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People who know Panama culture please respond....

San Antonio, Texas
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7 posts
121 reviews
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People who know Panama culture please respond....

My husband and I are traveling to Panama and staying at the Royal Decameron. We are semi-familiar with the reviews and are not extremely enthusiastic about the resort (hopefully we will be surprised), however we really enjoy traveling and would like to see the Panama Canal (near Panama City), scuba dive, visit a jungle, and whatever else strikes our interest.

We will be traveling mid-August and would like some recommendations as to where to eat, shop, hike, scuba, etc. We will be renting a car and are fit and athletic 30 y/o. I am a college student with a spanish minor and my husband has been polishing up on his spanish (just enough to get by).

I would sincerely appreciate any recommendations, ideas, or information anyone would be willing to share.

Thank you so very much for your time in reading this!


Mount Pleasant...
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1,070 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: People who know Panama culture please respond....

Jennifer -

Are you staying at the Decameron the whole time you are there and if so how long is the trip? The resort will offer tours so you can do most of what you seek but my question would be why? Andrew just provided a great post on a month's itinerary but if you don't have that much time then shorten up but don't limit yourself to the Decameron when there is so much more to see. For visits to the canal and all that Panama City has to offer then stay in the city. For scuba diving and a carribean break then head to Portobelo or Isla Grande for a short time and then a couple days out on the Pacific Coast. Panama City is packed with great restaurants and lots to see so any trip to Panama without at least a couple nights in the city is truly a wasted plane ticket. Andrew truly is the local pro on all things Panama and I'm sure he'll post so stand by.

Travel Safe.

San Antonio, Texas
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7 posts
121 reviews
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2. Re: People who know Panama culture please respond....

Thank you so much for your expedient response!

We booked a package (very very inexpensive) for air and hotel stay at the decameron prior to any deep investigation regarding Panama. Yep, I read Andrew's post and it was very informative, I wish I would have checked tripadvisor prior to booking! Well, all said and done, we will be traveling middle of next month for 6 days at the decameron. I will book through them and we will rent a car to check out some of the local spots (Canal, dining,etc.) We will definitely check out Costa Rica on our next trip to Central America. My husband has traveled to Equador and Peru, but we are going to Brazil next trip or two!

Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,663 posts
95 reviews
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3. Re: People who know Panama culture please respond....

Two ideas, I believe that the Radisson is PC is associated with Decameron, maybe you could switch 2 nights.

Second, if that is not possible, spend the extra bucks and stay 2 nights at a hotel in PC. There are a fair number for under $100.

Staying in PC will put you closer to the canal and all the things to see in the city plus it would allow you to take advantage of all the restaurant choices and nightlife.

It would be well worth th money and time, since you got such great deal on the package spend a few extra $'s and really enjoy your trip.

Panama City, Panama
Destination Expert
for Panama
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1,959 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: People who know Panama culture please respond....

Some good ideas from Borracho and Chuck...

Radisson Decapolis does do packages with the Decameron as they are the same owner... might be an option, will depend on how you bought your package - even if there's a surcharge go for it as the hotel is nice and is central for:

Canal - visit the Miraflores Visitor's Center - great display and time it to catch boats - either morning before 11am or after 2pm - your hotel can check as it's a bit different each day.

Scuba Dive - you can do a day trip from PC to the Caribbean with either Scuba Panama or Panama Divers - diving is pretty good at this time of year over there.

Jungle - easiest access is Metropolitan Park which is right in the city - go early for best chance to see animals and birds - variety of trails and a lookout at top. Or you could go to the Gamboa Resort for the day - they have an aerial tram through the canopy plus some displays, you need to reserve in advance as there is limited space on the tram. Or you could walk some of the trails in Soberania National Park which is between Miraflores Locks and Gamboa - some trails are relatively well marked or there is Pipeline Road which runs from Gamboa Town out into the jungle.

Royal Decameron is about a 2 hour drive from the city so it's not the easiest base to do the above trips. Also driving back at night is not recommended as animals and people can just wander over the road without warning. Also the nightlife in the city is amazing and cannot be experienced from the RD.

So I'm with Chuck - even if you can't exchange a couple of nights to the Decapolis - get a hotel in the city - Milan, Sevilla Suites, Executive are just some options, centrally located and pretty cheap.

Hope this helps,


Salt Lake City, Utah
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622 posts
17 reviews
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5. Re: People who know Panama culture please respond....

Agree with Andrew. One thing about RD, it's now owned by Caribbean Property Group , an American owned fund. The same company was also trying to buy Decapolis, but apparently the deal didn't go...

6. Re: People who know Panama culture please respond....

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