Tips for Walking & Driving Around Puerto Armuelles

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Driving can be a challenge at first

When you drive into Puerto Armuelles for the first time, you will notice that there is a hustle & bustle of activity in this little town. Don’t plan to do much sight-seeing while you are behind the wheel.

Watch where you are going! Drive extra slow!

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Crosswalks are rarely used.

1. There are crosswalks for pedestrians, but nobody uses them. People and animals cross anywhere – anytime.

2. People on foot or bicycles, and even horseback, can be next to you, or in front of your car, before you know it.

3. There are dogs of every size and shape running loose and sometimes coming out of nowhere.

4. Most street names are not marked anywhere.

5. One-Way streets will not have a sign. Instead, Look for faded arrows painted on the street.

6. Taxi cabs and cars may stop in the middle of the street, without notice, to pick up a fare or talk to a friend.

7. Horns are used regularly and not considered offensive. 2 quick honks means a car is about to pass you.

8. Parking is generally along the sides of the streets. Park where you see other cars are already parked.

9. Watch for stop signs, but don’t assume others are going to stop.

Once you enter town, make sure you are extra aware of your surroundings & don’t try to get through town in a hurry!

Walking is the best way to explore town

You will be able to see a lot more of your surroundings in Puerto Armuelles going by foot. Walking is the most common mode of transportation in town. However, you must be alert and vigilant about where you walk as there are obstacles and distractions everywhere.

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Watch your step!

1. Watch where you step! There are holes, cracks, protruding objects, and unknown items along the way.

2. During the rainy season (August-December) carry an umbrella.

3. Keep a little toilet paper or kleenex with you, in case you need to use a bathroom. Most restaurants and stores will let you use their facilities, but may charge a 25 cent fee if you’re not a customer. It is usually posted on the ‘baño‘ door.

4. Carry change and small bills, $1’s and $5’s, if you will be shopping at street or bicycle vendors. They probably won’t have change.

5. Credit cards are not widely accepted, but there are a couple of ATM’s in town where you can get some cash.

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Sidewalks can be crowded!

6. Trash is not uncommon around town. Hopefully, this will be changing as Puerto grows. For now, try not to let it be a negative influence during your travels. Look for the good things!

7. You don’t need a crosswalk to get to the other side of the street. Watch carefully and cross anywhere.

8. Try to speak Spanish, even if you know “un pocito”. Locals will appreciate the effort, since very few speak English here. You’re not in Boquete anymore! A little sign language in the end will usually accomplish the task.

 

 Smile & say “hola’ to people you pass. It is common here & you’ll be surprised at the number of returned smiles!

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4 Comments

  1. Becky

    Dont forget….Cars may be faster but pedestrians, horses, dogs, bikes and taxis pretty much have the right of way in town. Whether, its the law or not….you dont want to hit any of the above….so just take your time and enjoy!

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      Better yet, take a cab, ride a bicycle, or stroll around town on foot. 🙂

      Reply
  2. AFI SANAA

    I will be visiting Puerto Armuelles 12/6/2018 and am very afraid dogs due to an attack years ago. Are the loose dogs friendly or will they come up to me and bite if I am walking about? I literally freeze in place when I see a stray dog here in the states. I appreciate your honest assessment.

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      I totally understand your fear of stray dogs! The dogs that you will see in Puerto are actually quite timid. They are just beggars, looking for a food scrap. We are slowly educating the locals and now have a spay & nueter clinic once a month. Little by little, things are improving.

      A tip for you: locals throw rocks at dogs if they want them to go away. If you pretend to pick up a rock and are going to throw it, the dog will usually run away, or just stop.

      I have not heard of anyone being bitten by a dog here. 🙂

      Reply

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