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transportation to Mangalar lodge

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Kansas City...
posts: 4
transportation to Mangalar lodge

My husband will be vacationing for the first time in Panama in February. We are in Gamboa Rainforest for 5 nights and then we will move to San Carlos (mangalar lodge). No car rental , very very limited Spanish. What is the best way to get from one resort to another? Also what do think about vaccinations that the travel books reccommend?

6 replies to this topic
Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
posts: 1,916
reviews: 10
1. Re: transportation to Mangalar lodge

Others know much more about the transportation than I, but I can tell you that you don't need any vaccinations other than your usual DPT (tetanus) booster.

I assume by what "the travel books recommend," you're refferring to Yellow Fever and Malaria. Where you're going, you don't need to worry about either one. Yellow Fever is the only one that has a vaccine, and you don't need it. The side affects of the Malaria meds have been described as worse than the disease. I've never used them and have never had a problem. The only bug that may be a slight concern is Dengue Fever, for which there is no vaccine or preventive med. So, when you're in Gamboa, use mosquito repellent whenever you're outside, especially around dawn and dusk.

Kansas City...
posts: 4
2. Re: transportation to Mangalar lodge

Mr Williams thank-you so much for your quick reply. I have been reading most of your posts on the forum and learning lots. Any special tours that you would reccomend we take when we are in Gamboa? We are staying at Gamboa Rainforest Resort. They have one for Kayaking but not sure where in the canal or the river... crocodiles??? Also will we be able to get along here with very little Spanish. Thanks Joan H

Panama City, Panama
posts: 5,790
reviews: 80
3. Re: transportation to Mangalar lodge

I suggest you take a cab from Gamboa and get it to take you to Allbrook Bus Terminal where you can very easily get a bus to San Carlos-about an hour and fifteen minutes bus ride..

Arrange with Manglar Lodge to pick you up when the bus drops you off at the main road into San Carlos. I suggest you hook up with an inexpensive cell phone and buy minutes to call locally.

I can give you more details if you want to go this route.

You could rent a car (not sure if there is car rental at Gamboa or not).

Manglar Lodge is a bit of a ways from there to any restaurants, etc. How are you expecting to get around once in San Carlos at Manglar Lodge - taxi cabs?

Bring your English/Spanish book in case, and in advance I advise you to practice some easy phrases. In the interior where you are staying in San Carlos there is very little English spoken by the locals. Of course, at your lodge, there will be.

Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
posts: 1,916
reviews: 10
4. Re: transportation to Mangalar lodge

Regarding the Gamboa tours: The aerial tram is one of those "you-have-to-do-it-once" tours. My wife and I thought it is over priced, but where else are you going to see what they offer?

The kayaking could be fun. Yes, there are crocodiles in the Chagres and Gatun Lake, but I wouldn't worry about them. I'd be more concerned about the heat and the sun. Having canoed down the Chagres, I know that it gets hot. There is no shade, so use plenty of strong sun block, wear a wide brim hat that offers ventilation and bring plenty of water ... twice what you think you'll drink.

The Monkey Island/Gatun Lake Expedition seems to get good reviews. I haven't done this tour, but judging from other comments, it sounds like fun.

If you like hiking, you might consider the pipeline/bird watching tour. The section of Pipeline Road is an easy hike. Again, be prepared with mosquito repellent and shoes with good gripping soles. If it rains, the trail gets very slippery and muddy in places.

They used to offer a short hike on Sendero Las Cruces (Las Cruces Trail). If they still offer this, I would jump at the chance to go. You'll see virgin jungle, the ruins of the town of Las Cruces, huge trees and perhaps some wildlife. Again, bring lots of water, mosquito repellent and good shoes for hiking in mud. In this part of the jungle, the canopy is so thick that it never stops drizzling. The canopy protects you from getting drenched when it rains, but it also keeps the humidity in and the rain works its way down to the ground with the never-ending drizzle.

As for Spanish and English, like LN said, there aren't many people who speak English outside of the Mangalar Lodge. But, you won't have any problem at Gamboa. All the tours are in English and most of the staff speak English.

Kansas City...
posts: 4
5. Re: transportation to Mangalar lodge

LN thank you for your reply and help with transportation. I am interested in bus transportation and the phone. I would be grateful for any help you can give. I need to check the bus schedule for a return to Panama City on Sunday Morning our plane leaves at 9:45 am. I may need to return to PC on Saturday if no buses can get us here early enough for our flight. Again I would be thankful for any information you can help us with. Joan H

Kansas City...
posts: 4
6. Re: transportation to Mangalar lodge

GB Williams thank you for the great info on Rainforest tours and hiking. We are looking forward to our trip in February and appreciate the help and advice you and others have given. Gracias Joan H

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