Can anyone offer some advice for Panama itinerary Dec?
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 23, 2012 7:54 AM Last Post By: rhinotraveller
Nov 8, 2012 12:02 PM
Can anyone offer some advice for Panama itinerary Dec?Hi there
Im off to Panama for the last 2 weeks of december with my boyfriend, and would LOVE some advice on our itinery.
We're looking for nice weather, beaches, and nice 'luxury' hotels (not going to be a 'slumming it' sort of holiday...)
Can anyone recommend nice beaches on the Pacific side?
I made a list of places I thought looked good, would be great to hear which people prefer, and if the weather will be nice then.
Thanks for any help you're able to offer!!
- Comarca De Kuna Yala
(will weather be ok in dec??)
- Isla Barro Colorado
- Isla Taboga
- Isla San Jose
Meant to rain then ( I know it says it rains every day there which is fine, but meant to rain the most then. Which is ok but I wonder if it's overcast when it's not raining?? If it's sunny outside of the rain then it's a definate yes).
- El Valle
- Santa Fe
- Lago Gatun
- Burbayar Lodge
- golfo de chiriqui
Edited by: hanka545
Nov 11, 2012 11:52 PM
I am sure you will have a great time in Panama. Two weeks is plenty of time to relax and to a great trip here.
Beginning with the nice weather, in Panama it's kind of a lottery, sometimes it rains a lot and other time its very sunny. December is not summer yet but most days should be sunny, hopefully.
You are only looking for beaches on the Pacific side? Kuna Yala and Bocas del Toro are on the Caribbean side which definitely have nicer beaches. Panama is very small and all national flights would take less than an hour so is very easy to get from one place to another. You should book all your flights as soon as you can on Air Panama http://www.flyairpanama.com/ which is currently the only airline doing national flights.
Here is hard to really find a nice hotel. All locations would be great of course but most hotels are not what most would consider luxurious. The best hotel in the area would be http://www.corallodge.com/ which is a bit pricey or http://www.yandupisland.com/ which is also very nice. Coral Lodge is not exactly on an island as Yandup is but both are great options.
Its very close to Panama City so theres no need to stay at an hotel there but if you do I have heard that http://www.canopytower.com/ its a good option. In their website you will find the many activities you can do around there.
Is part of the Archipielago de las Perlas. Isla Taboga is not worth going but Isla San José in the Archipielago definitely is. You must stay in this hotel http://www.haciendadelmar.net/.
Isla Bocas Del Toro.
Here it usually rains but its the best spot for New Years Eve if you are looking for more activity. Even if you are not it's worth going for sure. The best hotels in Bocas Town are http://www.bocastropical.com/ and http://www.palmaroyale.com/ but there are plenty of hotels and bungalows in the surrounding areas and most are still relatively close.
El Valle is a nice mountain retreat and the best hotel over there is http://www.losmandarinos.com/ but I assure you a much more better mountain retreat experience in Boquete where the best hotels are http://www.veresort.com/, http://panamonte.com/ and http://boquetespa.com/.
Santa Fe I don't think its a great for 2 weeks here but the best option would be to go to Santa Catalina where http://www.onthereefpanama.com/ is the best and only "luxury" option and from there make a tour around the Island Coiba which is very nice.
Lago Gatun would be the same than Isla Barro Colorado I believe, I am not sure if there is a hotel ad that island.
Burbayar is very nice to appreciate the indigenous culture it's a very fun trip for sure but it's not very luxurious. The accommodations would probably not be worth the cost but maybe the experience is.
In the Gulf of Chiriqui I would recommend http://www.boutiquehotelcalamia.com/ a lot it's very nice, relatively close to Boquete an hour and a half drive.
Another places I would highly recommend are:
Its close to Isla Iguana which is very nice and a great hotel http://www.villacamillapanama.com/.
http://www.elotrolado.com.pa/weben/ an amazing hotel over there but very expensive.
In Panama I would recommend to stay in Casco Viejo at the hotel Las Clementinas or closer to Panama City at the Bristol.
The right itinerary would be something like Pedasi, then flight to David, drive to Boquete and then drive to the Gulf of Chiriqui hotel Cala Mia and then back to David and flight or drive (I recommend always flight) to Bocas del Toro. Then fly back to Panama and go visit Kuna Yala. You should have a couple of days in the city to enjoy it well and go visit the Gatun Lake, Panama Canal and different places from there. Maybe try to include Burbaya Lodge for the cultural experience but you might have enough with Kuna Yala which I recommend more.
Best of luck
Edited by: ramman
Nov 13, 2012 12:07 PM
Thank you SO much for your advice - so very helpful...
Honestly, so nice to be able to hear about it from somebody as don't know anyone that has been. And my boyfriend doesn't have much time to look into.
I've gone through your comments - and made a more 'final' list -- but obviously things need to be cut down...!! So any help you can offer would be great in terms of best places, how long to spend, order of itinerary etc...
i've also added some extra places - such as boqette; would love to hear your advice if you know anything about those places. (marked them as **)
Thank you - I owe you a coffee and cake?!
- Comarca De Kuna Yala
- isla barro colorado
- isla san jose
- golfo de chiriqui
- - Posada Cerro La Viega
- - Boquette
- - Panama Rail Road
- - Isla Grande
Nov 13, 2012 12:42 PM
No worries, its a pleasure to help you. I have been everywhere in Panama as I was born and raised here and I love traveling as well.
I would divided like this.
You arrive to Panama, stay at the Bristol for one or two nights to relax. You can go visit The Panama Canal, The Causeway of Amador, go around the city to the different shopping malls or visit the Metropolitan park or the Gatun lake for amor Eco friendly experience. There are may great restaurants in Panama City. You should go to Maito and Grapes both are very good. You can see more information at www.degustapanama.com.
Don't waste time in Barro Colorado. Do the following.
Stay in Panama for 2 nights to relax
First fly to Isla San José to relax with in the beach with a nice sun. Stay there 2 nights maybe 3. Then fly to David, Chiriqui and from there rent a car and drive 30 minutes to Boquete for a mountain retreat kind of trip (I love Boquete). Stay there 3 more nights. Then drive back to David and fly to Bocas Del Toro and stay there 3 more nights. Then fly back to Panama City and stay in Las Clementinas in the Old Town of Casco Antiguo. There are many museums and theaters around there I am sure the receptionist can help you with activities. There are also many restaurants and bars over there. Stay there 2 nights. Then fly or drive (ask the hotel for assistance) to Kuna Yala for 2 more nights max.
I recommend to stay only a couple of nights in each place because there aren't really a lot of things to do and with a few days it's usually enough but if you don't feel like moving so much you should eliminate one place from the list. Probably Bocas del Toro, although it's very nice and it's the hottest destination in Panama for NYE with great parties, I believe that the islands in Kuna Yala are a little bit nicer and both are in the Caribbean side. In the Pacific side Isla San José is the best for me, then Villa Camila in Pedasi and Cala Mia in the Gulf of Chiriqui you should check the hotels to see what do you like the most.
Nov 19, 2012 11:19 AM
4Thanks yet again for your reply and suggested itinerary...
Do you think the weather will be ok in Bocas Del Toro and Kuna Yala?
Also after doing some research, maybe Santa Fe would be a bit more chilled and less touristy than Boquette, would you agree and is it similar scenery? Or is Boquette busier for a good reason?
Would you recommend any of these places to fit into the itinerary / or to go instead of one place already suggested?
Parque Nacional Coiba
Panama Rail Road
Thanks again :)
Nov 20, 2012 4:38 PM
If you go to Santa Catalina or Pedasi they are both on the Azuero Coastline and from Santa Catalina you can visit the Island of Coiba. It's very nice but I like Kuna Yala, San José and Bocas del Toro more.
Now between Boquete and Santa Fe, I assure you that Boquete is much more nicer and it's absolutely worth the trip. I visit Boquete every few months and I love it every time.
You'r welcome, if I can help with anything else please let me know.
Nov 21, 2012 12:04 AM
6Hanka - 1 comment from me... You should seriously consider a visit to the San Blas Islands which you can organise out of Panama City or before you go. It truly is paradise there and if you're not on a tight budget then it's definitely worth the expense. One of my favourite worldwide beach experiences - truly paradise... I've got a few photos below if you want a glimpse of what it'll be like.
Nov 22, 2012 10:54 AM
Nov 23, 2012 7:54 AM
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