Topic Wiki

List of TR's:
dvol Pictures
yuneeq Contadora (Pearl Islands)
Something Fishy (Cuba)
Something Fishy (Honduras)

Kosher Food/ Restaurants:
Places to Eat:
Aroma Café
Darna Dairy/Bakery
Jeffrey’s Bakery
Pita Pan
Pita Plus
Lula by Darna
Hilel Sports Bar and Grill- Closed
La Spezia
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (including 2 at PTY)
Dr. Sandwich
Prime Grill
Forever yogurt in casco viejo- Chalav Yisroel ice cream - Closed down
NEW - Jerusalem Israeli Cuisine by Chabad in Casco Viejo
Supermacardo Deli K


The Jewish community in Panama is mainly in Panama City in the Punta Paitilla area.
You must bring your passport with you to enter the shuls. You can bring your passport over during the week if you are not staying in the eruv. They will make a copy of your passport.

Sinagoga Beth El – Orthodox, Ashkenazi. After Shabbat morning services, they have a full sit down Kiddush lunch.
They also serve breakfast after weekday shacharit.
Contact Asistente al Rabino - Déborah Wizel

Shevet Ahim – Sephardic. proper attire required, denied entry for shorts.

Ahavat Sion –

Chabad -  bracha Karniel goldberg

Things to Do:
Panama Canal
Amador Causeway
Old City
$30 cabbie for all day
Panama John on FT cab and tour guide
San Blas islands
En Valle Market
Casco Viejo
Barefoot Panama tour company
Miraflores Locks
Ancon Hill (tallest point in the City)
Anton Valley (hiking, waterfalls, horseback riding)
Panama Viejo
MultiPlaza (high-end mall)
Parque Natural Metropolitano
Partial canal transit
Monkey Island boat tour
Rainforest Gondola tour
Contadora (Pearl Islands) - whale watching, snorkeling/scuba on Chipera, Mogu Mogu,
Rainbow bass fishing
Rent bikes along the water
Beach- Santa Clara and punta palmar both 1.5+ hours from Panama City
Indigenous tribes
Coffee plantations in the mountains
Whale watching
City tour (includes animals)
Chargres River Tour, hike to waterfall, visit Embrera Indian Village
Hiking Portabello road
Natural Metropolitan Park
Almiza Tours/ My friend mario (Website not working!)
Bocas del Toro
Old city/Casco viejo


Getting Around:
Uber is the best way to get around, cheap and reliable (if you go to the rainforest, there might not be any cars available going back, search before)


Please Update the Wiki
« Last edited by yitzyul on February 12, 2020, 09:53:43 PM »

Author Topic: Panama Master Thread  (Read 89318 times)

Offline Ploni3

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #705 on: February 07, 2020, 09:44:44 AM »
We stayed at the Hilton and checked out the rooms at the Marriott and found them to be materially smaller.

Online yitzyul

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #706 on: February 07, 2020, 10:47:43 AM »
Is driving really that difficult in Panama? I understand the crazy traffic etc.  But to leave early am and arrive late PM to the JW (not to drive around in the city) is that doable?

Offline BrooklynCPA

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #707 on: February 07, 2020, 11:46:15 AM »
Just got back from Panama. We stayed at the Sortis and loved it!! I used a 7 night cert in an ambassador account and got a beautiful large 2 room suite with 2 full bathrooms. The living room had a king size pullout sofa plus they brought us a folding bed. Very modern contemporary hotel with gorgeous pool, spa and casino. They have the largest sports bar I've ever seen with huge screens that came handy for the super bowl (after watching the 1st half at Aria over an amazing dinner directly across the street from hotel). I believe this is the best possible use in history for a Marriott cert! The only drawback is the walk in the heat to and from the Jewish area on shabbos. I wanted to check into the Brand new Residence Inn or Marriott for shabbos but my family was too comfortable at the Sortis. The Residence Inn, JW Marriott and Hilton are closer to shuls and all good choices too. You really cant go wrong with either one.

Kava was our favorite and we all thought it was the best dairy restaurant we've even been to. We chose to go back there a 2nd time instead of trying something new. We also went to Aria, Pita Plus, Coffee Bean at the Miraflores locks and ordered in from La Spezia. They were all good!

We did a combined tour of Embera Village and Monkey Island with Alon Levy. We loved him and he is reasonably priced. Embera Village tribes charge $45 PP, the boat company to Monkey Island is $30 -$35 PP plus the driver for the day cost so the Tour guides themselves do not make as much as people think.

We went to Pearl Island and spent the afternoon with Ilene from
 who was amazing. We snorkeled at a beautiful reef (near the island where Survivor was filmed).  We also fished but did not have the same luck as some of the others here and did not catch anything :(  We cannot compare it to San Blas as we were not there but it is definitely easier to take a 1.5 hour fast ferry that itself is part of the fun than to take a long winding car ride. From my research I came to the conclusion that as a day trip Pearl Island makes more sense but as an overnight trip San Blas is the better choice.

We did the Miraflores Locks on our own. The 3D Imax explains the complete history and the mechanics better than any tour guide can and I don't think there is a need to spend $ on an official tour.

If there is time to kill or for a relaxing day I recommend spending a few hours at Amador causeway and renting bikes. We also spent some time in the Old city of Casco Viejo. It was typical and not a must do. There is a new Chabad restaurant there called Jerusalem.

On shabbos we were at Chabad friday night and Bethel for lunch. They were both really nice and enjoyable.

Instead of paying $10 a day to Verizon for both of our phones we bought  7 day Sim cards for $5 that worked perfectly. It is $30 at the airport so wait until you get to the city.

Definitely no need to rent a car. Ubers are easy and cheap!

All in all I highly recommend Panama in the winter for the guaranteed weather, incredible food, lots of amazing activities for all ages and a vibrant Jewish community to join on Shabbos!!!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 02:41:12 PM by BrooklynCPA »

Offline Divora M

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #708 on: February 25, 2020, 10:47:59 PM »
Here is my TR that I wrote about our trip to Panama this past January. I know it was very helpful for me to read other TR’s while planning my trip so I wanted to help out others as well.