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!
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.
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.
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!