Panama by the Numbers

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Unfortunately, we had to rush through our final Central American country, as we had booked a flight to Colombia and only had seven days after crossing the border from Costa Rica. With such limited time, we were forced to cut a few planned stops in Panama, most notably the town of Boquete in the coffee-growing highlands. In the end, we only visited the beautiful islands of Bocas del Toro and Panama City. No doubt, we’ll be back in the future to see more of this country.

Favorite/Least Favorites

Favorite Place: Isla Zapatilla, Bocas del Toro
Least Favorite Place: Panama City

Favorite Food: Greek food from Athens Pizza in Panama City
Least Favorite Food: Disgusting, overpriced salad from Cedros Restaurant in Panama City

Favorite Beer: Balboa
Least Favorite Beer: Atlas

Favorite Accomodations: Hostel Hansi, Bocas del Toro (they don’t take reservations – we kept trying to get in for two days!)
Least Favorite Accomodations: Hostel Mamallena, Panama City

Favorite Sights: Beaches and dolphin watching in Bocas del Toro
Biggest Disappointment: Searching (unsuccessfully) for a place that serves breakfast in Panama City – not everyone likes to each fried chicken at 8 in the morning!

Offbeat Must-Do: Jumping off the diving board at Aqualounge Bar in Bocas del Toro
Must-See: Panama Canal

Other Numbers

Days in Panama: 7
Distance Traveled: 334 miles
Cities/Towns Visited: 2 (Bocas del Toro, Panama City)
Buses: 3
Shuttles: 2
Taxis: 8
Boat trips: 6
Planes: 1 (Panama City to Cartagena)
Beds slept in: 3
Rooms with A/C: 2
Nights under mosquito net: 0
Beaches: 3
Swimming pools: 0
Ruins: 1 (Panama Viejo)
Traveler’s stomach incidents: 0
Days on antibiotics: 7
Museums: 2
Restaurants: 11 (1.5 times per day, on average)
Casinos: 2 (cheap drinks and $1 in a slot machine in Panama City)
Sunburns: 1
Pictures Taken: 656 (Panama) / 8,617 (Total, trip thus far)

Budget

We didn’t pinch our pennies in Panama, opting to eat and drink out fairly often and staying in nicer accommodations (thankfully, most with Air Conditioning) – no doubt, the country can be done on much cheaper. That said, we found prices to be affordable, especially compared to Costa Rica. For example, the average price for a beer in Bocas del Toro was $1-$1.50. Panama uses the US dollar as its official currency and it was nice to be using good old greenbacks without having to constantly be converting back and forth in our heads.

Here were our daily expenditures:

Food $32
Drinks $15
Lodging $31
Transportation $22
Activities $16
Other $4
Total $120/day

Most/Least Expensive

Most Expensive Lodging: $45 (Hotelito del Mar, Bocas del Toro)
Least Expensive Lodging: $25 (Hostel Hansi, Bocas del Toro)

Most Expensive Meal: $26 (Buga, Bocas del Toro)
Least Expensive Meal: $2.65 (Breakfast at Golden Grill, Bocas del Toro)

Most Expensive Drinks: $5.50/ea (Vodka Drinks, Casino in Panama City)
Least Expensive Drinks: Free (Airport Lounge!)

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