Living In A Tent On An Island In Panama – Daily Routine

Did you know that the first Airbnb I booked for my 6-month trip to Costa Rica was a tent in Panama? Are you confused, because I am. No, it’s actually pretty simple. I knew I had to cross the border at some point (visa issues) and the tent was the first thing that caught my eye. Not only was it the cheapest accommodation on the entire island, but how often do you get to sleep in a tent on a dock with ocean view, right?? Why not, I thought, and 10 minutes later I was looking at my booking confirmation. How was it living in a tent on a Panamanian island, you wonder? Let’s just say, it was an experience *laughs nervously*. Anyway, I thought it’d be fun to share my daily routine during this week!

Read next: Must-See In Bocas Del Toro, Panama: Red Frog Beach

My Daily Routine While Living In A Tent In Panama!


I’m woken up – usually quite abruptly – by either the sun or the rain. The weather in Panama is even more unpredictable than in Costa Rica, although it’s probably because we’re on an island now. When it rains, it pours and when the sun shines, it REALLY shines. Anyway, I don’t jump out of bed straight away, I’m not crazy. I obviously check my phone like any sane person would.


After checking WhatsApp, Instagram and WordPress (recently I’ve also added Twitter to the list, I wonder what’s next…) and replying to messages (let’s be real, most of them are from my family), I unzip my tent, take a peek outside and tiptoe to the ‘bathroom’ in the common area.

The bathroom consists of two toilets and a shower. I must admit these spaces were actually quite nice: big wooden doors, stone walls, a single light bulb that didn’t give much light, some branches to hang up your clothes, lukewarm water with decent pressure and as far as I could tell, no other creatures aside from geckos. It had a rustic feel to it.

Outside, there was a tiny sink with an even tinier mirror. This is where you brush your teeth, fix your hair and attempt to make yourself look somewhat presentable, while everyone else is going about their day.


By this time, I’ve usually managed to put on clothes that are still on the cleaner side (#backpackerslife), which means I’m ready to do some editing or write a blog post. I like to work in the mornings when most people are still sleeping and everything is peaceful and quiet. I’d go sit on one of the loungers in front of our tent and patiently wait until my travel buddy wakes up.


We’re now ready for breakfast, so we’ll head to the kitchen, which is also in the common area. People are usually awake by now. Breakfast is either cornflakes with milk and banana or toast with cream cheese and tomato or avocado if I’m feeling fancy.


Back in Panama I was still trying to finish my TEFL course and as I was nearing my deadline (I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t kept the most work till the last minute), I’d spend a couple of hours a day trying to finish everything on time (I did!). Since the common area was the only place we could charge our electronics, I would usually be there for most of the morning, although sometimes I’d brave the sea breeze and sit on the dock again.


Time for lunch! Just like in Puerto Viejo, we were forced to stick to our vegetarian routine as I didn’t trust the meat section and we only had one pot to our disposal. Rice and beans, it was. Or pasta and beans. I’d never eaten beans in my life until I arrived in Central America, the land of beans, apparently.


After lunch, we’d take some bikes and explore the island or one of the nearby islands. I’m going to write another blog post about all of the activities we did in Bocas del Toro, but, in short, it involved lots of swimming, boats and beaches! So pretty much the usual piraty stuff you’ll find in the Caribbean.


Around this time we normally came home, sweaty and tired and ready for another meal of beans with something… This was also the perfect time to chill out on our dock and watch the sunset. The best part of living in our tent was definitely the amazing view of the bay.


After cooking, having dinner and hanging out for a bit, it’s shower time… Our Airbnb did not provide any towels, so my showering routine was a little less relaxing than normal. In the beginning, I would just stand there and jump around when I was done, in an attempt to dry myself before I put my clothes on (this is such a weird sentence). It didn’t really work though and I would still come out a dripping wet mess, but hey, I got smarter and started using a shirt to pat myself dry. Not the most comfortable experience, but at least I was clean!


By this time I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open, so this is when I’ll climb into my tent and pass out almost immediately. I was actually quite pleased with our tent; it wasn’t the most spacious but I still slept quite well and what’s cosier than sleeping in a tent when it’s dark and scary outside?? Also, no insects for an entire week!!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my daily routine while living in a tent! Maybe the next step will be camping in the wild, who knows! But for now, this was a good enough taste of the primitive lifestyle. Who here has gone camping?? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!

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