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2 week itinerary in September help

Orange County...
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2 week itinerary in September help

My wife and I will be spending 2 weeks in panama for the second half of September, and just wanted to check a couple of ideas against the local knowledge. We know that September can be a little wetter and that may influence where we go or what we do

So far we are getting into PC and spending 2 nights in Casco Viejo. Our plan is to spend one day seeing the canal and city, and the other just relaxing and checking out Casco Viejo and eating. Our plan is to then rent a car on the way out of the city.

We probably want to spend a greater portion of our time in bocas, but don't know where exactly. We understand it's a long trip so the idea was to head first to either el valle for a night and then to pedasi for a couple nights for some beaches and surf and fishing. We would then make the trip to bocas, or instead get up into the boquete area for hiking, coffee and nature and then to bocas. Or we could do that entire trip backwards or in different orders.

It kind of depends on time because we don't want to spend entire days driving, when we could better plan our route and string along some fun towns and activities as we make

Our way to bocas and back

Is there anything in particular we should know about going in September? Anything we might want to modify our plans for? We would want to get back into PC the night before we fly out but don't really have a preference if it's a long trip straight from bocas or not.

Thanks so much for any help at all!

Orange County...
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1. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

A second option would be flying from Panama City to David, and then renting a car to visit the pacific side of Boca Brava or nearby for some fishing and beaches and snorkling as well as Cerro Punta/Boquete, and then returning the car in David and catching a bus to Bocas del Toro, and then flying back to PC from there.

Has anyone ever done anything similar? We are probably going to stay a couple nights in Bocas town, and then a couple nights somewhere else on the islands before heading home.

Central America
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2. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

Renting a car out of David is not a bad option. You are close to some Pacific attractions there like Boca Chica/Boca Brava, Las Lajas, Armuelles..

We camped on islands off Boca Chica in Oct last year and saw many whales. Assume you would likely see them in late Sept too.

The drives north from David to Volcan/Boquete are beautiful. Many beautiful drives all around Chiriqui area. The drive over the mountains to Almarante (end of road for getting to Bocas) is spectacular. There are a few lodging options up in the mountains on the way over which look cool, but have not tried them yet (reviews here on TA I expect).

You can also fly into David or Bocas from San Jose CR which eliminates the long haul back to PC.

pennsylvania
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3. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

I vote for second option. This is more of a vacation.

Since it is green season you could get rain all day, part of the day or no rain at all. Beaches will be drier and warmer than mountains. So more beach overnights than mountain.

Las Lajas, medium waves, big beach, dark sand

Boca Chica peninsula and Boca Brava islands, fishing, kayak, some islands have white sand

Playa la Barqueta, surfing, boogie boarding, waves can be huge or manageable, check out magic seaweed for wave forecast, long black sand beach

Boquete, tons of options check reviews.

Save Panama City for the end of the trip, so you are not traveling a long distance to catch an international flight home.

Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

Hi, you have enough time to take a good Panama trip ending in Bocas del Toro.

For not long ride, ‎your idea to makes stops is good. 

So I recommend just one day in Panama City spending your time at Panama Canal, Old Town and maybe causeway of amador to visit the biodiversity museum. 

After you can drive around two hours to the Anton Valley, volcano town located ‎in Cocle where you have hiking option in "La India Dormida" mountain, zip line, waterfalls and craft market for your wife. You can sleep there is very fresh during the night. ‎

For surfing you don't have too much expect in Bocas del Toro (September is flat), so is good idea drive from Anton Valley to Pedasi finding Playa Venao, that is one of the most consistent surf spots (beach break) on the Pacific. Also close Anton Valley you have several surf spots, but works just with big swells. Right now is the best time to surf on the pacific to end of October. Fishing also is good in Pedasi, you have deep waters to catch yellow fin tuna, Mahi Mahi, and wahoo if you have a lucky day. 

After Pedasi you can drive to Boquete with your plan to go after to Bocas. Bocas is nice during September because you don't have too much rain, so is good to snorkeling, beautiful days, and calm waters. You don't need a car in Bocas del Toro, more if you will be rent. If you will decide take a plane from Panama City to Bocas del Toro, make sure to your early reservation. 

You need to drive safe on the Pacific because September is hard raining season especially in Pedasi, and to go to Boquete area. 

Have fun

Panama City, Panama
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5. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

As you have already lots of details, destination in above answers I will just add a missing items:

Sept 15th to Sept 21 is the Feria del Mar in Bocas which is nice to see. Make sure to reserve flight, hotels in advance. As well, I have always been lucky with the weather in September in Bocas...

nyc
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6. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

Pearl Islands!!! Isla Contadora is fantastic

Orange County...
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7. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

Thanks so much for the heads up on the sea fair. we had no idea!

So our plans have been finalized and we are all set to go. We will be landing in Panama City, and then flying to David to spend time in Boca Brava. We have all but abandoned the idea of renting a car, mostly because we arent prepared for the trade-off in time to get to places. I love traveling by car and having the freedom to start and stop whenever we want, but this way we have a lot more time to get settled, relax, and really explore the place we are going.

We are then going to Boquete for a couple nights before continuing over to Bocas del Toro, catching the last couple days of the sea fair. We are then returning to Panama City for a day or two of city explorations before we have to fly out.

We cant wait, thank you everyone for all the advice. Does anybody have any recommendations for easy-going city tours? We dont want to do a full on gringo tour of the panama canal, but more someone who knows their way around the city that can take us to the little parts we might miss on our own. Thanks again.

Panama City, Panama
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8. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

How much time do you want to spend touring the city? Most of the time, I don't recommend a city tour, as yoyu can just grab a taxi and go the interesting places, but I could recommend a few taxi drivers who are specialized in touring visitors around the city if you really want to do this.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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9. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

I agree with El Chiners. You really only need transportation between locations in the city. The places you'll probably want to see are Miraflores visitors' center, Casco Viejo, possibly Mercado de Mariscos (seafood market), Panama Viejo (the ruins of the old city). Other options might include the zoo at Summit Park, Ancon Hill and/or Metropolitan Park. Amador has a nice view of the city after dark, but the restaurants are pretty mediocre. All that you need to get between these places is a taxi. I would also recommend picking up a good travel book on Panama. It will give you at least as much detail as a tour guide.

Panama City, Panama
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10. Re: 2 week itinerary in September help

I'd normally agree with gb_williams about the views from Amador after dark, but a friend of mine just went there last week to show her Spanish boyfriend those same views, and she told me that there's pretty much nothing to see, as they're currently expanding the road through the Causeway and the views are walled off for pretty much the whole length of the road.

Also, she told me cars aren't allowed into Flamenco, the last island in the Amador Causeway link, as it's some kind of depot. I wonder, if this is true, what's going on with the marina over there?

In any case, it seems you're much better looking at the city's skyline from Cinta Costera after dark, at least for the time being.