Travelers: Susan & Rick S.
Travel Dates: February 9-17, 2014
Destinations Visited: Bocas del Toro, Panama City
We had a great time in Panama and the weather completely cooperated the entire time (read: in the 90’s every day with only rain the first two nights while we were sleeping, which was pretty awesome being in the bungalows). Our transfer driver was really great – Friendly and always on time. We had no issues with any flights or transfers. Found Panamanians didn’t speak English as well as in Costa Rica, which isn’t really an issue, just challenged us more to remember our Spanish.
The hotel in Panama City was really nice and they had a good restaurant for us to have dinner. The morning we left to come home, we had a really nice buffet breakfast! Very impressed with the spread and the staff was very helpful. The only “wish” we had on our last day being there, was to get into a pool. 🙂
Eclyspe Del Mar was so nice, too. We ended up going over to Bocas Town the first day for lunch and wandering around. That night we just ate at the resort and the food was awesome. The next day we booked a zipline excursion at Red Frog Beach. SO much fun. And we met a couple from Denver, whom we immediately hit it off with, so we had lunch/drinks with them and spent the entire day at Red Frog Beach. That night we took a boat over to the Old Town area and had dinner. Found we could walk back through the jungle to the resort so we did that (probably would not have done it in the dark as there were some more “technical” areas to navigate but it was great to get out and walk).
The final day we did the tour of the “Up the Hill” organic farm. We REALLY liked that. So educational and we just learned so much. They really have a nice tour, then they let you eat some things from the farm, and then they make you a light lunch. I would highly recommend the farm to anyone going there. We spent the rest of the day swimming and exploring the area behind the resort. That final night we went over to Bocas Town and met our friends for dinner. That was fun–the area really comes alive at night. There was one gal who worked at the resort who was so nice and helpful. She basically called and arranged the zip lining and farm tour. She was very sweet and made our stay that much better.
Getting over to Boquete was good. Somewhat of a long day, but that is to be expected. The Haven was beautiful and no complaints with anything about the facility or help, but I think we were a little surprised at the “breakfast included” and that it was basically granola + fruit in our room. I think maybe we thought they had a small restaurant there (like the place we stayed in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica) and also a pool that wasn’t an endless pool where you swim into the current (I did try it as I am an avid swimmer, but I only lasted about 5 mins . . . it was kind of boring! LOL). We did a lot of sightseeing there and took the Valley tour and since Rick and I were the only ones that signed up . . . it was a private tour. Nothing wrong with that! Oh, yeah, and I got a massage at the spa on my birthday. Nice treat!
Getting back to David to fly back to Panama City went great, too. Was nice that we didn’t have to ride a bus (I was thinking from what I had read, we would be on one of those old school buses so we were really happy when 2 guys showed up in a car). There was a triathlon going on in the city on Sunday so sadly we never made it to the canal. We walked around the area near our hotel for a few hours then decided we just wanted an iced coffee and some air conditioning so we took a cab over to the mall to just walk around and get ready for our trip home on Monday.
Thank you so much for helping us with this trip. It was such an opportunity and we made some fabulous memories.