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1. Posted by trejos (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y

Hi all. I am heading to Panama City. I need help! Where should I stay, what should I do, where should I eat? If you've been, please help me. Thanks!

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2455 posts) 5y

First of all, how anyone recommend anything to you when you give no clue whatsoever as to your age, likes/dislikes, interests, budget, etc?

Secondly, which guide book are you using?

Cheers,
Terry

3. Posted by trejos (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y

I'm 34 and I am looking for tips on anything: outdoor activities, museums, art, culture, history, food, music, nightlife, day trips. Anything. Budget is not tight but also not looking for the most expensive hotel and restaurants in the city. I will be there for three days probably.

4. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 5y

You're basically out of luck on museums, is my experience. There is not culture to speak of, as it's either Panamanians struggling to survive or Americans shopping in the malls. The food is empanadas and chicken and rice. Music is either crappy pop from America or Reggaeton....but there's Salsa, I guess.

Panama is rife with outdoor activities. Diving, rafting, canoeing, hiking, swimming, climbing, exploring, ziplining...all available.

I tend to disagree with my esteemed colleague, Terry. There is nothing pertinent in which guidebook you're using. In fact, I hope you are using none. Guidebook travel is similar to eating something that someone else prechewed.

Don't plan much time in David. It's an ugly city, and the few good parts about it have recently burnt down. However, there's a lot of nature around the town to explore.

PTY sucks ass. The part that's Panamanian is just a larger version of David. The Casco is beautiful in it's decripitude, but only for a day. The other part is American. Wendy's and The Hard Rock and American style nightclubs...Ah, there's your nightlife. They have a big club scene in PTY.... The canal...I suppose it's a marvel....but! Water goes up, water goes down. Boats go Up. Boats go DOWN. How much are you going to want to watch that?

Hotels near the Children's hospital are cheap. I know nothing of hostels as I think hostels are for chuckleheads. You can get a hotel for ten bucks a night. TV and a bathroom of your own an privacy...WHy do you want to spend eight dollars and sleep in a room with a bunch of other shmoes?

Bocas is okay, I guess. The diving sucks.

I've randomly stopped in many towns along the coasts and the highway. I think this is the best way to travel. Small towns are where the culture is in ANY country in the world. Interesting churches and squares. The churches are a broken telephone connecting to nothing, but still interesting in their architecture. The looks of people who wonder why the hell a tourist stopped HERE is excellent. Don't expect a good night's sleep in a hotel in a non tourist town, though. Panamanians, as every other Latin American, are loud and disrespectful of others' space. In a hotel that usually houses only locals, it means people yelling to all hours of the night. I usually make up for it by waking every guest up when I leave at eight. They've just gone to bed at seven.

I like Yavitza, the last big town before the Gap. I LOVE the San Blas Islands.

Have a good trip.

5. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2455 posts) 5y

"... I tend to disagree with my esteemed colleague, Terry. There is nothing pertinent in which guidebook you're using. In fact, I hope you are using none. Guidebook travel is similar to eating something that someone else prechewed..."

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My query re a guide book had nothing whosoever with recommending it as a way to travel, I was simply interested if she had done even the most basic, rudimentary research on any level.

(Lastly, some of what you're recommending isn't logistically realistic with being based in Panama City for only 3 days.)

Cheers,
Terry

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Feb-2011, at 00:40 by CheersT ]

6. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1827 posts) 5y

I popped into a supermarket in Panama City and prices for food and drink were reasonable.

7. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 5y

Ah, Terry, you're correct. I just assumed that the OP would visit PTY after or before going elsewhere in the country. I didn't imagine it was a layover of some kind...but I guess it could be from the scant info provided.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Feb-2011, at 19:45 by Piecar ]

8. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 5y

Visit the Embera!