"Panama City" Top 5 Page for this destination Panamá City by Dabs

Panamá City Travel Guide: 449 reviews and 1,032 photos

"Well, we haven't been there" was the inspiration for this trip and even after having been to the city I still don't really have a good feel where everything is since we spent most of our time on daytrips outside the capital city.

The area we stayed in, Bella Vista (or is it Cangrejo?), seemed to be thrown together, the streets running every which way, the sidewalks never seeming to meet, construction projects everywhere including the project to install Panama City's first metro line. Traffic clogs the streets that are unable to handle the flow, diablo buses with people hanging out of them, empty city buses running behind them. There seems to have been a recent influx of cash into Panama City, when we asked where it's coming from the typical response was drug money/money laundering and that most of the development was slapped together without a lot of thought about longevity.

We spent our three full days doing daytrips outside of Panama City, one day out to Lake Gatun and the Panama Canal, one day by train to the Caribbean coast to see the historic town of Portobelo and spend the remainder of the day at the beach at Isla Grande and the 3rd day a canoe ride along with Rio Chagres to visit one of the Embera Indian villages.

On our fourth day we finally spent a little time in Panama City, the old section of Casco Viejo and a drive along the Amador Causeway. We missed a few things that I wished we had time for, the Miraflores locks is on the top of the list and Ancon hill which is supposed to have good wildlife viewing.

  • Last visit to Panamá City: Mar 2012
  • Intro Updated Apr 18, 2012
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Reviews (26)

Comments (11)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Nice page, Kristi. It seems like you were able to accomplish quite a lot in just a few days. Not as inexpensive as I thought it might be though.

    • Dabs's Profile Photo
      Aug 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      No, Panama was not as cheap as I thought either. Especially the daytrips. Glad to have seen it once, probably will not go back.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    The day trip to Embera Village sounds to be nice Visiting Panama is on my wish list, it is the only country in Central America which I haven't visited yet.

    • Dabs's Profile Photo
      Dec 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      The only one? I've got 2 to go, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Panama was a nice place to visit for a few days, I'm sure there's a lot more to it than just Panama City though.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Kristi, thanks for your comprehensive story about your stay in Panama... It would make interesting reading and would be really helpful for anyone heading there...

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Kristi, thanks for your comprehensive story about your stay in Panama... It would make interesting reading and would be really helpful for anyone heading there...

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    Hi Kristi, a very interesting page about Panama City, great to see that there are so many day trips possible! Too bad you had bad luck with your guide/driver on the trip to Portobelo. The crafts look so beautiful!
    Good that you include a tip about credit cards, I once had my credit card frozen just because I booked a few trains for a trip to the UK on national rail, and my bank thought it was stolen :-/ Can you imagine what they would think if I went to Panama? LOL :-)

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Thanks for showing me what else there is to see in Panama then the canal as I didn't have a clue. Great page! Liked the monkeys best.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Although I love South and Central America I had never thought about Panama as a destination either! But these excursions make it seem an attractive option. Love your pictures of the monkeys and the Embera Village travelogue, and Captain Carl sounds worth a visit ;-) I like the sound of the train ride too, and the Embera crafts look especially good - both carvings and plates. Great restaurant tips too - and I wouldn't have eaten the peas either ;-)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Kristi, interesting page about your adventures in Panama City. I especially like your tip about the litter. So it looks like countries should charge for the waste disposal to definitely get rid of the problem.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Hi Kristi, I like your new Panama City page. Sounds like a chaotic city, but a good base to go on excursions from. That canoe trip to the Indian village sounds interesting, even if they do get several groups a day during the tourist season. And the train trip along the canal also sounds good.

  • Kaspian's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Ohh, you've added some new stuff here?! Just received your postcard today. Many thanks!!

Dabs

“Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today”

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