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Nov 17th 2012 new

Hi Patricia,

If you could organize something, I might consider.

Nov 17th 2012 new

Hi Patricia,

If you could organize something, I might consider.

Nov 17th 2012 new

(Quote) Ken-10088 said: Hi Patricia, If you could organize something, I might consider.
(Quote) Ken-10088 said:

Hi Patricia,

If you could organize something, I might consider.

--hide--


Hi Ken, would you be more interested in Playa del Carmen area in Mexico or Costa Rica or Panama or does it make any difference? I haven't found a tour package to Playa del Carmen and many of the hotels there are already booked, although I did find a hotel there very reasonably priced that was open the last 10 days of January (but it's a small hotel, and I only inquired about a room for myself). I've looked fairly extensively at the tour packages to Panama (and a bit to Costa Rica) and this company whose website I've posted is my top choice for value and longevity and good reviews. I'm personally more interested in seeing Panama (but could go anywhere warm to be honest).

Is anyone else interested in the group tour to Panama or Costa Rica. Airfare would have to be an additional expense to the tour package, but their prices are good to start with.

Nov 18th 2012 new

[quote]Patricia-29176 said:

Hi again, Patricia:

I subscribed again, in part, to see if I can tip the scale towards a Panama trip. I'd love to play host to you all, showing you the sites, ot at least point them out to you. If I can take a couple of days off, I will; if not, at least I'll join in on the weekend... And I'll certainly have you all over for dinner one night!

hug

Mari

Nov 18th 2012 new

(Quote) Mari-894290 said: (Quote) Patricia-29176 said: Hi again, Patricia: I subscrib...
(Quote) Mari-894290 said:

[quote]Patricia-29176 said:

Hi again, Patricia:

I subscribed again, in part, to see if I can tip the scale towards a Panama trip. I'd love to play host to you all, showing you the sites, ot at least point them out to you. If I can take a couple of days off, I will; if not, at least I'll join in on the weekend... And I'll certainly have you all over for dinner one night!

Mari

--hide--


Hi Mari, well I'm still waiting to see if anyone else is interested, but what I could do perhaps is start another thread with Panama trip in the title. I have pretty much ruled out Costa Rica. And, if I can't pull a group together for Panama, I'll likely go to Playa del Carmen. But, since I don't know Panama (other than what I've read in guidebooks) I had thought of doing the group trip put together by Caravan tours which is 8 days and then maybe staying on somewhere there for at least a few more days on my own. Are you a native Panamanian, Mari?

Nov 19th 2012 new

Good morning, Patricia.

Yes, I'm Panamanian. I must say that my country has changed so soooooo much in the past 5 years, that sometimes I feel like a tourist. We have a strong and GROWING economy, which has made the influx of people who want to come live here tremendous. There are entire communities being built in the countryside for retirees, especially Canadians and northern Europeans.

Do book through the agency, since they can get great packages. If there are choices to be made, let me know so that I can offer my input. Mom & sis each have a place in El Valle that we can borrow for a weekend. Look it up... it's a town established INSIDE a volcano!

I worked as a volunteer at the Panama Viejo ruins - UNESCO Wolrd Heritage - and can surely get us a VIP treatment. It's not that large, but it has a unique history in the Spanish conquest.

I also work at a company who sells fuel to the vessels transiting the Canal, so it's always a treat to go to the locks. There's a small but well put museum at the Visitor's Center.

The first Diocese in Terra Firme was founded in Panama in 1513: Santa María la Antigua del Darién. We will celebrate 500 years of Evangeization (check www.fides.org

Oh, my... I can just keep going on a nd on! wink

Mari

Nov 19th 2012 new

(Quote) Mari-894290 said: Good morning, Patricia. Yes, I'm Panamanian. I must say that my country has changed so ...
(Quote) Mari-894290 said:

Good morning, Patricia.

Yes, I'm Panamanian. I must say that my country has changed so soooooo much in the past 5 years, that sometimes I feel like a tourist. We have a strong and GROWING economy, which has made the influx of people who want to come live here tremendous. There are entire communities being built in the countryside for retirees, especially Canadians and northern Europeans.

Do book through the agency, since they can get great packages. If there are choices to be made, let me know so that I can offer my input. Mom & sis each have a place in El Valle that we can borrow for a weekend. Look it up... it's a town established INSIDE a volcano!

I worked as a volunteer at the Panama Viejo ruins - UNESCO Wolrd Heritage - and can surely get us a VIP treatment. It's not that large, but it has a unique history in the Spanish conquest.

I also work at a company who sells fuel to the vessels transiting the Canal, so it's always a treat to go to the locks. There's a small but well put museum at the Visitor's Center.

The first Diocese in Terra Firme was founded in Panama in 1513: Santa María la Antigua del Darién. We will celebrate 500 years of Evangeization (check www.fides.org

Oh, my... I can just keep going on a nd on!

Mari

--hide--


Thanks for all your info, Mari -- I get like that about Chicago! Would you please do me a favor and look at my tour group link to Caravan compay and see what you think of the Panama tour (it doesn't include airfare but includes most everything for the 8 days)? One person thought it was too expensive, but since it includes a day trip on the canal and all meals and has very good reviews from it's customers I though the price wasn't too bad. As I said, if I come down and do the tour (which is only a week), I would likely stay on at least a few more days (maybe a week - but I would have to find more inexpensive places to stay). If I had been to Panama before and knew it (the way I know Puerto Vallarta for example) I could put my own tour together, but the first time one goes somewhere I think it is best to rely on a tour package. I'm actually also looking for a place I can go to in the winter for a month or two as unfortunately the drug gangs in Mexico are causing problems (I will be going to Puerto Vallarta for a few weeks after Thanksgiving, but that may be my last trip there if things continue to get bad there). I like PV though because I can stay right on the beach very inexpensively. Not sure I could do that in Panama, but that is one reason I would like to look around there. Thanks for all your help!

Nov 19th 2012 new

Hi Mari,

Thank you so much for your hospitality!! Every thing you offered sounds wonderful!!
I am certainly interested in going to Panama but as it looks at the moment I could not got before the Spring of 2013.

To cross the Panama Canal has been one of my dreams!
Patricia, we need to talk some more about logistics and how much this could cost.
I am sure most of us are on a budget. As I told you Patricia, we get really good deals here from Canada and I did find the prices for the tours you quoted to be quite high. I am sure there must be a cheaper way of doing this. I am an ex travel agent and I could look into it if I know exactly where and when we are planning on going.

Helene

Nov 19th 2012 new

Sounds great, Helene!


I just checked air fares and if one buys through Expedia when they have their weekly sales, it about a bit less than 600$


I'll look up at places, etc... Yes, we're all in a budget, especially after the holidays... We'll see...

biggrin
Mari

Nov 19th 2012 new

(Quote) Mari-894290 said: Sounds great, Helene! I just checked air fares and if one buys through Expedia when the...
(Quote) Mari-894290 said:

Sounds great, Helene!


I just checked air fares and if one buys through Expedia when they have their weekly sales, it about a bit less than 600$


I'll look up at places, etc... Yes, we're all in a budget, especially after the holidays... We'll see...


Mari

--hide--



$600.00 for airfare is very very good! Now, you need to tell us what is worth doing and seeing. Also, clean budget hotels that we could stay at. and thank you for your offer of staying a weekend at your folks place. It all sounds wonderful. Hopefully, we can get a few people interested! If not a small group is fun too! biggrin

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