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july/August with 5 year old

toronto
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july/August with 5 year old

I have been reading the latest posts on travelling with kids and thanks to all who help make this site a valuable research tool.

We will be travelling to Peru this summer, but would like to have a stop over in Panama and some relaxing beach time with our 5 year old.

What beach/area to stay has the calmest waters at that time?

any suggestions for places to stay (p.s. last year we rented a villa in Costa Rica and found that we needed A/C) so would like to have that in Bocas

Thank you for your input.

Dennis family

Bocas del Toro
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1. Re: july/August with 5 year old

Most of the sand beaches face the open caribbean and may not be very calm July-August. Usually the dry season, calmer seas, begins in September. This year we did not have much of a dry season at all, but last year we had gorgeous weather and calm seas from the 15th of August, so I would time towards the end of August if you can. The two islands with the best beaches are Isla Colon with Bluff Beach and Bastimentos with 5 nice sized beaches but much more isolated and a bit harder/more expensive to get to. Isla Colon also has a small Beach at Boca Del Drago, which is facing part open Caribbean and part mainland, and thus is a bit more laid back, as far as wave action. It is also a 20 minute walk away to starfish beach which I am sure your kid would thoroughly enjoy. Tide pools along the road to Bluff is also a kid favorite, and so will be swimming if the ocean is not rough when you come.

Most if not all places on the beach are off the grid and most will not have air conditioning. There is a beach area in town, with many places with AC nearby, but it is far from the best beach of the archipelago.

Edited: 04 December 2009, 19:55
Panama City, Panama
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2. Re: july/August with 5 year old

Rather than Bocas you may want to look at the beaches nearer to Panama City - Santa Clara, San Carolos, Buenaventura and Farallon - or if you want to go a bit further afield look at Pedasi or Santa Catalina - both are about 5 to 6 hours from Panama City. The Pacific beaches can be very calm during those months but all beaches can get really rought at times.

At all the above listed places you should be able to find villa rentals - look at:

www.flipkey.com (new Trip Advisor related site)

www.vrbo.com

www.panamapremierrentals.com

Hope this helps,

Andrew

Isla Bastimentos
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3. Re: july/August with 5 year old

Hey Baka, I'm a fellow Torontonian and live on one of the outer islands in the Bocas archipeligo, and run a small resort there. Don't listen to any of these guys who start out with "rather than Bocas". He knows as well as everyone else in Panama that Bocas is the premier beach resort town in Panama, and a must see area if you enjoy beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by breathtaking wild life and an under sea enviroment that dazzles your senses. There are several hotels rite on the water with ac, but many of them don't need it because of the Carabbean Tradewinds that blow in every afternoon and keep things nice and confortable. Most of the beaches on the Pacific have huge tidal fluxes which make the water muddy and difficult to swim in, especially for kids, with little or no marine life to be seen, except for sharks and sea snakes.

Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: july/August with 5 year old

I'm another Canadian but from the "best" side of the country!!!!

Talking about bias - but each to his own... That's the joy of a forum - you get lots of opinions and then figure out what's best for you and yours.

You are looking for calm beaches and the Caribbean coast can get pretty snarly those months - but then again so can the Pacific coast.

Off the beaches closer to Panama City there are no great places for snorkeling - but there is great snorkeling off Pedasi and Santa Catalina - both coming into their own as "Panama's premier beach resort town"... Another potential option for great beaches is the Pearl Islands - Contadora has super beaches but less infrastructure than you would find in Bocas but still some nice B&B's and condos for rent.

So as you can see - there's no one "best" place - look into all of those places mentioned - take how long you have in Panama into account and if you have any specific questions about any of the areas feel free to ask away.

Two great websites to look at for general Panama information are:

www.visitpanama.com

www.panamainfo.com

Cheers,

Andrew

toronto
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5. Re: july/August with 5 year old

thanks so far for all info.

i will spend the next while researching and if i have more questions i will ask. This has been a helpful start. perhaps I will find a place with a pool then dont have to worry if the waves get too chopy. last summer we spent two weeks in playa samara, CR. when the ocean was good we went in and when it wasnt Matthew played in the pool.

cheers

Panama City, Panama
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6. Re: july/August with 5 year old

Here's a great site - doesn't have all the bus routes and times but it does have a lot - you can check out the Sixaola - San Jose sked on there

http://www.thebusschedule.com/cr/index.php

Cheers,

Andrew

Panama City, Panama
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7. Re: july/August with 5 year old

You can also check these guys out for getting from Bocas to Puerto Limon:

www.tropicalreservations-cr.com - click on the Transport and Getting To Bocas - works in reverse as well.

Contact them to make sure info is current and they are still running.

Cheers,

Andrew

Isla Bastimentos
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8. Re: july/August with 5 year old

Playa Mango and Playa Tortuga both have pools in Bocas, I would strongly recomend Play Mango. As far as snorkeling in Pedasi, U must have been snorkeling in your bath tub, Andi, My best friend lives there and says it sux for snorkeling, Bocas mucho mas clara y bueno. Good surfing at Veneau though.

Panama City, Panama
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9. Re: july/August with 5 year old

Tranquilo Bay has a nice set-up for children and their bay is protected for some nice swimming off the dock. Casa Cayuco is set up on a small beach that is fairly calm, protected by a fringe reef. Popa Paradise has an infinity pool and a children's pool. The beach is protected from rough waves by a barrier reef. We just hosted a family with a three-year old and one-year old for three weeks. They were growing gills by the time they left.

10. Re: july/August with 5 year old

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