Panama City is gaining a lot of traction with travelers as a cheaper alternative to Costa Rica that offers much more history and culture in addition to a tropical setting. It’s true that costs are generally lower than in Costa Rica, but that may not last much longer if this surge in popularity continues.
|Airports||Tocumen International Airport (PTY)|
Food and drinks are bargains too, and especially if you concentrate on street stalls and other places catering toward locals. Restaurants with English-language menus in tourist districts such as Calle Uruguay and Calle Argentina might not seem cheap at all.
|Budget breakfast||If your hotel doesn't include breakfast you can find cheap cafes and sandwich shops easily.||$2.40 - $5.50|
|Budget lunch||The fish market area is an experience and a great place for a cheap freshly-caught lunch.||$4.60 - $7.50|
|Budget dinner||Assuming you want a proper sit-down meal, avoid tourist places with English menus for the best deals.||$7.00 - $11.00|
|Beer (.33l bottle)||Cold bottles of local lager are everywhere, cheap at the fish market and more expensive in real bars.||$1.50 - $3.50|
|Month||High F||Low F||PRECIP (inches)|
Panama City has a classic tropical climate with temperatures barely changing throughout the year. The dry season, which runs from mid December through May, still finds fairly high humidity during the days, but heat rarely gets out of hand so it’s generally comfortable. The rainy season goes from June through November, and is usually in the form of afternoon cloud bursts rather than all-day drizzle.
Hotels and hostels in Panama City are good bargains, especially on the lower end of the price range. On the higher end the best deals are outside of the peak holiday season, but all year round you can get good prices on lovely hotels that would cost far more in most places. However, this is more of a business city than a tourist city and there aren’t many top attractions once you’ve seen the Miraflores Locks at the Canal.
Hotels in Panama City operate on a similar seasonal schedule to the Caribbean, so the high season runs from December through March, and many hotels keep prices high through April. The peak season is around the Christmas and New Year’s holiday times, so if you are coming then it’s best to book as early as possible. The low season runs from June through November and great bargains can be had during this period, especially at higher-end places. Keep in mind this is also the rainy season, though that usually means an afternoon cloud burst a few days a week at most.
|17.00 - 44.00|
|50.00 - 66.00|
|66.00 - 117.00|
|75.00 - 178.00|
|175.00 - 229.00|
|Hostel Bed||10.78 - 14.00|