Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Panama Canal Rainforest Boat Tour

Another enjoyable outing in Panama was a rainforest boat tour of the Panama Canal. We were taken around parts of Lake Gatún on a small tour boat dodging huge container ships and cruise ships passing through the canal. It was wonderful seeing the beautiful scenery and getting up close with various monkey groups. They've learned to come to the tour boats for a little easy food but they're still wild. We pulled up under a huge shade tree after several hours and tied up for a quiet lunch on the boat before heading back a little too soon. The animals would be hiding from the heat of the day anyway, but we wouldn't have minded just boating around the Panama Canal for a few more hours. Unfortunately the tour ended anyway just like vacations inevitably end.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Panama - Emberá Village

The most unique thing we did in Panama was to tour a village of the local Emberá tribe. They're a friendly people still living with their traditional ways. There's an interesting history on the tour website. It's a little weird to step in to their lives as a tourist but the tourism helps them to continue living and preserving their traditions and culture for sharing.

We started with an hour drive from Panama City but it was filled with stories and information from our wonderful tour guide, Anne Gordon de Barrigón. She's American but married one of the tribesmen, so she knows a lot about them as an insider. We then loaded up in dugout canoes with outboard motors because the lake and river journey would take too long if we rowed. We're tourists so we don't have that kind of time on our hands... unfortunately. Who has the better standard of living? It does make you think.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Panama Canal, Biomuseo, and Nature Center

If you need to plan a day in Panama City then here's a potentially full day that we did over two days. The Panama Canal, Biomuseo, and Punta Culebra Nature Center are not too far from each other in a line from north to south.

Panama City - Casco Viejo

There aren't very many international destinations available from Caracas during this failing economy. Panama is a main gateway to the rest of the region with 3 daily flights on Copa. It seemed like a good idea to pick it as a vacation spot to avoid having an airline cancel on us when yet another airline stops service to Venezuela. It's just one of those things you have to consider while living in Caracas right now.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Galipán In The Clouds

Galipán is a small town on top of the mountains overlooking Caracas. You can hire a driver to take you up the steep roads in a four-wheel drive vehicle. The driver can be arranged by one of the restaurants. Our driver was arranged by a chocolate shop. Most of the roads are paved but it's easier letting a local take you since they know the little one lane roads around where we needed to go. We ended up going on a beautiful day since the clouds passed around us but also gave us clear views every now and then.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Parque Los Chorros

Parque Los Chorros is a park on the edge of Caracas near the bottom of the Ávila. It's narrow and follows a creek with walkways, bridges, and stairs under big shady trees and tall bamboo. It's a family park with kids playing in the water and a couple of playgrounds. The main feature is a beautiful waterfall. The stairs to the side of it lead up to another pond and a smaller waterfall. It's a fun little park to explore.

It has attended parking available under the elevated Avenida Boyacá. The price was 50 Bs a year ago but it's now 80 Bs. I won't tell you how crazy cheap that is at the current parallel rate because the math is fractions of a penny. There's a little restaurant selling lunch but we didn't eat this last time. It was decent food when we last visited. Overall it's a nice place in the city to relax in nature and is one of of our favorite parks along with Parque del Este (Parque Generalísimo Francisco De Miranda).

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Sietemares is an ecoposada & spa beach resort on the Venezuelan coast about 2 hours drive from Caracas. It's a wonderful weekend getaway with all-inclusive meals & drinks, an infinity pool, massages overlooking the ocean, and 7 beautiful private coves with interesting rock formations all along the coast.

The bar and dining are outside and covered. There are plenty of shade or sun spots. You could sit or lay out by the pool or the ocean. It's easy to relax how you want to there. The ocean is a little rough for swimming and the protected area by the resort is small. However, the beauty of it all makes it more interesting for us compared to a nice pristine beach suitable for swimming.