Bull-riding & fighting in Boca Chica

This weekend, there was a festival day in the tiny town of Boca Chica, Panama. I joined three others from my hotel, taking a passing water taxi from our Isla Boca Brava location to this nearest mainland town. ($3 from our hotel, $1 from the point we first walked to.)

20130203-205433.jpgAfter a typical Panama lunch of rice mixed with beans and a small piece of chicken for $3, we took a very hot 20 minute walk up the road. As the day was so hot, this activity was postponed for an hour or so. We walked back down, picked up some cookies and drinks at the town’s market (tienda), played a handmade carnival game, then walked back to the corral.

Here is a photo summary of the sport.

Very early, people just start to arrive.

Meat kebabs for sale. (There were also candy apples.)

The bulls.

We wondered why they were tying up this bull…


It was so the men could get on and try to ride the bull.

The men also try to hold the bull by the horns and see who can hold it longest.


More bull fighting. A baby bull and boy.

Then another bull and man.

A bottle of bravery was shared.

A good look at one of the bulls.


My friend and I left while the two others stayed. We missed a couple of bloody but not deadly facial injuries. We also missed three boys riding a baby bull. One, we are told, stayed on his bull quite a while and became, quite the hero.

After the bullfights, the fiesta moved back toward town where bands played and people danced and drank until 4:00 a.m.

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