Isla Blanca Panama (near Portobelo, Caribbean Coast)

Isla Blanca Panama

(near Portobelo, Caribbean Coast)

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – heading off on a day trip to explore an island in the Caribbean

A Day Trip To Isla Blanca Panama

Today we have been invited to join the team of Wisconsin folk to go to Isla Blanca Panama. There are a few others from the mission base who also come along for the day. The teams have just come back from building a home in the jungle Darien for Homes for Hope.  There was a flood and many lost their homes.

Our Minivan is Full

So these lovely people came all the way to help. Mike is their leader and he is amazing. He has 16 kids (can you believe that) and a kind heart.

We head off early – straight after breakfast. It is a good hour or so as it is Carnival weekend so the roads are pretty crazy – or is that normal here in Panama?

As we drive along I realize some of these people have never see the ocean. To me who grew up with the sea, this is incredible. The “oohs” and “ahhhs” come from all those inside the minivan.

Portobelo, Colon

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – we take off from this pier

Portobelo in the region of Colon is a pretty area as this is the Caribbean coast. It is cleaner and nicer than Bocas del Toro ocean I realize and less polluted.

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – Dani plays Dracula

Here the old fort ruins can be seen on both sides. Mike negotiates with a translator what he has been told to pay per person for our boat trip.  It is important to research this first or the price they will seek will be inflated, as Mike found out.


©Exploramum and Explorason – the fort area on the mainland at Portobelo

The fare ends up being about $10 each, but then they add a parking fee for the van. Their team has already stopped en route and bought drinks, plus we have packed lunch to share.

Boat To Playa Blanca

We are going to take a boat to Playa Blanca – Playa is a beach, Blanca is white and Isla is obviously island.

Explorason doesn’t want to wear a life jacket on the boat as he likes to be free and easy, but I insist. In fact, all the passengers have to wear a life jacket in the end.

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – we must all wear lifejackets

A Full Boatload

We are quite excited, and just like the number of children Mike has back home, there are 16 of us.


©Exploramum and Explorason – our boat has 16 people plus crew

Nice People

Even though I don’t know these people well, they are lovely with wonderful hearts. They have also shared our building and put up with me hogging the bathroom when I was ill last week.

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – some of the team in our boat

As we head out, the waves are huge and we are all drenched. My son loves this but he is used to sitting on the front of the boat when we journeyed from Red Frog Beach, but today it is unsafe for him to stay on the front. This is now a war to get him to move but safety is first and soon he is happy again.

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason is always happy at the front of the boat

Isla Blanca Panama



©Exploramum and Explorason – Dani tries to lift the coconut tree trunk

We arrive and set up a volleyball game with the boys against girls. Dani is the funny man of the group and he tries to put up a heavy coconut trunk as the halfway line. It didn’t work!

Lunch on Isla Blanca Panama

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – lunchtime

We are glad we have a shady spot as the beach on Isla Blanca Panama as it is now getting busy on this island. We enjoy lunch thanks to Andrea who is a leader at the mission base and Mike!

Most of these people have come from the snow one week ago in Wisconsin (where we spent Christmas) so there is a lot of white skin.

Fun And Games

Explorason starts to play on the sand and he is joined by his new friend. Soon I look and the construction team is at work on the sand castle with the kids. All the men have decided to make this a fort and a half. The walls are being reinforced which is typical of men who have just been building houses. It cracks me up, but I appreciate the assistance they give him. He loves it and often needs male interaction.

the Boys Are Getting Along

These two boys get along well now and have watched movies together the past week when I have been ill – good old ‘Mr. Bean‘ movies are always a favorite with kids!

sand fort

©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason is starting to make a fort

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – construction begins

Music On Isla Blanca Panama

Dani is the funny man of this group, and he decides to serenade us with his ukulele.

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – Dani plays the ukelele

The beach is gorgeous especially as there are lovely flowers that fall from the trees. As you walk along the sand, red and orange floral carpet can be seen in places, or the odd flower-dotted on a rock.

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – flowers on the beach

Time Alone For A Single Mum

You can see our boat in the distance behind the rock in the photo above. With others around to watch my son, I get a chance for a walk alone along the shore. As a single parent, it is important for me to use times when other adults can keep a safe eye on my son and give me some ‘me time’.

Melon Sling Shot

Explorason has a great imagination and can invent many games.  Today, my son has decided he is ‘king’ and is working on shooting little melons like cannonballs with the use of his goggle strap from his fort.

Isla Blanca Panama

©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason in his fort

Howler Monkeys on Isla Blanca Panama

There are monkeys howling in the trees so we do a 5-minute walk into the jungle. They are the crankiest I have ever heard and they are so noisy.

Time to leave Isla Blanca Panama

My son helps pull in the boat to shore as we prepare to leave Isla Blanca Panama. Fort San Lorenzo awaits us on our return. Yeah – more pirate history as my boy enjoys playing on the canons. We have only 5 minutes, so we take a few quick photos. We love the cannons and race around the fort extremely fast.

Funny Faces

Dani from Germany is just the funniest guy by far this day. He has made today a real laugh and he states he has a personal mission to make someone laugh every day of his life.  What a great goal – today I am definitely that ‘someone’.

Mike tells us that his team is going to sort our bills today. What a lovely and kind surprise. I am very thankful!

Questions and Comments

  • Have you been on a trip to Isla Blanca Panama?
  • What did you make of the place?
  • Do shareyour experiences with us below.

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