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Eastern Panama Travel Guide

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Eastern Panama Hotels

Most accommodations in this part of Panama range from comfortably rustic to downright primitive. Only Guna are allowed to own businesses in Guna Yala; a waga (foreigner) is prohibited from holding property here. Lodges are basic as a result—most have no hot water, no air-conditioning, and only a few hours of electricity at night—but some of those thatched bungalows have priceless ocean views.

There are a few nice Guna lodges, but the less expensive ones tend to be dirty and serve lamentable food, which is why few are listed in this book. Since most Guna lodges lack offices, only three accept credit cards. The alternative is to visit Guna Yala on a day trip and sleep at Coral Lodge, 26 km (16 miles) away, which has most of the comforts of home. The Darién currently has few lodging options, but they are comfortable, and include air-conditioning. One characteristic all lodges in this region share is that they are expensive for what you get, but keep in mind that rooms come with three meals, guided tours, and transportation. Rates usually drop by 10% for stays of two nights or more. All lodgings in Guna Yala collect a mandatory per-person, per-night visitor tax of $10—it's usually included in the price you're quoted—with proceeds going to community development.

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