Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ancon Hill, Panama City, Panama

One of the sights you will definitely notice upon entering Panama City, Panama is the huge flag of Panama waving high on Ancon Hill.  It flies proudly to be seen from the downtown area as well as the Bridge of the Americas and the Panama Canal.

What most tourists do not seem to know is that you can go up there.  We had no idea until our taxi driver offered during our trip to Casco Viejo, the old town.  It did not take long for us to say yes.

It is not an easy taxi ride winding up the mountain on narrow streets.  It seemed every hundred feet there was an annoying speed bump to break our momentum.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Wonderful Visit to the town of Portobelo Panama

Let me start this article by saying the day trip to Portobelo was my absolute favorite day of the entire Panama trip.  It was simply fantastic.  If you visit Panama make the time to hop over to the Caribbean coast to check out the small town of Portobelo and its centuries old Spanish forts. 

The original plan was to do the drive from where we were staying at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.  Three weeks before the trip we had the very, very good fortune/insight to go ahead and book a personal driver and guide for the day instead of trying to do it on our own.

Boy, oh boy did that turn out to be a great idea.  Portobelo is about a ninety minute drive from Gamboa.  The way our guide took us from Gamboa was not an easy route at all through some "seedy" neighborhoods.  I am doubtful if we could have made the trip on our own without getting seriously lost.  We certainly could not have made it in 90 minutes or probably anywhere close.  So my first Portobelo advice is to hire a guide or at least a driver.