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Panama Travel Plan

Panama Travel Plan 🧭 Our 26-day Itinerary

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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  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 Journey

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.

During our stay in Panama city, we planned to visit the Panama Canal, Taboga Island and older sections of the city including Casco Viejo.

Hotel options in Panama City

Panama Travel Plan

Our Panama travel plan starts in Panama City

Santa Catalina – First Taste of the Pacific

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.

Panama Travel Plan

Our Panama Travel Plan – Santa Catalina

Hotel options near Santa Catalina

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.

Panama Travel Plan

Our Panama Travel Plan – David

All your hotel options in David

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.

Panama Travel Plan

Our Panama Travel Plan – Boquete

All your hotel options in Boquete

Bocas Del Toro During Carnival

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 Isla Colon at the Tesoro Escondido Lodge. We planned to spend our last 3 days in Isla Bastimentos at the Ushuaia Guesthouse.

Bocas Del Toro

Our Panama Travel Plan – Bocas Del Toro

Hotel options in Bocas Del Toro

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.

Boca Brava

Our Panama Travel Plan – Boca Brava

All your hotel options in Boca Chica

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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