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Please Help - Itinerary Advice from Experts, Please!

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NYC
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Please Help – Itinerary Advice from Experts, Please!

Publishing this here after getting no response on the general Panama forum:

I’ve been growing increasingly anxious trying to plan our trip to Panama – so much so that it’s gone from a happy vacation to a big stressor! Can someone advise me on the plans we already have, if there are things we should change, if what we’ve planned for the time we have is realistic? Would be greatly appreciated. Oh – btw, we’ll be in Panama from April 20-27.

Tue. April 20 – Arrive at PTY in the early afternoon. From the airport, take a taxi (how much should this cost?) to either Hotel Milan or Hotel Marbella in Panama City. Find a place to have a nice lunch. Take a taxi to Casco Viejo and Panama Antigua. Have dinner near the hotel (suggestions are appreciated).

Wed. April 21 – Check out the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Panamá and Parque Nacional Metropolitano (also, do I have to pre-arrange the visit to the park? Do we need to hire a guide and, if so, how much will that cost?) Have dinner near the hotel (suggestions are appreciated).

Thur. April 22 – Catch the PanCan Railway at 7 a.m. to Colon. Take a taxi to Portobelo and visit some of the sites (are they within walking distance of each other?) and to Guayra to catch a ferry to Isla Grande. Wander around Isla Grande, eat, take the ferry back and catch a taxi back to train at 5 p.m. (or bus) station to get back to PC. Dinner near hotel.

Fri. April 23 – Get out to Santa Clara (is a taxi the best way to do this, or should we take a bus?) and stay at Las Sirenas.

Monday evening. April 26/Tuesday morning, April 27: Return to PC; If return Monday, stay in Marbella or Milan and have dinner near hotel; if Tue., head straight to airport for early evening flight.

Also, any advice on nightlife choices, live music venues, etc. in PC are greatly appreciated! (A friend recommended La Casona, but that's all we have for now.) Thanks!!!

Panama City, Panama
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1. Re: Please Help – Itinerary Advice from Experts, Please!

Tuesday: Good options for lunch in Casco Viejo - or if you want something quick try Manolo's opposite the Veneto hotel just a couple of blocks from the Milan and a block from the Marbella. You could also consider Suites Ambassador, Sevilla Suites or Toscana Inn - all within a block or two.

1985/Rincon Suizo is right near there for an upmarket dinner, Pomodoro's/The Wine Bar is just along the road for great pasta, the Istmo Brew pub is right there too for a beer and pub-style menu, the other way is Macchu Pichu for Peruvian, Martin Fierro's for Steak, Ginza for Japanese... All within a couple of blocks of the Milan/Marbella.

Wed: Park - no need to pre-anything - you don't need a guide - get to the park as early as you can for a better chance of seeing wildlife - most of them go to sleep as the heat of the day hits. See above - choose another or head to Calle Uruguay - heaps of options around there too.

Thur: Don't be late - train is more on Swiss time than Panamanian time.

The forts, customs house/museum and the Church of the Black Christ are all close by, "ferry" to Isla Grande is a small open launch, Good day trip.

Fri to Monday: I would consider renting a car - there's not a whole heck of a within walking distance of Las Sirenas and you need to get to the supermarket to make use of the kitchen and bbq. You will want to explore El Valle, Coronado area for a drive through, maybe even up to Penonome and the hills behind there.

Platea has live music - Thur: Jazz, Fri: Latin, Sat: Rock, S'cena the resaurant upstairs is good - had dinner there on my b'day last week and great steak...

As you will be up in Santa Clara over the weekend you will be away from the action in town.

Cheers,

Andrew

NYC
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2. Re: Please Help – Itinerary Advice from Experts, Please!

Andrew --

I've been reading this forum every night and referring to it for tips and you have consistently been an awesome source of info among the contributors. Thanks so much for all your advice here -- I'm making a note of all the specifics you cite and putting it with our guides/indispensable info.

3. Re: Please Help – Itinerary Advice from Experts, Please!

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