Author Topic: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!  (Read 30693 times)

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #150 on: November 20, 2018, 10:22:57 PM »
@Denvertite - WOW! Thank you for all the descriptive information. Planning our trip now mostly based on your suggestions!

Thank you!

So glad you enjoyed and I hope you have an awesome trip!

Offline zow

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #151 on: January 02, 2019, 03:05:28 PM »
Hi,
Sounds like you recommend Las Perlas over San Blas.
How about a day trip to Colon via the Panama RR?
And among Sorhay's tours, am I correct that you most recommend the Embera (indigenous people) tour?
Thanks!

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #152 on: January 03, 2019, 07:38:54 PM »
Hi,
Sounds like you recommend Las Perlas over San Blas.
How about a day trip to Colon via the Panama RR?
And among Sorhay's tours, am I correct that you most recommend the Embera (indigenous people) tour?
Thanks!

I do personally recommend Las Perlas over San Blas (it's more cost effective and I feel less commercialized).  My friends just went yesterday and I straight out asked them if Las Perlas lived up to all my hype (they've also been to San Blas) and they said yes.  :)

I think Sorhay's Embrera tour is a must do.  Let me know if you need anything else!

Offline zow

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #153 on: January 03, 2019, 09:05:38 PM »
I do personally recommend Las Perlas over San Blas (it's more cost effective and I feel less commercialized).  My friends just went yesterday and I straight out asked them if Las Perlas lived up to all my hype (they've also been to San Blas) and they said yes.  :)

I think Sorhay's Embrera tour is a must do.  Let me know if you need anything else!
Terrific! Thanks so much.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #154 on: January 04, 2019, 11:27:35 AM »
Terrific! Thanks so much.

My pleasure! And I just got off the phone with my friend that just came back yesterday and they said they also thought Las Perlas and their tour with Ilene was the highlight of their trip and it ended up being way less expensive than San Blas too.  Also for them, they did a hiking, mud baths, swim in waterfall day trip with Sorhay in Anton Valley.  I've never done Anton Valley (so it's on my list for my 3rd trip...lol) because I was worried the hiking would be too much for my little one but since you have older kids, it might be perfect for you.

Looking forward to hearing about all your adventures!

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #155 on: January 22, 2019, 05:07:04 PM »
Pearl Islands (Continued):

In my last installment, I laid out why I thought Las Perlas was so special and amazing and I do think most people should take a day to visit this magical place.  I left out one of the coolest parts of our day though and something my two older boys have been talking about ever since!  There are some times when I'm travelling when everything seems to be going wrong and I wonder why I bother to make all the effort to drag my kids to far off places and then there are other times when I feel like HaShem has really just blessed us to give us these surreal and amazing experiences and I am just so blessed.  This afternoon was the latter and I know that if we go again the likelihood of having a similar experience is very small.

After we left the island where we were playing on the beach, our tour guide Ilene suggested we throw a line into the water (all these boatman are also fisherman) as she took us around to see some other scenery.  I said sure, why not, as my boys always get excited to try fishing.  The most they had ever caught were some small fish, when fishing with family off of piers on the east coast.  Literally after just a couple minutes of the hook going into the water, we saw a strong tug on the line.

My boys got so excited and headed over to try to reel in the fish...little did we know what were in for!








They started to slowly reel in the line and we could all see that the fish was really pulling!  They were trying to reel it in and slowly making progress and the boatman was showing them how to do it, as you want to make progress pulling in the fish but also not snap the line.  After a while the fish got close enough that we could see it and it was HUGE!











This whole process took a good 15 minutes (which is forever when you are "battling" an animal...which I had never done before...lol).  As the fish got closer you could really feel it pulling the boat and I was having flashback to school, when I had to read Ernest Heminway's "Old Man & the Sea" (spoiler alert, the Old Cuban dude dies after a long arduous battle with a huge fish that he is trying to bring in to take himself out poverty...it's basically the most depressing story ever for a child to read...lol) and I was actually starting to get scared.  At one point, the fish swam underneath our boat and I started freaking out that we might flip.  ;D  Obviously, I'm just a crazy Jewish mother and that wasn't going to happen but I literally asked Ilene if there was a chance that it could pull the boat over but she told me to relax, the line would snap first but regardless Jaime wasn't going to let that happen!  :P


Right about then Jaime pulled out a huge spear that I learned you are not allowed to call a spear because it is actually a gaff (but since some of you might be ignorant like me I thought I'd explain that it's a spear).  :)   Ilene told my sons to get back (I was already way back clutching my daughter...lol) and Jaime slowly worked to reel the fish in close enough and then speared it.  This whole time the fish is still fighting.  Even after he speared it with a second huge hook and after he brought it in the boat it was still fighting but as he brought it up, it really was so cool.  I've never understood people's (well mostly men's) whole man vs. nature need to conquer a mountain or an animal but in that moment, I finally got the appeal...it was scary, adrenaline filled and just so flippin' cool!


You can see my son's fist pumping in the air and the huge smile on Jaime's face as he finally pulled it out of the water.  We were all literally screaming and cheering him when he finally pulled the fish in!




I actually got even more scared once he got it in the boat.  You can see that Jaime was a huge, strong guy and he was really working to contain the fish as it was flopping and turning to fight him.






I'm not sure if you can catch the motion in the static picture but the fish was still moving in this picture and that's why it's tail is flipped off to the side.




Here are the boys, when we arrived back at Contadora beach, with their "catch" that is almost as long as they are!!




Ilene offered to bring it back to whatever restaurant on the island we wanted so we could have it prepared (all the places are apparently happy to do that) and it was at that point that I explained to her about Kashrut (although if any y'all want to head to these islands and are thinking positively you could bring a pan with you).  ;D  Because it was so funny shaped, I wasn't even sure it was kosher but then we saw that it did clearly have scales.  It was actually a Dorado (or dolphin fish, Mahi-Mahi) and is kosher.  She offered to put it on ice for me but I wasn't about to bring that thing back on the ferry with me.  My husband was flying in that night from the US to meet us in Panama City and I figured he would rather see the pictures than the real, smelly fish, that I had no way to cook in our Sortis suite!  :P 

Ilene was super happy to take it (based on prices that I've since looked up it was worth at least a couple hundred bucks) and she said they would get many great meals out of that fish!

I have other adventures and pictures from the trip but for now, that was my fish story!

Offline ludmila

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #156 on: January 22, 2019, 05:23:14 PM »
Nice catch  :)
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #157 on: January 22, 2019, 08:13:25 PM »
That's a great story! Ilene was one lucky lady. Thanks for sharing.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #158 on: January 22, 2019, 10:19:25 PM »
Ha, cool story - I was actually going to say it looked like a dolphin in the water!

Offline zow

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #159 on: January 23, 2019, 08:43:35 PM »
That’s a great story.  I hope you have some video, too.  My daughter read it and asked,
“Can we do that, too?!”

Offline normathej

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #160 on: January 24, 2019, 11:02:34 AM »
@Denverite you have the best trip reviews!  Plus, you do all the research and then we can just copy your itinerary.  Thanks for all of your sharing.

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #161 on: January 24, 2019, 11:04:46 AM »
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch

Offline saw50st8

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #162 on: January 29, 2019, 07:32:46 AM »
I need to go back with my kids.

Offline tzifanya54

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #163 on: January 30, 2019, 10:29:19 AM »
Wow amazing. As a kid I used to go deep sea fishing with my family. We mostly caught small fish, which we would bring bag and eat. I remember once catching a baby shark. I offered it up for grabs on the boat and everyone came running apparently they are pretty rare.

Offline bostonguy

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #164 on: February 01, 2019, 11:21:15 AM »
We also had a tour of Las Perlas with Ilene, but alas we weren't so lucky to catch a fish.  Highly recommend Ilene's tour, but if she asks you, while snorkling at "Exile Island", if you want to swim to the other side of the island - be forewarned that it is a tough swim and meant only for really strong swimmers - lots of current.