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MK ULTRA
May 31, 2014, 13:16
My wife wants to go to Central America shes thinking Panama. will go there to see the different ruins, good seafood and maybe some bird watching and if possible the beaches.

Anybody been there recently and got any ideas?

SWOHFAL
May 31, 2014, 16:32
I don't believe Panama has any ruins, which are in the northern part of C.A., like Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and, of course, Mexico. I tend to believe Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua are going to be safer and the former two are used to tourists and have some decent places, while Nicaragua is more of a backwater, but with some interesting scenery such as Lake Nicaragua, and Spanish Colonial cities Leon and Granada and few other tourists to fight with. El Salvador is a no-go, but it does have a ton of volcanoes and volcanic features, though Nicaragua has plenty too.

stitcher
May 31, 2014, 16:45
I have a friend who has spent time in belize, working on plans to retire there. He says great things about it.

Nomad, 2nd
May 31, 2014, 17:15
My first stop would be the CIA world Facebook, second the state department...

flight 556
May 31, 2014, 23:39
Ruins, Machu Picchu in Peru.

homelandprotector
May 31, 2014, 23:55
Costa Rica is my favorite place in the world, friendly people awesome beaches, good surf, open markets will blow your mind. Nice mountains too. I spent a month there and almost didn't come back.

Also spent a month in Panama, a bit scary and more crime. I was in the canal zone though both sides, the Pacific side is nicer.

Illurian00
June 01, 2014, 00:34
Costa Rica is my favorite place in the world, friendly people awesome beaches, good surf, open markets will blow your mind. Nice mountains too. I spent a month there and almost didn't come back.

Also spent a month in Panama, a bit scary and more crime. I was in the canal zone though both sides, the Pacific side is nicer.

How is the hunting and fishing in Costa Rica ?

SWOHFAL
June 01, 2014, 00:48
How is the hunting and fishing in Costa Rica ?

The fishing is great, at least by what you can tell from angling shows on TV, with lots of deep sea action, at least Pacific side.

MK ULTRA
June 01, 2014, 17:25
Costa Rica is my favorite place in the world, friendly people awesome beaches, good surf, open markets will blow your mind. Nice mountains too. I spent a month there and almost didn't come back.

Also spent a month in Panama, a bit scary and more crime. I was in the canal zone though both sides, the Pacific side is nicer.

HLP how long ago was that?

Glucker
June 01, 2014, 22:51
Panama City is about as modern as you can be in C.A., the skyline is so full of high-rise buildings being constructed it will blow your mind. Like something out of Asia. In Panama city go out on the Amador Causeway, a long peninsula of land made up of the dirt/rocks/etc they excavated from the original canal dig. Lots of shops, restaurants, jogging paths, etc.

The Miraflores Locks is the main tourist info at the Canal, pretty educational. Worth a couple of hours to watch the ships going through the canal practically right in front of your face.

Casco Viejo is the old town, some Spanish archtecture from the old Conquistador days, personally I just found it humid. Chinatown is supposed to be very long-established, real Chinamen cooking real Chinese food, not tourist theatre like S.F. or NYC's Chinatowns.

If you like to gamble there are a few nice casinos in the barrio Cangrejo. Google Gran Casino Veneto, which is owned by the Wyndmm chain of hotels. Manolos across the street has decent grub, but in Panama City you can go as high end or down home as you like.

Lots of beaches, jungles, and mountains, obviously. Any local tour info center can advise. There are so many tourist brochures, excursions, etc etc., all in English, you won't have any trouble finding whatever adventure your hearts desire.

You can get pretty much anywhere by cab, or rent a car. It is all easy and not terribly expensive. US $ is the official currency, so no need to worry about changing money, exchange rates, etc.

Be careful and alert, use good sense, and you shouldn't have any trouble. However, whatever you do, stay far away from Colon. It is advertised as being a shopping destination because it is a duty-free port, but other than what appeared to be a big, scuzzy shopping center, it was a big craphole, with lots of poverty and very shifty looking dudes milling around, EVERYWHERE.

Wildcat
June 04, 2014, 15:27
Check for advisories about the roads in the areas where you intend to visit.

Was in Honduras and Guatemala many years ago and getting to the ruins was sometimes a sticky business (literally) due to mudslides during the wet season.

I also recommend you read up on the ruins you hope to see sometimes parts are inaccessible due to restoration efforts.

homelandprotector
June 04, 2014, 16:11
HLP how long ago was that?

20 years ago... long time, although they seemed to be about 40 years behind the US in general lifestyle.

Sorry for the slow response.