Hi Fellow Travellers,
Have you ever wondered about how to go to a new destination for the very first time? People will make many choices. On the one extreme, some will do extensive research and know exactly what they are getting into before they book their trip while at the other end of the spectrum there are those that look for something easy that they know will cover off their basic needs of travel, accommodation, and food. These are the people who choose all-inclusive resorts. While there are many reasons why people will make such a choice, there is both security and risk in that decision.
All inclusivism provides the necessities for your stay so if you are just trying to kick back and relax they are a great option. On the risk side, you may be tempted not to leave the resort and experience the wonders of the country you chose to visit. Sometimes these resorts are located in out-of-the-way places where it is more difficult to get into town or go anywhere. I think that makes the risk higher because it is easier to just stay put at the resort. Why go out and experience the local restaurants? You already paid for your food at the resort! I know places where the resort will actually tell guests asking about going somewhere that it is dangerous and that they should stay at the resort. That recommendation makes resorts money and detracts from your stay.
Well, enough of my rant. I guess you can tell we are not fans of all inclusivism. Yes, they have there place, but not for us!
Today, we went to Farallon which is on the Pacific about a couple of hours west of Panama City. Farallon is home to the best known all-inclusive in Panama, the Royal Decameron. Farallon has pretty much just this resort, which has grown exponentially over the years. There are golf courses and a brand new international airport, Panama’s newest, which is nearing completion and will accommodate international charter flights.
On the history side, Farallon also is home to the now decrepit Noriega beach home where the Americans first came to get him. If you ignore the no trespassing signs, you can see the shell of what was once an opulent multi story beach home that was one of the many Noriega properties in Panama. This one still has the bullet holes in the walls that tell the story of the American invasion. Local folklore spins the description of a highly secure compound with a small air strip, which is now being expanded into the new international. There is a small island not too far off shore that has a large cross. The story has it that Noriega had this built as a navigation aid to his Columbian drug friends who made deliveries to the small air strip here. Be it true or not, this makes almost as good a story as the pirate stories associated with other parts of Panama.
So, back to the Decameron. For years, this place has brought charters full of Canadians from eastern Canada. It is also part time share but it is difficult to get into through RCI due to the location’s popularity. We decided to have a look around so just walked in. As I said, it is a huge resort and we met a number of people looking lost and scratching their heads. There are three different lobbies. There appears to be six or seven different restaurants. We saw a couple and they were each the size of a gymnasium. The grounds are very well-kept. The pool was busy and looked to be in good condition. The beach provides some nice views out to the Pacific. I wondered what people who stayed there thought about it so checked it out on Trip Advisor. I think I would summarize the ratings as about average.
Well, there you have it. If you are looking for an all-inclusive in Panama, this one should know how to do it. They have been here for years and with the new airport nearly finished, the travel time at the end of your flight to the resort will only be a few minutes.