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PC Trip Report

Hermosa Beach...
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446 posts
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PC Trip Report

I flew into PC and arrived in at 1020am on Copa Airlines (had never flown them and definitely not a fan after flying them).

Anyway, I had a guide/driver waiting for me at the airport...Fernando Kelly's brother Orville was waiting there with a sign right outside of customs. I had emailed ahead of time to tell him what I wanted to see....we went to Panama Viejo, the Miraflores Locks, took a nice stroll through Casco Viejo and drove out the Causeway. All of this took about 5.5 hours as traffic was pretty bad and I spent a bit of time at the locks. I arrived there right before 2:00 which was perfect timing as two large ships were coming through. Orville was very professional and was $11/hour...he and his brother can be reached at fekelly2006@yahoo.com, he spoke great English tho he insisted on me practicing my spanish.

I was exhausted after taking the redeye in and touring all day, so heading to the Balboa Inn in the nice, quiet neighborhood was perfect (see separate review of B&B). Ate at a little cafeteria that I could walk to.

The next morning I got up and did a hike up the Ancon Hill...I wouldn't say this is a must do, but, if you are in the area and have the time it's a nice hike with a great view at the top. I then walked to the craft market at the old YMCA which had plenty of local items for sale. Grabbed a cab and headed to the Amador Causeway and had lunch at a place called El Ranchito (I think)...great spot for lunch w/a wonderful view of the Panama City skyline - which I was surprised that PC would have such a great one.

After lunch, headed to Albrook for my flight to Bocas (see Bocas trip report)

Flew back into PC on Friday evening and stayed at Hotel Milan. Probably not a place I would stay at if I were staying long - didn't love the location - but, the price was definitely right and worked perfectly for the night before I headed to the airport. Did a quick change and headed to Casco Viejo for dinner...this place definitely gets hopping and I can imagine how popular it will be in a few years. I stopped into a little wine bar before dinner...I think it was called D'Vino or something..anyway, great little wine bar, however, the only thing I didn't like was there wasn't an actual wine menu or at least one wasn't given to me and I paid quite a bit more for the glass of wine than I thought it was...anyway, this place seemed pretty popular. I then had dinner at Manolo Caracol...definitely didn't let me down...had a total of 12 courses - most were seafood so make sure you like seafood - and definitely make reservations - I saw many people turned away. Walked around a bit more and then headed to bed for my flight out in the morning.

Some other things...if you can afford to stay in Casco, I would definitely do it...the two people I met that stayed there loved it. Also heard Kyoto's in Casco was good for sushi. Amador Causeway seemed like it would be a nice place to stay as well as I loved the views out there but definitely touristy and not sure if there are many hotels.

I didn't have any issues w/ the taxi drivers and I don't think I got ripped off too much. Most do not speak English but are very nice if you attempt to speak some Spanish to them. I did have a great driver from Albrook who I arranged to pick me up in the morning to take me to Tocumen. I went down to the lobby about 10 minutes early to use the computer and he was already there. Very reliable and very nice man..he doesn't speak a ton of English, but, I was able to get by no problem w/ my spanish and his english. He would be great to use for airport pick ups or whatever else....here is his info...Juan Tenorio juanqui_03@hotmail.com 6457-8017 . I also know that his son speaks English and will translate his emails.

Also, I was a solo female traveler and did not have any issues at all...

I didn't spend a ton of time in PC but feel free to PM me if you think I can help you plan your trip..TA is such a great source that I like to share whatever I can...

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Dallas, TX
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293 posts
29 reviews
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1. Re: PC Trip Report

I am glad that you got to spend some time with Orville Kelley. We enjoyed our day with him so much and learned a lot from him. When we left Panama Orville sent me home with my "Spanish Homework Assignment." He had taken his time to write out a list of Spanish words and phrases for me to practice before we return to Panama.

I would definitely recommend Orville and Fernando to anyone that wants to spend a day in Panama City.


Hermosa Beach...
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446 posts
69 reviews
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2. Re: PC Trip Report

ha ha...that's funny...and that doesn't surprise me...made sense when he told me he was an english teacher. i was so exhausted from flying all night tho that I finally had to tell him i was spanished out!! brain wasn't at full function....!!

Panama City, Panama
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3. Re: PC Trip Report

Thanks, again Janet. You haven't let me down with this trip report !

I love Casco Viejo too...and Manolo is my fav restaurant there. Pure delight and I hope you tried the Sangria, it is out of this world. I hope you are going to do a review on them as you know, this page will disappear and a review stays forever. I am sure they would be proud to see a review and a review will help keep this marvelous restaurant up in the top five in Panama City.

Didn't you love the "shrine" with candles burning too? I love that !

I also love Ranchito's, so you really heeded good advice from this forum, didn't you?

Just a brief note regarding staying in Amador area......at night it is difficult to get taxis to the city. Thanks for your recs with respect to tour guides. Come back soon!!

Edited: 02 March 2011, 20:15
Hermosa Beach...
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446 posts
69 reviews
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4. Re: PC Trip Report

darn...I remember reading that I should try the sangria and totally forgot when I was there and just got a glass of wine...and I love sangria...guess I forgot since they didn't have a menu...and, yes, the shrines were nice, as well.

working on bocas report and my other reviews...

5. Re: PC Trip Report

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