Author Topic: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!  (Read 102583 times)

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #160 on: January 24, 2019, 11:04:46 AM »
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Offline saw50st8

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #161 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 #162 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 #163 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.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #164 on: February 27, 2019, 05:14:39 PM »
Guys, thanks for all the encouraging comments.  I still have a bunch of pics and other stuff to post if I can get around to it! :)

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #165 on: February 27, 2019, 05:16:53 PM »
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.

Wow, so did she have to come rescue you guys or did you tough it out?  She must have noticed how lazy my family was because this whole "swim to the other side of the island" was never offered to us!  ;D

Offline Aps

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #166 on: June 28, 2022, 01:33:01 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!

This TR looks amazing. I'm going this summer and this was really helpful!
Question- How far is the ferry ride to las perlas?
Which are the best islands and how do you get from one to the other id I dont have a tour guide?
And what is there to do there?

Offline shmulys15

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #167 on: July 17, 2022, 02:03:03 PM »
Thank you so much for this trip reports they are so helpful for planning our upcoming trip.
Just want to make sure that I got this right and these are the top must see excursions:
1) Embra tour (Sorhey) - can do it in a day trip
2) Panama locks (canal) can do it on your own.
3) San Blas (Sorhey) - can do it in a day trip
4) Las perlas (Irene) - can do it in a day trip.
San Blas and Las perlas are similar ideas and I should choose one of them?
Are the monkey Island/jungles part of these tours or its separate?

Offline Aps

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #168 on: July 31, 2022, 10:48:23 PM »
Thank you so much for this trip reports they are so helpful for planning our upcoming trip.
Just want to make sure that I got this right and these are the top must see excursions:
1) Embra tour (Sorhey) - can do it in a day trip
2) Panama locks (canal) can do it on your own.
3) San Blas (Sorhey) - can do it in a day trip
4) Las perlas (Irene) - can do it in a day trip.
San Blas and Las perlas are similar ideas and I should choose one of them?
Are the monkey Island/jungles part of these tours or its separate?

Regarding san blas and las perlas- they have similarities and differences. I choose to do Pearl island bec it was a much easier trip and also a shorter trip. You get to do whale watching in the right season, fishing, snorkeling, and you can try to find a empty/private beach to hang out there on your own aftert youre finished with ilene.
It sound slike the beach and water on san blas might be even more beautiful- I dont know if theres snorkeling there- Ill let someone else answer that. There is def not whale watching there.

You can do monkey island together with one of the villages, or you can do a full day trip to the embrara village which includes natural pools/waterfalls.  I did the first option- the village i went to was very close to monkey islands.

There are other tour guides too besides sorjay- she sounds great but her price for a private tour for two was very expensive-  I used New Leaf Panama tours which I was referred from Gokosherpanama- you can get a discount code through their site. I was very happy with her.

Offline shmulys15

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #169 on: August 02, 2022, 08:32:44 PM »
Thanks for the update.
Any other tips - please share, iyh heading there soon!


Online Ekay

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #170 on: August 03, 2022, 11:52:14 PM »
Thanks for the update.
Any other tips - please share, iyh heading there soon!
. Please report back once done.

Offline Aps

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #171 on: August 04, 2022, 03:02:28 PM »
I was there last week and I hope to type up a TR soon...

Offline shmulys15

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #172 on: August 04, 2022, 03:37:52 PM »
Would love to see it. Thanks!

Offline myi

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #173 on: August 12, 2022, 03:56:40 AM »
Wow wow. You kept me up @Denverite till 2:48am in the sortis Hotel reading through your TR.
  (While my DW was asleep was supposed to figure out a hotel for tom am. And for part of next week. But got carried away.. and now thinking to do San Blas or something different.)
As my 10 day Getaway was planned last minute.
 Like a day before I took the flight. Though to be honest I skimmed through some reports to get an idea and then just settled on this as my other itinerary to go to Thailand and all just didn't seem to work out with timing and all.

   Going to be honest, I could use a good night sleep. But wow. Your TR was Awsome and really well written. I must get my DW to skim through this so we can plan the next week like a mentch.

  Was wondering why this thread had 9 pages or so. Lol

 Kind of a Newby to the whole TR and actually living them in real life. So this is a huge help for ideas to help me plan and do some of our own trips.

 10/10.
 And the Wife doing all the leg work. Lucky Husband.
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Offline shmulys15

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #174 on: August 12, 2022, 06:07:24 AM »
. Please report back once done.
I wrote my "report" on the main Panama thread.

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #175 on: February 07, 2023, 05:28:02 PM »
Guys, I hate to say this but I'm now in the process of disputing a couple of thousands of dollars in credit card charges with Sorhay and The Real Panama Tours (I don't want anything for free, it amounts to about 20% of our total booking for 19 total people over four excursions).  I feel a responsibility to let the DDF community know what happened because she's now fraudulently taking advantage of the Jewish community and our willingness to pay for "kosher" adventures.  I can't figure out a way to take out my link to her company name and website at the beginning of this TR (maybe you guys can help me).

We just went over Yeshiva Week and Sorhay clearly had double and triple-booked herself.  She replaced herself with other guides at the last minute for two of our days, which she had committed to me, in writing, over six months in advance.  I found out the morning of the tour when she wasn't there (she WAS at the same location with another frum family and when I then asked her if I'd see her tomorrow she only then told me should wasn't coming the next day either)!

This was my third time using her and she always led our tours herself.  It's total fraud what she did.  I honestly think she booked 3-4 frum families for the week (we saw frum families with her and her other guides every single day of our tours) and last minute just showed up for one day with each.  She costs sometimes double to triple other tours which I was willing to pay, because I DO think she can be an awesome guide, especially with a bunch of kids (we had 11 in our group), and to have everything organized with all the kosher food, etc. for such a large group.  But every part of the process this time was super disorganized and had poor, last-minute communication.

She knows I put her on the "frum" map with this trip report five years ago and I never even asked for a discount because that just isn't how I am.  I own a small business and believe in paying for great service. I asked her to rebate us about 20% of the fees and she offered me $300 off, at which point I told her now I'm really angry and disputing some of the charges (I wouldn't dispute everything because we did to four days of excursions and the kids did have fun) and she literally told me to go ahead and dispute the charges and to take her out of my contacts!  :o  She wouldn't admit any wrongdoing and said she didn't think it mattered who the guides were.  I speak Spanish and asked both the replacements lots of questions and they both admitted to me they only were given info about our tours late the night before and then were scrambling to organize the logistics themselves! 

Well, live and learn.  I still love Panama and planning to still return but will just book other guides directly for a third to half of the cost!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #176 on: February 07, 2023, 10:21:48 PM »
Guys, I hate to say this but I'm now in the process of disputing a couple of thousands of dollars in credit card charges with Sorhay and The Real Panama Tours (I don't want anything for free, it amounts to about 20% of our total booking for 19 total people over four excursions).  I feel a responsibility to let the DDF community know what happened because she's now fraudulently taking advantage of the Jewish community and our willingness to pay for "kosher" adventures.  I can't figure out a way to take out my link to her company name and website at the beginning of this TR (maybe you guys can help me).

We just went over Yeshiva Week and Sorhay clearly had double and triple-booked herself.  She replaced herself with other guides at the last minute for two of our days, which she had committed to me, in writing, over six months in advance.  I found out the morning of the tour when she wasn't there (she WAS at the same location with another frum family and when I then asked her if I'd see her tomorrow she only then told me should wasn't coming the next day either)!

This was my third time using her and she always led our tours herself.  It's total fraud what she did.  I honestly think she booked 3-4 frum families for the week (we saw frum families with her and her other guides every single day of our tours) and last minute just showed up for one day with each.  She costs sometimes double to triple other tours which I was willing to pay, because I DO think she can be an awesome guide, especially with a bunch of kids (we had 11 in our group), and to have everything organized with all the kosher food, etc. for such a large group.  But every part of the process this time was super disorganized and had poor, last-minute communication.

She knows I put her on the "frum" map with this trip report five years ago and I never even asked for a discount because that just isn't how I am.  I own a small business and believe in paying for great service. I asked her to rebate us about 20% of the fees and she offered me $300 off, at which point I told her now I'm really angry and disputing some of the charges (I wouldn't dispute everything because we did to four days of excursions and the kids did have fun) and she literally told me to go ahead and dispute the charges and to take her out of my contacts!  :o  She wouldn't admit any wrongdoing and said she didn't think it mattered who the guides were.  I speak Spanish and asked both the replacements lots of questions and they both admitted to me they only were given info about our tours late the night before and then were scrambling to organize the logistics themselves! 

Well, live and learn.  I still love Panama and planning to still return but will just book other guides directly for a third to half of the cost!
Oy, that's unfortunate. I wonder if she's really taking advantage or if something legit happened? Like let's say she did indeed a triple book herself for that time. Maybe the people she went with were the people who asked first? Did she have any rhyme or reason for choosing another group over your group? Don't get me wrong, I don't believe what she did was correct, maybe though there is more to the story than you know. #דןלכףזכות

Offline aygart

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #177 on: February 08, 2023, 12:03:33 AM »
Oy, that's unfortunate. I wonder if she's really taking advantage or if something legit happened? Like let's say she did indeed a triple book herself for that time. Maybe the people she went with were the people who asked first? Did she have any rhyme or reason for choosing another group over your group? Don't get me wrong, I don't believe what she did was correct, maybe though there is more to the story than you know. #דןלכףזכות

Even if that was the case be upfront about it.
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Offline Ploni3

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #178 on: February 08, 2023, 04:53:24 AM »
This really turns on whether this was your expectation or everyone explicitly agreed that Sorhay would personally lead your family tour.  We used Sorhay for several days of touring and on one of the days we were given a different guide, who was also good. We didn't think it was that big of a deal because we hadn't explicitly asked for her.

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #179 on: February 08, 2023, 02:54:01 PM »
I've had several people comment to me recently on how expensive Sorhay has become and that others were charging a fraction of the cost for the same tours - and these folks reported they all had a great time afterwards with the other tour guides.

Even if one would completely disregard the recent events that transpired between you and Sorhay, I am not sure it is worthwhile to recommend her anymore solely based on her prices.  We can all just provide our own kosher food for these trips and save $$$$$$. 
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