Wow, it’s a lot of work getting ready for a six-week vacation! I guess it doesn’t have to be, but I’m such a planning freak, and like to learn as much information as I can before making a decision (that’s both a strength and a weakness).
This week, one of my main focuses has been booking all our accommodations in Panama. But rather than finding a place that looks nice and going for it, for some reason I feel like I need to look at every place out there before I can weigh my pros and cons and make a decision… so it’s taken a lot of time.
We plan on visiting several different towns during our stay. These include:
- Panama City / Taboga Island
- Coronado Beach / El Valle de Anton
- Chitre / Las Tablas
- Volcan / Boquete
- Bocas del Toro
Especially to put my Grandma’s mind at ease, so she can see that we’ll be in safe places :), here are the accommodations we’ve been able to book so far.
Helpful hotel with friendly staff in good location. $80/night
Length of stay: 1 week
Torres de Alba
1 Bedroom apartment with kitchen: $89/night
Length of stay: 4 nights
Private 900 sq ft. house on Taboga island with kitchen: $145/night
Length of stay: 2 nights
Length of stay: 1 week
As you can see, there is quite a variety of price and quality differences quality throughout the country. Panama City is one of the most expensive areas. But you can still find great deals, especially if you’re willing to stay at a place for more than a week, or more than a month.
We wondered whether we should just book a hotel for the first couple nights, and wing it from there – since you never really know how nice a place is going to be until you sleep there; pictures can be misleading. And maybe there would be nice spots that you can’t find on-line.
However, with great hotel review sites like www.tripadvisor.com and Panama forums and newsgroups, I was able to get a pretty good idea of what places would be good to stay at. And if it turns out we don’t like a place, we’re not going to be in any single hotel longer than a week, which we should be able to endure. (If not, we’ll just check out and go somewhere else, and cut our losses).
There are still a few cities we need to book places in, and there are a lot of options to choose from. Here are some we’re considering. Which of these are your favorites?
Bocas del Toro
Coronado / El Valle de Anton
http://www.vrbo.com/185985 (in Coronado)
http://antonvalleyhotel.com (El valle)
http://www.vrbo.com/118629 (El valle)
http://cabinsinpanama.com (El valle)