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driver/guide in Panama City

Chicago, Illinois
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11 posts
31 reviews
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driver/guide in Panama City

Greetings!

Wondering about having a guide/driver for 4 days in Panama City....Is it an easy city to explore on our own or is a driver/guide helpful? Any recommendations? There are two names that have popped up, each with a couple of good reviews - Orvill Kelly and Tony Rocha. This would be in addition to the standard trip on the canal.

Thanks in advance!

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,906 posts
99 reviews
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1. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

Outside of Casco Viejo, dont think you need a driver/guide.

Just grab a cab to Miraflores, one day you could get a guide for Casco and maybe combine it with Panama Viejo, and the other days explore by yourself.

If you are concerned with the taxis because you dont seak Spanish, write down where you want to go and give the note to the driver.

Always ask the price first though before heading to your destination.

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Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo
9,489 Reviews
Panama City, Panama
Panama City, Panama
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19,621 posts
27 reviews
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2. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

What sort of things are you wanting to do ?

Do you speak or read any Spanish ?

Chicago, Illinois
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11 posts
31 reviews
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3. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

We do not speak spanish.

We would like to explore the city. Pretty last minute trip so we are just reading up on everything

Belmont, California
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35 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

Be prepared for constructions everywhere. Pockets of the City are good to visit on foot, but also beware of dangerous sections of town where you are better off NOT on foot. In particular, the section between Cerro Ancon and Casco Viejo is a slum area not advisable for pedestrians. Even the taxi drivers lock their doors when driving through that area. Also the area immediately east of Cerro Ancon, which is visibly dilapidated.

Taxis are inexpensive, but only if you (1) ask how much before you get in, (2) expect to pay more if you are coming from an area where few taxis come through, and (3) expect to be charged more if your party is more than 2-3. Beyond that they charge $2 per extra person. For the same exact trip, we have paid $3 - $8. The English-speaking drivers charge double the highest number. We paid $15 (for a group of 6) for an English speaking driver who serves the hotel trade to take us from Cerro Ancon to the Causeway, and paid $3 (for a group of 3) by hailing a taxi on the street and asking how much he would charge before we entered the cab. It also depends on if they perceive you to be gullible. Different people in our party ended up paying as much as 2x for the same exact route and headcount. Sometimes the taxi drivers try to change the quote mid-way through the ride, but often for cause, such as traffic congestion. Note the taxis charge by zone and headcount, not by length of route. If you are near the edge of one zone, walk past that zone and avoid the surcharge.

Having read the above, if you still want an English speaking driver to take you around (and this is not a bad idea for one day, to take in many of pockets of PC), ask the concierge of any hotel that serves English speaking tourists. They all have a roster. We stayed one night at the Toscana Hotel, and a week later in Boquete, I called them to ask them to connect me with a driver so we can have a ride coming back in to PC. They obliged with a name and phone number within a day. If you hire someone for one day, negotiate an hourly rate. We have paid $15/hour for an English speaking driver for our party of 6. These are deluxe rates so don't get hood winked into a higher rate; in fact if you are a smaller party, your rate should be lower.

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Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo
9,489 Reviews
Panama City, Panama
5. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

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Removed on: 28 January 2013, 15:34
Palm City, Florida
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73 posts
50 reviews
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6. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

looking for a tour driver named John who we used on out last trip to Panama City..he was recomended by someone on this forum but I have lost his contact information. It was something like Bigman09@....he was wonderful and since we are planning a return would like to use him again.

Thanks in advance

Cherry Hill, New...
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2 posts
80 reviews
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7. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

Just returned from PC. We used Ricardo Fisher based on a friends recommendation. He picked us up at and returned us to the airport and did some local restaurant driving. He speaks English very well and is very reliable.

Contact: panamavipcab@gmail.com

011 (507) 6405 1148

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6 posts
70 reviews
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8. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

We just returned from Panama. We used Jorge Morales as a guide. He took us on a tour of Panama City and the Miraflores locks and then dropped us off at our B and B in Gamboa. He then provided all of the transport we needed for the rest of the trip in the Panama City area. He speaks good English. His email is jorge05_morales@hotmail.com. Cell is 6747/1960/6681-7555

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Panama
Panama
Central America
Layton, Utah
1 post
1 review
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9. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

Re: driver/guide in Panama City

We used Mr. Morales ( jorge05_morales@hotmail.com. Cell is 6747/1960/6681-7555) for our guide in Panama. He price was reasonable. His vehicle was clean and in good repair. He was very knowledgeable about the country, the sites, and where to eat. I highly recommend him for touring the country.

Bill

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Panama
Panama
Central America
Los Angeles...
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348 posts
1 review
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10. Re: driver/guide in Panama City

We used Luis Vega in July and really liked him. He is a wealth of information on the history and sights in Panama City and the country in general. His email address is Vegaluis2010@gmail.com. Our Spanish is also very limited and Luis speaks perfect English. Having Luis as our driver was an enjoyable part of our trip. Cherie