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Costa Rica and Panama

San Diego
4 posts
2 reviews
Costa Rica and Panama

Hello fellow travelers,

I'm a 34 yr old female going on my first solo trip at the end of this month . As of now the only thing I have booked are my plane tickets. I've got two weeks to spend in Costa Rica and Panama. I'd love if anyone had suggestions on where to go/stay and things to see. My ideal trip would be a mix of beach relaxing but also enjoying some excursions. I have been checking both the Costa and Panama forums, but thought I 'd try my luck here as well.


Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
18,243 posts
189 reviews
1. Re: Costa Rica and Panama

For Costa Rica, I would focus on 2 spots. When I went, I split time between Manuel Antonio/Jaco and Fortuna/Arenal. The Jaco area is beachy and Arenal is more adventurous. The other area is further north (Tamarindo). I did not get to Tortuguero (turtles), since that excursion was a full day. I got a lot of great advice on the Costa Rica board.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
34 posts
14 reviews
2. Re: Costa Rica and Panama

I was just in Panama in December and split my time between Panama City and Bocas del Toro to get a good mix of city and beach time. If you stay in PC, I'd recommend the Casco Viejo area - lots of history and plenty of restaurants/bars to go to. I stayed on Isla Colon in Bocas at La Coralina. It's a way from "downtown" but I felt that was more relaxing. They were great about giving recommendations of things to do and setting up excursions too.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Holiday Travel, Food and Travel, Macau
Level Contributor
28,634 posts
6,530 reviews
3. Re: Costa Rica and Panama

Do spend some time on the Costa Rica and Belize TA destination sites and forums as well so that you can take advice and suggestions from local DEs and recent travel reviewers to those areas.

Have a great time, where ever you decide to go.

Isla Bastimentos
Level Contributor
421 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Costa Rica and Panama

Hey SR, I'm originally from Laguna Beach, Ca so I believe I am a bit of an authority on great Beach Towns. I have lived in the Bocas del Toro archipeligo of Islands on the Caribbean coast of Panama for going on 8 yrs and can tell you, you won't find more of a magical beach setting in all Central America. The combination of scenic views, nature exploring both under and above water, nite life, Hotel settings clear blue waters with unbelievable beaches cannot be surpassed in either countries. Most travelers will tell you Panama is relatively safer and less expensive than Costa Rica, and in "Bocas" the language Barrier is less pronounced. You will be amazed by the choices in restaurant fares and drinking establishments, also we are known for being a popular safe haven for single travelers, especially Europeans, and you will love the International flavour of the area. When in Bocas, consider staying on one of the outer Islands for a true Caribbean experience.

5. Re: Costa Rica and Panama

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