Panama-Part 1-The arrival in Panama City, Panama
In total, our flights from OKC-DFW-MIA-PTY took 12 hours. The airport in Panama City (PTY) is very modern. If you want to see their web site, check it out here:
Immigration was pretty chaotic, lots of people rushing to get in line. As soon as we got to the immigration window, the agent said we had to go back and buy a tourist card. No one had told us anything about a tourist card! A supervisor came over and said he would hold our place till I returned with the cards. I left Stephanie at the immigration window, went back, bought the cards and in a few minutes we were outside in the heat and humidity of Panama.
We had been told to only take official taxis and watch out for the “gypsy” cabs. We were approached at least 6 times by taxi drivers that did not appear to be “official”. Finally, someone with an official looking ID tag directed us to a taxi, and soon we were being driven by our new best friend, “Bennie” to the Marriott hotel. Bennie was a nice guy who immediately wanted to sell us a condo. He was ok with it when we told him we were just a couple of tourists and didn’t really need a condo in Panama City. We told him we would hire him to take us back to the airport on Saturday at 5:30 a.m. in lieu of buying a condo from him!!
Since my daughter, Stephanie, was traveling with me, I figured I should spring for better accommodations than usual. When traveling solo to Latin America, I prefer to stay with local families to get the full immersion experience, but Stephanie wouldn’t have any part of that. So, I parted with some Marriott points for 2 free nights (Wed. and Thurs) and then paid a reduced weekend rate for Friday night.
We were at the Marriott in about 30 minutes. Bennie dropped us off, we exchanged cell phone numbers, and he told us where it was safe to walk in the area surrounding the hotel and where it wasn’t.
Steve Barrymore email@example.com
Next-photos of the Panama City, Panama Marriott Hotel.