Apparently, Panama is among the top 5 best-rated countries in the world in which to retire. Facts like this, together with the attractions of a tropical climate and the buzz of a Latin American country are hard to ignore. Throw into the mix really cheap flights with Lufthansa from Europe and we’re ready to start researching our Panama travel plan.
In fact, we booked our flights and planned the trip a good 4 months before departure.
Budget for a 26-day Panama Trip
Our return flights to Panama City from Amsterdam, Holland totaled €310 per person. The low price was due to the fact that we weren’t flying direct. Our journey comprised 3 legs: Amsterdam-Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Bogota, Bogota-Panama City. Including relatively short transfers, the total journey time was 18 hours each way.
On top of our flight costs, we budgeted for €50 per person per day. This included our accommodation on the basis of 2 sharing. Our budget for the 26-day Panama trip therefore came to a total of €1,610 per person.
Getting to and from Amsterdam from our base in Malta, plus 2-nights accommodation near Schiphol airport added another €422 to our final expenses.
Our Panama Travel Plan
Arriving at Panama City, we planned to take the classic route west as far as Bocas Del Toro, taking in a few extra destinations along the way.
We would break the long journey back to Panama City by spending a few days on the Pacific coast in Boca Chica.
Panama City – The start of our Panama travel plan
Santa Catalina – First taste of the Pacific coast
To break the 470 km journey to David, we would first take buses from Panama city to Santa Catalina on the Pacific coast. This would give us 3 days on the beaches, staying at the nearby Hotel Iguanito.
David, nestled in the Chiriqui foothills
Although there is reportedly little to see in David, it is on the road to Boquete. We planned to spend just one night there, at the Hotel Residencial Cervantes.
Boquete – The Big Valley
The highland district of Boquete covers a large area, so we would spend 4 days looking around. For accommodation we chose two places to stay: The Jungla Experience Guesthouse and the Hotel Central Boquete.
Bocas Del Toro at Carnival time
Bocas Del Toro is the prime destination of the trip, so we allocated 8 days for these Caribbean islands.
Our first 2 days would be in Bocas town at the Residencial La Terraza. This to be followed by 3 days further north in Islay Colon at the Tesoro Escondido Lodge. We planned to spend our last 3 days in Islay Bastimentos at the Ushuaia Guesthouse.
Boca Chica and Boca Brava
Finally, on our way back to Panama City, we would spend 3 days back on the Pacific coast in Boca Chica. Here, we booked the Residencia de la Marina for one night, followed by a 2-night stay at the Hotel Boca Brava.
So would we meet our budget of €1,610 per person? …and does Panama deserve the No 2 position in the best-rated countries in the world in which to retire?
Read our related articles, and decide for yourself.
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