Me and my boyfriend are going to Panama for Xmas this year and would really appreciate some advise.
I would reallly like to stay in some nice places, a mean- cheap but charming.... (not asking a lot!!)... no more than 80 ish bucks a night....
Where is a must see place?
We would like to end some time on the beaches and also check out the canal of cause.... Day trips??
All advise is helpful!!
Any hotel recommendations.... backpacker places are cool as long as own bathroom (been there, done that- need somewhere ok these days).
Thanks in advance!!!
I just recently travelled Panama which is amazing! i would really recommend Isla Colon(Bocas Del Toro) which is near the board of Costa Rica! there is a group of little islands which you can hope over in a water taxi! its about 5 min drive from one island to another! amazing beaches you can hire a boat and a driver for $8 a day and he will take you to all the best beaches and islands e.g. dolphin watching as well!!!
Plus its really cheap to stay there i stayed in a hostel called Agua. its built in the middle of the water and its got dive boards and swings which you can jump into the sea etc. Plus they had a ladies night on a weds which means every woman can drink for free!!!!! its also like that on the main island.
If you are looking for a party/relaxing area this is the pace to go.
Thanks for the tips! AMAZING! Can't wait to go!!
Bocas is certainly a great place with lots of affordable accommodation. San Blas (or to be correct, Kuna Yala) is also spectacular but there is less choice in accommation both cheap or expensive. There are a few good deals but when you add airfare at about $ 120 r/t per person, it adds up.
Don't forget Panama City either. There are many places to visit with Panama City as your home base. Of course the Canal, Casco Viejo, Amador, Panama La Vieja but also a visit to an Embera Indian village is a must do. If you go with Anne Gordon of www.emberavillagetours.com you'll have a great experience.
Taking the train to Colon is another fun activity. From there you can visit the Gatun locks, Ft. Lorenzo and a few nice beaches. You can visit the Isla Colorado (run by the Smithsonian Institution) or go fishing on Gatun lake. My brother in law and 2 friends just came back today with 34 big peacock bass. Bring a refrigerated backpack! Hiking the Metropolitan park or Ancon Hill, in short, lots of things to do + a great night life and tons of restaurants.
An affordable place to stay is The Balboa Inn and some fellow British just left a rave review on Tripadvisor. At $ 85 a double including taxes and breakfast is just what you asked for. The location is perfect for what you need as it's close to the airport where the planes leave /arrive from Bocas or San Blas.
Panama is the still undiscored gem of Central America so I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.
I went there last year and I had a blast. Places to go was San Blas and Boquete. Bocas Del Toro islands are great but the city and surrounding areas was terrible. Boca Brava on the Atlantic side (an island) was great as the island has many monekys on it and the cabanas were about 12 for 2 people. You need a taxi from the highway to get to the water taxi ( about 40kms south of david. The canal in Panama City costs about 5 dollars by taxi!!! I rented a car with thriifty for about 15 dollar a day and to drive around panama was the best part. have fun, im sure you will!!!