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El Valle distances

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Chicago, Illinois
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El Valle distances

Hi! Is it walkable to go to trails and most hotels around El Valle? We will not have a car. I would like to stay at Golden Frog Inn, but am afraid it might be too far to walk into town for meals. Sounds like some busses run to La Piedra. How easy is it to get to other sights? (we are especially interested in Trails, waterfalls, nature.)

Atlanta, Georgia...
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1. Re: El Valle distances

There will be some trails where you are. And, where you are is a beautiful place to be in El Valle. But, you are a long way walking from everything else in El Valle. When I go to El Valle,I stay at a house nearby. You'll love the views.

Snorkel, I'd strongly recommend renting a car for your time in El Valle. I think you've been there before, no? Well, you're going to be in a very isolated corner of El Valle. (Which is a place I love to be. I kick myself over and over for not buying property there when I had the chance.) But, you'll have to walk at least a couple of miles to get to the restaurants and the central market. The closest restaurant will be at the Los Capitanes. It was good in 1999, but I've heard mixed reviews, since. Even the closest Chino is a good half mile from the hotel. The waterfall, most of the trails, the pictoglyphs, the hot springs, El Nispero (the zoo), are all on the other side of El Valle.

I'm very sorry I can't give you the news you were probably hoping for. If you decide to rent a car for your trip to El Valle, let me know and I'll give you directions to the trailheads.

London, Canada
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2. Re: El Valle distances

gb_williams.

Regarding renting a car as you strongly suggest.....if we get to El Valle from Panama City either by local bus or by private shuttle, is it reasonable to take a bus or taxi down to the Royal Decameron and rent a vehicle from National Car Rental for a few days, with one of our party returning it on his way back to the airport?

I'm trying to avoid renting from the airport, and also trying to avoid that initial drive out of the city.

Thanks.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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3. Re: El Valle distances

Travelingdoc-7 -- You could certainly do that. Plan on it taking half the day, though. A more expedient way is to pick up your rental car at one of the agencies at Albrook Airport on your way out of town.

Since I'm coming in from ATL and the fight arrives at 9:00pm, I usually spend at least the first night in the city. I've often taken a taxi from the hotel in the city to Albrook Airport to pick up a car to go to El Valle or Portobelo. From Albrook, you miss all the crazy city traffic and it's a straight shot to either Bridge of the Americas or Centennial Bridge. It's also very easy to get back when it' time to return the car.

If you need exact directions, send me a PM.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: El Valle distances

/Very, very helpful info., GB! (as always). No, this is the first time I have been to El Valle. I think we will stay somewhere closer and then hope to get some mountain hikes in. We only have one night there. I agree with travellingdoc that I would not want to drive through PC at all. But maybe there is a spot to rent from if we land at Albrook airport, which could avoid city driving?

Atlanta, Georgia...
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5. Re: El Valle distances

snorkel -- rent your car at Albrook. You'll be out of the city traffic and it's very easy to get to El Valle from there.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: El Valle distances

Is it possible to rent a minivan to take 6 people? What do you think the cost would be per day? Thanks, again!

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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7. Re: El Valle distances

I'm not sure about minivans, but I know you can rent a Prado or other large SUVs. Check the availability and prices on the websites for Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, etc.

For the rental location, type in "PAC" for Albrook (Panama Domestic Airport). Some sites will show it as being in Paitilla. (That's where the old, domestic airport was before the Canal changed hands and they moved it to Albrook.) To estimate the actual charges, double the website price. Also, enter 3:30pm or 4:00pm as your return time.

Cincinnati
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8. Re: El Valle distances

We are staying at Casa de Pietra, also sans car. Will we need one?

Atlanta, Georgia...
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9. Re: El Valle distances

In El Valle, having a car is a great convenience no matter where you are staying. Even though Casa de Pietra is fairly close to the central market and a couple of restaurants, you're still in for a hike to get there. You can easily spend the majority of your time in El Valle walking from one place to another -- unless your hotel has bikes you can use. I've seen very few taxis in El Valle, and those that I have seen appeared to be from Panama City.

Some places in El Valle -- such as Sendero El Gaital, a trail to one of the most picturesque vistas in Panama -- are virtually impossible to get to unless you have a car. A car also gives you the opportunity to see the vistas from the rim or go to Sorá, or the nearby beaches at Coronado and San Carlos, and shop at the larger, less expensive supermarkets in Coronado.

In El Valle, the sites of interest are widely spread out and in different directions from your hotel. So, hiking would be a chore to visit El Nispero, the botanical gardens, the zip line, the hot springs and the trailhead to La India Dormida.

Edited: 01 November 2013, 21:02
Cincinnati
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10. Re: El Valle distances

I really appreciate your advise! We did not wish to rent a car (driving seems to be stressful plus with 4 people plus luggage it seemed easier plus would save us time not having to go to Albrook to pick up and return a car) or take the bus so we opted to hire a driver to take us to El Valle and back. Hmm... mistake??? Any way to rent a car for a day and a half in El Valle?

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