It is crazy. It takes weeks, money and nerves. Looking for a flat to live in the Panamanian capital is a struggle. Here are few tips how to deal with it and find a nice apartment in Panama City.
It isn’t easy to find a hotel in Panama City which we will be sure about and won’t spend a lot of money. My Panamanian colleague asked about something where we won’t be for sure robbed, pointed a 120$/night one. It is too expensive in a country with such a low salaries so I tried few methods.
How to find accommodation in Panama City.
Apparently this method isn’t popular in Panama, and from what I heard in South and Central America in general. out of ~1000 people that were matching my search for 2 people and 1 night, only ~20 were logged in within last month! In the end we got few rejections and mostly no answer. Worth it to try but don’t expect too much.
It’s always my second choice if there is nothing on Couchsurfing. Of course I still try to find some people to meet by CS.
I found out that it’s possible to find a room for 35$, and according to the search there were 23 places on the list, which most of them looked very nice!
However this time my choice was a hotel. AirBnB is in general some effort, talking with hosts, not being sure about the conditions.
Hotels and motels
With a help came Trip Advisor which I haven’t use before, and which is apparently quite popular in Panama. Most of small places had reviews in different languages which was a great help. After a long journey it is very convenient to arrive in the hotel, close the door and rest without wondering about anything.
My choice was Hotel Bella Vista which you can book on booking.com or other similar portal.
A little bit dirty, old, window almost doesn’t work – but the bed is comfortable and air condition works great. In the end it’s a cheap hotel – 35$/room. I would come back there for this price.
Some locals scared me that the district is dangerous and after 20 I should stay inside. Other Panamanians told me later it’s a lie, however I wouldn’t take a risk. Perfect place to stay for one night with a low cost if we are very tired.