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Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

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Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

I am trying to plan a trip for my 40th birthday. We are a small family, with a 5 year old. Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)? If you have been to both places, can you comment on which one you like more, and why?

We are looking for great beaches, good food, relaxation, good snorkeling (for me). Kid-friendly island?

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Panama
Panama
Central America
Roatan
Roatan
Bay Islands, Honduras
Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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1. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

Yes, I have. I prefer Panama to Honduras and Bocas to Roatan. In both cases, Panama and Bocas are much safer, with much less violence against tourists and expats. What has it been ... three or four expat business owners and two Canadian tourists murdered over the last few weeks in Roatan and Utila ... the supposedly "safer" areas of Honduras?

Bocas Town and West End are similar -- small, lots of tourists, the place where you find restaurants, bars and cheap hotel/hostel rooms. Bocas is far more civilized, with a better range and quality of restaurants and bars. The streets in Bocas are paved, too. And, the locals are much friendlier and much less likely to hassle you.

Like Roatan, there are a number of resorts out and away from Bocas Town. Only, in Bocas you'll take a water taxi to get to them, and most of them are not dive resorts or AIs like CoCo View, Fantasy Island, Anthony's Key, etc.

I wouldn't hesitate to bring a 5 year-old to Bocas. Just be careful at Red Frog Beach -- the undertow is sometimes very strong and there are no lifeguards.

Check out www.bocas.com to compare lodging options.

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Panama
Panama
Central America
Bocas Town
Bocas Town
Isla Colon, Panama
Roatan
Roatan
Bay Islands, Honduras
Utila
Utila
Bay Islands, Honduras
Red Frog Beach
Red Frog Beach
758 Reviews
Isla Bastimentos, Panama
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2. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

Thank you gb_williams!! This is the exact info i was looking for. I appreciate your views. If we go to Panama, and stay in Bocas - should we be sure to visit other cities? We will only have a 6 days (excluding travel days going and leaving Panama).

Or should we just stay in one place?

Do you recommend any specific hotel, special B&B in Boca?

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Panama
Panama
Central America
Bocas Town
Bocas Town
Isla Colon, Panama
Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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3. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

Unless you're coming from Costa Rica, you'll have to fly into Panama City's Tocumen International and then get to Marcos Gelebert Airport (AKA Albrook) to fly to Bocas on Air Panama. I would spend a day in Panama City on either or both ends. Of course, going to see the Miraflores locks is a must. Your 5 year-old will enjoy seeing the ships and most of the museum. Not too far from there is Soberanía National Park ... AKA Summit Park Zoo. This is also enjoyable for a 5 year-old, although there is a lot of walking, especially to see the Jaguar, the Tapir and the Harpy Eagles. The macaws, parrots, monkeys, coatimundi and ocelots are much closer to the entrance.

He/She might also enjoy seeing the ruins of Old Panama, (Panama Viejo) especially when he/she learns the original city was destroyed by the pirate Henry Morgan and his army of 2,000 pirates.

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
Panama
Panama
Central America
Albrook Inn
Albrook Inn
210 Reviews
Panama City, Panama
Bocas Town
Bocas Town
Isla Colon, Panama
Panama City
Panama City
Panama Province, Panama
Seattle
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4. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

Thanks again gb_williams!! I appreciate your great input.

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5. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

I agree.. Bocas would be a better choice. It's like West End. Starfish beach would be a super place to take a little one for the afternoon on the main Bocas Island...other islands would be fun day trips.

Edited: 16 December 2012, 01:53
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Bocas Town
Bocas Town
Isla Colon, Panama
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6. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

You could also opt for the San Blas islands over Bocas - certainly much less developed and much more of an adventure if that's what you're after. I like to refer to the San Blas Islands as "A poor-man's Tahiti."

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San Blas Islands
San Blas Islands
Guna Yala Region, Panama
Bocas Town
Bocas Town
Isla Colon, Panama
San Blas Islands
San Blas Islands
934 Reviews
Guna Yala Region, Panama
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7. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

Thanks Fry 69 and Bradleyjai,

I will definitely keep those places in mind!! I am very excited to start planning my trip

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8. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

Hi Gb_williams have you been to Belize? If so, would you recommend Belize over Panama, Bocas / San Blas Islands?

Anyone else have an opinion on Belize vs Panama?

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Panama
Panama
Central America
Bocas Town
Bocas Town
Isla Colon, Panama
San Blas Islands
San Blas Islands
934 Reviews
Guna Yala Region, Panama
Belize
Belize
Central America
9. Re: Has anyone been to both Panama and Honduras (Roatan)?

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