supposed to drop today as well and pick up on the 31st  so I want to be in a place that's not so crowded and so BIG. I am not afraid of the big surf I just don't want to share it with others and  have to duck under them when they are riding these giants. It gets super dangerous when you have to rely on their abilities to not hit you in the water. I would much rather rely on myself not hitting the  bottom than them running over my head or my back. NO need to hit any hospitals when I am here. I would rather avoid injury but will sacrifice good surf for a few scratches any day.

I am off to Santigo for the night and hopefully find a good party  there as it seemed like a happening town. Then tomorrow I will take  off to Punta De Baranco where I plan to stay for 4 days then cross the boarder and hit Pavones for 3 days, Dominical for 2 days then meet up  with Ron Kaplan for a few days in Play Hermosa before I have to take off on the 11th. I realize I only have 15 more days :) left here. I am sad but looking forward to my journey ahead. I have a few good  spots I have never been and I really enjoy Panama but looking forward  to using play money again in Costa Rica as they use American dollars  here. Its not so fun but at least you know exactly what you are  spending.

I feel like I lost 10 lbs since I got here. I hope to be back to my  normal weight before I leave if all goes right, which is 185. I  wish. I really feel the extra pounds in the water and see it with my shirt off all the time. Americans would pay HUGE dollars to lose  weight this fat in the USA. Maybe I should setup a fat burning camp  here, hummm another idea. The people could just sit around and sweat  their fat off. Perfect for the fatties out there like me right now.
I have 1.5 hours before my bus leaves. I just got wind 5 or 6 surfers  are leaving today so I might have to extend another day if that number  is right and it depends on who they are. I know this place pretty good now, its time to check out another area of Panama. I get antsy real fast here when there are only a few things to do, besides I love  the adventures a new place brings. Off to the next adventures amigos.

Ok here are some photos for you.

Talk to you soon or possibly not. I don't know what each town brings as far as communications,. I got lucky here I feel.

Jeff Dean the adventure machine.

PS: I just found this waiting for my photos to upload. Its a surf report from some guy who went to Punta Burica about a year ago.  Sounds like I might be under gunned again. Hopefully the place I am  going will have a big gun for me to rent.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Double overhead with some bigger sets! It was reeling down the reef  for 200-300 yards. Flawless perfection until 11 am for 2 days in a  row. Beautiful picturesque scenery with the air temp in the upper 80's and the water temp in the upper 70's.

We left Pavones with a dropping swell only to show up at Punta Burica  to surf one of the best left hand point reef breaks that I have seen  in Costa Rica. It blew Pavones away and was only accessible by boat  with absolutely no one in the line up except for the Tiki crew and  friends!!! We never even saw another surfer for the two days we were  there. Furthermore, let me tell you that we surfed the second left  point out of four points in a row. The one we surfed was smaller than  the outer left point break witch had 15 foot faces on set with  occasional bigger sets. It was SICK!! This was the wave I have been  waiting to surf since we came to Costa Rica this year and it was  everything I had hoped for and then some! What are you waiting for get your quiver together and quit procrastinating and come join us for an  adventure of a Lifetime! Sorry it took so long to update these pics,  but we are using a relatively new technology called Bluetooth and it  only works sometimes on our boat. At least I am able to do website  update from our vessel. Our next swell is hitting tomorrow so we will  have plenty more good surf pics for show coming up! CAPTAIN DREX

Santa Catalina and Playa Las Lajas Pics

[C.America_Trip_05] Photos Fixed link
Sun May 29 14:26:57 EDT 2005

I guess my photo link did not work last time. Here it is again. You might have to copy and paste the whole link into your browser. Worth the effort as these are some killer photos of that hut I rented in Playa Las Lajas for $13 a night.

I stated the night in Santiago last night and went out to a discotecia  in town. It was crazy. The bartender got me hammered on rum. I have  a sore throat from them today.

I am in David today in route to Puerto Armuelles or La Barqueta or  Punta Burica or maybe back to Bocas if I find out there is surf. Its  only a $26 flight from David and I miss the Caribbean, SHABA. My plans change by the minute. I am following the surf and exploring new  territories. I am just stoked they have the internet so I can research  areas and the weather patterns.


Wave Prediction Models
Scroll down to the bottom to check out some amazing weather tracking maps.  Looks like Bocas might be getting some surf tomorrow.  It shows  this side, Pacific, is going to get some huge waves as well.  Decisions, decisions,,,,

[C.America_Trip_05] Costa Rica Bound from David, Panama
Mon May 30 11:57:26 EDT 2005

I was trying to get to Nicaragua today but it does not look possible so  I am going to go back to Costa Rica and get to Pavones or Dominical  before the big swell gets here. Looks like we are going to get a big  one. California is going to get hit as well. Get out there JB.

David is a major hub for Panama. It is the second largest ciudad, city  in Panama. Lots to do and lots to get in trouble with here. I had a  very reckless day yesterday. I partied with the locals in the back area of this place. I had a raging time. I was told not to go back  that way but I could not resist. I love a challenge. I was the hit of  the town buying everyone .50 beers, big spender. I went to a casino  and played electronic roulette and won using Jero's black method of double down till it hits when you lose and came out big. They loved me  there as well. Bought a new Panamanian sombrero. I am looking forward  to getting back to the beach. Two nights inland and I am already stir  crazy. It was nice being back in a city type area I must admit but I  don't want to get used to it. I need to get back to the jungle.

I am waiting for a report from Bocas Del Toro on the surf. It looks like its breaking right now but will fade over the next few days when  the Pacific side will get a new swell. Oh well, I love the Caribbean  but I need to surf, too bad.

Time to move on.
Adios amigos e amigos e amigas.
Jeff Dean the lean surfing machine

[C.America_Trip_05] Never coming home
Wed Jun 1 16:35:01 EDT 2005

Hawaii has its Sunset Beach, Puerto Rico has its Rincon, Panama has its  Santa Catalina, California has Rincon Santa Barbara and Costa Rica has  Pavones. The longest Left in the World I think. Its is the best wave  besides Rincon, PR that I have ever surfed. I love a reef point  break. I hope I never have to surf another beach break again, but I will in Newport. I forgot how awesome a point beach is. I forgot how awesome a reef break is. I always loved a reef break and I now I remember why. Feed cut and bruised, arm sore, body brown, smile on my  face at all times. I already prepaid for 12 days at $5.50 per night on  the water at the breaks tail. Pavones is what I have been looking for  the past 3 weeks. It always works out that I find the best spot the  last 10 days of my trip. Thank god it was the last 13 so now I have  more time to enjoy this place.

I am cutting off communication since its hard to get on the internet  here and I have little time since most of my time is spent in the  water. Its been firing at a consistent 6 to 8 foot here. I love it.

Here is a couple photos so you know what I am talking about with my  place. Enjoy. STOP DROOLING....

Pura Vida.
Jeff Dean



[C.America_Trip_05] Photo from my window PAVONES
Wed Jun 1 16:52:28 EDT 2005

I am not sure if these are going through as we are connecting with a  cell phone and its taking forever for the images to upload. Imagine a  place on the water with two big open windows overlooking the best surf. A bar and restaurant downstairs and cool breezes all day and  night long.

I am in true paradise and I have found my chi once again.

Miss you all.
PS> Ron don't expect me. I most likely will fly out of Golfito straight to the airport and avoid any form of Americanism and reality  till I get home.

[C.America_Trip_05] Left Pavones ;(
Mon Jun 6 12:06:01 EDT 2005

I left Pavones yesterday after 7 days of awesome surf. The swell  dropped to 2 foot with more surfers than ever before so I decided to  jet out of there for less crowded surf. Dominical has a number of  good beach breaks, I know I said I hate beach breaks but its the only  thing left here now. The swell peaked on Wednesday at around 8 foot.  Perfect long lefts that just went forever. They were some of the best  waves I have ever surfed and the longest lefts for sure. I love  Pavones. I will definitely return there again someday. Pura Vida.

After Dominical I will hit up Play Hermosa and hook up with Ron. Hope he brought more than that 7 foot board. It might not be worthy of such a long quiver right now, lol. We are expecting another swell on  Wednesday so lets keep the fingers crossed that it will be big and  juicy.

As far as for the next trip. I am going to check out Indonesia,  Thailand and that entire area. It might take more than a month for
that trip. I am thinking next year this time. Before that I am  planning on checking out Brazil for a couple weeks at the end of the  summer. Mark is supposed to be there for a few months over the  summer. I want to meet up with him at the end of his trip. Brazil  sounds like a great place to invest.

As far as Costa Rica goes for investing in real estate, I have been  told by many people not to buy here. I was told even before coming to Central America this time that Panama was the place. After my trip I  am convinced Panama is the place to buy. I told a bunch of people  here about my adventures and findings and will keep in contact with  them in the states. The thing about Costa Rica is that you must live  here 9 months out of the year or you can lose your land unless someone  is watching it for you. The squatting rights situation is only 90 days  here where in Panama it is 5 years. A huge difference. You also have to show an interest in your land by making sure brush is always  cleared from your fence line and you have some sort of structure on  it. A guy 20 years ago bought most of Pavones with drug money and a  good portion of Golfito. Smart at the time for sure. He got busted for drug trafficking and just got out when I was in Pavones.  Apparently allot of his land was sold while he was in jail which is  illegal because Costa Rica law puts a freeze on all land rights when a  person is in jail. 20 years ago he must have bought the land for next  to nothing. Today its worth millions. I bet he could make 30 million  on his initial investment. He filed a 5 billion dollar law suit the  day before he left to go to the US. It caused allot of people to  shake in their boots I will tell you.

Hung out with a 68 year old local who owns a bar in Golfito town who  wants to sell the bar for only $15,000. Good guy, I am trying to  upload a photo of us in his bar as well as photos from Pavones. Not  going to so well on the photo uploads.

Miss you all.
Pura Vida

PHOTOS: These are the photos I know you have all been waiting for.  Sorry I could not get them to you sooner, The internet connection was horrible in Pavones.

Enjoy.  Miss you all.

[C.America_Trip_05] Golfito, Costa Rica
Tue Jun 7 17:04:05 EDT 2005

I left Golfito yesterday after waiting at the bus stop for 1.5 hours  only to take 4 more buses to finally arrive in Dominical where I was  floored to find it has been taken over my gringos like myself. So  many new. I hated it so much I arrived at 7pm last night and took off  at 5:30am this morning for Playa Hermosa to meet up with Ron. I figured if Playa Hermosa was crap I would still have time to save my soul and get to the Caribbean, Puerto Viejo for a few days. So far its been raining, I had to pay $30 a night for my place. The surf is closing out. I had to walk to Jaco from Playa Hermosa today because I missed the bus. Its about 4 miles up and down hills in steaming 100 degree heat.

I am not coming back to Costa Rica again I am afraid. Its getting way to packed with gringos and I want to remember it for what it was. If anything I may still got to Puerto Viejo but not the Pacific, unless of course Pavones is going off. That stop was the bomb. Panama will be revisited for sure, Nicaragua I need to check out as well. My next adventure will be somewhere more exotic where the American dollar goes a very long way and there is surf, uncrowded surf, warm water, surf that rolls on forever, a short paddle out and slender naked women on the beach waiting to praise me when I get out of the water. Slap Slap, wake up. Oh mang that was good dream. I think all the good spot have already been compromised around the world unfortunately. To be a surfer 20 years ago when I first started was the time. I wish we did more traveling then.

I am sorry but I don't have any photos for you today. I walked here as aforementioned and its raining so its a good thing I don't have my camera. Ron and I will hopefully find some good surf later on today. Oh yea I hooked up with Ron Kaplan. He is staying right next door to me in another set of Cabañas on the beach break that is closing out. Hopefully tomorrow or later we will hit it good.

From Jaco Beach, Costa Rica with only 4 days left in paradise I bit you a warm day and hopefully will have photos for you tomorrow from my journey this way.

Miss you all.





[C.America_Trip_05] Playa Hermosa Photos & more
Wed Jun 8 14:39:49 EDT 2005

Check these pics out. The waves are Pavones, The land shots are from  the bus ride up. My gear is at a bus stop in Palma Norte. Shots of my  $30 a night pad in Playa Hermosa, Surfside Cabañas. Surf is out of  control here. I almost drowned this AM. Ron broke down and rented a car  so I am hoping we will find a spot more surfable this afternoon.......

They all titled so you know where they are from.

[C.America_Trip_05] Stories & Photos from Paradise
Thu Jun 9 16:10:45 EDT 2005

Playa Hermosa has been ok. I love my cabana and its great to have a friend to hangout with from my hometown in Newport Beach, Ron Kaplan. As far as surf, I got drilled in the morning by the biggest set waves of the day. I was dragged down to the bottom and not let up for a spell before I rose to the waterline to get drilled again by another bomber. This time I swallowed my share of water and saw the dark light of the tunnel. I pushed my way to the top and tried to make it back out to took it as a sign that my surf adventures might be coming to an end here in Costa Rica. I waddled to shore, licked my wounds and laid there praying to Zeus to allow me to go back in the water.

>From shore I saw a few pros get some good waves but most surfers were floundering around past the break afraid to make the drop. I sat there for a while sweating profusely from exhaustion before I decided it was not my time to be in the water. I went back to my cabana, made some breakfast, drank a big bottle of water and sobered up from my experience. Ron came out of the water an hour later telling me how he was looking for a wave in to shore most of the time after I left but was not successful since it built up and was throwing huge waterfalls on the sandy beach. Sure the pros were getting some good ones but they live here and they are, well, professionals.

Ron decided to break open his wallet and get a car so we could find some smaller more manageable breaks. After all he is here another 8 days or so and if its not surfable out front the only way to surf is to have some form of transportation. I would do the same if I was in his sandals. We drove south, after Ron picked up a ride in Jaco, to a spot where it was smaller but very inconsistent. Waves break every 5 seconds in all directions. Since I needed to go back in the water to redeem myself and Ron needed some waves we decided to paddle out. I made it out pretty easy but it looked like the waves just behind me were coming in in fierce numbers just in time for Ron to hit them all. He counted 52 waves he had to paddle under, an average exercise routine for a normal mans week. I took a couple but nothing to jump for joy over. I took one to the inside only to have to paddle out through the soup Ron was bitching about before I decided it was not worth it after ducking 30 waves. I looked back and saw I had not advanced far to the outside.

We got out of the water, went to look at few spots by our place then decided it was Imperial O clock. We took a bunch of cold Imperial brews up the top mezzanine over his place on the water, Ron pulled out his ipod, we talked story, watched the waves get better as we got drunker and drooled over the crowd of surfers getting good waves in front of us. At 7pm or so we called it quits, took showers and Ron went to meet up with some friends he met in Mainland Mexico a few weeks prior who he hooked back up with here in Playa Hermosa. I met them, good guys, and a few were great surfers, one runs a surf camp here and knows all the best spots. No wonder Ron made friends with them. He is good like that.

I went out to dinner and ate some bad fish. It gave me the most incredible vivid dreams but also made my stomach turn most of the night and still while I am tying this note. I had to pass on a venture North this morning because to a spot called Punta Baranca, well known long left near Puntarenas. I hope Ron got it good. At 12pm he was still not back so imagine it was firing.

I leave tomorrow, Friday, for San Jose where I decided I will check out some museums and such before I leave at 5:15pm on Saturday.

I will send my reflections of this trip when I get back to the states. I have many to speak of since it has been the longest traveled adventure
so far in my lifetime. From Costa Rica's Caribbean coast across to Panama's Bocas Del Toro Islands, through the wide open countryside onto the pacific of Panama where I made many stops and back up the pacific side of Costa Rica. Many stories you have already read and many that cant not be explained simply in an email, especially when it is all dial up access here.

I hope to get with a group of my close friends back in Newport when I get back, show my collection of photos and tell my stories over a few cold beers and Guaro shots.

Here are the photos. They all titled so you know where they are from.

Pura Vida.
Jeff Dean
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

[C.America_Trip_05] San Jose, Costa Rica Last day
Sat Jun 11 12:31:35 EDT 2005

I found a room in a Tica house for $20 a night near the airport. Ron drove me and a buddy Johnny to the airport yesterday since he wanted to leave and so did Johnny due to the fact that they could not get good surf in Playa Hermosa. I told them to go to the Caribbean and play in the warm blue waters of Puerto Viejo for a few days before they have to leave on Tuesday. Smaller surf was forecasted but that place is heaven compared to the Pacific side in my opinion. I wont come back to the Pacific unless its Pavones. Next time I come this way I will make sure to assure the surf on the Caribbean side is firing. I love that coast.

So anyways back to my story, Ron drives me around looking for a hotel I found in the book for $20 that was near a bus terminal that went to the airport. We took a bad turn and found ourselves in a area never visited by locals. We knew this by the stares we got driving around. It looked like a bomb was dropped on it the night before. Maybe it was the three huge board bags on top of the car but it was hilarious to watch the impressions on the Tico's as we stumbled though their village. So I tell Ron just go back to the airport, you guys work it out to leave and I will take a taxi to a place. We go back, Ron drops Johnny and me off. A taxi quoted me $12 so I put my stuff back in the car so Ron could drop me off at a local Hampton Inn so I could take a taxi from there at a cheaper rate. We see a hotel called Hotel Mango that I thought was one I saw in a book for cheap but was wrong, close to the
name but not the hotel. (Ron already left me on the street to drop off the rental car.) This Mango Hotel was $100 a night, out of my budget. Luckily the girl at the front desk was nice enough to help me get a local Tico to drive me to the right hotel. When he gets there he advises that the place only has shared room which I was not going to go for. He says I have a friend who has a nice house you can rent a room from. I am into adventures, as you know, so I go for it. It turns out to be a little old lady and her cute old husband who have a house with nice rooms. They call it a bed and breakfast and even have a website. I have use of their living room, kitchen and a nice room with my own bathroom. I think its $20 but I am not sure since I haven't paid yet.

walk around the dirty little run down village to find a small bar called "Montauk Bar" I figure what the hell are the chances of
stumbling across a bar named after my the best place I have lived so far in a little village in no where on the last day of my trip. I am not sure if it is a sign or what but it is very strange. Turns out the owner visited Montauk, NY some time ago and fell in love with the place. He had photos on the walls and a map of Long Island like mine at home. What a trip. Maybe I need to move back to Montauk?????

Well I am leaving this beautiful country in 5 hours. I will miss it here.

Pura Vida.
Jeff Dean
San Jose, Costa Rica






Boca Del Toro, Panama Land Deals

Panama Surfing Links

Look at this hotel in Boca del Toro for $55/night.  It includes free kayak rentals with coolers.....

Hotel Links


Bocas del Toro

Small town on the Caribbean Coast that was once United Fruit Company's headquarters in Panama. Now a popular ecotourism spot with nearby national marine parks. Many restaurants, hotels, and bed and breakfast inns.

General Information - Excellent site
  Guide to services
Bocas del Toro.Com - Another excellent guide with lots of photos
Bocas Development Foundation
Local non-profit organization created from within the community and dedicated to the well-being of Bocas del Toro and its people
Bocas Info from
Bocas Town
A Bocas blog
Cruiser's Guide to Bocas Services
Cruiser's Guide Photos of Bocas
Bocas Photos


Bluff Beach on Isla Colon
Bluff Beach near Bocas

Bocas Area Photos
Isla Solarte Photos
Passplanet's Backpacker Guide to Bocas

Al Natural Resort (Isla Bastimentos)
Bahia del Sol Bed & Breakfast (Saigon Bay ‚ near Bocas Town)
Bahia Hotel (Bocas Town)
Bocas del Toro Hotel (Bocas Town)
Buccaneer Resort (Isla Carenero)
Careening Cay Resort (Isla Carenero)
Casa Acuario (Isla Carenero)
Cocomo On-The-Sea (Bocas Town)
Coral Cay Cabines (Isla Bastimentos)
Doña Mara Lodge and Restaurant (Isla Carenero)
El Limbo Hotel on the Beach (Isla Bastimentos)
El Limbo Hotel on the Sea (Bocas Town)
Hotel Angela (Bocas Town)
La Estrella de Bocas (Bocas Town)
Laguna Hotel (Bocas Town)
La Veranda Hotel (Bocas Town)
Lula's Bed & Breakfast (Bocas Town)
Mar-Caribe (Isla Bastimentos)
Pargo Rojo (Isla Carenero)
Posada Los Delfines (Bocas Town)
Punta Manglar (Isla Colon)


Punta Caracol ecoresort
Punta Caracol Restaurant

Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge (Punta Caracol)
Rancho Paraiso Surfside Eco-Resort (Playa Bluff)
Solarte del Caribe Inn (Isla Solarte)
Swans Cay Hotel (Bocas Town)
Tierra Verde Hotel (Isla Carenero)
Tropical Suites (Bocas Town)

Houseboat Rental
Bocas Houseboats (Bocas Town)

Arco Iris (Hotel Los Delfines ‚ Bocas Town)
Bahia Hotel (Bocas Town)
Coral Cay Restaurant (Coral Cay - Isla Bastimentos)
Da Claudio (Laguna Hotel ‚ Bocas Town)
Doña Mara (Isla Carenero)
Hotel Bocas del Toro (Bocas Town)
Pargo Rojo (Isla Carenero)
Sunset Grill (Careening Cay Resort‚ Isla Carenero)
Swan's Cay (Swan's Cay Hotel ‚ Bocas Town)
Yarisnori (Boca del Drago)

Bastimentos Island Marine National Park
Bocas Aventuras (Everything to see and do)
Bocas Marine Tours (Water taxi)
Bocas Water Sports (Scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, kayak rental and boat tours)


Beach at Zapatilla Cay in Bocas del Toro Archipelago
Zapatilla Cay near Bocas

Captain Christian's Boat Tours (All day tours of the Bocas islands and beaches)
Starfleet Eco Adventures (Snorkeling and scuba diving)
Transparente Tours (Tours, fishing and snorkeling)

Indigenous Peoples
Odesen Teribe Indians Project

Bocas Yacht Club & Marina (Bocas Town)
Cruiser's Guide to Bocas del Toro
Marina Carenero (Careening Cay Resort - Isla Carenero)

Spa Flora Bella (Hotel Los Delfines)

Chow Kai

Marine Store

Language Schools
Spanish by the Sea

Intentional Communities

[Listing for informational purposes only and implies no endorsement or confirmation of their reality]

Finca Buena Vida
Living Well Farm

Isla Solarte
Isla Solarte Planned Community
Isla Solarte Photos
Isla Solarte Business Opportunity
Business Opportunity Forums
Re-Create (Relax and Enjoy ‚ Center for Retreat, Exploration, Arts, Training and Education)

Southern Latitudes
Planned "eco-tech" community

Isla Bastimentos
Isla Colon

Real Estate
Bocas Properties
Bocas Real Estate
Bocas Real Estate from
Buena Vista Realty
Happy Whale
Island Realty
Marina Realty

Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Copa Airlines
Aeroperlas (TACA)

A Paradise on Water (
Days and Bocas Nights (Ottawa Citizen)
Living in Bocas (
Panama Rediscovered (Globe and Mail)


Stream near Boquete





LACSA Airlines 1-800-400-8222
SURFBOARDS:  Checked as part of regular baggage allowances
Up to 2 surfboards in one bag permitted per passenger
Charge of US $50 per bag, each way
No charge between Miami and San Jose for first 2 surfboards per passenger
If checked as part of regular baggage allowance in lieu of a piece of excess baggage, overweight/oversize surcharges also apply.

$100 Flight Change Fee to Extend Stay: 1-800-400-8222

Bus Schedule from Costa Rica

750 SIXAOLA (express bus from San José - gateway to Bocas del Toro, Panamá) - DEP. ev. day from Caribe at 6:00, 10:00, 13:30, 15:30; RET. 5:00, 7:30, 9:30, 14:30. 240 km; 5 hrs. You can buy tickets in advance, $6.00. Auto-Transportes Mepe S.A. company. Tel. 257-8129 

750 SIXAOLA from LIMÓN- DEP. ev. day from Radio Casino at 5:00, 8:00, 10:00, 13:00, 16:00, 18:00; RET. 5:00, 8:00, 10:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00; 4 hrs, $1.90 Auto-Transportes Mepe S.A. company. Tel. 758-1572 

PANAMA CITY (express bus from San José) - DEP. ev. day from terminal Tica Bus at 22:00; RET. 12:00 (Panama time); 903 km; 20:00 hrs; Buy tickets in advance. Tica Bus company. Tel. 221-8954 

PANAMA CITY from San José- DEP. ev. day 275 at 14:00; RET. 12:30; 225 kms, 18 hrs (pay at the bus), $43.00 Round trip.

CHANGUINOLA PANAMA from San José - DEP. ev. day from opposite terminal Alfaro (same as route 505) at 10:00; RET. 10:00; 225 km; 8:00 hrs. Alfaro Bus company. Tel. 222-2666 

601 DAVID PANAMA (express bus from San José) - DEP. ev. day from terminal Alfaro at 7:30; RET. 7:30; this is an extra bus; 400 km; 9:00 hrs, $9.00. Alfaro Bus company. Tel. 222-2666 

Join the mailing list & get a daily message May 12th through the 26th 2005 from my next adventure to Costa Rica. with photos.

Map of Panama

Map of Panama
Click image to enlarge




Bocas Del Toro Budget Hotels $8 Single, $16 Double, balcony, share bath, share kitchen
$25 - $30 Double

Isle Colon
$20 Double, On beach, Cabinas available.