Playa el Palmar, San Carlos

Feb 1 – When Jim designed this trip, he divided it into three parts: a week of culture (Panama City), a week in the mountains (El Valle de Antón), and a week at the beach. You’ve traveled with us for the first two adventures. Guess where we’re going now?

We had one more scrumptious breakfast (and I did the dishes one last time in cold water) then we packed up, taking all our leftover food and condiments with us to our new apartment.

We bade farewell to the family of squawky ducks who kept up a conversational racket under our window 24/7.

We wheeled our bags to the bus stop on the main road. Within five minutes a van pulled up with our destination on the windshield – San Carlos. We got in and watched as the 15 passenger van took on at least 20 people, then stopped wherever a person stood waiting to get on or signaled to get off, as we traveled down the mountainside. Although others paid with a dollar and received change, we were charged $2 each for the experience.

In about 45 minutes, we reached the beach (playa), and the bus let us off in front of the huge Playa el Palmar building – 28 stories tall and the only skyscraper around. We walked about 10 minutes in the broiling midday sun down a private road until we reached a security booth.

There it is!

We had to show our passports to the security guard to get in, and the landlord left Jim a series of videos (in Spanish, of course) explaining the code to work the door and how to operate the state of the art appliances. We’ve never been in a place like this, ever!

We’re on the 22nd floor – vertigo inducing when you look down!
One of our pool choices, with the beach just beyond. Looks like a resort ad!
There are the two pools, seen from our veranda

Now, if you’ve been traveling with us for a while, you know that we are modest travelers who don’t go in for anything posh. So, everything about this place is just blowing my mind. Our bedroom wall is floor to ceiling glass, looking out at the Pacific.

View from our bed
View to the left
View to the right

The downside (and there always is one) is that this hi-rise is not near the town, and the commenters said it’s definitely not a place to stay if you don’t have a car. Jim took this as a challenge – there’s no place that we can’t walk! But the lack of shade and consistent temperature of 90 / feels like 95 every day will be interesting. Stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Playa el Palmar, San Carlos

  1. You did pick up a Panama hat when in Ecuador–yes? A nice cork pith helmet would also work (like the cops in Bermuda but without the badges).


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