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 125296 times)

Offline dvol

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #380 on: February 20, 2019, 05:47:39 PM »
Is the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at PTY before or after security?

After, there was 1 by our gate, 21. However. After buying a coffee we were told we have to go through security again while boarding and have to throw out any liquids. We’d never ever havd that experience before and I wish someone would have told us right before we bought a large coffee

Offline zow

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #381 on: February 20, 2019, 08:33:15 PM »
After, there was 1 by our gate, 21. However. After buying a coffee we were told we have to go through security again while boarding and have to throw out any liquids. We’d never ever havd that experience before and I wish someone would have told us right before we bought a large coffee
Thanks very much. Sorry that happened you, but I appreciate your sharing information.

Offline zow

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #382 on: February 23, 2019, 08:53:32 PM »
FYI, highly recommend reservation at Kava for Motsei Shabbat. We came without reservation right after they opened , and they were able to seat us inside, but not al fresco, which was our preference. 

Offline zow

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #383 on: February 24, 2019, 10:30:28 AM »
At the relatively new Lounge in PTY. Follow signs to gates 1-10. Across from Panama Market.
No kosher food (but the CBTL is nearby).
Plenty of places to sit.
Partial views of planes on apron.
Decent espresso machine.
Free access to soft drinks, beer, and seems to be open access to a few bottles of hard stuff too.
 

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #384 on: February 27, 2019, 05:06:12 PM »
IYH full TR to follow, but we are enjoying our day with Ilene.  Sitting in the cafe at Mar&Oro on Contadoro Island, and wanted to share my photo from boat ride with Ilene and boatman Danilo.  Pales in comparison to @Denverite, but we are having a great time.
Fyi this is a crocodile needle fish, ‏לא כשר.

What do you mean "pales in comparison" because that is a super cool looking and huge fish! So glad you decided to go to Las Perlas and looks like you a had a blast!!!  :)

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #385 on: February 27, 2019, 05:09:39 PM »
Thanks, nice pictures and food :)

+1, thanks for sharing...looks like such a special day with the Embrerara and I my mouth is literally watering at your Aria food pics...we ordered most of that stuff...best empenadas I ever had and I went back a few times for that Thai soup!!!  ;D

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #386 on: February 28, 2019, 06:22:39 PM »
At the relatively new Lounge in PTY. Follow signs to gates 1-10. Across from Panama Market.
No kosher food (but the CBTL is nearby).
Plenty of places to sit.
Partial views of planes on apron.
Decent espresso machine.
Free access to soft drinks, beer, and seems to be open access to a few bottles of hard stuff too.
Thanks for posting this. The copa lounge is always so crowded and can be far from some of the copa gates. This came in handy. Was pretty crowded but much closer to our gate.


Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #387 on: March 03, 2019, 04:05:37 PM »
Just wanted to chime in on some of our experiences in PTY.

We were very underwhelmed by a day trip to San blas. The travel time is simply not worth it for a day trip IMHO.

There is no denying that the views, the water and the Snorkeling was extremely beautiful. The accommodations on the islands were meh...even for a day trip... Couldn't even buy a diet coke anywhere. All they had was regular coke, water, one kind of beer and some weird non-kosher drinks. Had to get up at 5am, 2.5 hours there and 3 hours back sitting in traffic ...arrived back at the hotel at 730pm.

They recommended we take dramamine because of the windy bumpy curvy roads to get there. We passed 4 vehicles on the way there, stopped on the side of the road with a passenger puking.

If i did it again, I would fly there. Our tour guide told us we couldn't fly there and back the same day. Perhaps the flights were sold out or the flights only go in the morning.

If i want nice snorkeling and a pretty beach, ill go back to BOB or MLE. When i want amazing kosher food options, nice weather, plenty of activities...oh and amazing kosher food... Ill go to PTY.

I'm sure I'm going to get flack for this post and dont plan to come back and debate it. Just wanted to give my opinion on it, in case it helps others.

As everyone knows Aria, Kava, Moma and Lula Darna are phenomenal. No need to write more on that.

I did use a frum tour guide which was not mentioned yet in this thread (to my knowledge). He is a true mentch, was very accommodating, reasonably priced, and was willing to arrange all kinds of things for us (including stopping for food in the morning on the way to places). If anyone wants to contact him, you can contact him on Whatsapp: Arturo +507 6781-5467. He speaks English (not bad but not perfect) and speaks Hebrew.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #388 on: March 03, 2019, 08:38:46 PM »
Just wanted to chime in on some of our experiences in PTY.

We were very underwhelmed by a day trip to San blas. The travel time is simply not worth it for a day trip IMHO.

There is no denying that the views, the water and the Snorkeling was extremely beautiful. The accommodations on the islands were meh...even for a day trip... Couldn't even buy a diet coke anywhere. All they had was regular coke, water, one kind of beer and some weird non-kosher drinks. Had to get up at 5am, 2.5 hours there and 3 hours back sitting in traffic ...arrived back at the hotel at 730pm.

They recommended we take dramamine because of the windy bumpy curvy roads to get there. We passed 4 vehicles on the way there, stopped on the side of the road with a passenger puking.

If i did it again, I would fly there. Our tour guide told us we couldn't fly there and back the same day. Perhaps the flights were sold out or the flights only go in the morning.

If i want nice snorkeling and a pretty beach, ill go back to BOB or MLE. When i want amazing kosher food options, nice weather, plenty of activities...oh and amazing kosher food... Ill go to PTY.

I'm sure I'm going to get flack for this post and dont plan to come back and debate it. Just wanted to give my opinion on it, in case it helps others.

As everyone knows Aria, Kava, Moma and Lula Darna are phenomenal. No need to write more on that.

I did use a frum tour guide which was not mentioned yet in this thread (to my knowledge). He is a true mentch, was very accommodating, reasonably priced, and was willing to arrange all kinds of things for us (including stopping for food in the morning on the way to places). If anyone wants to contact him, you can contact him on Whatsapp: Arturo +507 6781-5467. He speaks English (not bad but not perfect) and speaks Hebrew.

Thanks for posting the info. I totally agree about San Blas. Like you said it WAS nice, but was just a hard day and also like you said the point of Panama is easy and also it probably does affect your perspective when you’ve already been to the Maldives and similar places. Thanks also for posting about the frum tour guide, that’s awesome! He has a van for transportation as well for families and larger groups?

Offline zow

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #389 on: March 03, 2019, 09:43:54 PM »
What do you mean "pales in comparison" because that is a super cool looking and huge fish! So glad you decided to go to Las Perlas and looks like you a had a blast!!!  :)
Just seeing this now... your son(s) caught a much bigger fish, although the teeth on mine were pretty scary.  We had a great day on Las Perlas, but if we had to do it again, we would spend a night or two in the hotel.  Analogous to what @Yordai Dooma said about a day trip to San Blas, it is just too much travel time on the ferry back and forth for a day trip, IMO.  (Hope to post more deets in my TR soon.) 

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #390 on: March 03, 2019, 09:51:36 PM »
Thanks for posting the info. I totally agree about San Blas. Like you said it WAS nice, but was just a hard day and also like you said the point of Panama is easy and also it probably does affect your perspective when you’ve already been to the Maldives and similar places. Thanks also for posting about the frum tour guide, that’s awesome! He has a van for transportation as well for families and larger groups?
Yes he has a minivan... I think it was a Honda odyssey

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #391 on: March 03, 2019, 11:35:21 PM »
Just seeing this now... your son(s) caught a much bigger fish, although the teeth on mine were pretty scary.  We had a great day on Las Perlas, but if we had to do it again, we would spend a night or two in the hotel.  Analogous to what @Yordai Dooma said about a day trip to San Blas, it is just too much travel time on the ferry back and forth for a day trip, IMO.  (Hope to post more deets in my TR soon.)

I also want to stay overnight next time in Las Perlas.

Offline ayidlmitafiddl

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #392 on: March 25, 2019, 04:21:18 AM »
I'm planning a trip to Panama this week.

Arriving Thursday 8 PM iy"h

Staying by the JW (Make Panama great again! formerly Trump) Marriott
Got an invite for Friday Night meal, Shabbos day meal signed up for "community" meal

Doing Canal Trip (partial canal, but i want to "cross it" not just see it from land) Sunday iy"h (Sorhay does not have a canal tour that day, but I found another supplier. After the trip i will update with supplier name if we are happy with them. It's the same tour as listed on Viator for $250, but direct it was $200... i declined transportation to the ship and they came down to $175 PP.)

Leaving Monday Morning. Flying United Biz.

- Do restaurants need reservations? are they open motze shabbos? [we are chalav yisrael only eaters...]

-By the time we arrive, will everything be closed Thursday evening? where/how can I order food to be at our room when we arrive?

Thank you!

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #393 on: March 25, 2019, 11:22:03 PM »
I'm planning a trip to Panama this week.

Arriving Thursday 8 PM iy"h

Staying by the JW (Make Panama great again! formerly Trump) Marriott
Got an invite for Friday Night meal, Shabbos day meal signed up for "community" meal

Doing Canal Trip (partial canal, but i want to "cross it" not just see it from land) Sunday iy"h (Sorhay does not have a canal tour that day, but I found another supplier. After the trip i will update with supplier name if we are happy with them. It's the same tour as listed on Viator for $250, but direct it was $200... i declined transportation to the ship and they came down to $175 PP.)

Leaving Monday Morning. Flying United Biz.

- Do restaurants need reservations? are they open motze shabbos? [we are chalav yisrael only eaters...]

-By the time we arrive, will everything be closed Thursday evening? where/how can I order food to be at our room when we arrive?

Thank you!

As far as restaurants, they are open much later, to accommodate the Latin culture and will be packed at 10pm on a weeknight and tons of places are open Motzei Shabbat. Hope you have a blast!

Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #394 on: March 26, 2019, 11:59:09 AM »
Inspired by another topic, thinking about a trip to Panama for the first time (wasn't even on my radar).

Is it worth it to go with a toddler, or is everything worth doing hiking/swimming?

Is it recommended to go specifically in the winter or is August OK?

How many days is advised? Would Sun-Thurs work?


Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #395 on: March 26, 2019, 06:02:00 PM »
Inspired by another topic, thinking about a trip to Panama for the first time (wasn't even on my radar).

Is it worth it to go with a toddler, or is everything worth doing hiking/swimming?

Is it recommended to go specifically in the winter or is August OK?

How many days is advised? Would Sun-Thurs work?

Sun-Thur would be perfect for with a little one. Lots to do with small children (you’re actually making me realize I need to finish my trip report of the “touristy” stuff we did that are good for small children).  Can take a toddler on the tour of the Canal and Monkey island, to see the Embrera Indians, go to the National Zoo, hike up Ancon Hill in the city with a stroller, go to Smithsonian research center.

Offline Ploni3

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #396 on: March 31, 2019, 12:16:44 AM »
Is there any great benefit to a hotel on the water like the JW Marriott as opposed to the Hilton right across from the ocean?  Do the waterfront hotels have beaches?

Offline E R K

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #397 on: March 31, 2019, 12:48:22 AM »
I stayed at JW for Shabbos. There is no beach access however there is an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. Very Shabbos friendly - meaning hotel staff was very attentive to our needs. They took us up to our room and opened the door for us and asked us what time we wanted to get picked up in the am. Also, walkable to Chabad and Beth El.

Offline Ploni3

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #398 on: March 31, 2019, 07:44:12 AM »
Ok thanks. So, if no beach and not planning to be there Shabbat, it doesn't sound like there's a big benefit to JW over eg  Hilton.

Offline yuneeq

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Re: Panama Master Thread
« Reply #399 on: March 31, 2019, 07:55:32 AM »
I just responded with some ideas. I thought I’d also post here about Islas Las Perlas since I don’t 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. I’ve never seen whales in the wild so I hope we find some!

https://pearl-islands.com/

@Denverite
https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=1884.msg1495077#msg1495077

A little late but just reading now