Panama Travel Guide
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- 98%Business Travelers
- 98%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 98%Luxury Travelers
- 98%Green Travelers
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- PanamaMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 11
The 1980s were not a great decade for this Central American nation. With a corrupt military regime, a U.S. invasion, and urban displacement on its plate, little energy went into developing a tourism market. Today, a relatively transparent democracy is in place and Panama’s economy has become one of the most competitive in Latin America, a fact that is evidenced in the rate at which Panama City is practically sprouting high rise apartments, skyscraper office buildings, and luxury shopping centers. Now visitors pour in to relax on white-sand beaches, explore the country’s spectacular biodiversity, and dive wallet-first into the world-class entertainment scene in the cosmopolitan capital.Recommended for:
We spent just over a week here in Panama, touring around. It's not an easy county to plan a "loop" and see a lot of in one trip. We focused on the Caribbean side and hope to get to the Pacific side and Santa Catalina next time. Transportation is mainly by bus or plane. You can rent a car, but it usually ends up being more expensive when you take the car, than when the quote you online. So be careful. The buses were okay, some of the trips at about an hour or more were on old school buses that had been painted funky colors with murals etc. The longer trips were on coaches, that had seats which would lean down. My main complaint was the constant noise, loud music and advertisements.
Flying into Panama City, we spent the first night there and headed out at 5am the next morning for San Blas, the archepilego of Islands to the north/east on the Caribbean side of Panama. This area is still controlled by the local indigenous people so it's very basic, beautiful and not as easily navigated. We spent two nights and three days there, and then headed back to PC where we caught two buses then a ferry that took us to Bocas Del Torro- a very different place than San Blas. It's got a lot of shopping, nightclubs, restaurants and tourist things to do. We stayed four days and three nights on Isla Careneros, which is just off the main island, and much quieter. The Careening Cay Resort was wonderful. On our last day we took a ferry and then a bus, back through La Amistad National Forest to Boquete. This is a cool, small, mountain town with coffee plantations around and lots of jungle/forest. We spent one night and day here and then took an overnight bus back to PC for our flight home the last morning.
Amazing country, Cheaper then Costa Rica.
San Blas and Bocas Del Toros - WOW.
I have a small tip: I used a local SIM card for Internet and calls which I bought on Ebay so I could use my GPS and check in on place...
What can I say? I'm addicted to Facebook...
Put Panama on your "must see" list. While a tropical country, hot and humid (esp. during rainy season April-mid-December), there are mountains that offer a coolness and refreshment from the heat. Panama is "not only a Canal," and offers sport fishing (ocean and lake), golf, surfing, swimming, bird watching extraordinare, museums and art galleries, casinos and live bands to dance the night away. The people are friendly and the roads are good--whether you are with a tour bus and guide or in your rental car. Must visit the Balboa Yacht Club and have a drink, while watching the ships in the canal and meeting the locals.
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