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Panama Guide

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Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 01:16 PM EDT

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PC, Taboga, Western Panama 2007

Travel & Tourism By Jake - I try to go back to Panama once a year. I married when I was at Kobbe (Howard) many years ago, and my first daughter was born while I was off the coast of Nic in '79. She hadn't visited in a while and she needed to update her cedula, (ID card). We stayed with relatives in Chapala, near Arraijan, which is the first town you'll come to on the interamericana highway after passing the turnoffs to Howard and the old Marine Barracks. The relatives call me “Yake” or Jake, because they have difficulty in saying “Timothy,” my real first name. Also because I taught survival, and killing Jake the Snake became Jake by my solider buddies. It just kinda stuck and I haven’t tried to change it. My wife's cousin "Curro" drove us around and was our traveling companion. Curro drives one of those typical white vans with a sliding right door. Late one afternoon the Tourism Police waved us over. What they saw was a Panamanian driver in a common white van driving a bunch of gringos around. My wife has a lighter tone of skin when she's away from Panama, and then me, Mr. Gringo from WAY up north in the states, my two daughters, and son-in-law. Also in the van we had a couple of other adult cousins we had picked up who lived in Arraijan. The tourism police thought that Curro was trying to make a little money on the side as an undocumented tourist driver. (more...)
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Crossing a continent in 57 minutes on the Panama Railroad

Travel & Tourism By Franz Smets for the German Press Agency - Panama City- Every day after 5 p.m. thousands of cars snake from Colon, on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, to Panama City, on the Pacific. Many people who work in the Colon Free Trade Zone or at one of the big container terminals prefer to live in the Panamian capital. So they shuttle the 80 kilometres, on the country's only toll road, between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. People have always used the Isthmus of Panama, the narrowest part of North America, to get from one ocean to the other - first on foot, then on horseback and with horse-drawn carriages. A railway line was completed in 1855, allowing the transit of bulkier goods from ships on one side to ships on the other. Much of the line, the original Panama Railroad, is now underwater. The big seafaring ships sail over it as they proceed through the Panama Canal and Lake Gatun, which was created by damming the Chagres River. The 19th century headquarters of the Panama Railroad, which directed interoceanic rail traffic across the Isthmus of Panama (then governed by Bolivia), were in a building that today is the Hotel Washington. The fastest and most convenient route linking San Francisco and New York in those days was via Panama. (more)
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Holland America Line Debuts New Full-Transit Cruises and Itineraries for 2008

Travel & Tourism SEATTLE, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Holland America Line offers 30 canal sailings in 2008 including new full-transit cruises though the Panama Canal, exotic new 13- to 26-day Inca Discovery sailings, and new spring and fall departures from Tampa to highlight its 2008 canal itineraries. The premium cruise line features 13 trans-canal voyages on seven ships in 2008, plus 17 "Sunfarer" sailings -- including four for the first time on the Vista-class ms Zuiderdam -- that combine Panama Canal cruising with Caribbean exploration. These 30 cruises offer extraordinary variety with itineraries ranging from 10 to 36 days and ports of call encompassing four exciting regions: the Mexican Riviera, Central America, South America and Caribbean. Itineraries are designed to provide opportunity to experience a broad mix of history, culture, wildlife, adventure and relaxing beaches. "The 40-mile Panama Canal is one of the most remarkable engineering feats in the world, and Holland America Line has designed these cruises to maximize the full-transit experience," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "As part of our Explorations Speaker Series, a Panama Canal historian provides guests with fascinating insights on the canal's history, development and operation as their ship rises, then lowers, 85 feet through six giant locks. This is truly an experience of a lifetime." (more)
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Looking for a divemaster for Panama...

Travel & Tourism By Capt Scott - Hi All, Just finally finished the new boat and am now looking for a good divemaster or divemaster intern. I've been very privileged in the past and worked with some great divemasters, which I also consider myself one of these. There are many persons out there carrying the divemaster or higher card, but not everyone makes a good divemaster. I'm looking for someone that is good with the customers. Also, so far, it's just me and a Panamanian Captain working in this organization. Skills that would be beneficial would be: web, marketing, video and photography. In other words, when not diving, I need help getting this thing moving. Things are very slow to start with, and the pay will be small in the beginning, but as things grow, all will get better. Anyone interested??? Capn' Scott Dive Coiba and the Pacific Coast of Panama scuba-charters.com
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Strategic Alliance Promotes Panama as Tourist Destination

Travel & Tourism WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of an alliance with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the government of Panama and the National Geographic Society (NGS), a Panama Adventure Map was publicly unveiled at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Panama's President, Martin Torrijos Espino and the U.S. Ambassador to Panama William A. Eaton participated in the event. The objective of this alliance is to highlight Panama's place in the tourism market for people interested in history, ecology, archaeology, bird watching, and sport recreation. The map was produced by National Geographic with funding from USAID and Panama's National Tourism Bureau (IPAT). More broadly this effort showcases the importance of strategic alliances between the national government, private business, and USAID that will in turn attract sustainable tourism to Panama's protected areas. USAID Director to Panama, Kermit C. Moh said, "USAID assistance in producing an adventure map for Panama through National Geographic contributes to the government of Panama's vision of developing tourism as an opportunity for economic development, diversification, and growth in related activities."
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QE2 Sailing from New York to Panama in 2007-2008 Season

Travel & Tourism VALENCIA, Calif., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- As Queen Mary 2 continues to significantly expand her presence in New York, Cunard Line announces an extended series of 12 ten-day voyages to the Caribbean from the Big Apple, as well as two 13-day sailings to Panama and the Caribbean and a 14-day Caribbean Celebration voyage featuring Christmas Day at sea and New Year's Eve in the port of St. Thomas. Like Queen Mary 2's legendary Transatlantic crossings, these voyages resonate with the singular elegance and sophistication of a Cunard ocean liner experience. In addition, the ship's faster speed allows her to sail farther south than other ships out of New York, affording more Southern Caribbean port stops, such as Barbados, on ten-day voyages. Offering easier access than ever from her homeport of New York, the 2007 - 2008 itineraries showcase an array of less-traveled ports while delivering a more glamorous experience. Cunard voyages are renowned for their luxurious surroundings, exceptional dining and signature White Star Service®. These signature services, together with the opportunity to explore and discover alongside like-minded travelers, result in a thrilling experience for first- time and longtime cruisers.
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Panama on the Edge of its Next Growth Spurt

Travel & Tourism (Jaxfax.com) - Famous for a canal, a hat that is actually made in another country and a military leader with a pock-marked face, Panama forms a slither of land that weaves North America to Mexico to Central and finally, South America. The Canal is indisputably one of the wonders of the modern world, but it does not quite belong to the Panamanians, its hats are made in Ecuador, and Manuel Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in a federal prison in 1992, making this country seem like an odd fit even in its own region. Its two coasts—the Pacific and the Caribbean— have breathtaking beaches and diving opportunities to match. Panama City, was the first Spanish settlement on the Pacific, founded in 1519, when it was a fishing village. Within a 100 years, its commercial importance attracted the English who destroyed it and the city was moved to Casco Antiguo, home to a handful of colonial structures.
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Travel Home Business: Panama Considered Central America's Most Sought After New Tourism Destination

Travel & Tourism January 23, 2007 ( Miami, FL ) ---New and tell-all website, The Panama Report, reveals that hunting with century-old indian tribes, spelunking through mysterious jungle caves, and exploring secluded Caribbean islands isn't just reserved for Hollywood anymore. With its teeming rainforests, hidden beaches, and rich history and culture, the tiny isthmus that was once only known for a Canal, is now making sound waves as perhaps the most authentic travel destination in Central America. Features in the New York Times and Miami Herald, as well as recent articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, have spurred more and more visitors to Panama, the crossroads of the Americas . In the midst of this tourism and real estate boom, bona fide websites like thepanamareport.com are revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly sides a Panama vacation. Panama's high safety rating, tropical climate, and retirement incentives are drawing more and more baby boomers from the States everyday. Condos in cosmopolitan Panama City overlooking the Pacific Ocean for $200,000? Beach houses within walking distance from white sand beaches, $110,000? Giant tracts of oceanfront land selling at $0.25 per square meter? They sound too good to be true, but thanks to Panama's low cost of living and still relatively young real estate sector, anyone can get a piece of the action. Pair the amazing Panama investment with the Costa Rica allure of secret waterfalls, uninhabited beaches, and spectacular wildlife to see why the growth in Panama in 2006 was bigger than any country in the region.
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Ruben Blades, Copa tout Panama in the Dominican capital

Travel & Tourism Santo Domingo - Panama's Tourism Institute, whose director is the salsa great Ruben Blades, jointly with the Panamanian Carnival Board and Copa Airlines, presented to a select group of travel agents, major tour operators and the media, an innovative vacation option in the Central American country: The Panamanian Carnival. “This new offer seeks to divulge at an international level, one of the most prominent cultural traditions in Panama. We offer attractive travel deals, with an open invitation for Dominicans to come visit us before, during and after our Carnival,” said Tourism minister Blades. Blades is a renowned Salsa singer, TV and film actor, and is known for his popular number “Pedro Navaja,” in which he recounts the low life in the country’s slums. Blades said that his country’s tourism activity centers on cultural awareness and cultivation, and that these days visitors want to access different places to experience other living styles, and not necessarily just to relax or for fun. He affirmed that, during his tenure, Tourism in Panama makes hefty contributions to his country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Also present were Panamanian ambassador in the Dominican Republic, Miroslava Rosas and Minghtoy Giro, president of the Panamanian Carnival Board, who described the upcoming event for the media, to take place fm the 16th to the 20th of February 2007.
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Exotic destinations are the hot ticket for 2007 travel

Travel & Tourism By MACKENZIE CARPENTER for the BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE - So where will it be in 2007? You’ve hiked volcanoes in Nicaragua, browsed in Krakow’s medieval-era markets, dined alfresco in Dubrovnik, and cruised along Turkey’s gorgeous Mediterranean coast, so what in the world is out there that is new and exciting for the adventurous traveler? For Cindy Carbine of Highland Park. Pa., it will be a Caribbean cruise — but not just any cruise. She’s headed to Panama, and will spend a day river kayaking there. And Marsha Berger, of Squirrel Hill, Pa., dreams of exploring Ethiopia’s rock-carved churches, if war doesn’t overtake that country. Whether you’re on a budget or are a luxury-loving pleasure seeker, there are still travel destinations on this shrinking planet that can easily fit under the category of “new,” not to mention “hot.” Frommer’s annual “Top 12” list for this year includes affordable domestic destinations such as Asheville, N.C., nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains, and Minneapolis — which has cold winter weather but fabulous architecture, food, and cultural attractions — as well as Panama and Ethiopia. Other travel experts cite Eastern Europe, especially Poland; the exquisite city of Antwerp in Belgium; Buenos Aires, and Argentina’s wine region, Mendoza; Cambodia’s fabled Angkor Wat ruins; Northern Ireland, and on and on. (more)
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