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#185392 - 12/15/05 12:16 AM Panama question
lakegirl Offline
Hi everyone, I know I saw on this board a post on travel to Panama. I wondered if someone could give me a few details like where they stayed, cost ond so on. It sounded like it could be a new adventure, second only to AC of course!!! Thanks alot everyone, hope to see a few of you in March.

Merry Christmas


#185393 - 12/15/05 10:32 AM Re: Panama question
belizelaw Offline
lakegirl, funny you should mention, I just got back Monday from a whirlwind 4-day, four night tour. I spent my first and last night in Panama City, and two nights in between in Bocas del Toro (the island that some compare to a less-developed Ambergris Caye).

In the City, I stayed at Caesar's Park and Radisson, both about $110 a night and very nice four-star level hotels (though I think they rate a 5-star for Panama).

In Bocas, I stayed at Hotel Angela, a waterfront hotel with lots of character (they have a website).

In between, I took day trips everywhere, including the Pacific Coast beach resorts cropping up about 1.5 hours drive from Panama City.

As for Bocas, my hotel cost $65/night, and my meals were anywhere from $2.90 (the best and cheapest meal) to probably about $8.00 (no alcohol included in that).

In Panama City, I never spent more than $9.00 for a meal (no alcohol).

It's a great place, with great infrastructure, and the price of goods is pretty cheap relative to Belize.

I only scratched the surface of going. When I take a trip to Belize, typically I'm on a plane full of other tourists (and perhaps an expat or two). On this trip, I'd say perhaps only a couple other people on the plane were tourists, and the rest appeared to be Panamanians, for whatever that's worth.

Hope this helped.

#185394 - 12/15/05 02:21 PM Re: Panama question
Barbara K Offline
I was in Panama last April traveling around with the tourism board. Saw many hotels and sites. Email me for more info on specifics. My photo site also has lots of pics (sorry not labled)
I loved Panama but it's nothing like Belize! Much more built up, International, cosmopolitan and cheaper!

#185395 - 12/15/05 02:53 PM Re: Panama question
JeanH Offline
We spent two weeks in Panama this past January. First night at Sevilla Suites in Panama City, one bedroom suite in the financial district for $88.00US. Good restaurants in walking distance. Next we flew to the San Blas Islands for a two night stay at Dolphin Lodge. Pretty primitive, but one of the few places in the islands with a private bath, albeit, cold water shower. Food was so-so. Very good snorkeling from the beach, although a boat ride was required to get to that beach. The Kuna village across the way was fascinating. We returned to Panama City and did a full transit of the canal (only offerred one Saturday a month). Quite honestly, a partial transit would have been enough, the day was very long. Then we were off for almost a week in Bocas del Toro. We stayed in Bocas Town, at Cocomo on the Sea, pretty much next door to the Hotel Angela mentioned above. Price was about the same as well. Unfortunately, it rained the entire time we were in Bocas. It rained so much that the border crossing into Costa Rica was closed due to flooding. It was also fairly cold. I wore a jacket and long pants almost the entire time. The locals were freezing. We did make a couple trips to neighboring islands, Bastimentos and Isla Caranero (sp). We then spent a couple nights at Canopy Tower, a bird watching hotel located in an old radar station. We aren't really bird watchers, but we had a wonderful time and saw some interesting birds and even a jaguarundi while out hiking. One final night at Gamboa, just because I was curious. Ok hotel, but not our style and made for a long transfer to the international airport. If you want to see pictures e-mail me at jhecht@mchsi.com Jean

#185396 - 12/15/05 02:56 PM Re: Panama question
streetchie Offline
Panama is a beautiful country. Definitely put it on your list. I've been to Boquete, Panama City and Bocas Del Toro, all of which are wonderful. Bocas is the most similar to San Pedro, but quite unique as well. I stayed at the Hotel Bocas and Tio Tom's. Both were cheap, under $50, and a lot of fun. Food and drink are also quite inexpensive. Night life is limited here, but you'll surely find a place for drinks and conversation with friends.

#185397 - 12/15/05 04:32 PM Re: Panama question
Gela Offline
I spent the last week in November in Panama - specifically Bocas del Toro (Isla Colon & Carenero). Since this board is for Belize interest, I welcome you to send me a private message through this board and I can give you details of my experience laugh
Gela's AC Motto: "All Roads Used to Lead to BC's" frown

#185398 - 12/15/05 11:06 PM Re: Panama question
LaurieMar Offline
Well, I was traveling with Gela at same location, same time. Bocas is total twenties. We also stayed at Hotel Angela on Isla Colon. Cannot beat the prices. Very inexpensive.

If you are interested in traveling to Panama, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of Lonely Planet. Also check out panamainfo.com and bocas. com for helpful information.

I liked it so much, I got home and have been trying to figure out a way to get back down there!

#185399 - 12/15/05 11:16 PM Re: Panama question
belizelaw Offline

I stayed at Hotel Angela last week; neat place.

#185400 - 12/15/05 11:40 PM Re: Panama question
LaurieMar Offline
I saw that Belizelaw - we missed you by a couple of weeks. Did you meet the wonderful proprietor, Claudio? What a kick in the pants!

#185401 - 12/16/05 12:08 AM Re: Panama question
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I too was in Panama earlier this year. A couple of weeks in Panama City, Boquete, El Valle and elsewhere. Surprisingly, the tourism infrastructure lags Belize's and is ages behind Costa Rica's.

Prices are cheap compared to Belize, roughly 1/2 Belize prices, except for land costs in some areas such as Boquete (but still inexpensive compared with San Pedro).

Certainly there are pros and cons to Panama vis-a-vis Belize or other destinations in Central America.

I would say in terms of tourism it's probably the next Belize and Costa Rica in C.A. Panama is starting to get a lot of mentions on various travel boards. New travel guides are being published and planned. Whereas a few years ago you rarely heard about Panama except from people who had been stationed in the Canal Zone.

I did a little comparison report of two popular retirement areas in Panama and Belize -- Boquete and Corozal -- on my web site, www.belizefirst.com.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

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