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Don't know anything about Panama


#1

Hello everyone, I am trying to plan a destination wedding and want to go somewhere different the Mexico, Dominican and Cuba. I have never been to Panama and know nothing about it. I have visited Costa Rica in the past and loved it because it was so safe to travel with a guide. Is Panama safe? I am bringing about 40 people and do not want to take them somewhere that they can not leave the resort. As well any good suggestions of resort to stay at, we are going from January 7-January 14, 2007 and want to keep it in the $1500.00 dollar range for the week. I then plan to back pack for another week, any suggestions on where to go, what needs to be seen if it is safe to do so.

Sorry there is so many questions, but I really need to be educated on Panama.


#2

Hey Angie!

I have been to Panama twice and it remains my favourite tropical winter vacation spot. We spent a lot of time off the resort and in my opinion Panama is very safe and is actually much safer than the Dominican and Mexico for example. There are sections of Panama City and Colon that may be a little riskier but that is no different than any other country, including the US and Canada. In any country there are always less desirable areas unfortunately.

In terms of getting a feel for what Panama has to offer I would recommend you read all the reviews for the various resorts in both Debbies and Trip Advisor. The Royal Decameron resort has lots of reviews on both sites. The Royal Decameron is where we stayed both times we were there and we would highly recommend it if you are looking for an all inclusive resort. We are actually considering the brand new Intercontinental Playa Bonita for a change of pace next year but I wouldn’t hesitate to return to the Royal Decameron as well.

The only possible downside to Panama in comparison to the destinations you have already visited is that the ocean on the Pacific side of the country does not have the crystal clear turquoise water you will find in the Caribbean. The beaches and ocean are not great for snorkeling but other than that the beaches are wonderful. The beaches are wide and huge.

I would think that you should be able to meet your budget of $1,500 a person (Canadian I assume?) in early January 2007. That is when we usually travel and the prices are definitely lower than in February or March. One of the many benefits of Panama is that the weather is absolutely perfect at that time of year. Unlike Cuba or Mexico you are guaranteed HOT and sunny weather (much hotter!). Although it is very hot the humidity is low during the dry season so it’s fabulous.

I could go on and ON about all of the wonderful things Panama has to offer but again I suggest you check the reviews where everything is covered. If you have any specific questions there are numerous posters who frequent this forum who can fill you in on just about everything. Personally, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with Panama. We like Mexico and Costa Rica but Panama beats them both!! :slight_smile:


#3

Hi Angie,

We just came back from Panama over 1 1/2 weeks ago :frowning: ::slight_smile: :frowning:
It was my first time in Panama, but can say that it was my best trip south so far. We stayed at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and while there, there were 3 weddings. Did not see the weddings as such, but saw the evening receptions which were held at the pool. Looked gorgeous and heard very good comments about the way things were handeld by the resort. Our review and pics (took 1200) should be hopefully posted by Monday.

Marc


#4

Thanks for your help…I have now read every post there is out there and its Panama for me!!!..However my fiance and I are disagreeing on this as he still wants to go to Costa Rica…the big dilemma for him is that they flights are on Monday, which truthfully will be a pain for some of our guests. His other problem is that the resort is too big and he feels like it is going to be overcrowded and not have the atmosphere of a smaller resort. Lucky for me I know I can easily win this one.


#5

I have been to Decameron many times and enjoyed every visit, but it has grown substantially since I first went in 2001. I just went back in Feb of 2006 and they have now opened another 300 rooms and a couple new restaraunts. So just an FYI for you and your fiance, the resort is very big now. Also January is summer/dry season in Panama so you have more locals visiting because of school being out and many tourist because they like to miss rainy season.
I love Panama & Decameron but just wanted to share that info with you.
I am sure no matter where you go, you will have a beautiful wedding.

V.