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.
Our return flights to Panama City from Amsterdam, Holland totalled €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.
We would spend 4 days in Panama City on arrival, and another 2 at the end of the trip. Staying at the Occidental Hotel on the way in, and at the Centroamericano Hotel on the way back.
We planned to visit the Panama Canal, Taboga Island and older sections of the city including Casco Viejo.
To break the 470 km journey to David, we would first take buses to Santa Catalina on the Pacific coast. This would give us 3 days on the beaches, staying at the nearby Hotel Iguanito.
Our Panama Travel Plan – Santa Catalina
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.
Our Panama Travel Plan – David
The highland district of Boquete covers a large area, so we’ll spend 4 days looking around. For accommodation we chose two places to stay: The Jungla Experience Guesthouse and the Hotel Central Boquete.
Our Panama Travel Plan – Boquete
Bocas Del Toro
Bocas Del Toro is the prime destination of the trip, so we’re allocating 8 days in these Caribbean islands.
First 2 days in Bocas town at the Residencial La Terraza. This to be followed by 3 days further north on Islay Colon at the Tesoro Escondido Lodge. We planned to spend our last 3 days on Islay Bastimentos at the Ushuaia Guesthouse.
Our Panama Travel Plan – Bocas Del Toro
Boca Chica / Boca Brava
Finally, on our way back to Panama City, we’ll spend 3 days back on the Pacific coast in Boca Chica. Here, we’ll stay at the Residencia de la Marina for one night, followed by a 2-night stay at the Hotel Boca Brava.
So 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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