Sep 1, 2012

Quick Trip to Punta Burrica & Hooked on Panama

Took a quick trip with a friend to Punta Burrica on Thursday and Friday.  It's about a 3 hour drive to Puerto Armuelles and then a 1-1.5 hour drive off the beaten path into Punta Burrica's beach areas.   The road from Puerto Armuelles to Punta Burrica is a bit of a challenge, but driving that kind of terrain is now something I can scratch off my bucket list.  We had a wonderful, relaxing, and interesting trip. 

The closest lodging in the area is the "Hooked on Panama" beach-front resort, which captures a lot of the sport fishing business.  It's owned by five american friends / business partners.  Our visit there for cocktails and dinner [on two separate occasions] leads me to characterize the culture as friendly, hospitable, and reasonably priced.   Very generous cocktails ran under $ 5.  Dinners ran between $ 12-15.  I enjoyed a spicy, seared tuna plate that included a fresh garden salad, a large portion of steamed vegetables and dessert for $12.  Although I didn't tour the overnight accommodations, there are 10 individual cabanas with private decks providing spectacular views of the ocean.  The main lodge is spacious with a high beam hardwood ceiling, pool table, and well-stocked bar.  The resort offers week-long sport fishing vacations utilizing their own fleet of six custom-built boats. 

 Although the Hooked on Panama resort was a pleasant side trip, our objective was a more grass roots experience.  We stayed in a private, Panamanian-style home much further down the road and about 30 feet from the beach.  Most of our time was spent socializing with the locals and beachcombing during low tide.  Lots of driftwood, small seashells, and sand crab distractions...  Before leaving, we were visited by a family of howler monkeys that ranged in age from infant to "teenager" to adult.  Other animal life featured this trip were horses, cows, and interesting birds, including a snowy egret.   There was also a beautiful scenic beach close to PetroTerminal de Panama that merits mention.