Panama - yes or no?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Sep 15, 2012 6:32 AM Last Post By: CCJohn
Aug 13, 2012 4:32 PM
Panama - yes or no?I am a solo female traveller, I have a week off work in mid November and I can use my frequent flyer miles to get to Panama. I have checked flights to other destiantions for my travel dates but there is no availability. I have not been to Panama and I don't speak Spanish. I was thinking of staying for a week (ie, 7 nights, 6 fulls days). I am a budget traveller.
Is Panama safe for a solo female traveler?
Is 6 days long enough to visit the Canal, take a cruise on Gatun lake, see an Embera village and transit the canal locks? I have no interest in the beach.
Is Panama City the best place to stay for the entire 7 nights?
I have looked at day tours online and they are expensive, which company should I be looking at for tours? I have emailed My Friend Mario, but this company has not replied.
Apologies if I sound somewhat unprepared, I am - I need to commit to the flights asap otherwise I will lose out on using my frequent flyer points for my trip. The Lonely Planet travel to Panama isn't available at my local book store and I will need to drive to a larger bookstore for the guide, which I will do later this week.
Any help members of this forum can provide will ge great.
Edited by: 222gogogo
Aug 13, 2012 4:40 PM
Aug 13, 2012 5:16 PM
Aug 13, 2012 5:53 PM
3Is Panama City the best place to stay for the entire 7 nights?
not for me to say. as for me, I would rather fall in sketch sitch.
Sorry I should have mentioned I do not swim and have no interest in the beach.
OP: "I have no interest in the beach"
I suspect this is one of Scoots troll handles.
Aug 13, 2012 6:22 PM
4I've been to Panama a few times, love it, and if I had to pick one country in CA as safest for a solo female traveler, Panama would be it. I think 6 days leaves you enough time to see the things you mentioned and more (i.e. Casco Viejo in PC, Panama Vieja, Parque Metropolitano, etc.) but not enough time to branch out from the city to overnight at any of the semi-nearby Towns (such as El Valle or Santa Fe). If you could adjust your schedule or lengthen your trip so you can leave the city for a few days, I think you would be glad you did. If not, PC would be fine for staying the duration of your trip; La Exposicion neighborhood has many budget hotels to choose from. One more thing: tours. Unless that's how you prefer to spend your time, I would recommend seeing sights independently. For canal cruises and Embera visits you will certainly need assistance, but you can do so much on your own. Go to Panama!
Aug 13, 2012 6:27 PM
Aug 14, 2012 5:05 PM
Aug 14, 2012 6:42 PM
7I can't tell you about how safe it is for a solo female visitor, but I am a solo male visitor who stayed in the budget Santa Ana section of Panama City and had no problems day or night. I took the bus from the airport for one dollar. It was comfortable and air conditioned!
I stayed in the infamous Hotel Ideal, once the place where US servicemen brought their local ...um..."dates". The lobby is complete with disco balls and mirrors and my room looked like someone on LSD designed it. But it had a/c, no bugs and plenty of hot water, all for $19 a night. It was quiet cause I asked for a room away from the bar. The clerk thought my request to be strange, after all, doesn't everyone like loud music?
Some women tourists were staying even at this hotel in a rough section. Maybe if you are the tough type, it wouldn't be bad...otherwise there are more conservative neighborhoods. My guess would be the worse that would happen is some drunk might think you are available if you go out here at night.
When I left in the early morning hours, the hotel security man went outside to make sure I got into a taxi without problems. Hope that you enjoy your visit.
Aug 15, 2012 6:50 AM
8Went to Panama as a solo female this year and I think you'll be fine. Stay at Magnolia Inn at Casco Viejo and you can wander around the old town. A couple of days in Panama City would be ok and you could go up to Boquete if you wanted to, you can fly or take the bus. Ziplining, coffee, mountains, etc.
Aug 15, 2012 8:42 AM
9With 7 days you can easily branch out, after all El Valle is only 2 1/2 hours by bus and Santa Fe is around 4. Unless you are really interested in the Canal i would leave the city and head into the interior. you should also post exactly when you are traveling in Panama.and November is a monyh of holidays in Panama which means depending when and where you are going there may be toms of Panamanian families. also do some research and find out which towns are having gestivities. it would be fairly cool to be in places like Los Santos for first call the freedom day. Panama is fairly safe for solo woman. you will know when you are in an unvomfortable sitchuation. if you do choose to stay in the city, there are some nice jungles hikes in metropolitan park. if you are there for the main holiday week the city will be empty. if i were you, google a map of Panama, find some towns and google them and flickr them and see what you like. the buses are very cheap safe and easy. in your research you may want to explore other forums on the internet. LP has people that post advice but never actually been there so they seem like experts, such as solohobo. im sure there are more panamacentric forums out there.
Aug 15, 2012 5:13 PM
Sep 15, 2012 6:32 AM
11The first five days of November are holidays...Nov. 1st..All Saints Day, Nov.2nd All Souls Day, Nov 3rd Independent from Colombia, Nov. 4th Flag Day, Nov. 5th Independence Day in Colon.(celebrated nation wide)
Also, other national holidays are Nov. 10th is First Cry for Independence and Nov 28th is Independence from Spain. .
Do try to go to the top of Ancon Hill (a/k/a Quarry Heights). You will have two outlooks...one of the financial district and the other of the Bridge Of America, Miraflores Locks, port area, etc. Mi Pueblito is a replicated rural village at the foot of Ancon Hill.
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