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Questions from Panama First Timer?

  1. What is cost of cigarettes at Panama duty free??? At Decameron???
  2. Any preferences to Decameron buffets (Usually our Favourite choice) or a-la-cartes at Decameron? We’ve got beach front room…
  3. Would like to see Panama Canal. Any packages better than others??? Should they be booked at resort or elsewhere???
  4. Any shopping close to resort???
  5. What is cost of beer at stop on airport bus??

Multitudinous thanks for your help…

  1. No idea how much cigarettes cost at Panama duty free. Do make sure if you buy cigarettes in Panama they are labeled duty free. We saw Cdn. customs take some away from people. Cigarettes at the Decameron - they are given away at the bars. Not packages mind you, one or two at a time.

  2. The Pacifico is a new buffet and very nice. Check out both Pacifico and Atlantis, they usually are different themes from each other. The a la cartes - I liked - El Canal (the only one that is air conditioned), Kontiki and Mogo Mogo.

  3. Each time we went to the Panama Canal we hired ourselves a taxi to take us. A lot cheaper and you go at your own pace and where you want.

  4. Shopping close to the resort - for souvenirs, in the nearby village. Within walking distance. When you leave the resort (leave at lobby three), turn left.

  5. Didn’t buy a beer, so I can’t help you.

Many thanks for your reply Bebbie…

BB:

Regarding shopping nearby, you can always catch a local transit van for about 1.50 each way/person and head to Penonome. They do stop along the way and pick up passengers. It is quite an experience.

If you hire a taxi to take you to see the Canal you could always request to go to Albrook Mall in PC to do some shopping. What an amazing mall that is.

[quote=@bebbie]BB:

Regarding shopping nearby, you can always catch a local transit van for about 1.50 each way/person and head to Penonome. They do stop along the way and pick up passengers. It is quite an experience.

If you hire a taxi to take you to see the Canal you could always request to go to Albrook Mall in PC to do some shopping. What an amazing mall that is. [/quote]

Thank you again Bebbie. Do you recall roughly what the cab fare from the Decameron was to see the Canal?

BB: There were four us…we got a van, driver and an interrupter for about 120. This was for all day and where ever we wanted to go.

I bought some Coors Light at a grocery store last year for about $3.00 for a six pack. At Poppasitos(the half way stop) you can buy Atlas or Balboa beer for about 1.00 or american beer or corona for 3.00 to 4.00 a can. Buy some to take on the bus if you wish

Looks like you are on the same flight as we are going down in two weeks. We love going there, our 4th trip to the Decameron

BB: Not sure now if cigarettes will be readily available at bars anymore. I read that Panama passed a law on smoking:

http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/En_vigor_en_Panama_ley_antitabaquismo

[quote=@bebbie]BB: Not sure now if cigarettes will be readily available at bars anymore. I read that Panama passed a law on smoking:

http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/En_vigor_en_Panama_ley_antitabaquismo[/quote]

Thanks again for your info… I don’t smoke myself but my wife will not be happy with that new law :’( :’( :’(

refchief I see you are going down on the 12th for your 4th visit to the Decameron. We are going down on Monday the 5th for only one week. We are staying at the Playa Blanca. I took a look at the weather forcast for next week and they are calling for scattered thunderstorms for most of the week in Panama City. I thought this was the dry season ???
Do you always go in January? If so what was the weather like?
Cheers,
Sunny

refchief … I forgot to ask … In your past trips there have you ever done the Embera village excursion? We are considering this but are worried about the travel time because we have kids, a 9 y.o. and a 12 y.o.
Sunny

Sunnytraveller,
We have been to Panama in January everytime. We have been there as Early as the 7th January and last year we went the last week of January. I can honestly say I think I have seen 10drops of rain only. It has gotten cloudy but has cleared up just as fast. I would not be concerned about rain down there. That is why I keep returning. Have been in the Dominican and Mexico in January and have had rain every time. To try and get an idea on the weather, I go to Accu Weather and go to the page for international weather then put in Farallon, Panama. It will then give you 2 choices, pick Coccle(I Think) and that will give you the fishing village next to the Decameron. You can also type in Pennome, the town 20minutes away.

We have done the Emberra Village, well worth the time. It is about a 2 hour bus ride, then you get into a large dugout canoe. You first go to a little falls with a fresh water pool. You can swim there. Very refreshing on a hot day as the water is cool, coming from a spring. You are then brought to their village, very unique . They feed you lunch, put on a show and offer crafts for sale. Some women are topless (their tradition) so don;t be surprised. You are leaving this Monday so enjoy yourself and don’t worry about the weather. Any other questions, just ask. Have a great trip.

[quote=@refchief]
To try and get an idea on the weather, I go to Accu Weather and go to the page for international weather then put in Farallon, Panama. It will then give you 2 choices, pick Coccle(I Think) and that will give you the fishing village next to the Decameron. You can also type in Pennome, the town 20minutes away.
.[/quote]

Sure hope the great historical weather forecast you gave is better than the one I got for two weeks starting January 12 :’( This link will take you to the site you suggested…

http://www.accuweather.com/world-index-forecast.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&loccode=CAC|PA|PM003|FARALLON

I know it doesn’t look promising, but the years we have been there it has been really nice. We have also gone in January every year. There were times that it rained, perhaps for five/ten minutes during the afternoon. But that was it. It was warm and it dried up very fast. The guys even swam in the pool. No thunder or lightning so it was fine.

Is there somewhere at the airport where we can purchase some beverages before we get on the bus? We are traveling in a group of 17 !! 8 adults, and 9 kids.
Thank you refchief for the info on the Embera Village … it is something that our family really wants to do. Thanks for the heads up with the topless woman … I have already spoken to my 9 y.o. son so he doesn’t get embarrassed. He is actually really excited. After showing him the Embera village website he said to me … 'It is going to be like a ‘SURVIVOR’ reward !!" We were concerned because someone told me it was going to be a 3 hour bus ride each way … 6 hours on a bus didn’t sound like too much fun with kids :o

Regarding the weather … Hubby & I have been to Panama 5 times (Contadora Island) - before kids !! In those 5 weeks we only saw one day of rain, we barely even saw clouds. Not sure if the weather on the islands is different than the mainland because I remember seeing clouds in the direction of Panama City but never saw them over Contadora Island.

[quote=@bebbie]BB: Not sure now if cigarettes will be readily available at bars anymore. I read that Panama passed a law on smoking:

http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/En_vigor_en_Panama_ley_antitabaquismo[/quote]

Looks like you were right. The following was printed on our Nolitours documents…“Effective January 24, 2008 [color=Black]all hotels in Panama are non-smoking. The only areas designated for smoking are: room balconies, and the beach. No smoking is permitted in all other areas including the rooms, bars, restaurants, and lobby area. Non compliance to this law will be subject to a fine…”[/color]

Non-smokers will appreciate that.

Hi I know there is no fridge in the rooms. What is the availabity of ice and can you buy a small starfoam cooler in the nerest village (Penemo???)

Maybe I acan buy a cooler at Poppasitos(the half way stop). Does anyone know. Perhaps Refchief can answer.