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Panama City hotels

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california
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Panama City hotels

We will be in Panama for 6 nights. I am wondering if we should stay in Panama City for all the nights and do day trips, or whether we should split our stay between a boutique hotel in the city and a place like the Radisson outside of the city to have a pool/relaxation/closer to nature experience.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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1. Re: Panama City hotels

I would recommend getting totally out of Panama City after a couple of days. El Valle is closest and will give you a much different experience for climate to nature to activities. Check the reviews of El Valle hotels and B&Bs.

The Radisson really isn't that much out of the city.

Panama City, Panama
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2. Re: Panama City hotels

The problem with leaving the City after a couple of days is that it (the City) is a great base for a LOT of day trip opportunities in addition to all the usual in-city tourist sites.

Four nights in the City (including your last) with a couple of nights in El Valle or nearby Santa Clara for a change of pace - maybe?

IF YOU INTEND TO RENT A CAR - Look at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort [ http://gamboaresort.com/index.cfm ] for a combo city/country base. It's downside is its remoteness (30 min drive from the City) but if you have a car that becomes less of an issue. Nice pool, tours and pretty good access to a lot activities - if you have a car.

Enjoy Panama.

Steve www.panamanotes.com

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
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3. Re: Panama City hotels

I would not recommend Gamboa as a base - even with a car it can be a pian, nothing really out there other than it, the food gets average reviews at best

For a night or two - fine but if you stay in the city you don't need to drive to see any of the local sights - much easier to grab a taxi, a taxi from gamboa to anywhere in the city will ve expensive

3 or 4 nights in PC two nights in el valle or gamboa would mix it up

LN
Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: Panama City hotels

I agree, CDY. There is much to see and do around the City and not far from the city. PC is a better base than Gamboa. At least for your stay in El Valle, there are things to do also, and good restaurants and get an idea for a rainforest and mountain view and lower temperatures.

california
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5. Re: Panama City hotels

I assume that we would need to rent a car to get to El Valle? How difficult is it to drive in and out of PC to get to El Valle? Some of the hotels and B and B's there don't have AC. Will that be an issue in early April?

I was really interested in a night or two at the Gamboa resort, but some of the most recent reviews seem terrible. Any thoughts on that? Same question...would we need to rent a car to get there and be able to explore?

If our adult daughters come, they would like a place with a pool for a day or two. But I'm beginning to think that we should just stay in PC and try to do day trips. With flight times, we would need to arrive there and then spend a night there again before we leave. Starts to seem like a lot of moving around.

Panama City, Panama
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6. Re: Panama City hotels

@jag1jag1 - As I indicated in my initial response - Gamboa, ONLY if you have a rental car. As for the reviews - if you select "display by date" the most recent reviews look pretty good. Remember that if everyone ranked it 5 stars, that would mean it's perfect for everyone - no hotel is that good. Oh . . . it does have a great pool.

If you have a car, easy day trip to El Valle, Portobelo and San Lorenzo. Nearby sites - Miraflores Visitors Center, http://www.pipelineroad.org/ all the hiking trails in the national forest, Summit Zoo, and stri.si.edu/english/visit_us/barro_colorado/ The City sites, Casco Viejo, Amador Causeway would all be a 30-45 minute drive. And, YES, in order to eat at the better restaurants you will need to return to the City.

Final 2¢ worth - all of us supposed "experts" are only offering our opinions - only you know what your family will enjoy.

Panama is great - wherever you stay.

Steve

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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7. Re: Panama City hotels

Driving in Panama City itself is horrendous. I strongly advise everyone to use taxis in the city. They're cheap and plentiful. But, for doing day trips, having a rental car is a great advantage.

You might consider staying at the Country Inn and Suites Amador. It's just outside the city. It also has a great pool and nice views of the ships going in and out of the Canal. Most of all, it's a very convenient base for your day trips. The Bridge of the Americas is right there -- very easy access. Miraflores Vistors Center, Centennial Bridge, Summit Park and Zoo, Gamboa and Portobelo and the Caribbean are all "straight up the road." Best of all (with the possible exception of Bridge of the Americas), you won't have to drive in the city's terrible traffic or maze of unidentified streets.

Rent the car at Gelebert (Albrook) Airport. Again, it's very close by, very easy to get to.

When you want to go into the city for a restaurant or sight-see, take a taxi.

california
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8. Re: Panama City hotels

I am still considering the Radisson Summit for a couple of nights. It says that it is on the grounds of a national park. What is the surrounding area like? Are there restaurants nearby if we don't want to eat at the hotel? The hotel seems to have its own car rental desk, so we could hire a taxi or driver to get us there, and then rent a car.

Panama City, Panama
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9. Re: Panama City hotels

The hotel gets good reviews here on TA. The downside (for some) is it's location - the area around it is national forrest. If you stay there you will want/need a rental car - unless you just want to relax. It has a golf course and nice swimming pools. No restaurants nearby.

Attractions nearby (but you will need a car or taxi):

Summit Zoo and Botanical Garden

Miraflores Visitor Center (canal)

Gamboa Resort (tours)

http://www.pipelineroad.org/ (a favorite of mine)

Centennial Bridge (nice if you want to day trip to El Valle or the beaches)

Back to the City - 20min to Albrook, 25min to Casco Viejo or the Amador Causeway.

Hope this helps.

Steve www.panamanotes.com

Att

Kansas City...
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10. Re: Panama City hotels

I have lived here for 5 months and am still terrified of driving. Traffic is horrendous, people make 2 lanes into 5 and roads/signage are confusing, even with a GPS, which loses satellite connections repeatedly in the city. I don't recommend renting a car - taxis are cheap and you can probably make a deal with one of the hotel's drivers to take you on the longer sightseeing trips.