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Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

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Chandler, Arizona...
3 posts
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Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

My husband and I are planning our 10 year anniversary trip to Bocas del Toro and looking to stay at Beach Bluff Retreat. So far Ron has been amazing to deal with.

I'm curious about the safety in Bocas as well as Panama City. Being from the states you hear so many negative things about the crime, drugs, etc in Mexico and Central America. Obviously I know crime can happen anywhere, but I'm curious as to your opinon on how safe you felt when you travelled there. Most have had nothing but wonderful things to say about the area, but there have been a few bad reviews. Would love to hear your feedback if you've been there.

We are a couple in our late 30's early 40's.

Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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4,470 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

In over 20 years of visiting Panama for various periods of time, I've never had a problem or felt endangered. That' said, there have been a few instances in Bocas where tourists have been crime victims. If you dig, you can find the reports. Most often, it's petty theft. Never leave anything unguarded on the beaches. That goes for everything from wallets and sunglasses to old, wornout flipflops. Whatever it is, it will be gone when you return for it.

In Panama City, there are neighborhoods with horrible reputations. But, they are very obvious and outside the paths of most tourists. Panama City lags well behind the rest of Central America in violent crimes. Like any large city, there are a lot of petty thefts and pick-pockets.

As nearly everyone will say, if you stay aware of your surroundings (including people) and travel smart and safely, you'll most probably be fine. One warning -- always roll up the windows when traveling in a car. A typical scam involves cute little kids about 8 to 12 years old. When stopped at an intersection, one will approach the driver begging for spare change. That's a distraction for the other who goes to the passenger side to snatch and run with any purse within reach or necklace. (The less jewelry you wear, the better.)

Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
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3,964 posts
128 reviews
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2. Re: Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

In Panama City your biggest problem will be dealing with the taxi drivers. They will rip you off. Get an idea on how much it should cost to go from one place to another before you get a taxi, then agree on a price with the taxi driver before you get in their taxi. Other then that normal travelers common sense.

Washington DC...
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185 posts
143 reviews
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3. Re: Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

I felt very safe in Bocas and Panama City and I was a solo traveler. As mrolfes noted the taxis in Panama City are a ripoff.

Panama City, Panama
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5,784 posts
76 reviews
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4. Re: Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

I have lived here four years and am not one bit afraid here. If I was, I wouldn't live here. Be smart, know your surroundings and don't get so drunk you don't know what is going on around you.

Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

Just got back from both places and never felt uncomfortable! People are friendly, and as other posters stated use common sense! We prearranged for a driver to pick us up at both airports, never dealt with Panama City taxi drivers. Also stuck with one driver for the most part in Bocas. We stayed at the Toscana Inn in Panama City and LOVED this hotel. Lots of restaurants around and breakfast included. Be prepared for lines at both airports if you are flying. Lots of security - I recommend giving yourself plenty of time!

6. Re: Bocas Del Toro & Panama City

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