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Panama for 8 Days in November 2017

Panama for 8 Days in November 2017

Old Jul 14, 17, 4:41 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: NW Ohio & Sri Lanka
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Panama for 8 Days in November 2017

We are off to Panama Thanksgiving week for 8 days and still not decided on a place to stay yet. I would really like to stay at one of those resorts with pools, slides and things to do right on point. Not to concerned about cost as I really want a nice place where my entire family can stay. I do not want to stay in Panama City itself but out station somewhere. Suggestions please..
bulbmogul is offline  
Old Jul 21, 17, 6:20 am
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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There are a slew of beach hotels 90 minutes west of Panama City, many all-included. The problem is the beach is underwhelming, dingy sand and cloudy green water. Put in the locations of Playa Blanca or Rio Hato in your search engine. My general opinions:

Decameron: most popular, but more of a party atmosphere

Hotel Playa Blanca: more family oriented, calmer

Sheraton Bijao: nice beach club, but don't know about the hotel specifically

JW Marriott Buenaventura: very nice, pricey, don't recall any pool slides. And it's not on the beach, but a 10 min walk away.

Most also have all sorts of attached condos with owners renting through online services.

I see something about a Riu resort out there, I don't know anything about it but looks nice on google earth. You could also consider the Westin Playa Bonita, just across the Canal from the city, but quite isolated and quiet and about the same beach, but spares the drive to the resorts.
YadiMolina is offline  
Old Aug 25, 17, 8:44 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by YadiMolina View Post
There are a slew of beach hotels 90 minutes west of Panama City, many all-included. The problem is the beach is underwhelming, dingy sand and cloudy green water. Put in the locations of Playa Blanca or Rio Hato in your search engine. My general opinions:

Decameron: most popular, but more of a party atmosphere

Hotel Playa Blanca: more family oriented, calmer

Sheraton Bijao: nice beach club, but don't know about the hotel specifically

JW Marriott Buenaventura: very nice, pricey, don't recall any pool slides. And it's not on the beach, but a 10 min walk away.

Most also have all sorts of attached condos with owners renting through online services.

I see something about a Riu resort out there, I don't know anything about it but looks nice on google earth. You could also consider the Westin Playa Bonita, just across the Canal from the city, but quite isolated and quiet and about the same beach, but spares the drive to the resorts.
Thank you very very much for your time and effort put forward with your suggestions. I am really leaning towards the JW Marriot but still not booked yet. Can you please tell me about me getting a SIM Card for my unlocked Apple phone 6S+..? I need it mainly for making international calls back to the states from Panama. Thanks, Jerry in Ohio, USA
bulbmogul is offline  
Old Aug 25, 17, 8:47 am
  #4  
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Cycling in Panama

I am a very avid road cyclist and was wanting to bring my bicycle with me to Panama and try and get some miles in. I will not be staying in Panama City but at one of the resorts that are about 90 minutes away like the JW Marriot. Can anyone tell me if there is some nice roads out station away from the city where i could ride possibly a 30 mile loop or..? Would like some suggestions please..Thanks, Jerry in Ohio USA
bulbmogul is offline  
Old Aug 29, 17, 7:26 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by bulbmogul View Post
Thank you very very much for your time and effort put forward with your suggestions. I am really leaning towards the JW Marriot but still not booked yet. Can you please tell me about me getting a SIM Card for my unlocked Apple phone 6S+..? I need it mainly for making international calls back to the states from Panama. Thanks, Jerry in Ohio, USA
The JW Marriott is by far the most upscale resort in the area. Highly recommended.

Getting a local SIM prepaid card is pretty easy - available at any cellphone carrier kiosk and/or cellphone accessory store - which there are everywhere, either roadside, at any mall, even in supermarkets + drugstores. From experience, Claro and Movistar's SIMs already come pre-cut for nano size. They retail for $2-3 US Dollars max w/o any credit. If you purchase them directly from the carrier they will probably ask for some form of ID and sign a document. At any other retail outlet, no paperwork required.

What you should NOT DO is get the SIM card at the airport. There are vending machines and sellers hawking them in the gate areas and arrivals hall - but they are extremely overpriced and with lousy data packages.
marcuswelby is offline  
Old Aug 29, 17, 7:36 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by bulbmogul View Post
I am a very avid road cyclist and was wanting to bring my bicycle with me to Panama and try and get some miles in. I will not be staying in Panama City but at one of the resorts that are about 90 minutes away like the JW Marriot. Can anyone tell me if there is some nice roads out station away from the city where i could ride possibly a 30 mile loop or..? Would like some suggestions please..Thanks, Jerry in Ohio USA
While the roads in Panama are not necessarily the most bike-friendly, if you are a road cyclist, you should not have any problems going from the JW Marriott to the town of El Valle de Anton. It's a nice daytrip in itself, cycling or not. It's one of few towns inside the crater of an extinct volcano - so it has a nice balmy microclimate compared to the rest of Panama. It's about 30 miles one way from the JW Marriott - the only item is that the onward journey for the most part is uphill climbing the sides of the volcano. It's used by many locals training on road-races, and drivers are used to driving alongside cyclists.

Only item is November can be rainy up in the mountains so take precautions as some parts of the roads maybe slippery.

If you want more gentle slopes, you can bike to the town of Penonome in the middle of the countryside heartland of the country. Mostly flat all the way, but nice view of the mountains in the distance and endless sugar plantations.
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