Panama Journals

Last-Minute Trip to Panama

A November 2006 trip to Panama by Little Ayun

Red Devils Photo, Panama City, Panama More Photos
Quote: Decided to go on Monday, bought a ticket on Tuesday, left on Thursday for a 10-day trip to kill some time between jobs.

Last-Minute Trip to Panama

Overview

Casca Viejo Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
Hey, it's on the same time zone as Boston? And they use American currency? I'm there.I took this trip pretty much on a whim, on the advice of a colleague who had traveled extensively in the region. I told her I enjoyed wandering around big cities and desperately needed some time at a beach, preferably in a hammock. The postcard I sent her from Bocas Del Toro, five days into my trip, read "THANK YOU!" I had very little time to do research or reading, and made plans on the fly after arriving in Panama city.I stayed in Casca Viejo and El Cangrejo while in Panama City, and stuck pretty close to Bocas town while on Isla Colon.Quick Tips: Though bargain-hungry backpackers may break ...Read More

Mamallena

Hotel

Quote:
Nine bucks a night gets you a (bunk) bed in an air-conditioned room, breakfast, Internet access, and tons of opportunities to pick the brain of the Belgian expat owner about what's worth seeing beyond Panama city. Ask real nicely and he'll give you a ride to the airport for ten bucks, much less than a taxi would cost. The staff is friendly too, and remembered me when I came back for my second stay. Mamallena is in one of the more upscale areas of Panama city, surrounded by fancy hotels and tons of restaurants, clubs and bars. It's also in walking distance from a 24-hour grocery store, which came in very handy after a long evening of barhopping.Panama City doesn't have a ton of Euro-style ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2006

Mamallena

Panama City, Panama
(507) 6689 1262

Quote:
Here's really all you need to know: Free Airport Transfer. Panama City doesn't have a real public transportation infrastructure, so your options for getting into Panama City are pretty limited. Included in the cost of my ($28) room was a free ride to the hotel, the equivalent a $20-ish cab ride. Someone from the hotel even called my house shortly after I made my on-line reservation to get my flight number and tell me where the meet the driver.My flight arrived so late in the evening that I didn't bother with food or a look around the neighborhood - just proceeded straight to bed. Good thing too, as I realized the next morning. The neighborhood surrounding the Marparaiso is not exactly confiden...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Hotel Marparaiso
Avenida Cuba Calle 34
Panama City, Panama
+507 227-6767

Om Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
I didn't travel to Panama expecting to find awesome Indian food, but it's there, courtesy of an Indian-Canadian expat who makes her chai the elaborate, time-consuming way her father taught her, and will happily chat when the breakfast rush is over. The menu is a good mix of traditional Indian cuisine and Westernized dishes - plenty of tasty breakfast items, including eggs Vindaloo for the adventurous and pancakes for the rest of us.I stopped in for a solo breakfast on my second day in Bocas Del Toro, intending only to stay as long as it took to finish a bagel-egg sandwich (served with an unexpected but surprisingly tasty dollop of spiced mayo) and cup of chai, but found myself lingering to adm...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 14, 2006

Om Cafe
Av. F At Calle 2, Bocas Town
Bocas del Toro, Panama
6624-0898

Amador Causeway

Attraction

Amador Causeway Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
This Panama City attraction has great views of the city and a handful of higher-end restaurants ($20-ish per-head meals, including alcohol) and shopping options, but isn't quite the hot spot you may expect based on what you've read in your guidebook. The causeway is a man-made connection between four small islands, built from earth excavated during the building of the Panama Canal, and a former military base. It's the place to catch the ferry to Isla Tagoba, rent a bike to tour the length of the causeway, or do some rollerblading or jogging. Boston residents may be reminded of the Charles River Esplanade, though the views from Amador are much more dramatic! This is also the place to go if you're inter...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 13, 2006

Amador Causeway
Causeway Of The Panama Canal
Panama City, Panama

Red Devils Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
Panama city doesn't have public transportation in the strictest sense, but that doesn't mean you're stuck with cabs or walking. Privately-owned school buses (called 'Red Devils') patrol the major thoroughfares, sporting elaborate paint jobs and blasting salsa music from interior and exterior speakers. The ride is bumpy, the conditions are sweaty and cramped (especially if you're on the tall side - I'm 4'11" and felt the pinch) and can be unsafe (18 people were killed when a bus exploded just last month) but are still one of the best ways to see a broad part of the city at one shot, and the price (25 cents) can't be beat. ...Read More