Topic Wiki

List of TR's:
Denverite
saw50st8
dvol
dvol Pictures
zow
CGR
itreu001
TripsPls
davidrotts63
yuneeq Contadora (Pearl Islands)
Something Fishy (Cuba)
Something Fishy (Honduras)

Kosher Food/ Restaurants:
Places to Eat:
Aria
Aroma Café
Darna Dairy/Bakery
Kava
Jeffrey’s Bakery
Pita Pan
Pita Plus
Lula by Darna
Metsuyan
Hilel Sports Bar and Grill- Closed
Darna
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
Supermarkets:
Superkosher
Supermacardo Deli K


Synagogue:

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 secretaria@centrobethel.com - Déborah Wizel

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

Ahavat Sion –

Chabad -  bracha Karniel goldberg  brachagold@gmail.com

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
Boquete
Biosphere
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, https://pearlislandsdaytours.com/
Rainbow bass fishing
Ziplining
Rent bikes along the water
Rainforest
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
www.therealpanamatours.com
Almiza Tours/ My friend mario http://www.bscpma.com/mfm/aboutus.htm (Website not working!)
Colon
Bocas del Toro
Old city/Casco viejo

Hotels:

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)

Notes:


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

Author Topic: Panama Master Thread  (Read 99740 times)

Offline sky121

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #165 on: July 21, 2017, 02:07:18 PM »
Any recommendations for cell phone/SIM card providers while in Panama? Obviously don't want to get anything in the airport because it's probably 3-4x what it would cost in the city. Any providers that will ship SIM cards to the US?
Which carrier are you with now?
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline JudahMcB

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #166 on: July 21, 2017, 02:10:53 PM »
Which carrier are you with now?

I have 4 lines with Verizon :-(. $10/day for each line for Verizon TravelPass is a lot and I don't want my wife and kids to be without service in a foreign country.

Offline saw50st8

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #167 on: July 21, 2017, 02:11:48 PM »
I have 4 lines with Verizon :-(. $10/day for each line is a lot and I don't want my wife and kids to be without service in a foreign country.
Do you need each line? Why not have them share 1?

Offline JudahMcB

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #168 on: July 21, 2017, 02:37:40 PM »
Do you need each line? Why not have them share 1?

I worry that my 13 year old will get separated from the rest of the family. Having a phone that can be used in an emergency puts everyone at ease. Maybe I'm just being paranoid?

Offline sky121

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #169 on: July 21, 2017, 02:38:53 PM »
I worry that my 13 year old will get separated from the rest of the family. Having a phone that can be used in an emergency puts everyone at ease. Maybe I'm just being paranoid?
It will work without the add on, no? For emergencies they can use them anyways then.
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline saw50st8

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Panama Master Thread
« Reply #170 on: July 21, 2017, 02:50:04 PM »
I worry that my 13 year old will get separated from the rest of the family. Having a phone that can be used in an emergency puts everyone at ease. Maybe I'm just being paranoid?
You can add everyone to your plan. You only get charged if you use it. Leave it on airplane mode unless they get separated

Also, they have a plan that's not a daily unlimited plan. I forgot the details though. Call Verizon.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #171 on: July 24, 2017, 01:47:26 AM »
I worry that my 13 year old will get separated from the rest of the family. Having a phone that can be used in an emergency puts everyone at ease. Maybe I'm just being paranoid?

Yes, you're being paranoid  :P

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #172 on: July 25, 2017, 01:30:29 AM »
too many cheap hotels to choose from.
Kinda want the Westin Playa Bonita because its on the beach, but its also kinda far from all the restaurants.

Offline Torkay

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #173 on: July 25, 2017, 02:40:52 AM »
too many cheap hotels to choose from.
Kinda want the Westin Playa Bonita because its on the beach, but its also kinda far from all the restaurants.
There's a nice raddison right next to all the shuls and Jewish community

Offline saw50st8

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #174 on: July 25, 2017, 04:46:45 AM »
too many cheap hotels to choose from.
Kinda want the Westin Playa Bonita because its on the beach, but its also kinda far from all the restaurants.

The people I met who stayed there said the beach isn't great

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #175 on: July 25, 2017, 10:09:52 AM »
The people I met who stayed there said the beach isn't great
thanks. I don't feel so bad then. So which would be the nicest hotel with nice pools

Offline saw50st8

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #176 on: July 25, 2017, 12:45:58 PM »
thanks. I don't feel so bad then. So which would be the nicest hotel with nice pools

I stayed at the Marriott but I wouldn't recommend it. My friends loved the Hard Rock. Denverite really liked the Hilton. There is a Le Meridien right near the kosher restaurants too, but I didn't go inside.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #177 on: July 25, 2017, 07:38:37 PM »
too many cheap hotels to choose from.
Kinda want the Westin Playa Bonita because its on the beach, but its also kinda far from all the restaurants.


I stayed at the Marriott but I wouldn't recommend it. My friends loved the Hard Rock. Denverite really liked the Hilton. There is a Le Meridien right near the kosher restaurants too, but I didn't go inside.

The Hilton pool is awesome (although the water was cold), oceanfront on Avenida Balboa on like the 15th floor.  The pool was the biggest reason I booked here (full lounge access was next for all the drinks that we then took to the pool...lol).  I also think the location is just perfect, right next to the kosher Coffee Bean for breakfast, walk-able to restaurants and the huge supermarket.

When I go back though, I'm planning to stay at the Sortis at least part of the time.  When you can buy a week cert at $275 and stay at a super cool, brand new hotel with a spa and a kosher restaurant inside (and a couple others around the block), I can't really beat that.  Their pool looks actually bigger and nicer than the Hilton, just obviously not right on the water.

I think you are right that there are just too many dirt cheap hotels to choose from and honestly I don't think any of them are good redemption because they are so cheap (for that reason I just paid at the Hilton).  If you just want to spend zero dollars then yeah pick one on points or like I said for less than $300 buy a cert for a whole week at Sortis, save your points for an aspirational redemption elsewhere and then spend a little money to go on an excursion to San Blas to get a private island with a really awesome beach!

Check out the new videos they just loaded on the Sortis website:
http://www.sortishotel.com/eng/




Offline chuchem

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #178 on: July 26, 2017, 09:43:38 AM »
will be there in feb with my kids for 10 days and booked the sortis. They have a sale for a 1 bedroom suite 220 dollars a night incl 60 dollar daily credit. Think thats a great rate, i booked 2 of these rooms, that will give the 8 of us enough space
I am still considering if i should stay 10 days in the sortis or only sun-sun and then go to a beach resort somewere for 3 days....
would even consider a 1 night san blas catamaran cruise, but not sure how doable this is with 6 little kids. didnt spend time yet on checking all out, but thanks for thr tr  that really helps
What places are close to the sortis, were i can eat and daven shabbes?



Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #179 on: July 26, 2017, 12:30:12 PM »
will be there in feb with my kids for 10 days and booked the sortis. They have a sale for a 1 bedroom suite 220 dollars a night incl 60 dollar daily credit. Think thats a great rate, i booked 2 of these rooms, that will give the 8 of us enough space
I am still considering if i should stay 10 days in the sortis or only sun-sun and then go to a beach resort somewere for 3 days....
would even consider a 1 night san blas catamaran cruise, but not sure how doable this is with 6 little kids. didnt spend time yet on checking all out, but thanks for thr tr  that really helps
What places are close to the sortis, were i can eat and daven shabbes?

That is a great deal...I paid that at the Hilton for a 1brm but without the daily $60 credit.  I also prefer a suite with a kitchenette and extra space.  Did you call to see how much they would charge to upgrade a week cert to stay in a 1 or 2brm suite?  You wouldn't earn points but it could possibly be a ridiculous deal.  If you have the koach to call and find out, I'd love to know how much that would be.   For restaurants, Kava is inside Sortis, La Spezia is literally around the corner and I think Lula Darna is very close also.  I can't remember the name but the old ashkenazi shul is close by.  They are all in the Obarrio district. I think Chabad run all the Ashkenazi shuls now so maybe just e-mail them.

What's app or email Sorhay at http://www.therealpanamatours.com/ and she is amazing and will let you know exactly what is doable with the ages of your kids.  Since you are so many, I'd also just ask her for a daily rate for the van instead of pp although she did give a significant discount for the kids.  She helped us and also my friend that came before us that has 5 kids.  Those friends booked excursions with her for like 7 of their 10 days there, one of which was to San Blas and I know another DDFer just got back from a San Blas trip with her.  She is not only a superb tour guide but really excellent with children and my and my friend's kids all loved her.  I'd love to hear what you end up doing!