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Panama Detour

An urban walk through the real Panama City  BOOK NOW

 

Join me for a 5-hour personalized urban walking tour of the real Panama City. We can explore Casco Viejo, go hiking, visit local breweries, order fresh seafood at the fish market, sample Panamanian cuisine, try the best coffee or be spontaneous and take on the day! Price is $60 / person and includes a guided tour, sampling food & drinks, umbrellas during the wet season, and public transportation costs. 

Experience Panama City like a local

Hi there! I’m Joey, an expat and local blogger in Panama City, Panama. I’ve decided to go from writing about Panama City to actually showing people what this amazing city has to offer. I don’t like to refer to what I’m doing as a “tour” but more of an experience. Consider me your new friend in Panama that’s here to help you discover the secrets of the city.

Joey’s tours are awesome! He customizes his tours, so each experience is relevant and fun for each group. He gives you a lot of advice and great recommendations. We found more confidence navigating the city, by either uber or subway. The tour truly was like visiting an old friend, a really cool concept when visiting a new place.

- Anilyn

I’m not going to tell you the history of every single building we pass or hold up a flag and scream over a loudspeaker (I am knowledgeable, and I will share relevant facts along the way), but please do not sign up for this if you’re looking for that kind of tour. We are going to experience the streets, foods, drinks, people, and culture of Panama that can only be seen with a local.

 

 

For getting around, there’s no giant tour bus on this tour. We’ll be getting around in style using the multiple forms of public transportation available in Panama City so you can see how real people get around and learn how to use the public transportation yourself.

What an amazing day we had! We got to see everything we requested, including watching the Seahawks game at an outdoor bar and more! It was a full day filled with adventure, ending at sunset. Joey did a terrific job in using various modes of transportation, eating local and different foods, taking us to not only tourist sites, but to areas where only local people could be seen.

- Rose

So, what would we do?

Imagen JPEG-F61094075F93-1That’s really up to you! Every tour I give is a little different and customized to what your group would like to do and our pace moving throughout the city. Just a general idea of some of the things we can do are… stroll the historic streets of Casco Viejo, buy the freshest seafood at the Mercado de Mariscos, visit local coffee shops and craft beer breweries, eat at a typical Panamanian restaurant, pool crashing, light hiking, going to the top of a skyscraper to watch the sunset, visiting hidden artisan markets, and a few other secret spots that I can’t post on here. I know the layout of the city very well so I will cram in as much as I can during the day.

Joey’s a really friendly guy and genuinely helpful, and unlike most tour guides, he begins as your Friend. He met us in the morning and discussed what we wanted to do. Our group was all 50 years and above! He tailored it to our needs. We took the Metro, bus, and Uber. Started with Ancon Hill which is a fantastic place to begin since it gives a good overview of the city and has breathtaking views. Went through the old city and had superb coffee, enjoyed Cerviche at a fish market and even went to a rougher part of town as requested. Ended the day which began at 9:30 and ended at 7:30 pm at a microbrewery which was really cool. Our time with Joey is certainly THE HIGHLIGHT of our time in Panama, even though our conference was wonderful too. Thanks again Joey for giving us an experience of a lifetime in Panama!

- Wei

The one thing we will not be doing is visiting the Panama Canal (unless you REALLY want to or you’re on a limited time layover in Panama City). My reason for this is that it’s something you can easily do on your own and I want to spend time showing you more things off the beaten path.

During our day together I’ll be available to help you with suggestions, tips, and booking tours for the rest of your trip and you can pick my brain on what it’s like living in Panama. You also have my personal phone number and email to contact me anytime with questions.

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The cost to go on the tour is just $60 / person with a maximum of 5 people and will last approximately 5 hours. If you are booking a solo tour, I may combine you with another solo traveler or small group, but there will always be a maximum of 5 people to keep it intimate. Please let me know if you have a larger group than five people and I might be able to accommodate everyone but I prefer to maintain the groups as small as possible.

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The cost includes a guided tour of Panama City, sampling local food & drinks, transportation costs during the tour (bus, metro & Uber rides), umbrellas in case it rains, and hotel pickup and drop off if you’re staying in Panama City.

During our day together I’ll also be available to help you with suggestions, tips, setting up local phone service, and booking tours for the rest of your trip and you can pick my brain on what it’s like living in Panama. You also have my personal phone number and email to contact me anytime with questions after the tour.

While the cost of the tour is $60, most people on my tour end up saving that much money by the end of their trip by learning the local secrets of where to eat, drink, get around, and not get ripped off. I highly recommend doing the tour on the first day of your trip so that you can use your new local knowledge for the remainder of your stay.

To avoid the worst heat of the day and possible rain during the wet season, I like to begin the tours at 3 pm or later. However, I am completely flexible to start at any time you like so if you would prefer to meet at a different time than on the booking page just let me know.

Also, before we meet let me know if there is anything that is important for you to see in Panama City and some general things that you like and don’t like doing. Or if you trust me enough let me know that you’re up for anything and I’ll plan a great day!

Would HIGHLY recommend doing this on your first day in the City, so you can get a good feel for what there is to see & do, then find your way back on your own later in your visit.

- Amy

If you’re ready to begin your experience, BOOK NOW or send me an email to hola@pty.life to coordinate.

How much time should I set aside for the tour?
Approximately 5 hours.

How do we get around during the tour?
We do a lot of walking, but we will also utilize different forms of the city’s transportation options to get to certain spots (bus, metro, Uber, or taxi).

Do I need to be super fit for this tour?
You do not need to be super fit but we walk 4-miles during the tour (with breaks in between), so you need to be able to cover this much ground.

How much does the tour cost?
The cost is $60 / person. This includes a guided tour of Panama City, sampling local food & drinks, transportation costs during the tour (bus, metro & Uber rides), umbrellas in case it rains, and hotel pickup and drop off if you’re staying in Panama City.

Can I bring my kids on the tour?
Kids are welcome, and ages 12 & under are half price ($30 / per kid). But please let me know in advance so that I can try to plan a kid-friendly itinerary.

Do we eat during the tour?
We will typically eat a full meal during the tour as well as spend the day sampling local food, drinks, coffee, and beer.

How many people are on each tour?
I conduct tours with a minimum of 1 person and maximum of 5 people. If you have a bigger group, I might be able to accommodate everyone, but I prefer to keep the groups as small as possible. Sometimes I will combine groups (a group of 1 and group of 3 for example), but it will always be a maximum of 5 people. Please let me know if you do not want your group to be combined.

What do I need to bring for the tour?
Just wear comfortable clothing and sneakers/trainers (remember we walk a lot!). If possible, please try to avoid bringing large cameras since we will be going to some of the more local/gritty areas of Panama City.

Where do we meet and at what time?
I can usually meet directly at your hotel or somewhere convenient for both of us and drop you off at your hotel at the end if you are staying in Panama City. You are of course also welcome to stay out longer. To avoid the worst heat of the day, I like to begin the tours at 3 pm or later but am flexible to start at any time.

How can I reserve my spot on the PTY Life Experience or get more info?
Click BOOK NOW at the top of the page or write to me at hola@pty.life.

If you’re ready to book your experience click BOOK NOW to head over to my online booking page (at the moment this accepts credit card only) or if you would like to pay in cash / have any questions, please send an email to hola@pty.life or fill out the form below.

Looking forward to showing you Panama!

If you have any questions about the tour feel free to send me an email or text (no phone calls please)…

Email: hola@pty.life

Text (U.S. number): (978) 563 9581

Whatsapp: +507 6068 2740

REVIEWS…


There are 14 comments

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  1. Maria Kopelziw

    We booked a 5 hr. walking tour with Joey on first day of our 2 wk stay in Panama.
    Smartest thing we did! I will admit I was hesitant to book with stranger on line but don’t worry Joey is honest n truly wants his customers to enjoy and see the real Panama( which he obviously loves)
    We are both pushing 70 but with frequent stops had no problems keeping up.
    He gave us great tips about transportation ( which is incredibly cheap) food n restaurants, bars n all things Panama. We went places we would have never found on our own or with conventional tour.
    Just a great afternoon and evening
    If it’s your first trip..or even if you’ve been in Panama City before ..spend an afternoon with Joey you won’t regret it.

  2. Howard

    Before our trip to Panama City, Panama, I was searching the internet looking for excursions/tours that would be a good match. I found Joey’s blog and proceeded to correspond with him. He was full of suggestions and responded very quickly to my questions. He recommended Atlantic & Pacific Restaurant where we would have a great view of the Panama Canal. We took his suggestion and were blown away by the great food and view of the Canal. A couple of days later, we took Joey’s half day Panama Detour tour and had a great time. We got to taste different kinds of coffee, see the Casco Viejo (Old Quarter) area of the city and had drinks at a great rum bar. He also showed us where to go out at night and we would never had found these places on our own. We all ended up going out and had an amazing time. This tour is a MUST! Joey is not only a great tour guide, but I consider him to be a friend. I can’t wait to go back to Panama.

  3. Tianna Coleman

    I was randomly searching things to do in Panama for my 30th birthday back in January and booked a tour with Joey. He was such an awesome guide. He took us around Casco Viejo and my group had a great time. He was very responsive and gave me great suggestions of things to do such as different happy hours and where to go for the best views of the city. Definitely recommend Joey!

  4. Karrie Roy

    We just returned from a great family trip to Panama City. We stayed in Casco Viejo and are very glad we hired Joey to take us around for one of the days. He created a great tour to meet the pace of our 6 and 8 year olds. We hit up a coffee shop, brewery, took in a great view high above the city, visited a fish market and enjoyed yummy panamanian food. He helped us look for a soccer jersey for our son too. Joey was very kind and knowledgeable. Highly recommend if you are looking for a guide to navigate the streets, neighborhoods, metro, etc.

  5. Tia Chambers

    My boyfriend and I visited Panama on a whim in December. Joey was a wonderful guide! Through his suggestions prior to the tour, we ate an amazing meal at Donde Jose, explored Casco Viejo, and visited multiple rooftop bars. Joey customized the tour to our interests which are good food and drinks! After the tour, we were acclimated to Panama and explored many of the areas he took us too alone. I highly recommend starting your Panama vacation with a tour by Joey!

  6. Wei-Leong Goh

    I searched the Internet and somehow found Joey. I was with three others ( two Americans and another Singaporean) attending a conference in Panama City. We had A free day and we engaged Joey to take us around and experience life like a local. And he sure did!!
    Joey's a really friendly guy and genuinely helpful and unlike most tour guides, he begins as your Friend. He met us in the morning and discussed what we wanted to do. Our group was all 50 years and above! He tailored it to our needs. We took the Metro, bus and Uber. Started with Ancon Hill which is a fantastic place to begin since it gives a good overview of the city and has breathtaking views. Went through the old city and had superb coffee, enjoyed Cerviche at a fish market and even went to a rougher part of town as requested. Ended the day which began at 9:30 and ended at 7:30 pm at a microbrewery which was really cool.
    Our time with Joey is certainly THE HIGHLIGHT of our time in Panama, even though our conference was wonderful too.
    Thanks again Joey for giving us an experience of a lifetime in Panama!

  7. Michelle Wilcoxen

    For our 50th wedding anniversary, my wife and I traveled to Panama in late January 2016 to join a Caravan tour (Chicago-based) of the city and country. We found out that some of the sights of Panama City were not on Caravan's itinerary so we flew to Panama City a day early and booked expat and Kentuckian Joey Bonura of pty.life for a city tour of the things which we had found on tripadvisor which we wanted to see and do. Joey met us right on time at our hotel as promised and took us to the top of Ancon Hill (our request) as well as on a guided walk through Casco Viejo (Casco Antiguo). We thoroughly enjoyed our sampling of local food, coffee and beer as well as a late lunch at the Fish Market. Joey has a thorough knowledge of the local in's and out’s — we could never have navigated around the city as he did (via the modern bus and metro systems as well as Uber) — and was very professional as well as personable at all times. (He even loaded Uber on our iPhone so we could save money and time on our local trips, like going back to the airport!) All in all, having Joey for a local guide saved us much time (at a very reasonable cost) and gave us peace of mind. We only wished that we had a "Joey" in every city we travel to. Highly recommended! Marshall Wilcoxen, Hillsborough NC

  8. Susie Panzer

    We had a great time with Joey as our guide for our first day in Panama City. We are a 45 year old couple from New York. Joey was fun, informative and took us all over the city. He will customize the tour to your interests. Highly recommended. Thank again Joey. Russ and Susie

  9. Sue Ross

    First if you are reading this CONGRATULATIONS! You have broken the code on where to go for an exciting, tropical, inexpensive and diverse vacation. Panama City is fabulous!
    I started planning in June for a January trip, looking for a warm place to travel in the winter. I read everything online, most I know now is not true. Panama is safe, the water fine, the people incredibly kind, and there is way more to do than you will have time for, but only if you know about it.
    I found Joey’s site during my research and could tell that it was sincere and legit. We booked him for our second day in Panama to show us the ropes. I can say that after 4 or 5 hours with him (lost track of time) we were off and running. He completely uncomplicated the mass transit and the next day we were all over town at 25 CENTS a ride. He transformed our trip! All that I read online was valuable but he gave it clarity.
    Places, events, services and goods, it’s all here but you need that local knowledge. You will save more money than he charges with all of the information you get. For instance, on his site he talks about bike riding Avenida Balboa on Sundays. There is very little written about this event online but DON’T MISS IT!! Forget about your level of fitness there is everything from 4 year olds with training wheels to professionals on $3,000 bikes. Panamanians love it, and the rental bikes are free. Yep FREE! He also told us about an annual Jazz Concert attended by some 20,000 people from all over. Free again! We bused to it like locals for…guess how much… 25 CENTS! The mass transit in Panama is fantastic.
    Joey’s tour was by far the best investment in time and money that we made. A final word of advice. He is going to tell you a ton of things, and take you to lots of cool places. Take pics, notes, record it. You cannot remember it all and you will want to circle back later. And let him know a little about your goals. Each tour is unique. …only other advice… book him early!

  10. Vivian Su

    My husband and I saw this awesome PTY blog and thought it would be really fun to travel with Joey as a local! The tour was easy to arrange and Joey was very flexible in terms of itiernary and he was very accomodating with what we wanted to see as well. We came with lots and lots of questions about Panama. He took us to the Cinco de Mayo area which was super local with the coolest street side barbara shop, and then we went into an arts and crafts shop where I got my pants hemmed for $3 (thanks for PTY life's recommendation). I wish I had brought my shoes to get fixed there too! It was a total local experience and a very good one to get a feel of the city on our first day. Also, Joey hooked us up on a tour with a local Kuna guide in San Blas. We had an amazing time at the beautiful islands! All for a price way lower than other places advertised online! We also went to Teatro Amador, Trapiche restaurant, Donde Jose and took the gang tour thanks to his recommendations! Highly recommended! Thanks Joey!

  11. Amy Beth Spurgeon Solis

    We had a great time on this personalized, local experience with Joey!!! He made the meeting time convenient for us, helped us navigate the chaos of traveling around Panama & took us to all the 'cool' spots of the City–casco, fish market, stroll thru the local markets, & (due to rain) the Trump Ocean Club 66th floor panoramic viewing area. He did a great job of providing information, assisting with photos & was real easy-going to talk with. Would HIGHLY recommend doing this on your first day in the City, so you can get a good feel for what there is to see & do, then find your way back on your own later in your visit. As with anything you book "sight unseen" there can be some hesitation in telling a stranger your itinerary & meeting them in a strange place…but I assure you, Joey provides a safe, comfortable experience and we were 100% satisfied with our private tour! Thanks!! 🙂

  12. Russ Levinson

    Panama is a very cool country, but you may need a little help figuring things out, as I did. Joey offers a very flexible, fun, affordable experience that I would not have had on my own in Panama. He can customize based on your interests. My experience was well worth it and I highly recommend!

  13. Movieworld Douglaston

    Panama is a very cool country, but you may need a little help figuring things out, as I did. Joey offers a very flexible, fun, affordable experience that I would not have had on my own in Panama. He can customize based on your interests. My experience was well worth it and I highly recommend!


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