Panama City

I arrived at the Tocumen Airport around 17:00. The arrival time could have been a little bit earlier. Anyway I headed outside and a huge horde of taxi driver wanted me to get in a taxi. The price for a taxi to the centre was 30$!!! I knew that there was public transport (bus) for 1.25$. Fortunately I met a guy from Slovakia, who told me where the bus station was. I headed to the bus station and waited a little time. I got on the bus and I learnt that you need a 3 in 1 card to travel with the public transportation. Anyway I spoke with the bus driver in my Italian-English if I could pay with cash. In the end the bus driver took my 2$ cash and I could get on the bus.

I was really happy and I finally arrived at my hostel villa vento surf. The hostel is really nice and the people were really calm, relaxed and helpful. I totally recommend that hostel. Also the price is fair for what you get there.

Next day I went to the national park in the north of Panama City.

The entrance was 4 bucks. It was a nice walk and at the top you had a nice view over the city. Also I have seen some sloths, birds and the big hamster (I do not know its name). The sloths were hard to find that’s why we ask a park keeper, if he could tell where they were hiding. He was really happy and gave us a small sloth tour.

Back in the hostel it was time for a swim, yeah the hostel had a own swimming pool. Also that night the BBQ from the hostel was planned. Meat, meat, meat, some vegetables and of course Abuelo and coke was on the menu. (the next day I went to San Blas, please read the other article if you are interested). The day after San Blas I was back in Panama City and I discovered the city hill Acôn and the old town. We (Nina and I) took a taxi to the top of the hill. Because some people told us that the region around the hill is not that safe. Anyway it was a really hot day and we were happy for the taxi. After the view we went to the old town and paid a “fortune” for the taxi (15$). It was our mistake that we did not bargain. The old town was nice but you should not drink a beer there (4.2 bucks, the waiter told us the beer would be 3 but in the end it was 3.5 plus taxes) but anyway the beer was delicious.

Later we headed to the fish market and ate ceviche and a really nice fried fish. After the nice meal we walked home on the boulevard next to the sea. During the walk home we bought mango pieces from the fruit seller on the boulevard.
You should do the same!!! They sell mango pieces in a bag for 1 buck. They were awesome.

The next day my friends finally arrived. That day we went to the Miraflores lock. First we took a bus to Albrook and then changed to a taxi because we were in a hurry due to the “opening” times of the locks. The ships are allowed to get through the locks from west to east until 11:00. And 14:00 to the closing time from the other side. Therefore we took a taxi to be “on time” at the locks. We arrived at 10:50 and the last ship went through the locks. For every engineer it is a dream to see this mega construction. The 15 bucks (entrance to the locks and the museum) were worth it, if you are into technic stuff. The 15 bucks also included a museum about the history and the future of the locks also a small part was about the fauna (fish) there. Then we headed to Albrook and experienced the big big big shopping mall. After some long walk we decided to eat something. Unfortunately we took a wrong meal (clubsandwich) and we could just eat the cheese and the bread from the club sandwich.

Next day I went to Santa Catalina (click here).

Also the last day before I went back home, I staid in Panama City. I booked a bed in the hostel Oasis for 17$ again with a swimming pool :). On my last day I went to the Trump Ocean Club to the the nice view. If you want to go near the top, use the casino entrance! I enjoyed a nice salad and a good drink at the swimming pool area. That was the whole magic for me, after that I went back and packed my bags. Around 15:30 my personal shuttle picked me up, which drove me to the Tocumen airport. As I can remember it was 9$.

 

Panama City Facts:

Worth to visit:
Acōn Hill (taxi, around ~7$ depends on the duration and also how good you are at dealing)
Miraflores locks (15$, be there before 11:00)
Trump Ocean Club (use casino entrance, ~5$ for a beer)
Fish market (delicious deep fried fish ~10$)
Old part (viejo)
National Park (4$)

Accommodations:
Villa Vento Surf 15$ for a bed in a 8 dorm
Swimming pool, AC, fridge with beer and water (1$), fridge for personal stuff, WiFi, locker etc.

Oasis 17$ dorm
Swimming pool, AC, Wifi, locker

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