Posted by: Sailing Camelot | June 22, 2012

June 11th – Paso Canoas, a taste of Panama

It’s only about 60 Km from Golfito to Paso Canoas, a small but thriving town on the Panama border. It’s very common for neighboring Costa Ricans to go shopping there for the convenient prices and variety of goods offered.

And so one morning four of us jumped into a nice Land Rover driven by Chris, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He has the patience of a saint and knows all there is to know around here.

The first sight of Paso Canoas: an endless line of stalls and shops selling duty-free goods strung out along Costa Rica’s potholed road paralleling Panamá’s perfectly paved and marked highway. Quite a contrast.

Paso Canoas

There’s even a MacDonald! No, we didn’t…

We went shopping for groceries and were amazed at the really good quality and convenience: prices on common food items here are 35 to 40% lower than in Costa Rica.  

Paso Canoas is also a popular destination to buy beer, wines and liquors at a fraction of the price.

Curiously enough, the only thing not on sale in this huge place called City Mall was pork! As it turns out, the owners are of Muslim faith. The City Mall was formerly named “Jerusalem”. Fine, I’ll get my pork elsewhere! 

City Mall

There’s nothing even remotely touristic about Paso Canoas: it’s a typical border town and, dare I say, plenty ugly.

But we weren’t here to shoot pictures or play tourist, and we got what we needed.


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