This is my last post about tips in Central America, if you wish to check all the countries I posted about, just click on the Label "Central america" on the right side of the blog page, you will find all information. Oh! And today, although the weather looks grey we will attend a Festival in South Spain called Transition... Coming back on Monday with pictures of the festival ;)
Now, about Panama. You have to be careful with the police here, we know few stories that kinda shocked me. A guy from Venezuela went to Panama one month to sell his beautiful macrame and lether art to save money for his family. One afternoon the police came and put all the 10 crafters, including him on jail, they had to pay a 1000 dolars fee and get out the country. But this is not it. The police took all the handmade products from them... I mean macrame, do you know how long does it take to finish one single necklace?? It can take days :( This is very sad.
But I think Panama is very beautiful and interesting, worth a visit, no doubts! To get in you pay $3 and make sure you have a flight somewhere else before entering the country, otherwise you can't enter the country! And print out the flight info to show in the border. To leave the country by plane you gotta pay $40 fee, sometimes is included, sometimes not (then you pay in the airport with visa or cash). Attention!! If your flight is from Panama City to Frankfurt with Condor you need a USA Transit Visa, since you will have a Scale in San Juan (you can do it in this website BEFORE your flight date) The currency is US dolar, you have some balboa coins (one balboa is one dolar).
- Boquete: Small mountain town, cozy and nice. There's a lot of hostels around with prices $10 - $25/person. Climb the 3500 metres Baru vulcano but make sure you start early. If you have a tent it's a good idea of camping there overnight, you have 2 spots only for camping. You have great places for hikes and a bunch of tours options. The waterfall is not so amazing.
- Penonome: We attended the Tribal Gathering Festival (pictures coming soon) in La Iguana: beautiful place, relaxing, with a river inside and delicious food. In Finca El Perigozo (spell?) you can learn more about permaculture.
- Panama City: The local bus anywhere is 0.25 cents. Very busy, dirty, polluted, noisy. Visit Casco Viejo, Mercado de Mariscos (and thry the amazing Shrimps cocktail for only $2), Panama Viejo (a tower where you can see the city and watch ruins here) and Cerro Ancon (nice city view and free entrance). In the area of 5 de Mayo, you can do great shopping, also you'll find the craft market. The Panama Channel is very interesting, you pay extra to get in the museum and watch a 5 minutes 3D video, if you like history this is a great opportunity!