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Christmas vacation in Panama

Macon, Georgia
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15 posts
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Christmas vacation in Panama

My husband, teenager and I are looking into going to Panama in December. Is there enough to do for 12 days? How about cost in comparison to Mexico or Costa Rica? Are the flights to Boca safe?

I get seasick -- would Bocas be a disaster for me?

We usually travel in Dec. and we have been to Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico (3 times). We don't like the expensive hotels or tourist thing which is why we are thinking of Panama? Any suggestions?

Destination Expert
for Bocas del Toro Province
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299 posts
46 reviews
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1. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

Hola Lane,

Bocas del toro is a very nice place to stay during december. The flights from panama or san jose are safe . And no do not worry to get sea sick the snorle tours do not pass on the open sea , but stay inside what i would call a big laguna the sea is mostly very calm the waters beautiful shades of green ,emerald and blue and the caral much better then in costa Ricas carribean cost.beside during the holiday season the bars and restaurants sre offering a lot of activities and everybody is welcome to join and it is an easy way to meet the local foreigners.

see you around


2. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

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Bellingham, WA
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3. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

Hi Lane,

After traveling around central america, I've found that there has been more and more hype lately about Panama and it becoming a popular tour destination. There is definately enough to do for 12 days, either in signing up for a package tour throughout the country or creating your own itinerary and just winging it. There are several travel and tour operators located in the states as well as in country that can help you set up different activity plans.

As far as Bocas, all air travel in country is safe. The whole bay is protected and doesn't get big swells other than a small chop from wind on stormy days, normal to any body of water. Snorkeling is good near Bocas, as well as fishing, surfing, hiking and birdwatching.

information on hotels and activities can be researched on http://www.tripadvisor.com/

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4. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

Hi, we are looking to do the same and have visited Honduras and Mexico though not Guatemala. I was thinking of Panama but if you have any ideas on Guatemala we would be interested. ..travelling with a 15 year old girl and 20 year old boy. Don't like the touristy thing either although the kids do like to find the odd big pool along the way.


Jo Ball joboluk@rogers.com

Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,898 posts
99 reviews
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5. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

Wow, how did you find a 2 year old post to add on to?

No problem though.

Guatamala vs Panama

I am a bit biased of course, I would choose Panama.

Panama has nothing to rival Tikal(which is great) but it does have its pluses:

* safer

* you can drink the water most everywhere(don't try that in Guatamala)

* Panama City, beats the pants off Guat. City.

* you can do pretty much all of the same things in Panama you can in Guatamala, beaches, hiking zip lines, rain forest ect...

* probably cheaper flights to PTY than Guatamala.

* just not as poor, sometimes the poverty in Guatamala can feel oppresive, you don't get the same feeling in Panama.

I know you say that you don't like the tourist thing but spend some time in Panama City(its not that touristy) lots of great restaurants and nightlife. With your kids being older you can ditch them at the hotel and go out and have a great time with the spouse.

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111 posts
136 reviews
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6. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

Hola Lane,

12 days will be perfect for visiting Panama and Bocas. All the information received is correct and excellent. You did not say when in December you were planning to travel? Currently Panama City has many full hotels due this popular destination for both tourists and business people. After the 20th of December it will be close to impossible to get reservations in Bocas. Try your best to travel the first part of December so you will not be traveling during peak holiday season. There are great hostels in Bocas. Check out www.bocas.com. Have a great time!

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11 posts
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7. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

I too am traveling to Panama during Christmas holiday with adult children; staying in Panama City for 4 nights and 'maybe' Bocas Del Toro for another 4. Question: Not sure whether my son and daughter will enjoy Boca town or Isla Colon in the way of evening activities with or without the us Parents. Any suggestions? They will appreciate some time away from us. :)

We loved Costa Rica as well, traveling as a family. The kids loved every aspect of it. There was much to do and we didn't have enough time in the 10 days we visited.

Panama City, Panama
Destination Expert
for Panama
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1,980 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

See my answer to your other post - Bocas Town is on Isla Colon...



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2 reviews
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9. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

Hi Lane..My 26 yr. old son and I stayed in Bocas Town for 3 weeks and we weren't bored for one minute. The beaches Red Frog, Drago (with the best little restuarnt ever) are amazing, clear, clean with hammocks beside the water and the friendliest people you have ever met anywhere. We had a car but didn't need it, the taxi's are 50 cents and the water taxis are $1.oo, Red Frog is usually $5,00 by water taxi. Great places to eat and the bars at night are hopping so my son tells me. Bocas dollar for dollar is much cheaper than Mexico or Costa Rica and alot safer too. Don't plan on doing too much shopping except for trinkets and touristy stuff. If you are looking for Paradise Bocas is it. We are arriving in Bocas on the week before Christmas , this is our 7th time there and we can't get enough of it. Hope this helps...have a great trip.

10. Re: Christmas vacation in Panama

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Removed on: 6:19 pm, October 04, 2009