Recently I had the opportunity to meet a world traveller- Beltrán Rodriguez Diaz. Beltrán had the opportunity to travel to various continents such as Asia, Africa, Europe and now Central America. Since the beginning of his travels he launched a very interesting website about the places he has visited. Without a doubt, his travels have only began.
When and why the passion to travel?
When I was 18 years old I went to work at a hotel in England as a waiter… from there it all began. Afterwards I studied tourism in Spain and had the opportunity to work in the north of Spain in the Pyrenees mountains at a ski resort and from there as a guide for a travel agency. There I was a travel guide at the French Alps, Madeira (Portugal), Sicilia and Cerdeña (Italy), Slovenia, Morocco, Cuba, Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, until last year I arrived to Costa Rica and for the past three months here at Bocas del Toro.
For me the most important part of being a traveller is to remove myself from the tourist role and mix in with the local people so that I can really know more about the destination I am at.
No matter how beautiful the destination its the local people there that really stay in your memories.
What was your first impression of Bocas del Toro? Was it what you expected?
I had heard a lot about Bocas del Toro in Costa Rica and decided to come and see it for myself. My first feelings when arriving was the good Caribbean vibe and the small paradisiacal islands… I then decided to stay so that I could learn more about its local culture.
What is your favorite attraction in Bocas del Toro and why?
To me the best activities are snorkeling and deepboarding with the people from Under-sea Panama that were the first to take me to Cayo Zapatilla, which in my opinion is the best place in Bocas del Toro. Cayo Zapatillas are two isolated islands full of vegetation and incredible coral life. If you come to Bocas del Toro and don’t go to Cayo Zapatillas then you miss out on the essence of Bocas.
If you could write a book about your adventures and experiences in Bocas del Toro what would the title be?
Bocas del Toro the Pearl of the Caribbean
What recommendations do you make to people visiting Bocas del Toro?
First make sure to choose wisely where you sleep and which island. If you want tranquility or to surf go to Carenero, Red Frog Beach or Solarte. If you want fun and came with a group of friends stay on Isla Colon where there is an active nightlife and you can also surf.
Make sure to investigate with whom you are going on tours with… there are people who offer cheap excursions but the quality can leave you wanting more… before reserving with any excursions investigate on the internet which tours have the best reviews.
Your first destination: Asia
Your favorite place in the world: It is difficult to choose one… all have their charms… the Zanzibar islands of Tanzania the Flower Islands of Indonesia, of course my homeland Cadiz (Spain), the beaches of the south of Cadiz Tarifa, Bolonia, the dunes of the Sahara dessert are an amazing view.
And in Bocas del Toro?: Cayos Zapatillas (both not just one) and Bird Island.
Favorite Restaurant in Bocas del Toro: Bocart in front of the ferry dock
A place you dream of visiting: Micronesia…Bora Bora and all neighboring islands…
Thank you Bocas del Toro Travel for this interview and I hope to see you in por Bocas del Toro.
Interviewed by: Angie Whittemore Correa (translated from Spanish to English)