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Panama (Lonely Planet Regional Guides) Paperback – 31 Jan 1999

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Paperback, 31 Jan 1999
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended for business travelers 30 Jan. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
I usually travel with a Fodor's or Michelin guidebook, but as there was no Fodor's or Michelin available for Panama, I purchased the Lonely Planet book before a recent trip to Panama. It was the first time I used a Lonely Planet book, and I found it very helpful. I was in Panama City on business, and the book provided very useful advice on where I as a businessman should stay, and it recommended not just the most expensive restaurants in Panama City, but also the best restaurants; writers, I've noticed, sometimes mistake the most expensive for the best. Not this one. I suggested four places for business lunches/dinners while I was in Panama City, and in each instance my Panamanian associates were impressed that I "knew" smart restaurants for business meals. Although I'd told them that it was my first trip to Panama, which it was, they soon took to saying, "And you've never been to Panama before?" with a wink and a chuckle. They ascribed to me more knowledge of their country than I possessed. I like it when other people make me look good, and that's one of the things this guidebook did for me. Next time I travel I won't be in such a hurry to by a Fodor's or a Michelin guide.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Formulas Don't Always Work 6 April 2001
By F. Schaefer - Published on
LP Panama uses the same formula as the rest of the very successful and helpful Lonely Planet book series. BUT Panama is written by someone who toured all or most of the country in a powerful 4-wheel-drive vehicle with a powerful winch, going in a style most budget travelers can not afford, and going far enough out where most affluent traveler would not want nor dare to go. It seemed to be a trip where he went where he wanted. Coverage of some very good areas was sparse (Bocas del Toro for one). Half the book seemed be be geared toward descriptions of hotels and restaurants. Only expensive ("acceptable") hotels are mentioned. There is literally no information about lodging around bus stations. His lodging suggestions were generally not very good, i.e. Panama City and David.
The use of many description such as "a bowl of spaghetti in octopus sauce" to describe the roads around one town bothered me and infuriated some other travelers. He also mentions "a great deal" often. Most were rather pricey, great only if all your expenses are paid! He also missed some great areas in both the west and in the Darian area.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This is the book 7 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This is the book that every traveller (except for a few who are always asking to borrow it) takes with them to Panama. It was very accurate and very helpful. The only problems we encountered were unlabelled streets (suggestion: try putting landmarks on maps where no street signs are posted) and the trip from David to Bocas del Toro (which was more of a happy surprise than a problem, as in reality it's cheaper and easier than in Lonely Planet).
Panama is an incredibly beautiful country that is not very dense with tourists. Panamanian spanish is also muy facil de comprender. I wholeheartedly suggest visiting the country and embracing the culture and people you meet (not literally).
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Invaluable!!! 17 April 2001
By Jenna Burrell - Published on
We spent 7 days in Panama and the LonelyPlanet Panama book was our bible. I don't know what more we could have wanted from a guidebook, this one seems to have it all. As impoverished college students we were primarily looking at the cheapest way to do things and this book was deffinitely oriented around that type of travel. I really don't understand what some of the other reviewers are talking about when they say this book is written for people with lots of money to spend, that was not our experience at all. We went everywhere by bus and taxi and we saved so much money on transportation and lodging that we felt free to splurge in a couple of places. This book has just the right amount of detail so that your trip doesn't lose the element of surprise. I appreciated the range of accommodations described in this book allowing us to pick our own priorities in terms of how much we wanted to spend to stay somewhere or do something. I also appreciated the background and historical information that made the whole trip that much richer. This book is ubiquitous among the english-speaking tourist crowd and we saw people toting it around everywhere. It was a great conversation starter.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Re-Discovery of Panama 16 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I am really enjoying this book. I was tired of going to the stores and not finding any publication about travelling to Panama. As a native panamanian, I feel that the author really did his research and he presented only the" best" information for travellers planning to explore the exciting adventures Panama offers. I bought the book to help me plan my trip to Chiriqui and found it very informative regarding new tourist attractions, particularly the ones dealing with eco-tourism opportunities. I am going back at the end of February 1999 and despite from the fact that I am going to miss carnival season ,this book gives me ample and detailed information on fun things to do in the Chiriqui Highlands. I am even planning to go and do some trout fishing in Volcan...well if my wife let's me do it. Once again, I highly recommend this book and encourage anybody who is re-discovering my "green Panama" to buy it!! It wil save you time and money !
Hasta Luego y que disfruten el libro!!
Aquilino Sanjur
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