stokesadrian Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
Balneario Bernal

Interesting little fishing town where you can camp right on the shore under a covered cabaña. We ate in the restaurant, fresh camarones and camped for free. There are no facilities here but it's a great place to stop off for a night if that doesn't bother you, super friendly locals and really interesting watching all the shrimp fishermen out with their lamps at night. Be aware this is a lagoon and not really a beach for relaxing on but we did get in for a swim. Take the road towards Conchito off the main highway No.200 and when you go as far as the end of the map keep following the road and eventually take the left fork towards Bernal. 10minutes from the highway. Ask for Claro, Elisabeth and Clarissa's restaurant which Is the one to the right as you come to the beach. Claris nephew Antonio was particularly cool and took me out in the boat to take pics when he went collecting the shrimps

Hotel Capri

Double room for $200 a night with free, secure parking. Decent Internet in lobby. Clean and decent

Hotel vasquez

Rooms for 40Qpp or 55Qpp and 20Q for car. Secure parking

Hotel La Paz

Paid 73Q for a double and 44Q for a single - with that there is free secure parking. No wifi

Las Arenas

Paid 100lps for the 2 of us per night here (stayed 3 nights). Gave us a place under a roof to put up our tent which was great as we as we'd come through hours of rain getting here. Is on concrete so only needed tent inner part. Also the park actually seems to open at 7.15 to 7.30 (8 is advertised) so you can walk across the road to get in real early for that lovely light and also to see the ruins before the throngs of people arrive. Rooms with shower and nicer toilets were locked at night but open all day. Entrance is opposite the Texaco garage beside the souvenir shop. Friendly enough people too!

Pulhapanzak Waterfalls

Still 280lp for 2 people to overnight camp with car. Lots of space and seems secure

Cerro Azul-Meambar NP (Pancam lodge)

Great National Park without too many people around..

Hotel Nahuatl

Managed to get a double for $15 - secure parking

Hotel cañas

Had initially wanted $32 for 2 of us in an A\c room - got it down to $22 for a double not using the A\C but had a fan. Has car park which is locked at night.

Marino Ballena NP

Stayed in the car park for 2 nights. Again Police advised us to go up to the campsite but met other people camping outside the national park gates that have guards so stayed there too. Has toilets, sink washing facilities and rinse showers. After the first night we packed up as we were going into the actual park and moved our car to a secure site as we weren't going to be around. Worked out well we kept our receipt for the NP as on the second eve as we were setting up a ranger came over to say we were in a NP but when we showed we'd paid into the park that day ($6 each) he was fine with us camping for free

Aduana Office David

Despite it not officially being allowed, they made an exception for us and allowed us to keep our plates after re-exporting a Panamanian reg car and gave us tourist passes for us to allow us to drive into CostaRica, much to our relief after being refused at the border 2 days before.

Aduana Office David

For all Aduana related stuff. Compared to the horrible, arrogant, ignorant staff in Panama city, have a bit of patience here and they have been quite helpful and informative.

Ministerio De comercio E Industrialas De chiriqui

Genuinely not 100% sure what this office does - but we needed to visit it as part of our exportation if our Panamanian registered car. It's not the Aduana building, but was needed in this process. Will try to add more info when "our man" Edwardo gives us a greater explanation of it's uses. Might just help someone out!

Discovery Center

Bought a lot of camping\car stuff here as we start in Panama and are heading north

Discovery Center

This is basically a large American style warehouse shop with everything from camping stuff to car stuff cool boxes, tyres, cookers, tools and you can buy propane bottles here too. $65 for a 20lb bottle full - the equivalent in Do It Centre was $95.

Aduana Office for Panama

Come here for all your aduana needs. If you need to pay impuetos for importing a car into Panama (including trying to sell a foreign registered car which needs to be imported) or for us, having a Panamanian registered car we need a form called a "Sarpe" to enable us to leave the country. However be warned: prepare to have your soul sucked dry by these people. They will completely ignore you for great swathes of time with an arrogance I'm not sure I've ever seen before. The grumpy guy with the moustache asked us for a note from the country we come from as he has a collection - unfortunately we didn't have one and he has ignored us since. One guy said he brought donuts!


Take the left opposite the Mercado (orange building at the time) and about 30 metres down there is a parking lot. We parked there for the day ($3 when they initially wanted $4 and 25c each to walk onto beach) and then at the end of the day we asked where we had paid for parking and we're told it was safe and free to camp on the beach. We asked a guy there (no idea who he really is) and he said it was fine to park up there too. We lowered the rope to the beach access and drove into the first part which doesn't require 4x4 and camped beside our car. We had no problem and woke to a beautiful dawn over the island. No idea how safe it really is but we had no issues. It was a Sunday night. We paid nothing for this but in the morning paid 25c each for a shower which they have a switch to. Free camping otherwise.


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