should i join DH in panama?

Old Mar 10th, 2010, 11:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
should i join DH in panama?

hi fodorites,

newbie here to the mexico/central america forum ...

DH is off to a conference in panama city for a few days at the end of may. i'm debating whether or not to join him. neither of us has been to panama before. DH's conference starts on monday and ends on thursday ... we were thinking that we'd fly in on saturday and fly home on friday.

some basic stuff about us ... early 30s, well-traveled, go-go-go personalities (i don't do beaches/pools/etc.), from toronto, we don't speak spanish but know a handful of basic words/phrases and are willing to learn, we like food/learning about new cultures/architecture/history.

some thoughts/questions:

1. what is the mosquito/bug situation like in panama? i'm VERY allergic to mosquitoes and other biting/stinging bugs. i love wildlife but i generally have to avoid jungles/forests/etc. love the idea of ziplining but not sure if doing it in a rainforest would be a good ideafor me!

2. is it safe to go around as a solo female traveler? i'm well traveled and don't normally run into issues when i'm on my own.

3. any quick tips on things to do on my own for a few days? DH likely won't be able to skip out of any his daytime meetings as he will likely be with co-workers.

right now, i'm not DYING to go to panama ... airfare is over $600 from toronto and to be honest, panama has just never been on my 'bucket list', so to speak. i just want to get some other opinions ...

thanks in advance!
lilaki is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,224
Panamá IS on my bucket list and I'd jump at the chance. Just my 2 cents' worth...
hopefulist is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 51
If you research about Panama, quickly will realize that Panama is a lot more than just a Canal.
Bug situation is Ok as long you do not plan to camp on a beach without a good tent. There are tours that you can do and see plenty of wildlife without having to be a mosquito snack.
Panama offers a good variety of culture, history and nature.
By the way, mmmmm is Toronto in anyone's bucket list?
Whatever you decide, good luck.
raulpanama is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 34
I went to Panama last July/August for 12 days and had a great time. Panama City is a very cosmopolitain city and has great restaurants. If you go, you could see the ruins of Panama Viejo, which has a good museam attached which tells a lot about the history of the city and country. Many of the signs are in Spanish (though not all) but admission gets you a guided tour of the museum in English.
You could also visit Casco Viejo-the old quarter-which has good walking tours, good restaurants, a variety of local crafts for sale, canal museum, and several churches.
The Amador Causeway is also nice for walking, people watching, and eating.
Finally, if you go to Panama City, you must visit the nearby Miraflores Locks of the Canal. It is very interesting to see the ships go thru the canal, and the museum there is very informative and totally bilingual. I had a great time there. There is also a restaurant at the visitor's center which I heard was good, but didn't try.
As far as the bug situation, I wasn't bothered in the city, though the nearby jungle did give me about 3 bites. My partner got a few more, as is always the case.
A lot of the people in the tourist areas speak English, especially Panama City.
If you do go, and have your choice of hotels, I would very highly recommend the Radisson Decapolis. The rooms were great, the restaurant was delicious, and I've never seen such great customer service.
Hope this helps, and if you end up going, Bon Voyage!
ReddTyde is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi all,

thanks so much for the insight/advice ... DH is just sorting out his schedule now so we'll figure something out.

lilaki is offline  
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