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Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Toronto, Canada
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Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Hey all

My friend and I are planning to visit Panama in the middle of Nov for 10 days. We speak Spanish fluently so we expect this to be a great holiday! We got a great flight to PC and we are now in the planning stages.

One thing is that we expect Rain hopefully not too much.

I’m assuming to get around it is easy with public transportation? Or would it be better to rent a car?

We want to experience the best in these areas.

Waterfalls,

Snorkeling,

Hiking (wildlife, zip lining, canyoning)

We are looking for some sample routes

This is something I came up with but I don’t know if I calculated the amount of time correctly.

Friday Saturday

Panama City 2 nights

Sunday-Monday

San Blas 1 Night

Tuesday

Bus to David region? And or Boquete region?

What can we do there?

Friday Saturday Sunday

Bocas del Toro

Sunday fly back to Panama City then back home

Any help or assistance would be awesome!

Long Island NY
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1. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Slow down and cut back on some of this. You are going to be spending half your time in transit. Consider skiping San Blas and David/Boquete.

Panama City, Panama
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2. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Agree with the previous post. WAY too much time in a bus/car/plane getting from A to B which means not much time left for "Waterfalls, Snorkeling, Hiking (wildlife, zip lining, canyoning)" Save San Blas for next time.

Steve www.panamanotes.com

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Ha you are right. So lets start it this way. Friday and Saturday that the most i want to spend in Panama City What are the must do's?

Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

My list: Day One - the Canal (Miraflores Visitors Center) - Ancon Hill and Canal Admin building (frescos) and then Casco Viejo late in the day for a walk around and dinner.

Day Two - The Panama Rainforest Discovery Center ( http://www.pipelineroad.org/ ) the Amador Causeway (Punta Culebra Nature Center www.stri.si.edu/english/visit_us/culebra/ ) and dinner. OR you could do one of the Embera Village Tours which are FULL DAY trips ( http://www.emberavillagetours.com/ ) OR you could take the Panama Railway ( www.panarail.com/en/passenger/index.html ) and visit Fort San Lorenzo and Portobelo on the Caribbean side. Also a good zipline near Portobelo if you choose this option.

Hope that gets you started. Have fun planning.

Steve

Edited: 11:42 pm, October 25, 2012
Panama City, Panama
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5. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Addendum to my reply above: IMPORTANT - If you want to try the Panama Railway, it only operates Monday thru Friday.

The zipline near Portobelo is http://panamaoutdooradventures.com/ - they have a special deal ofertasimple.com/ofertas/panama/canopy-zip-l… and also offer tubing and horseback riding.

If you want more to do during your two days in the City - lots of hiking options, here is an article you might find useful panama-guide.com/article.php/200903041513281…

Another option - freshwater fishing on Lake Gatun http://pesca-arenosa.weebly.com/ spend the morning on the lake and eat what you catch at a lakeside restaurant.

Reference my earlier comment about leaving the San Blas until next time. Should have said do EITHER San Blas or Bocas. I would take a look at doing a sailing tour of the San Blas Islands - GREAT snorkeling - definitely more of an adventure than going to Bocas. An example http://yachtlatina.com/ - their are others offering similar trips.

If you change your mind on the number of days you want to spend in and around Panama City (and cut down even further on in-country travel) let me know.

Steve

Edited: 11:19 am, October 26, 2012
Panama City, Panama
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6. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

We had someone else here mention that they got to Miraflores at 9 am and everything had already gone through. Is it better to leave that to later in the day, to see the ships heading towards the Pacific ?

Panama City, Panama
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7. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Yes, various people say that certain times are better than others - but that is not my experience. I've been there in the morning, midday and afternoon - sometimes a lot is happening, sometimes not so much. The direction of traffic in the canal and when they change the direction (the slow periods) is more random - it's based on the number of ships waiting at each end, not on a 12 hour North then 12 hour South schedule. The reality is that all you really need is to see ONE ship locking thru in order to appreciate the complexity of the operation. So . . . go to the Visitors Center and visit the exhibits, when the PA system announces a ship is approaching go to the observation deck and watch the operation.

Remember the Miraflores Visitors Center is only open between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily. The restaurant from noon til 11:30 p.m.

Steve

Panama City, Panama
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8. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Isn't it that normally the ships start out from either end in the morning in order to get through in the same day ? So once they have all gone up from the Pacific, there is a lull until the ones coming from the other side start arriving.

It is pretty impressive to see several enormous ships locking and queuing all together.

Can ships spend the night in the canal ?

Panama City, Panama
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9. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

The Canal is a 24 hour every day of the year operation. The ships are never "gone" from either end - ships are always waiting - a transit usually takes 8-10 hours. The direction of travel is determined by the most efficient flow in order to deal with waiting traffic. The Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut) is the only real one-way portion of the canal. Spending the night is not generally an option - and the ship's owner can be fined (big time) if they don't stay on schedule or have a mechanical problem.

Yes, it's very impressive.

Steve

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Panama in 10 Days in the middle of November!

Thanks for the advice and replies.