Right before Becky and I met in Costa Rica I had just spent several weeks traveling around Panama. I joked it was my happy place, as I spent significantly more time there than I initially anticipated out of pure love for the place. Ever since I've dreamt of going back, so when my friends and I decided to go on an international holiday together and they agreed to Panama due to the fact that I raved about it so much I started to worry it wouldn't live up to my memories of it. Lucky for me, the reality far exceeded my memories.
We landed in Panama and after a long car followed by boat journey we made it to San Blas Islands. San Island is an archipelago of over 370 islands governed by the native people of Panama, the Kuna. After one night in a communal hut on a white sand island we boarded a catamaran and spent 4 nights sailing to places you only see on post cards.
A highlight on the boat for me was an island at the northern most tip of the archipelago, beyond the pristine island it looked like the edge of the earth-- there was nothing but horizons for hundreds and hundreds of miles. The name of this place translated to 3 horizons-- because when you look one way it was Columbia's horizon, the other way it was Jamaica's horizon, and straight ahead was Panama's. It was breathtaking and incredibly humbling to be in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the ocean.
After a dreamy 5 days and nights in San Blas we made the long, but this time not as eventful or stressful journey back to Panama City. Where we spent two days walking about the old part of town. The old city is filled with gorgeous colonial buildings with wrought iron balconies and vibrant colors. It was somewhere between New Orleans and Cuba, but the air was thick and spicy the way the it is in only Central America. Rooftop drinks and the most unexpectedly amazing dinner capped our night.
The following day we made a quick visit to the canal and back to the old city for lunch and just like that it was time to head to the airport. Panama was everything I remembered and then some, and to be perfectly honest with you I'd go back again for a third time in a heartbeat.