Friday, January 25, 2013

Panama Overall

So with all of the highlights about Panama done, what do I think about the country itself?

  1. The country is a source of contradictions. When we we left the airport and headed for the hotel, our taxi driver drove like a race car driver, and the police did nothing about it. The speed limit was clearly marked, but people seemed to treat it more like a suggestion than a rule. The layout of the city itself is a contradiction. As you drive through the downtown, you will see amazing sky scrappers worthy of New York or London, however if you look closer you'll notice that all of these buildings are surrounded by slums. A real tale of two cities.
  2. The weather is extremely hot, perhaps even worse than here. In Panama, the sun just bakes the land like crazy. Of course being at 8 degrees north of the equator probably doesn't help much. 
  3. Money, money, money! While not Fort McMurray expensive, everything down there costs as much as they would back in Edmonton or Calgary. Don't go to Panama expecting a deal, plan as if you were going to Miami or Los Angeles. 
Overall, Panama is kind of a step between Guatemala and the US. It has a long way to go before it can be considered America Jr. That said, Panama isn't a bad place, and I wouldn't object to having to go there again if necessary. Just no more full day cruises please. 

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