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Panama Central America


midtown
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So with SE Asia looking less and less likely this year due to their cases starting to climb I expect I'll need to look at another destination.   After Cambodia and Laos my next targeted country was going to be Panama.    They look to be about as open as can be.   Anyone have any recs? insights? itinerary?  I also might want to look at expat areas for retirement to contrast with Costa Rica.  Odds are Ill go solo but might be able to add a friend or two.  

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1 hour ago, midtown said:

So with SE Asia looking less and less likely this year due to their cases starting to climb I expect I'll need to look at another destination.   After Cambodia and Laos my next targeted country was going to be Panama.    They look to be about as open as can be.   Anyone have any recs? insights? itinerary?  I also might want to look at expat areas for retirement to contrast with Costa Rica.  Odds are Ill go solo but might be able to add a friend or two.  

I presume the hookers are as open as can be?

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Colon is the shitiest shithole I’ve come across in Central America. Don’t go there. The canal tour is interesting and there is a ton to do in Panama City. Haven’t been in about 6 years so really can’t recall restaurant names. I have friends that built a house and moved to the Boquete/David area. They’ve got a full time maid, chef and gardener/handyman that they pay a total of like 1200 a month. It’s definitely cheaper than CR.

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I went to Panama City for a few days at the end of a trip to Costa Rica in 2016, just to take a cruise through the Panama Canal and go to the Canal museum.  It took the entire day to go through the Canal, but I found it worth it. If you are into modern marvels. :)

And yes, going through Colon on the bus ride back to Panama City was a little terrifying.  That town looked trashy to say the least. 

 

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Flights look pretty good.  $500. 

 I'm going to spend the wknd watching travel videos and read up on an itinerary.   Boca del Toro looks good.   Looks like a good place to fish @justhookit

I hear a half day canal tour is plenty.    Some type of coffee tour would be cool.   Looks like a great place to eat too.

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To get to Bocas, either bus (not for me I like to be in control), rent a car (we have done this), or catch the the flight from the other airport.  Outbound to Bocas schedule isn't always convenient (unless they've changed the schedules).   Fishing is good, our team shirt hangs in Loco Toro.  Good spot for gringo sports and beer.  American dollar and Balboa is the standard currency, either are used.  English is secondary, but you can usually find someone easily to get your point across. You can water taxi just about anywhere. Almirante is the closest mainland town to Bocas. 420 is easy to score if you are into it.  Pacific side is cooler and less bugs than the Caribbean side.  There are some familiar things on the mainland, Home Depot, KFC, etc. but not on Bocas.  Quality of hardware items aren't always the best for home repair.  Last time I was there plans had been made to expand the airport and build a new hospital.  There is some crime on the islands and from my point of view it seems local law doesn't seem to interested in applying the law.  Panama offers the "pensioniado" card, which entitles you the gringo to some discounts on travel, entertainment, and food.  If you get a car and drive and wonder what is happening behind the motels with the high walls around 'em.  I can tell ya'  that's where one would go to pound town with someone else other than your spouse.  Yes, there is a back gate out so no one will see ya' leaving.   Yes, you can own a gun there and you can own the land.  No 99 year leases anymore.  Lula's is a good B&B on the island, but right now you can get apartments, condos and private homes for super duper cheap.  My wife follows some facebook group and is always trying to twist my arm to go back.  If I think of anything else I'll post later.

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17 hours ago, midtown said:

Flights look pretty good.  $500. 

 I'm going to spend the wknd watching travel videos and read up on an itinerary.   Boca del Toro looks good.   Looks like a good place to fish @justhookit

I hear a half day canal tour is plenty.    Some type of coffee tour would be cool.   Looks like a great place to eat too.

I know nothing about the fishing there. Just have heard it’s a fun place to go kick back and party with tourists from all over the world. If you go to Panama be sure and read this https://www.amazon.com/Path-Between-Seas-Creation-1870-1914/dp/0671244094/ref=asc_df_0671244094_nodl/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312039872799&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12652064038015610173&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9028131&hvtargid=pla-625528053792&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=62149175916&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312039872799&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12652064038015610173&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9028131&hvtargid=pla-625528053792 before you go.

if that didn’t work the book is The Path Between The Seas.

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On 6/4/2021 at 5:23 PM, Bevo&Pevo said:

If you get a car and drive and wonder what is happening behind the motels with the high walls around 'em.  I can tell ya'  that's where one would go to pound town with someone else other than your spouse.  Yes, there is a back gate out so no one will see ya' leaving.   Yes, you can own a gun there and you can own the land.  No 99 year leases anymore.  Lula's is a good B&B on the island, but right now you can get apartments, condos and private homes for super duper cheap.  My wife follows some facebook group and is always trying to twist my arm to go back. 

You may want to look into who else is in that fb group. Or not.

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On 6/4/2021 at 4:34 PM, midtown said:

Flights look pretty good.  $500. 

 I'm going to spend the wknd watching travel videos and read up on an itinerary.   Boca del Toro looks good.   Looks like a good place to fish @justhookit

I hear a half day canal tour is plenty.    Some type of coffee tour would be cool.   Looks like a great place to eat too.

Let us know what you find out. I’m working in Costa Rica coming up in a few weeks and have been to CR multiple times but wife is wanting to do an early August trip. Panama seems cool but I know little about it other than reading the book JustHookIt rec’ed. I’m heading somewhere. Looking at stuff on Jamaica now but Panama may be a better time. 

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