Disclosure: I was not provided any discount or gifted item for this Rent a Friend in Panama – PTY Life Review post. I simply wrote this post because Joey at PTY Life is THAT awesome, and I want the world to know it.
I’ve already written about our great experience with PTY Life when we were in Panama, and I promised more information would come later.
Being the planner that I am, it may surprise you that we planned our end-of-summer trip at the very last minute and showed up without a single scheduled item on our agenda. Upon our first day in Panama, I was scrolling through Travel Advisor reviews when I came across PTY Life. PTY Life is a travel blog based around Panama City, but the owner/editor also gives walking tours around Panama City. Ah-mazing walking tours.
Granted, when I first payed the $75 or so fee for the Hubs and I to have a tour, my husband questioned how legit this company was that I had just sent money to. He also questioned how well he would be able to understand this Joey while he explained things to us. Even though I speak Spanish (somewhat fluently but not perfectly), the Hubs does not speak any. I told the Hubs this guy seemed to have a great handle on English based on our email exchanges.
How surprised the Hubs was when a young American walked into our hotel lobby (yes, he came to us) and introduced himself as Joey. He had a pretty good handle on English, I would say. Haha!
When I had filled out my application for a tour request, Joey had asked what kinds of things we would be interested in seeing. And he truly did try to fill up our six-hour tour with as much of our interests as possible. I did tell him that I didn’t have a whole lot of things in mind, other than looking for Kuna art and jewelry. We started our walking tour, and he introduced us to using Uber to get around.
Our first stop was to the catch an Uber that would take us to the top of Ancon Hill (Cerro Ancon). Here, we took in the beautiful view of Panama City from this vantage point.
Next, we drove to Casco Viejo and toured the area, including several Kuna markets, including the Mercado Cinco de Mayo.
Joey is a wealth of information, eager to share at every corner we turned.
Next, we walked around Avenida Central and its surrounding areas such as the Santa Ana neighborhood. We made several stops into stores, cafes, grocery stores, and we visited several park areas. (FYI…bring your own sunscreen so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg!)
Last of all, we made a stop at Joey’s suggestion to the fish market. He also showed us how to use the new-to-us metro system. You can see more details and photos of this visit here.
Man, the tour was fantastic! We learned so much about all of the areas we covered. There is simply no way we would have been able to learn so much and see so much on our own in such a short period of time. To boot, we wouldn’t have known to be as swift about transportation, and we likely would have spent closet to $70 in taxi fees alone in our naivety.
Joey also gave us some suggestions on what to do on some of our other days – such as visiting the Atlantic-Pacific Restaurant. You can read more about our visit there on this post.
No questions asked, the Hubs and I would highly recommend any visitor to Panama City book a tour with PTY Life. You surely won’t regret it! As the Hubs said, he felt like the PTY Life set up was like a “rent a friend.” The time with Joey truly does feel like spending time with a longtime friend.
We certainly hope to catch up with him again on our next visit!
Linking up my PTY Life Review post at the following travel link ups!