La Palma, Panama

General Advice

Darien Travel Tips

Darien Travel Tip 1: Speak Spanish
by Sublimesam about 3 years ago

The first question I ask people when they tell me they are thinking of embarking on a Darien adventure is "how is your Spanish?"

You have to understand that Darien is not set up for tourism. The businesses mostly cater to locals; there are no hostels staffed by English speaking expats with loads of information about what to do or where to go. Once you leave the city, you're on your own, and all the information you will get you will have to collect the good old fashioned way- talking to people.

Basically, the general template of a DIY Darien excursion is:

-show up in some town/village
-be ignored by the locals
-be asked for your passport by a very nice man holding an AK-47
-ask around for advice on where to go and what to do
-hang around the town/village for a day or two or three until you can find transportation out
-repeat

Thus, it can be difficult if your Spanish isn't up to par. Of course, this is only my bias. It depends a lot on your expectations up front.