This past week SFS TIBS has been on the road traveling from Panama City to our center in Bocas Del Toro. After arriving in Panama on June 5th, we were eager to start learning about tourism in Panama and quickly jumped into classes (the classes are pretty interesting for the most part though, so no real complaints).

We spent our first full day exploring the city; visiting the Biomueso and Casco Antigo to learn about Panama’s biodiversity and rich history.

The following day we ventured over to the Canal. We arrived just as a ship was entering the Miraflores Locks and were lucky enough to see the majority of the process a ship undergoes on its journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

From Panama City we continued our journey to Las Lajas, a beach town on the Pacific Coast, and saw firsthand the impacts mass tourism and development have on marine environments.

From Las Lajas we moved towards the highlands in Boquete to explore agricultural tourism (and enjoy the cool weather). During our time in the mountains, we visited Dos Jefes Coffee Farm and roasted 4 lbs of beans while we learned about sustainable coffee practices. We also took advantage of Boquete’s beautiful cloud forest and went on a birding tour where we caught a glimpse of the infamous Quetzal; this is also where we spotted our first howler monkey! (It was cool then- but now we see them so often they are kind of annoying).

Photo courtesy of Cinda Scott

After Boquete, we took the trip down to Almirante where we took boats over to our center in Bocas Del Toro where we will be staying for the next three weeks. We couldn’t be more excited to be spending 4 weeks in this beautiful country.

Photo courtesy of Cinda Scott

Photo courtesy of Cinda Scott

→ Tourism and Island Systems: Assessment of Sustainable Practices in Panama