Finally Our Panama Trip is Here!
Our long preparations for the Panama trip are finally over. We leave on Saturday! We’re very excited about this opportunity to visit a new country and to check it out as a possible future home. Planning of the trip has been fun and exciting, if not without glitches.
Our biggest challenge has been figuring out which areas to visit. We want to get a good feel for the country, so we decided to do a “tour” of the major points of interest. We are essentially going to go “around” the western part of Panama. Our trip looks something like this:
Here is a list of the Panama destinations we chose and why we chose them:
This one is obvious. It’s where the major airport in Panama is located and is where we will be flying into. Besides, Panama City is supposed to be amazing. The banking capital of Central America. A mix of old and modern architecture. And let’s not forget the Panama Canal. We understand it’s more expensive than other areas of Panama but we still want to see it. And even if we never get a chance to visit Panama again, Panama City and Panama Canal are must-see’s for us.
Bocas del Toro:
Meaning “Mouth of the Bull”, Bocas del Toro is a province that consists of nine main Caribbean Sea islands and mainland in the north western part of Panama. We will be staying on Isla Colon in Bocas Town but visiting other islands as well. We’re going there because 1. We love the Caribbean and its amazing beaches; 2. We really want to see this green gold (oro verde) paradise; and 3. Other expats have recommended it.
I’ll be honest, we chose Boquete as the “hub” for our trip mainly based on the rave recommendations of other expats. It is full of North American expats – some estimate as much as 1/3 population. It is a small town in the green mountain highlands of Panama. Because of its high elevation, Boquete boasts spring like year-round temperatures and yet is less than one hour away to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Many say that there is no better place than Boquete for American expats where English is spoken, infrastructure is great, US dollar is used, and prices are cheap. We shall see!
Panama’s third largest city, located on Panama’s south western Pacific shores. It is a large vibrant city that is reportedly affluent and well established with good healthcare facilities and modern infrastructure. David also houses a large expat community. We first chose to add it to our map after a conversation we had with a gentleman in Costa Rica. He was telling us that he had just driven up from David and that he was shocked how much cheaper it was than Costa Rica. And so, we decided to add it to our list – it is on the Pacific Ocean (or right above it) after all. It’s simply intriguing to us that in one day’s drive, we can can get from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Cool, huh?
This one was a late addition. I went on the expat forums and asked others where else we should stop for our last two days in Panama. Many folks agreed that Coronado Beach is the place we should see. A very beautiful, modern area on the Pacific coast, within an hour drive to Panama City. So, we found a quaint little Bed & Breakfast and made this our last stop on the way back to fly out of the country. We hear that there are many expats there and that the beaches are amazing.
That is it in a gist. We leave this weekend and so you will not be hearing from us much while we’re scouting Panama. But if our Internet access is good, we’ll check in. In either case, we will be back with lots of pictures and many stories to tell you about our trip. We will pass on anything useful we learn and hope you learn from our experience.