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Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

chicago
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Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

A friend and I are traveling to Panama City in July. Where would you recommend staying? A travel agent said that it’s safer to stay by the canal and it has a better night light. Do you have any suggestions where to stay that’s not to pricey? Also we were only planning on staying in Panama City for one night then traveling to Boca, how do you recommend travel and is that to short of time to be in Panama?

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,772 posts
97 reviews
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1. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

Get a new travel agent, probably talking about staying on Amador Causeway. there are a couple hotels out that way a number of restaurants and a little niightlife but doesn't come close to the Cangrejo area, many more hotel choices close to all the nightlife, you can walk most places and just as safe.

travel - in city -taxi, to Bocas - Fly

Panama City, Panama
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for Panama
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6 reviews
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2. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

Panama City is "by" the canal so I guess that statement works to a degree... You should look at staying in El Cangrejo or Bella Vista - there are a number of cheaper hotel or hostel options. The night life is centered around Via Argentina/El Cangrejo or Calle Uruguay/Bella Vista (for the most part anyway)...

You may find you want more than one night in the city - there is so much to see and do in and around the city depending on your interests - you definitely want to see the canal, there's the old original city ruins of Panama Viejo, the colonial quarter of Casco Viejo, there's the Amador Causeway, Metropolitan Park, Embera Village day tour, museums, etc etc. You don't say how much time you have in total to visit Panama - and it depends on your priorities as to how to split time between the city and Bocas.

To get to Bocas del Toro, especially if time is an issue, then flying is really the only option - otherwise it's a 10-hour overnight bus ride to Almirante to catch the water taxi.

Cheers,

Andrew

chicago
3 posts
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3. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

Are plan is to fly into Panama city around 1:30pm spend the afternoon by ourself’s touring then the next morning trying to do a canal tour on the water. Later that afternoon fly to Boca and stay there for two nights, then take a bus to Costa Rica. Is Boca worth the trip, what’s there to do there, and are any good accommodations that are two pricey. Also is Boca a bunch of little island and if so which on do we stay. We were thinking about going to Boca because its close to the border do you recommend somewhere else that is easy to get to the border. Thank you for your help.

Panama City, Panama
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for Panama
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4. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

Have a look at www.bocas.com - pretty much all the accommodation available is listed there - plus ideas on stuff to do.

You say you are doing a tour of the canal by water - you do know the partial canal transits only run on Saturdays in July - and on one of those Saturdays it will be a full transit.

A guide book and a map would help you out a lot.

Cheers,

Andrew

Sarasota, Florida
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for Sarasota, Longboat Key
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5. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

Costa Rica is a terrific destination but so too is Panama. You could save yourself some travel hassle (and probably some dollars) by spending your time in one country or the other. As the other posts mentioned, there is plenty to do in Panama City; you won't get bored! A couple of days in the city, a visit to the Embera or even to the Kuna, Canal cruise, then several days in Bocas. That would be a fantastic vacation right there.

Their suggestion of staying in Cangrejo is also perfect. Do you have a price in mind for a hotel?

Balboa, Panama
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6. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

For affordable stay in the Canal area (more quiet and easy to to/from attractions like Canal locks, Amador, Casco Viejo, Cerro Ancon, etc. ) also look at the Bed & Breakfast section on this site for Panama city.

YOu'll find great value and more personalized travel assistance than any hotel will offer.

chicago
3 posts
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7. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

What is your opinion on Gambo, is it worth staying in Panama city one night and the Gambo

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

When I was in PC, I took a day trip to Gamboa. It is a small ways out of PC and really only accessible by taxi (to the best of my knowledge). For a day trip, it was okay. As a hotel, in my opinion it seemed overpriced from what I saw. The hotel, frankly, reminded me of a Holiday Inn of the past (the chain is desparately trying to update, dumping about 1/3 of their hotels that are/were out of date, replacing them with new build hotels. The others are being required to do big renovations). However, if you want a "jungle" location, it might be worth considering.

Sarasota, Florida
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9. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

Gamboa was a short (one-hour) stopover for me on the way somewhere else, but I came away with a different impression after seeing it and after talking with some people who were staying there. It's a completely different experience than being in the city. Gorgeous pools and quite a few nice daytrip activities from there. Two nights would be a good length of time, arriving late one afternoon and then having a full day the next day to explore things.

Orlando, Florida
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10. Re: Trying to figure travel/stay in Panama

Hi where,

You ask some very general questions but it would probably serve you better for those in the know to have a bit more detail on your age; dollar targets for lodging, total time available for your trip; interests, etc. Can't do Panama in 5 days so prioritize what you want to "do" for those days and that makes the responses much more on the mark. Just my suggestion...... I've learned from experience and started out doing what you are so I'm not playing teacher here, just friend.