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#1

:slight_smile: love Panama?

There seems to be lot of travellers to Panama who just love it. These are also folks who have travelled to other sunny destinations.

What is it about Panama that you love? I know nothing about it so I hope you guys can educate me in the wonders of Panama!

Maybe you could do some comparisons with some of the other places you’ve been.

Sell me on it! :wink: :smiley:

Thanks! :-*


#2

I fell in love with Panama 12 years ago when I first visited. I had never even been out of the US and I ventured to Panama with my 5 yr old son and 15 yr old sister to visit friends that my family had made while doing volunteer work in Panama. I had only met this family once, but once was enough to cement a friendship that has gained me an extended family. I had been to Panama a few times before I was even introduced to Decameron and had never (and still have never) been to any other AI.
I only have places like Florida and South Carolina to compare Panama with since those were some of my previous vacation spots and they just do not compare. I love to go to Panama to be with my friends and experience the culture. As far as the resort, it is an added pleasure that we discovered while in Panama and I have now made wonderful friends that work at the resort (as a matter of fact I was just chatting with one of the guys online last night and it brought back wonderful memories.). I am not saying that I would never try another AI but my main reason for going to Panama is to visit my extended family that live in Panama City so since they go with us for some time to Decameron then while there I get the best of both worlds. Decameron has grown much since my first visit in 2001 but due to having such good relationships with staff, I still feel that cozy feeling of a small intimate resort.
My sister who has been to Decameron a couple of times has been on cruises and to an AI in the Dominican for her honeymoon said that they did not compare to Decameron. Again I attribute this to our friends at the resort that take such good care of us when we are there.

Ok well I have went on enough. Whos next??
V


#3

:slight_smile: Thank you, Vyro! I was wondering also “who’s next”?

Anyone else care to tell us why you love Panama so much? :-*


#4

I just can’t put into words why I love Panama so much. :-[

Let me think about this. :-/

I would think with all the postings I have done here, it is obvious. :wink:

Have you checked out the pictures? :slight_smile:


#5

:slight_smile: No, not yet but I will.

I was just wondering how Panama “compares” to other resort destinations such as Costa Rica, Cuba, the DR, etc.

What about the beaches, the people, the food, the landscape, the excursions, the sights.

Will read this whole board for info. Thanks. :-*


#6

Well, this is probably the wrong place to post this, but since you asked for a comparison SUJ, here goes…
I thought Costa Rica was much friendlier, more tourism oriented, and much more patient with people who speak little or no spanish. Highways were in much better shape in Panama.
I thought Panama was more scenic than what I’ve seen of Mexico, but I’d rather go back to Mexico - that’s just me though, I love Mexico. Panama wasn’t unfriendly, it just didn’t feel quite as welcoming as some other places I’ve been.
Between Cuba, DR, and Panama, I’ll go where the deal is! Excursions seem pretty much the same wherever we went. Food was standard AI fare at the Decameron. If you don’t like workers expecting/demanding tips everywhere you turn, then Panama would be a better choice than Cuba or the DR. It seemed to me like the people at the Decameron were surprised to get tips, although the service was certainly gratuity-worthy.


#7

:slight_smile: Thank you, jcb! That’s the kind of stuff I was looking for.

I’ve been going back to the beginning of this board and, although the pictures and info are wonderful, it still doesn’t draw me to Panama.

From what I can “feel”, it seems to me that Panama is a humid, lush area - which tells me that it’s not “hot, sunny and a dry heat” :wink:

It also tells me that there are lots of 6 legged critters hiding in the bushes. :o :-*


#8

Oh, it was hot and sunny alright, but it most definitely wasn’t a dry heat when we were there. They told us how long the rainy season was and I can’t remember how many months exactly but it was really long! Very important for the canal, though. You might adapt better than I did, because I’m not used to humidity at all. If you are looking for dry heat with easy access to lush rainforest, try the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. We were there at the beginning of the dry season last year (December) and you could just see the hills turning brown by the day. It was very hot and dry.

Honestly, I’m not trying to criticise Panama, we did have a lovely time there, it just somehow for some vague undefined reason didn’t really grab me. I think it would have been much different if we spoke spanish, though.


#9

The location is excellent, with tourism being relatively new the people are more tolerant of tourists. The country isnt as backward as most 3rd world nations. Lots of money in the country due to the Canal.
The sites like the rainforests, canal are second to none in the world.
The Ocean is WARM and a lot of fun.
There is history in Panama that no other location in the world has.
The people are VERY friendly.
The weather is fantastic
The resort is spectacular and has something for everyone.
The food is top notch and again has something for everyone.
The water is clean and drinkable from the tap.
The country is safe.
The PRICE is still low.
The language issue is a non entity…there are people all over that understand what is needed to get the message through. I cant believe that some people even bring this up.
DONT compare Panama to any other place…its not possible.

pics
http://community.webshots.com/user/dayel1956

SO MUCH MORE.!!! I have travelled to many places and find Panama and the Decameron to be a top destination point.


#10

Waterloo, I believe that is me you are referring to about the language issue. I brought it up because some people are nervous going to a destination where they don’t speak the language. They don’t know what to expect. I brought it up because I felt that Panama was less patient and helpful with people who speak little or no spanish than some other places I’ve been like Cuba, DR, Costa Rica and Mexico. I’m not saying the people are rude or you can’t get where you’re going or buy what you want to buy, that is still very doable. I just noticed a difference and thought it was worth mentioning. It wasn’t that they were unfriendly, I just felt like people went out of their way to help us more in other countries. Just my opinion based on my limited travel experiences, not meant to offend or insult anyone.


#11

No not you specifically…Ive read it a few times and I just dont buy it at all. There is no more or no less problems in Panama with language than any other Spanish speaking country.


#12

I don’t know. While there were a few people who were amused by my sad spanish or lack thereof and tried to help me, I found less of that cheerful indulgence in Panama that I experienced elsewhere. It made me laugh because you know how people complain about Americans just talking louder and slower to people who don’t speak english? Well, several people did that to me in Panama and the funny thing was it worked! I didn’t catch anything the first time, but the second repetition I understood a word or two and the third time I caught just enough to get the gist of the sentence and was able to respond (or at least smile and nod). I am thinking that you and I have had opposite experiences, Waterloo and we will probably always have different opinions on this one.


#13

I think the Spanish accent or type of Spanish used in Panama is different from other regions. I am like you…I peck and hunt for words.
My wife however is Portuguese and understands Spanish quite well. She suggested to me that Panamanians speak much faster than other Spanish nations…hence the confusion.


#14

I’ve been to most of the top destinations through out the Caribbean, plus a few different parts of Mexico. My wife and I had always fantasised about retiring in Mexico, until we visited Panama.

We found the people to be very friendly. Although my Spanish is very rudimentary, everyone I tried to communicate with seemed willing to put in a bit of effort, probably because they could tell that I was really trying. I think that, if someone comes across as not being patient with you, it’s because they’re just not yet used to dealing with non-Spanish speakers. I consider this to be one of the country’s charms, since they’ve not yet been “assimilated”. (Though that’s not completely true, due to the long U.S. occupation: the older generation typically can speak English because of this, and the kids can because of the new global realities. It’s the middle demographic that didn’t need to learn English.)

I find the history and culture of the country fascinating. Panama City is the economic hub of Central America, due largely to Canal traffic. As such, there are over 150 banks located there, with a corresponding economic infrastructure. (Since there is virtually no risk of earthquake, tsunami, etc., there are many high-rises in the city. It’s quite a surprising sight.) The country’s geographic position means that it has always been a crossroads of sorts, even before the canal was built (and also because of its construction). Panama City has a Chinatown! From Spanish Colonial times to France’s canal attempt, to Noriega’s reign and the fallout of that, the country has seen some interesting times.

The way Panama has preserved its indigenous cultures is very remarkable. Many national parks have been created so that the tribes can continue to live as they have for hundreds of years. An excursion available at the resorts gives you the opportunity to visit one of the (slightly Disneyfied, but just barely: women still topless for example) tribes and have them cook, dance, and visit with you.

One of the guides we had on a couple of our excursions was originally from France, and had spent the past ten years in Costa Rica. About two years ago, he visited Panama for a week, and immediately moved there. In his opinion, it’s still unspoiled by tourism, but has everything to offer that Costa Rica does in terms of natural wonders (albeit with a limited infrastructure).

Even though we stayed at an all-inclusive, I felt that in Panama we were really getting to see Latin American culture, not just what the tourists are supposed to see. This has pros and cons, and I’m sure it will change over time. My advice to any and all: visit Panama before there is no difference between it and everywhere else! :slight_smile:

(Sorry for the long-winded ramble. With what’s been going on in Cuba – someplace we haven’t yet visited and were planning to this winter – we’ve been considering Panama again. Maybe I’m just trying to talk myself into it! ;D)


#15

:slight_smile: Thank you, Spiro, for your input. Very interesting reading. :-*


#16

Just back from Panama for the second time and to answer the 6 legged critter reference, I saw more bugs and insects in my garden in Calgary today than I have ever seen in Panama. When we were walking in the rainforest we saw leaf cutter ants but they are to busy carrying leaves to bother with anything else. LS