Where Did We Stay?
In April 2019 we spent 4 weeks in Panama, traveling to Bocas del Toro along the coast in the northeast side, Boquete in the interior northern mountain region, and Panama City. In Panama City, we stayed in 3 different areas of the city, so we get a better feel of Panama City with its diverse neighborhoods and appeal.
Accommodations – $1035 for the month
We stayed in both Airbnb’s and hotels in Panama, dividing our time between 3 areas of the country. We moved accommodations six times throughout the month. Firstly, because of this, we were not able to receive the more substantial longterm discounts that many Airbnb hosts offer when you stay for a month. This meant some sacrifices in the way of amenities to stay below our monthly accommodations budget of $1,000.
Our most significant issues turned out to be the lack of amenities at a couple of our Airbnb’s, along with the slow internet pretty much throughout the country. Bocas del Toro is hot and humid, and we didn’t have air conditioning, so by 10 am the little home we rented was quite hot. The place we rented in Boquete was absolutely amazing, and we loved it! It had one of the best views of any place we’d have stayed so far. All of the places we stayed in Panama City were within walking distance of stores and restaurants, and all had fantastic city lights views.
Because travel is our job, fast and reliable internet is essential to us. Unfortunately, like Costa Rica, the internet was really slow in all areas of Panama, which made it difficult to upload videos and posts. Most of our Airbnb’s were booked months ago, so we weren’t able to implement what we learned in Costa Rica in regards to picking the best accommodations for our needs.
So What Did We Learn??
The accommodation budget needs to increase to be able to work at home in a productive environment. After what we’ve learned we are increasing our accommodation budget to $1,150 per month for future bookings. We figure if we spend $40 more per week, we will have more amenities; such as more functional interior space, coffee, spices, cooking items, more toiletries, and possibly a better location which will wind up saving us money in the long run because of fewer transportation costs.
Some of the accommodations were on the small side (not much bigger than a large hotel room) which made for a lot of closeness with someone you spend 24 hours a day with already. lol We love finding 2-bedroom units or at least a separate bedroom with a living area and a full kitchen. It’s nice to feel like you can actually move around.
Transportation & Excursions
Transportation – $516
Our transportation total includes Uber, taxis, water taxi, buses, cabs, shuttle, and a moped with the cost gas.
We stayed in Bocas del Toro after a month-long stay in Costa Rica. We took a shuttle from Puerto Viejo Costa Rica to the boat launch (lancha) in Almirante Panama. We took a water taxi to Isla Colon, which is a 40-minute ride. The water taxi costs $6 per person one-way. Taking water taxi’s between islands costs $2 to $7 per person depending on which island you a going to.
Taxis in Bocas del Toro: $50
Water Taxis: $35
A shuttle from Bocas del Toro to Boquete: $60
Scotter in Boquete: $25
Cabs in Boquete: $80
Taxi/Ubers/Buses while in Panama City: $165
These totals are for both of us.
We rented a moped in Boquete which enabled us to see a lot of places without having to go on a formal type of tour. We have found this to be a great money saving option as long as the area is safe for mopeds.
We relied on Uber in Panama City because we felt it was too risky to rent a moped since the streets are so busy. Taking an Uber in Panama City is inexpensive, so it turned out to be the best way to get around.
Excursions – $225
You can enjoy Panama with or without paying for excursions depending on what type of vacation you are looking for. In Bocas, we took the water taxi to nearby islands which is an inexpensive way to see the islands. Go ahead and barter with the water taxi drivers. Another fun thing we did was the local event called “Filthy Friday” which is a bar crawl by water taxi to 3 bars on nearby islands. We rented a golf cart to explore the local beaches and towns. Another day we went by cab to the other side of the island to visit Starfish Beach. You can go by water taxi or cab to Starfish Beach. Check out our article and video highlighting the 10 Best Things To Do In Bocas Del Toro.
In Boquete, we went on a few hikes, saw a coffee plantation, and went to the Lost Waterfalls. I wish we had more time in Boquete because there were a few things we missed. If you are interested in visiting Boquete you may want to check out our post The Ultimate Travel Guide To Boquete Panama.
In Panama City, of course, we went to see Panama Canal, we saw several museums, walked through the streets of Panama City, the boardwalk, and we spent a lot of time admiring and learning about Casco Viejo and Panama City. There is rich history in Panama City, and we found it to be a great learning experience.
Cost Of Living For A Couple In Panama
Misc. Monthly Costs – $288
We have our cell phone bill which includes international calling. We go through T-Mobile, and our bill is around $100 a month. We have the global calling plan with T-Mobile; however, we found out that’s only for parttime travelers, not people who plan on being out of United States for longer than 60 days at a time without returning, so we will most likely be purchasing Sim cards in each country. We will keep you updated as to how that works for us.
We are currently in Greece, and after 7 days T-Mobile already shut off the data on my phone, so it looks like we will be looking into Sim cards in Athens.
We pay $100 per month for a storage unit in Phoenix to keep our stuff.
TOTAL COST FOR 4 WEEKS IN PANAMA WAS $3,899.
Panama was our highest monthly cost yet. The higher costs were due to repurchasing the drone, our daughter visiting for an extended period, and having fun with our good friends who visited us during much of our stay in Panama. All of these things affected our spending. Even though this month was higher than Costa Rica, I think if we took the above-referenced items out of the equation, Panama would’ve been lower than Costa Rica.
More 2 Traveling Lovers Article & Video links from Panama:
We spent a month traveling throughout Panama. If you’re interested in visiting the area, we hope you will find our articles and videos helpful. All of our posts have a video included, and we have new videos on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too so you won’t miss a video.
Below are a few articles and videos from our stay in Panama:
We learned a lot during our time in Panama, and we hope to go back again one day to see the areas we didn’t have time to visit and to return to Boquete and Panama City. We hope you enjoyed our post on the “Cost of Living For A Couple In Panama”.
Our goal while traveling the world is to help couples find the best cultural experiences in every country while keeping costs very reasonable. We have become experts in planning travel and not breaking the bank!!
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