The panama Canal, was so big, also it has inside there are a museum about the history of the canal, however there so crowd of people around the world and there no air so its very hot, you can see the ships and the stuff in a balcony up of the
Unique Suggestions: Try to get comfortable clothes and something against the mosquitoes in the third floor
Fun Alternatives: Stay inside the museum, it has air
Be sure to get exact charges before entering a taxi as they often charge non spanish speaking fares twice the amount. Often even after having agreed on a price, they will try to squeeze more out of you. Just be firm, get out at destination and refuse to pay more than agreed upon.
Lonely Planet and local tourist guides describe this as a gentrifying area of interesting old buildings and historical sites emerging from its past as a slum. Historical sites there may be, but I found it very hard to spot the gentrification. This is a developing county urban slum, nothing more. As urban slums go, its a relatively clean and orderly one, and there is a lively and interesting shopping area along the main drag, but those who go with expectations of seeing nicely restored colonial era buildings in a pleasant environment are going to be sorely disappointed.
Unique Suggestions: Don't expect much. Stroll the main shopping street, see the historic sites if they interest you, and head for the countryside.
This recreation of a Spanish village was mostly deserted and consisted of a few recreated buildings and souvenir shops. This place could have been quite interesting but I get the feeling it's only occupied when the tour buses role by.
Just back from our 2nd trip to Panama City and I have to say it again: Taxi's can be tourist trap and especially Mall / hotel taxis.
The taxis we ran into outside our hotels and shopping mall ( Multicentro , in this case ) will charge you at least twice the usual price for a ride. Unless you don't care , flag down other taxis on the street always give you a better rate.
e.g. a usual USD 1.5 taxi ride will cost you USD 5 or more if you use those taxis parked outside malls and hotels.
Taxi rate in around town for us this time were from 1.50 to 2 dollars per ride. Most of the drivers we met were quite honest and polite. If you speak spanish and don't mind sharing the cab with other Panamanians, the rate is usually 75 cents per person.
And just to remind : Don't get inside the taxi unless you have got a price quote from the driver first.
Taxi going from Tocumen into the city was almost 28; from city into the airport was 25.
In general taxi's are cheap in PTY. As mentioned by so many VT's before, please confirm a price before you and your party ever step inside a taxi, any taxi.
We've met a few really honest taxi's that gave us the local rates for getting around the city, but most of the time they will give you the tourist price if you don't look local. See my other tips in the transportation section.
Unless you're in a rush and it's very late at night , ask first, then step in.
No big deal.... but if you want to buy some local crafts ... Go to the end of Casco Viejo by the French Embassy. You can buy a mola too............
Or just buy a Panama Hat!!
Unique Suggestions: Pick up a MOLA!!
Fun Alternatives: Shopping is quite inexpensive throughout the city ./.. Go to the shops across the street for the El Panama Hotel ... You can buy very good quality Guayaberas for like $8-$10
I had to put this under the 'tourist trap' category because it's expensive, human-made, and designed to please the pampered traveller. But, I've gotta' admit it...I enjoyed it!
The Gamboa Rainforest Resort is a swanky little place with a hotel and spa (did not experience this as we just went for the day), as well as a variety of tours and excursions around the huge grounds. The grounds really are beautiful and you can do everything from kayaking and hiking to gliding across the forest in a teleferique. The resort is also something to see.....we thought we'd been transported to some alternate universe where everything sparkled...
Unique Suggestions: If you're coming for the day from the City....do not book expensive transportation with your hotel. We took the local bus for almost nothing. I think that the hotel wanted to charge us $20USD to drive us there.
Try the restaurant for lunch.
Walk or bike around the grounds and explore the river system by boat.
Take a trip on the teleferique.
Fun Alternatives: I'm sure there are cheaper and less contrived ways to see all of the things that you can see at the Gamboa Rain Forest. This was, however, a nice treat for the day.
It is nice to have a picture with the Indians from Panama in "Mi Pueblito", they have nice dresses and you can buy nice artisan objects they make, but be careful, if you want a picture with them IT IS NOT FREE, you will have to pay between 2 and 5 US dollars
The buildings here were quite interesting but the place was empty. One or two other tourist and half shops were closed.
This was actually the most interesting part of the place. The local artisans took the time to show me the place (wanting to show me their stall at the end of course).