Panama City Journals

Pooped and Duped in Panamá City

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An April 2006 trip to Panama City by Jose Kevo

Rumble in the Concrete Jungle Photo, Panama City, Panama More Photos
Quote: The skyline suggests modern metropolis, but don't let that fool you! Here's some survival basics before even considering the sites and attractions.

Pooped and Duped in Panamá City

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Overview

The In-Betweens Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
Opposites must attract because this country boy feels right at home in the city; especially those with a Latin persuasion. Some of my best experiences have evolved in greater metropolitan areas, and I was looking quite forward to six days in Panamá City. Little did I know that things would turn-out so frazzled and nerve-racking.Panamá City might be Central America's premier capital, but current identity crisis only broadens gap between worsts of both worlds for the rich man and poor man. Founded in 1519 as storehouse for Spain's fortunes plundered from New World conquests, modern-day government is looking to restore wealth for the city and country. Panamá has become the world's latest bank...Read More

Pension Las Palmeras

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Hotel

Pension Las Palmeras Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
Shoestring travelers need look no further than Pensión Las Palmeras, for more reasons than just cheap. This place was clean and safe, which is more than I can say about any other budget listings in Panamá City.Rooms, accommodating one/two people, cost $6 with shared bath; $8 for private facilities during the week. Prices spike $2 on weekends. Make sure you're comfortable with roommates if opting for private restrooms. Both toilet and shower are open, leaving little room for modesty. Otherwise, restrooms down the hall are small but adequate.Getting what you pay for is give and take. Rooms are bare-bone basics at the very least, with soap and towels, fan, table, and the most comf...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 27, 2006

Pension Las Palmeras
3829 Avenida Cuba Off Calle 38 Este
Panama City
(507) 225-0811

Hotel Latino Panama

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Hotel | "Hotel Latino"

Hotel Latino Panama Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
After gallivanting around the countryside, I wasn't prepared to endure Panamá City. Between exhaustion and relentless city heat, a place that catered to laziness was definitely in order. After scouting around, Hotel Latino was worth the minimal splurge thanks to a pair of key factors.Not only did they discount stays of two nights or more, they were the only area hotel which accepted credit cards; a major relief from running low on cash during the Easter holiday. The other unrivaled bonus was a roof-top swimming pool, shared with small parrots and exotic songbirds swooping in for a dip. Lunch dates with a bottle of Seco seduced the tranquil setting into solid afternoon siestas.S...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 27, 2006

Hotel Latino Panama
Calle 36 and Avenida Cuba
Calidonia, Panama City
(507) 227-3395

Panamá City Grazing

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Restaurant

Panamá City Grazing Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
When it comes to dining based on others' recommendations and reviews, good luck trying to find it! Most streets aren't marked with names, and buildings don't have numbers displayed. If restaurants aren't part of a recognizable complex or on major thoroughfares, don't expect much help from cabbies or even pedestrians. Not to worry. Panamanians seem to have recognized and solved the problems insuring no one goes hungry.Between actual establishments and sidewalk stands, Panamá City had more eating opportunities than about anywhere ever ventured. When hunger strikes, there's always something within view to satisfy impulse cravings.Budget travelers will feast while in Panamá City, w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 27, 2006

Panamá City Grazing
Around The Capitol
Panama City

Fear Factors of the Capitol

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Story/Tip

Birds of Prey Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
Arriving in Panamá City at 2:30am on Good Friday, the taxi whizzed through a maze of empty streets and red-light intersections with nothing to fear. Lucho was busy spouting instructions for reconnecting on Saturday, but was also reluctant to abandon me at a hotel he wasn't acquainted with. Playing the good host involved surveying the neighborhood before flying up steps to inquisition the night clerk.Sometimes, fussiness of typical Latin hospitality can wear a little thin even under the best intentions. Lucho continued with the do's and don'ts while repeatedly referencing hospital across the street; just "in case" of emergency. Perhaps I'd shared too many stories about previous travel escap...Read More

Devilish Escapades: Los Diablos Rojos

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Story/Tip

Rumble in the Concrete Jungle Photo, Panama City, Panama
Quote:
If you think howler monkeys in the surrounding hills can stir-up quite the commotion, they're nothing compared to what puts the rumble in the concrete jungle of Panamá City! Red Devils are the fiends reeking havoc through streets of the capitol; appropriately called Los Diablos Rojos though scarlet, crimson, ruby, and cherry are hardly extent of tones.Vivid and vibrant, these magnates of the capitol's public transportation system might just be the city's greatest attractions by default. The revved-up school buses are everywhere; cultural icons with their colorful murals and decorations. Even if you manage to track down the Contemporary Art Museum, exhibitions pale in comparison with...Read More