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Visit report on staying in Santa Ana in Panama

Clearwater, Florida
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97 posts
11 reviews
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Visit report on staying in Santa Ana in Panama

I have just visited Panama City and decided to stay in the Santa Ana section to save money. First off, let me mention that upon arrival at the international airport I asked two people where to get the bus into town and both denied there was one! If you walk out of the airport for about one block there are deluxe type express buses that take you into the city for 1 dollar. When I got off near Cinco de Mayo, I saw a sign for Hotel Ideal, a few blocks away. This place is cheap ( my room with private bath was 19 dollars) but very seedy. In fact, it is rather falling apart inside but the rooms are clean. Ask for one away from the bar if you like peace. The area is busy and I never felt unsafe even at night. Although I am not suggesting midnight strolls here. There is a nice and low to moderate priced restaurant (the Napoli) nearby. If you are intrepid or broke, it is possible to stay in Panama City for a little bit of money, And here you meet the real locals.

LN
Panama City, Panama
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5,784 posts
75 reviews
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1. Re: Visit report on staying in Santa Ana in Panama

Holey Moley, I love your adventurous spirit! Not for everyone, like you said, and you tried avenues not experienced by many. Good for you! And did you love our Panama? Hope so! Thanks for sharing.

Balboa, Panama
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99 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Visit report on staying in Santa Ana in Panama

It's very close also to Avenida Central, a major shopping street for low-income Panamanians which is kind of worth a visit.

As long as you go towards the 5 de Mayo/Ave. central area you're more or less OK. But go down 2 blocks the otherr way and you can be in trouble any time of the day.

Clearwater, Florida
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97 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Visit report on staying in Santa Ana in Panama

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I enjoyed my visit to Panama and thought the canal was wonderful! I am not advocating that everyone follow my footsteps and stay at such a cheap hotel. But I wanted to tell others who either need to or like to save money, that a visit is possible. I found the Ideal Hotel sort of acceptable for the low price. I had hot water, ac and a TV. The clientele consisted of other budget visitors and Panamanian families. I must admit that when I opened the door to the room and saw the neon mismatched decor, I let out a gasp! I wondered if the decorator was either on LSD or in an ugly room contest! But I just wanted a place to crash and never saw a bug. When I left at 5 am to go to Albrook, the security guard came downstairs with me till I got a taxi. The people at the little eateries in Santa Ana seemed very welcoming and I welcomed good food at down to earth prices. And I could walk to both the old quarter (daytime) and Cinco de Mayo. My Spanish isn´t so good and I have red hair, yet I managed without a hassle. There are a bunch of other budget hotels around that you never see reviewed. I´m glad I visited Panama City.

4. Re: Visit report on staying in Santa Ana in Panama

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