cost comparison costa rica to panama

Old Feb 15th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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cost comparison costa rica to panama

If there is anybody out there that has been to costa rica and panama lately, can you tell me how they compare cost wise.
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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I haven't been to Costa Rica for a couple years, just returned from Panama a couple weeks ago. Panama is generally way cheaper. Food and drink are very cheap. Hotels vary quite a bit, but overall, they're still cheaper in Panama. Jean
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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I have been to neither, but have been planning my honeymoon and originally we wanted to go to Costa Rica, but got very frustrated when we realized just how expensive it was. I somehow stumbled on Panama (there was a great article in the NY Times) and now I can't wait to get there. It certainly has taken a bit of digging and research to put everything together, but it will be worth it considering how much we will save. And shoot, Panama just sounds better! This forum is really helpful...

Good luck!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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I have been to both several times. Panama rules. Very cheap. Friendly. Better roads. diversity of climate and coast due to its location. I mean why costa rica???
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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okay, panama sounds good....any recommendations on good places to stay? any all-inclusives?
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 10:22 PM
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All inclusives are definitely *NOT* the way to go in Panama. There's really only a couple of 'em anyway, and they're about the only surefire way I can think of to turn a Panama trip into an overpriced extravaganza. (If you sbsolutely won't listen to reason and absolutely *MUST* do AI, check out the Decamaron.)

Now, good places to stay. Well, that depends. Where are you going? There are some excellent places in Bocas del Toro where, if you spend over $50 a night, you will be livin' HIGH on the hog!

Have fun!
Mark
www.tiogringo.com
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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 04:20 AM
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I spent two weeks in Costa Rica in November of 2003 and two weeks in Panama in November of 2004. Hotel prices in Costa Rica are more expensive, but shopping and excursions in both countries are comparable. Excursions are generally between $80.00 and $100.00 (American) per person. Shopping for items such as coffee, rum, etc. much cheaper if purchased in a local grocery store (both countries). I preferred Costa Rica over Panama and it is well worth the extra cost. Panama is not as prepared for the tourist trade as yet and most guides admitted this to us on our tours. Tourism ranks number 8 on their list of "money makers", with foreign banks and the Panama Canal being on top.
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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 06:29 AM
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I think what the last poster said about Panama not being as prepared for the tourist trade as Costa Rica was one of the things that we liked the best about being there. Not very many tourists. Not competing tour groups getting in each others way. Jean
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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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I looked extensively into both Panama and Costa Rica vacations recently and decided that Panama was more expensive, especially if you are interested in diving in pacific area. For starters, from where we are (California) the plane fares to Panama are around $700 while we can get to Costa Rica for $400. For a family of three, that is nearly $1000 difference right there. While it is true that the the hotels in costa rica are, in general, more expensive, you have alot more options and it is relatively easy to find nice lower cost lodging so that the cheaper cost of lodging in panama clearly does not make up for the higher airfare. Also, many of the "nicest" resorts in the Pacific island area that were good for diving were ludicrously expensive compared to the "nicest" resorts in costa rica where you could dive. Having said this, if you can find a cheap airfare to Panama you may save some money. I think you could do both countries at a comparable price. I'd go to the location that seems the most interesting to you. Keep in mind that the Canal area and Colon will get alot of cruise ship visitors (more than costa rica) so you may want to stay away from those areas if your plan is to get away from the tourists.
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