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Spending several days in Colon....

Friday Harbor...
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Spending several days in Colon....

Unlike most posts here, I am coming from Panama City and will be spending 3 nights at the Melia Panama Canal hotel on Lake Gatun from the 25th to the 28th of January. I have been trying to get information via email from the Hotel but they never respond. I assume that this is pretty typical. Other hotels in Panama I have contacted for information respond about the same ... lol.

This is a vacation I put together from several Sweepstakes wins for hotel and airfare. I'm not weathy (far from it) so I will be traveling on a real tight budget and I need to find the cheapest ways of doing things while there.

So I thought I would see if anybody would have information for me here. I am planning in coming to Colon by bus on Tuesday. Yet, I have no idea how to get to the hotel! Does the bus do "flag stops"? Where is the Bus Terminal? How often do the buses run from Panama City? If I have to take a taxi from the terminal, about how much should I 'really' pay?

As I return to Panama City I plan to take the Railway. But for the life of me I can't figure out where the train terminal is. They don't give an address on their website. From what I can deduce it is off to the left of Avenue Bolivar just before it enters the city? Maybe somebody knows so I can pin it to my map.

As far as playing tourist goes, I don't plan to do much of that. Yet it would be pretty silly to go all the way to Panama without taking the time to go see the locks! How can a person get to the locks? If forced to take a taxi: what are the lowest "real" costs? I'm not interested in paying for any "Tourist Tours" nor can I afford to hire a taxi at $15/hour for a day! :) What are the options here?

Any other information would be appreciated! (I have questions about Panama City, but I will post them in that forum,) Thanks in advance!

Edited: 5:11 pm, December 14, 2010
Friday Harbor...
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1. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

While looking through previous posts I found information on the location of the bus terminal. thanks to Roberto!

And just in case somebody posts back to this asking why I would want to go to Colon because it is so dangerous ....

.... I'm not worried. I've been the middle of the civil war in Beruit in the mid '70's and have watched riots in Instanbul where 100's of people got killed and have wandered the back streets of more than 30 countries over the world.

So I'm not scared of little ol' Colon in the least! :-)

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
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2. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

its not a matter of being scared it is a matter of someone relieving you of your money.

Colon is just not safe - especailly at night - there is a reason the free trade zone is surrounded by a 10 foot wall, barbed wire on the top and guards throughout.

You may be fine - just don;t go walking down any back streets.

sorry but not a wise choice of hotels unless you have a car or just want to hang at the hotel - there are a lot of things to see in the area - Portobello, Ft San Lorenzo, Isla Grande - but you will need a car or hire a taxi by the hour, the hotel is out away from the city - you may be able to catch a bus but it will be a pain.

The Gatum locks are close to the hotel - no museum there though. But you will still need to take a taxi to get there.

Friday Harbor...
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3. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

lol

okay, I promise NOT to wander around after dark!

Now does anybody have any answers to my specific questions?

(I'm such a 'stick in the mud'!)

:-)

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
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4. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

Not sure if anyone here can answer your " specific" questions, Colon city is not a tourist town and most don't take the local busses( Colon city busses)

It is easy to get to Panama City via bus from Colon, the difficulty is getting around Colon safely and getting to your hotel - your only good option is a taxi.

As I stated your hotel is out for the city itself - it is a bit isolated, not sure what a taxi will cost - you need to ask before you get in.

About the cheapest you can hire a taxi for is around $12/hour. You can rent a car for about $30 day when you figure in taxes and insurance.

If you search this site for Colon posts you will find a lot of warnings about safety - Colon is an interesting poor city - it has the potential to be a gem however it is a long way from that. I would not walk around Colon without someone with local knowledge ( when I say Colon I mean the city not the province)

Your attitude that you have been in other dangerous places is fine but the reality is some mugger in Colon is not going to care. I live in Medellin Colombia part-time and understand percieved danger vs real,

The danger in Colon is real - not saying you are going to get killed but being robbed is no fun.

5. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

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Removed on: 10:11 am, December 28, 2010
CDY
Medellin, Colombia
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6. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

Roberto - very good info and advice - I knew someone here was an expert on Colon.

In Panama City I would never recommend to anyone to take a tourist taxi - they will skunk you on the rate - but in Colon - very good idea - safety and local knowledge is the key.

Friday Harbor...
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7. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

thanks very much roberto! You are the pips!

Looks like you've answered most of the questions I had!

You are GREAT!!!!

Friday Harbor...
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8. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

To whomever on the staff here that removed roberto's post::

There was absolutely nothing inappropriate at all in it! (I have carefully read your posting rules!) Now I no longer have access to the valuable information he had given me!

That is absolutely ridiculous. How do you expect to have a halfway decent informative forum when staff members run around willy-nillly deleting any threads that might have useful information in them?????

So this thread now has nothing in it (again) but useless mush.

I am disappointed. :(

LN
Panama City, Panama
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9. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

It think Roberto was probably advertising the tours he gives with the information with this e-mail address or with his links, both are against T/A regs.. I have been on T/A a long long time and have seen it happen to others. T/A does not remove without a reason....must have been against their guidelines.

It is always best when someone posts on here to help others and doesn't have an ulterior motive; like to promote their own business. I know several others (personally) who told me just days ago that they have been banned from T/A from posting at all because they had links to their information for tours, etc. on their posts. In a way, I can relate................

Just think if everyone were allowed to advertise on these forums............they would be a mess!

Roberto can repost his information without his links and it probably would stay on here, is my guess.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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10. Re: Spending several days in Colon....

Useless mush - thanks for your endorsement - you post about how you have seen all this bad stuff in other countries and you are not afraid of little old Colon- with no first hand knowledge.

A fool and his money are soon parted - I am sure the bad guy on the side street will find your harrowing stories interesting as he relieves you of your wallet.

As Roberto pointed out ( before his post was removed) don't wander around Colon city without a local.