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Panama or Mexico with kids

Montreal, Canada
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57 posts
12 reviews
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Panama or Mexico with kids

Hi,

We've done Cuba, Domincan, Jamaica but never Panama and I'm looking at the Royal Decameron for June 20th. Our kids are 17 & 13 would you recommend this for us.

Our kids have not done Mexico and we want to give them a different experience and we would also like something different. What is the weather like and what can we do in Panama?

Any info would be great!

Fresno, California
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1,939 posts
84 reviews
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1. Re: Panama or Mexico with kids

We spent 8 nights in Panama over spring break with our 15 year old son. Since it was our first time to Panama we skipped going to an AI and stayed at the Bahia Condos in Gorgona. It was the best condo that we had ever stayed in and the rate was great, VRBO #407798. There is a new tower being built next door but to be honest the wind made more noise than the construction and the condo was on the far side from the construction. The first night we stayed in Panama City and visited the Miraflores Locks the next morning before we headed out to Gorgona. We did the Jungle Tour with Captain Carl out of Gamboa and really enjoyed it. We also fished Lake Guton with Denise Milton and had another great time. Another day we drove over to El Valle for shopping. I did surf fish with octopus for bait and caught a bunch of catfish, didn't know that there was any catfish in the ocean. We also drove over to the Royal Decameron and Playa Blanca resorts to inquire about a day pass but the rate was just too high. I would say that Playa Blanca looked much nicer. Found out after we got back that there is an all inclusive beach party at San Carlos for a very reasonable price. My son was just looking for a beach volleyball game and that would have taken care of it.

Been to Mexico plenty of times and the last couple of years have stayed in AI's. The AI's in Panama will not match the AI's in Cancun nor will the beaches, it's hard to compare the Pacific to the Carribean. You will get more rain on average in Cancun than the Royal Decameron area of Panama, it is known as the dry area, also Panama does not get hurricanes. Twice during a weeks stay at Cancun in June it rained 3 days straight on us, the other 3 weeks that we have stayed in June the weather was perfect.

I rented a car from the airport and driving in Panama City was not fun at all but once you get outside of the city it was very easy. I used google maps on my iphone so that I would not get lost and it worked very well for us.

Good luck with your choice but I'm sure that your kids will like both places.

Chicago, Illinois
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1,470 posts
110 reviews
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2. Re: Panama or Mexico with kids

What interests your kids? Just beach time or do they want some nature? Panama could deliver you encounters with monkeys, cool birds and insects and you could talk about how old Panama City was destroyed by famous pirates. Staying just outside of PC (Gamboa resort, perhaps) could allow you to experiece beach and jungle. Ofcourse, Bocas del Toro woul do that too, and you'd have gorgeous beaches to rival those in Mexico or the Caribbean. Regardlss, if you get off of the AIs, you can get some really wonderful food in Panama an the cost is quite good!

In Mexico, consider Huatulco, which is way southern Mexico on the pacific coast, about 250 miles south of Acapulco. June is their "rainier" season but still most days would be sunny, with much better chance than Cancun. There are a series of bays with som marvelous snorkeling (large schools of beautiful fish, puffer fish, eagle ray, etc.). The beaches outside of theAIs are not crowded and you can cheaply taxi to beaches or take a daylong tour to beaches rechable only by boat. Safe, lovely Mexican towns where you can enjoy hanging out on the plazas and giving your kids a cool cultural experience. In either case, your kids would hve a great time and come out of the experience with so much more than a sunburn!!

Washington DC
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302 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Panama or Mexico with kids

excuse my ignorance but what is an AI

Chicago, Illinois
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1,470 posts
110 reviews
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4. Re: Panama or Mexico with kids

AI is "all inclusive"--all food and drinks and accomodations included in the cost. Usually a large resort with activities that cater toward the general tourist. They can be a good option if you don't want to leave the resort, or it is unsafe to do so, and there are often a variety of activities if you are with a group. AIs are common in some beach areas, known particularly in Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican republic.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,665 posts
96 reviews
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5. Re: Panama or Mexico with kids

If you want something different in Panama skip the AI's, Decameron is not really close to anything other than el Valle, the beach is average , the water a bit murky, your kids wont like the 2 hour ride each way to visit the interesting sites close to and in PC.

6. Re: Panama or Mexico with kids

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