Days 2-3 disconnecting

The past 2 days I have been at Playa Blanca in Panama.

It is an all-inclusive resort about 2 hours away from Panama City on the Pacific. The hotel isn’t a hotel I would have chosen on my own, but it is an OK venue. The resort has 2 pools, one with a swim up bar and one with a bar next to it.

Food is served in a buffet for the most part. There are a few restaurants that take reservations including a sushi bar, but they are closed for this private event.

There is a snack bar by the pool with a swim up bar that has pizza, hot dogs, and other items from 10 am until around dinner time so since I don’t normally eat dinner after 7 pm (when the buffet opens) I had to make a dinner of pizza a couple nights.

Breakfast: cooked to order eggs, pancakes, fruits, breads, yucca, potatoes, huevos rancheros, some corn items, beans and rice.

Lunch: pasta bar with 2 noodles and 2 sauces, hot line with a beef entree, chicken entree, pork entree, fish entree, assorted desserts, build your own burger. The beef and fish have been overcooked for my taste but I’ve had no problem finding enough to eat.

Dinner: similar to lunch but the burger station is replaced by a carving station.

My room is quite spacious. The inverter doesn’t keep the room too cool so I like that, but that may be an issue for those who like it cold.

My biggest gripe is there is only wifi in the main lobby. Internet is $15 for 3 days and they have several computers in the main lobby, but the wifi does not extend to my room. Yes, it’s a first world problem and the internet has seemed much faster than the speed test indicates.

The staff has been very courteous. English fluency here in Panama does not seem as good as I’m used to in Costa Rica, but it’s my own fault for not brushing up on speaking spanish. I just didn’t imagine it would be so hard to get a diet coke. I’d say Diet Coke, the Coke Light and just got blank stares. I learned Coca Light is the magic phrase. Maybe they just expect every drink to have rum or some other liquor. The bar is stocked with name brand alcohol (JoseCuervo, Bacardi, Finlandia) which makes it better than a sky club. The beers are Balboa and Atlas which are OK, but require copious amounts of squeezed lime to make it passable. The nice thing about Panama is Coors Light is common (but not at Playa Blanca) and that is my crap beer of choice.










Double Room.  Supposed to be 2 queen beds but they seemed more like kings
Double Room. Supposed to be 2 queen beds but they seemed more like kings

BathroomShower.  No tub/


  1. I lived in Panama for a while and I was always puzzled by how they failed to get context clues. Coke Light? Blank Stares. Coca Light? OOOOH COCA LIGHT!

    I tried getting aspirin at a convenience store and asked for “asprina” and got blank stares. Then I said Tylenol and they say “oh aspirina.” I was pretty darn close!

  2. Thanks for the review. I’ve been considering Playa Blanca as a place to stay during a family vacation later in the year. However, the distance from Panama City and your review of the resort have helped me narrow down my thoughts. Please keep up your posts on Panama.

  3. Sure, it is a super low-end place, but the price was cheep, too. Not my cup of tea, but a LOT of folks find this kind of getaway and ideal break for their usual. A pool, a ho-hum buffet of mostly Amerikanized food and a flowing bar. For me, I’d rather park in a two-star and vacate every morning about a decent breakfast and spend the day learning something about Panama. Rented car or hired driver, whatever, I’m just the exploring type it guess. Sucking up booze around a pool is just not for me. Too bad there were no pix with your report.

    1. @cook there are pictures. Does anyone else not see them? I can’t arrange them or add comments on the iPhone app so I’ll have to clean that up when I get home.

      Everyone has their own vacation style. Today I head back to Panama City so I’ll have almost 2 days to explore before I head home tomorrow night.

  4. Seems weird they can’t figure out Coke from Coca – I think they are messing with you fro being Amwerican! And BTW Tylenol(acetominophen/acetomol) ain’t aspirinia…

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