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 Caf
Darna Dairy/Bakery
Kava
Jeffreys 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 - Dborah 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 99906 times)

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #225 on: July 03, 2018, 07:29:04 PM »
Doing some advance planning for possible 2019 trip to Panama City.
Would like to use Marriott Cat 1-5 certificate.
Works at the Sortis.  Per Dan's post last week, likely to work at Le Meridien, as well.
Key consideration for us is the pool, as our daughters plan to spend much time there.
Which would you choose?
@Denverite ?
@saw50st8
@chuchem

My apologies for not answering, this is my first login since Pesach (don't ask...lol).  I'm actually at the Sortis right now and I'd totally recommend it.  A month ago they moved Kava out of the hotel but it is just two blocks over.  Moma and Lula Darna are both just one block over (and I'm going to try to check out Aria as well).  I'm gonna try to work on continuing my Panama TR but basically your answer depends what is important to you for hotels.  I stayed at the Hilton, right next to Le Meridian last time and I do miss the view but the pool at Sortis is awesome (again, I'll try to upload some pics for you) and having so many restaurants within just a couple blocks is really just so amazing.  The Sortis is NOT in the eruv but since your kids are older it might not be an issue for you.  Feel free to PM and although I didn't stay at the Le Meridian, I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.  It might be a moot point anyway as I don't think its certain that week certs are going to be usable at SPG hotels but even if that isn't the case I honestly can't think of any kind of comparable, amazing use of the basic resort certificate in the US.  It's a stunning high end resort with towel and drink service at the pool, right next to restaurants and you will be very happy if you come here. :)

Offline tzvicoco

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #226 on: July 03, 2018, 10:43:04 PM »
My apologies for not answering, this is my first login since Pesach (don't ask...lol).  I'm actually at the Sortis right now and I'd totally recommend it.  A month ago they moved Kava out of the hotel but it is just two blocks over.  Moma and Lula Darna are both just one block over (and I'm going to try to check out Aria as well).  I'm gonna try to work on continuing my Panama TR but basically your answer depends what is important to you for hotels.  I stayed at the Hilton, right next to Le Meridian last time and I do miss the view but the pool at Sortis is awesome (again, I'll try to upload some pics for you) and having so many restaurants within just a couple blocks is really just so amazing.  The Sortis is NOT in the eruv but since your kids are older it might not be an issue for you.  Feel free to PM and although I didn't stay at the Le Meridian, I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.  It might be a moot point anyway as I don't think its certain that week certs are going to be usable at SPG hotels but even if that isn't the case I honestly can't think of any kind of comparable, amazing use of the basic resort certificate in the US.  It's a stunning high end resort with towel and drink service at the pool, right next to restaurants and you will be very happy if you come here. :)

Took your advice from upthread and I'm actually at the Sortis right now, too! (using a 5-night cert) It's a pretty nice so far.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #227 on: July 03, 2018, 10:44:27 PM »
Panama DO at Sortis for you two.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #228 on: July 03, 2018, 10:54:52 PM »
Took your advice from upthread and I'm actually at the Sortis right now, too! (using a 5-night cert) It's a pretty nice so far.

Were you the guy with the Kippa I saw on the elevator on Sunday...I was dead tired after a day in San Blas, wearing a tichel and with my daughter? If it wasnt you, there is probably a 3rd DDFer here  ;D ;D

I used to say hi and chat with frum people I saw on vacation and then I realized only Denver people do that (we get excited when we see other frum people...lol) and NYers think Im psycho so I stopped.  :P

Offline tzvicoco

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #229 on: July 03, 2018, 11:12:07 PM »
Were you the guy with the Kippa I saw on the elevator on Sunday...I was dead tired after a day in San Blas, wearing a tichel and with my daughter? If it wasnt you, there is probably a 3rd DDFer here  ;D ;D

I used to say hi and chat with frum people I saw on vacation and then I realized only Denver people do that (we get excited when we see other frum people...lol) and NYers think Im psycho so I stopped.  :P

Lol, we just arrived today, so that wasn't me. And 2/3 of us are non-NYers, so we'd definitely be friendly   ;D

I'm gonna PM you; we're on the hunt for a good day trip for Thursday.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #230 on: July 03, 2018, 11:44:29 PM »
Lol, we just arrived today, so that wasn't me. And 2/3 of us are non-NYers, so we'd definitely be friendly   ;D

I'm gonna PM you; we're on the hunt for a good day trip for Thursday.

I just responded with some ideas. I thought Id also post here about Islas Las Perlas since I dont remember seeing anything about them on DDF. We are planning on taking a ferry to the Pearl Islands (Info about them in the link below) and then from an island there booked a 3 hour whale watching, snorkeling, uninhabited island tour. Ive never seen whales in the wild so I hope we find some!

https://pearl-islands.com/

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #231 on: July 07, 2018, 10:02:53 PM »
I just found out the Trump Hotel that is right in the Jewish area is becoming a JW Marriott, so hopefully another great points option (guess Ill have to come back)!  :P

Offline Menachem613

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #232 on: July 08, 2018, 01:09:19 PM »
In comparing these two travel guides, would anyone recommend one over the other? For example would you choose one for certain trips and the other for other trips?

https://www.therealpanamatours.com/

https://www.barefootpanama.com/panama-tours/

Offline Mordyk

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #233 on: July 08, 2018, 04:28:26 PM »
Any recommendations for a nice beach hotel?

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #234 on: July 08, 2018, 06:12:24 PM »
In comparing these two travel guides, would anyone recommend one over the other? For example would you choose one for certain trips and the other for other trips?

https://www.therealpanamatours.com/

https://www.barefootpanama.com/panama-tours/

I think Barefoot is just subcontractoring out (so can offer more) and Real Panam is Sorhay leading the tour herself and generally a private tour, which for my family worked better time wise and ended up cheaper for our group :)

Offline zow

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #235 on: July 09, 2018, 12:25:48 PM »
Hats off to @Denverite for all the helpful information.
We're booked at Sortis for a week in February.
We will reach out to Sorhay for some touring.
Thanks!

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #236 on: July 09, 2018, 09:03:03 PM »
Hats off to @Denverite for all the helpful information.
We're booked at Sortis for a week in February.
We will reach out to Sorhay for some touring.
Thanks!
+1 I am working on a booking in March .
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #237 on: July 09, 2018, 11:08:14 PM »
Hats off to @Denverite for all the helpful information.
We're booked at Sortis for a week in February.
We will reach out to Sorhay for some touring.
Thanks!

You are most welcome! Im gonna try to work on adding to my TR next week and add details of the four restaurants right around the Sortis for you.

Save a day to go to Islas Las Perlas (an archipelago of about 100 islands only 30 miles from the city).  We enjoyed it way more than San Blas and it cost less.  We took the ferry there and then booked a 3 hr tour from Contadora that took us Whale watching (they found whales super fast and got us really close)! Then she took us to our own stunning private beach where my kids had a blast snorkeling, on an uninhabited island, and then we dropped a line in the water on the way back to the main island and my boys caught a HUGE Mahi-Mahi fish (the boatman had to finally spear it to bring it in the boat)!! We gave it to our guide and they had some great eating while we had a magical day. My kids said they wanted to come back and stay overnight so Id love to do that another time.

We used the following tour company and Ilene was really awesome. Her husband Terry also leads tours.  They charge a flat rate for up to 8 people so if you are a bigger group/family it could be an amazing deal. She also got us discounted ferry tickets, which went a good way toward paying for her private tour.
https://pearlislandsdaytours.com/

Offline zow

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #238 on: July 10, 2018, 02:50:07 PM »
You are most welcome! Im gonna try to work on adding to my TR next week and add details of the four restaurants right around the Sortis for you.

Save a day to go to Islas Las Perlas (an archipelago of about 100 islands only 30 miles from the city).  We enjoyed it way more than San Blas and it cost less.  We took the ferry there and then booked a 3 hr tour from Contadora that took us Whale watching (they found whales super fast and got us really close)! Then she took us to our own stunning private beach where my kids had a blast snorkeling, on an uninhabited island, and then we dropped a line in the water on the way back to the main island and my boys caught a HUGE Mahi-Mahi fish (the boatman had to finally spear it to bring it in the boat)!! We gave it to our guide and they had some great eating while we had a magical day. My kids said they wanted to come back and stay overnight so Id love to do that another time.

We used the following tour company and Ilene was really awesome. Her husband Terry also leads tours.  They charge a flat rate for up to 8 people so if you are a bigger group/family it could be an amazing deal. She also got us discounted ferry tickets, which went a good way toward paying for her private tour.
https://pearlislandsdaytours.com/

@Denverite Thank you!

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #239 on: July 11, 2018, 04:50:12 PM »
@Denverite Thank you for all your info. I'm going in 2 weeks with my family with 5 kids ages 1-9. We are also staying at Sortis, I booked 2 regular rooms, I called up to pay for an upgrade to 2 suites, and they told me you don't need to upgrade we will put a note and upgrade you when you come. I called again and got the same response. Did you book a suite, or got upgraded?

We are planing on doing the following:
1) Canal and Monkey Island
2) Embera Village
3) Islas Las Perlas...

Anything else you suggest for a family with young kids?

Thank you again.